Promo: The Captain's Woman by Holly Bush

Today, I’m delighted to share an enticing excerpt from The Captain’s Woman, a historical romance by Holly Bush. Do check it out, as it is delightful!

The Captain’s Woman is currently on blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club. Find other fabulous excerpts here

The Captain’s Woman

The Thompsons of Locust Street

Holly Bush


“Just a casual meal,” Anthony said after a few moments. “I feel as though I’ve walked into a Chestnut Hill mansion.”


“Lucinda’s family is quite wealthy. That does not mean she, or my brother James, cannot host a pleasant meal for friends and family.”


“No, it does not.”


“I get the feeling you are angry with me,” she said. 


He glanced at her finally. “I promised myself I would not discuss it with you at a party hosted by your family, of which I’m a guest.”


A waiter came up to them carrying a tray of wine and champagne. He looked at Mr. Marcus. “If wine is not to your liking, sir, I can get you a whiskey or bourbon.”


“Wine will be fine, thank you,” he said and turned to her. “Miss Thompson?”


She took a glass of wine from the tray, as did he, and the waiter moved on. 


“You look very beautiful tonight, Miss Thompson. Very beautiful.”


Muireall didn’t breathe for a moment, didn’t move, and only after a minute had passed did she meet his eyes. It had been a long time. It had been . . . never. She’d never had a man look at her with admiration the way the Mr. Marcus was doing now. 


“Thank you,” she finally whispered. She realized then that they’d stepped closer to each other, too close for a public setting such as this but also exactly where she wished to be standing. He glanced away then, as though he realized their nearness too, and took a step back.


“The green suits you better than what you wear to the orphanage.”


She smiled. “If this is your attempt at a flirt, then you are rusty, Mr. Marcus.”


He glanced at her, stern at first, and then his lips pulled to one side in a half grin. “I suppose you’re right.”


She looked up and saw Elspeth and Alexander walking toward them. The men shook hands, and they chatted about everyday things. She imagined Elspeth, kind and perceptive Elspeth, sensed that Mr. Marcus may be overwhelmed with the company and the setting. Although she was certain that he’d been reared and educated in a proper home, she thought his natural courtesies may have been stretched to the limit by his recent near poverty. It wasn’t long until Lucinda joined them, her father, Henri Vermeal, beside her. 


“You are a vision, Miss Thompson,” he said and kissed her hand. “It has been far too long since we have seen each other.”


“Thank you, Henri. Allow me to introduce Mr. Anthony Marcus to you. Mr. Marcus, Mr. Henri Vermeal is Lucinda’s father.”


“Mr. Marcus was recently a captain in the Union army, Father,” Lucinda said. 


“A captain? Who were you with, Marcus?” Henri asked in the brusque manner they were all accustomed to.


“The Forty-Second out of New York.”


“You’ve been out two years or more, then.”


Mr. Marcus shook his head. “I stayed on at headquarters. There were still records to maintain and some to make public. Inventories and whatnot.”


“And you had a hand in that, Marcus?”


“I did.”


Muireall watched the two men, as did Lucinda. There was some underlying masculine current that she was not privy to. Mr. Marcus held himself as if in a military parade, and Henri, although canny with his observations, was assessing him openly. 


“Where are Kirsty and Albert, Lucinda?” Muireall asked.


“An important function at the college that Albert had to attend. There is a rumor that he may be named head of his department, and Kirsty felt it wise to support him in all the social settings.”


“Kirsty says she has made several friends among the faculty wives and some of the female professors from the Philadelphia Female College.”


“Kirsty hobnobbing with professors,” Elspeth said. “It defies logic. She is much more suited to talk business with Henri.”


The women laughed and turned when Henri spoke.


“Come along, then, Marcus. You too, Pendergast. We will withdraw to the library, where my son-in-law keeps—I mean hides—the good whiskey.” He turned and walked toward the door of the room, clearly certain that whomever he’d designated would follow without question. 


“Enjoy.” Lucinda smiled. 


Mr. Marcus glanced at her with a raised brow. Muireall took the wineglass from his hand as he walked away. “What is that about?”


“I have no idea,” Elspeth said. “Do you, Lucinda?”


“Father is always interested in the stories military men will share. He much admires them, although he would never say that outright.”



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


1870 ~ Muireall Thompson has taken her duties seriously since her parents died on the family’s crossing from Scotland to America in 1854. As the eldest sibling, their death made her responsible for her family and left little time for a life of her own. But now her brothers and sisters are adults; even the youngest is nearly ready to face the world on his own. What will she do when she is alone, other than care for an elderly aunt and volunteer at the Sisters of Charity orphanage? Has the chance for a husband and children of her own passed her by?


Widower Anthony Marcus, formerly a captain in the Union Army, is a man scraping the bottom of his dignity and hanging on to his honor by the barest thread. Reduced to doing odd jobs to keep a roof over his dear daughter Ann’s head, he often leaves her with the Sisters of Charity while he is out seeking steady work with a decent salary that will allow him to move from their single-room living quarters.


After an initial meeting that finds Muireall and Anthony at odds, a tentative friendship forms as they bond over their mutual affection for Ann. As friendship leads to passion, can a wealthy spinster and a poor soldier overcome their differences in station to forge a future together? Just as Muireall finds the courage to reach for her own happiness, Anthony’s past rises up between them and an old enemy reemerges to bring the Thompson family down once and for all. Will the divide between them be insurmountable, or can they put aside pride and doubt for a love worth fighting for?



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About the Author:

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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