1871 . . . Worlds collide when American Suffragette, Gertrude Finch, and titled Brit Blake Sanders meet in an explosive encounter that may forever bind them together. Gertrude Finch escorts a young relative to London and encounters the stuffy Duke of Wexford at his worst. Cross the Ocean is the story of an undesired, yet undeniable attraction that takes Blake and Gertrude across an ocean and into each other’s arms.
Blake went to the stables, had his horse saddled, and rode to Anthony’s estate. Maybe Elizabeth will ask me to stay for dinner, he thought. Then she’ll go to bed, and Anthony and I can drink a bottle of brandy and get stewed. He could stay there if he couldn’t ride home. A room was kept ready for him with a fresh change of clothes. Blake smiled and felt better than he had in days.
As the butler escorted Blake down the hall of Anthony’s home to the drawing room, he heard a loud but feminine . . . snort and Elizabeth’s trill laughter in reply. Damn. He remembered now. A cousin of Elizabeth’s from America, sent as an escort to another cousin, was staying with them. Anthony had described and dreaded the arrival of Cousin Gertrude with horror. A spinster remotely connected to Elizabeth’s father’s side, she was big, bold and here for a month. Her arrival had curtailed Anthony’s visits.
Blake stopped and hissed at the butler. “Think I’ve changed my mind, Jenkins. I don’t want to disturb their company.”
“Quite the coward are we, Your Grace? Leave your life-long friend alone with this Amazon from America.” Jenkins stared as he spoke. “In any case they saw you ride up the drive.”
Jenkins spoke his mind to all including Anthony and Elizabeth. There’d be no expecting servile behavior for him. “I’m sure you did not miss the opportunity to point out my arrival,” Blake said.
“Of course not, Your Grace.” The butler opened the drawing room doors with a flourish. “The Duke of Wexford.”
“Blake,” Anthony said and jumped to pump Blake’s hand. “I am so very happy you are here.”
Blake watched the woman sitting beside Elizabeth stand, and walk across the room to him. She was every inch as tall as he, and Anthony made the introductions. She held out her hand. Blake grasped it and bent to place a kiss there and was surprised when she began to shake it, hitting him squarely in the nose. Blake covered his face with his hand.
“Oh, dear,” Miss Gertrude Finch exclaimed. She threw a look at her cousin Elizabeth.
- Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?
I never really wanted to be someone else because I wouldn’t be me anymore, and I’m pretty happy with me. But I’ve been envious or maybe just curious about what it would be like to be someone suave and elegant like Jackie Kennedy. She certainly had her share of tragedy but she managed to maintain her dignity, and she was a class act to the end. And old school wealth and pedigree would bring a perspective to one’s life that would be interesting.
2. What did you do on your last birthday?
Hmmm . . . . I think the husband and I had a drink or two and dinner at a lovely, little restaurant we discovered last summer called Ciro’s. I don’t remember what I ate for dinner but I always get the chocolate gelato for dessert!
3. Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
No. Fads and styles are fun to follow, especially when you’re young, but for me, something permanent like a tattoo wouldn’t work. My view of myself and of the world has changed and grown over time and as I enter and exit different phases of my life I intend to be the result of the experience and time I have accumulated, not to be overshadowed by what I thought was cool when I was twenty-two.
4. What are you working on right now?
I found a story I’d written years ago on my computer that I never finished and had forgotten completely about. I know! How dumb is that? I thought at first it would be a novella but I think it’s actually going to be novel length. It is set in London, Victorian era, and is about a young woman named Matilda Sheldon. She is the middle child of the Earl of Bissett and uncommonly bright but a bit clumsy. She is beloved, however, by her rather daft but beautiful siblings and parents. The only family member she can truly relate to is her Grandmother, the Dowager. On the scene arrives the handsome, man-about-town, the Duke of Thornsby, shopping for a wife and a guest at one of the many Bissett parties. I’m thinking of calling it Charming the Duke. What do you think?
5. Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
No, I can’t say that I have although one of my daughters did. But I think about the heroines in my books as real so maybe that qualifies as an imaginary friend!
Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.
a Rafflecopter giveaway