This week’s #SixSentenceSunday is the opening chapter of To Charm a Bluestocking.
Josephine fiddled with her pencil as she sat with her friends, cosy on the leather bench seat. If only her mind would settle down and concentrate on her study. Outside the frigid wind blew strong and brought with it a knowledge that winter would be long and cold. The three friends had shunned the ancient university library, with its inadequate heating, in favour of the local pub. Here, they could talk as much as they liked, and as loud as they liked. The table was scattered with papers. Medical textbooks sat alongside notebooks embossed with the Municipal University of Amsterdam crest.
She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans.
1887: Too tall, too shy and too bookish for England, Lady Josephine moves to Holland to become one of the world’s first female doctors. With only one semester left, she has all but completed her studies when a power-hungry professor, intent on marrying her for her political connections, threatens to prevent her graduation. Together with the other Bluestockings, female comrades-in-study, she comes up with a daring, if somewhat unorthodox plan: acquire a fake fiancé to provide the protection and serenity she needs to pass her final exams.
But when her father sends her Lord Nicholas St. George, he is too much of everything: too handsome, too charming, too tall and too broad and too distracting for Josephine’s peace of mind. She needed someone to keep her professor at bay, not keep her from her work with temptations of long walks, laughing, and languorous kisses.
Just as it seems that Josephine might be able to have it all: a career as a pioneering female doctor and a true love match, everything falls apart and Josephine will find herself in danger of becoming a casualty in the battle between ambition and love.