Thursday, April 21, 2022

Book Spotlight and Excerpt: The Professor’s Lady (The Thompsons of Locust Street, Book 3) by Holly Bush


Meet the Thompsons of Locust Street, an unconventional family taking Philadelphia high society by storm…

1870 Kirsty Thompson is determined to begin her own business bringing beloved Scottish fabrics and yarns to Philadelphia but first, she must meet the men and women who weave the plaids and spin the wool. How will she ever escape her protective older siblings and sail to Scotland?

Albert Watson is a medical doctor focusing on research, especially that of Joseph Lister and his sterilization techniques. He speaks at universities in America and in England while visiting his London relatives. As he prepares to sail for just such an engagement, Kirsty Thompson boards his ship to beg him to take her with him. What’s a gentleman to do? Albert cancels his trip across the ocean to escort Miss Thompson back to Philadelphia and finds there is danger afoot for her and her family.

Soon he comes to realize there is also danger for his heart, even for a man who rarely pulls his nose from a medical journal. He finds himself unable to put Miss Kirsty Thompson out of his thoughts, where they belonged, because certainly a beautiful, ambitious, and charming young woman could have no interest in him. Or could she?

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Follow the tour  HERE

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 “Would you l-like to take a turn about the deck, Miss Thompson?” Albert asked when their dishes had been cleared away. “The afternoon is warm, but there’s always a breeze on the w-water.”

They’d not said another word to each other as they drank their tea and coffee and nibbled on the food on the platter. Not after she’d asked him why he was stuttering. He could not tell her that her presence made him nervous and in turn made him trip over his words. When he’d taken her into dinner at the Pendergasts’ those months ago and had been seated beside her, he’d said little, only opening his mouth to eat his food. Miss Thompson had carried the conversation without him, and he had been entranced.

“That would be very pleasant, Mr. Watson.”

He followed her to the door and offered his arm when they were outside. She wrapped her hand around his elbow as they walked side by side, occasionally having to separate to walk single file when others passed on the narrow walkway. It was at one of those single-file moments that Miss Thompson nearly went overboard.

“Oof,” she cried when a man in rough clothes bumped her toward the railing, but the barrier she was beside wasn’t the same as most of the railing on the rest of the ship. She was pushed against a two-foot-wide gap strung with two loose lengths of chain and hooks, hung low, used when the boats docked to onboard supplies, he guessed.

Albert grabbed her by the waist, thankful that the ship was not rolling on waves and that his arms could reach her in time. He had an unpleasant vision of diving into the churning water to rescue her.

“Oh my dear Lord!” she cried as he pulled her back against his front and steadied himself with his hand wrapped around a pipe overhead. He felt her shuddering breath as she leaned against him, letting him take all of her weight. He glanced over his shoulder, looking for the man in the rough clothes and saw him round the corner with a look and a nod.

But it wasn’t him the man had nodded at, he realized quickly. It was a well-dressed man walking past them just now.

“Miss! Be careful of your steps!” the man said with a solicitous air. “Allow me to escort you somewhere to sit down.”

Watson pulled her back tight against him, his arm holding her flush to him as she took a breath to speak. “I’m the young lady’s escort,” he said.

Other passengers had gathered in the crowded area, many asking what had happened and pointing to the two loose chains. She was shaking against him as one woman recounted the event; she’d been walking behind them and had seen it all.

“Come,” the well-dressed man said with a smile, his hand outstretched. “I’m sure you both would like to get somewhere less crowded. Follow me.”

Watson turned, pulling her against his side, and headed the other direction, watchful as he made his way that he avoided the man in the rough clothes.

“Mr. Watson! Please slow down! I cannot keep up!”

“I need to get you to my stateroom,” he said and looked down the narrow stairwell that led to his rooms.

“What? Oh no! I cannot go into your rooms. I cannot. Release me!” She turned to leave him and saw a face she recognized, a woman who was an acquaintance of her sister-in-law, and often on the society page of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Edith Fairchild was her name.

He took her by the shoulders and turned her to face him, taking little note of the other passengers around them. “Miss Thompson, settle yourself. The man who bumped you? That was not random. He pushed you. You.”

The blood drained from her face. “What are you saying?” she asked, quickly forgetting the woman now observing them.

“Come with me. Hurry now. Hold up your skirts. I don’t want to trip on them as we descend.”

She hurried down the steps, holding her dress up and away from the stairs. He stayed close to her as they went down the hallway and quickly opened the door to his room. He followed her inside, snicked both locks closed, and took a deep breath.

“What do you mean, he pushed me? It was just an accident, was it not?” Her words trailed to a whisper.

“I don’t believe so,” he said as he looked around the room, mostly consisting of a bed, a door to a small washroom, and another to Clawson’s room.

Miss Thompson dropped down on to his bed, holding her small purse at her waist. “What do you believe?”

Holly Bush

Holly Bush writes historical romance set in the the late 1800’s, in Victorian England, and an occasional Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Connect with Holly at and on Twitter @hollybushbooks and on Facebook at Holly Bush.

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for The Professor’s Lady.

    All the best,
    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

  2. The cover is stunning. This sounds like a great read.

  3. Thanks for having me on your blog!