Excerpt: Holly Bush, The Bareknuckle Groom

The Bareknuckle Groom
by Holly Bush

Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Holly Bush Books

Series: The Thompsons of Locust Street, Book #2
Genre: Historical Romance

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

1869 Bareknuckle champion, James Thompson, is confident his future continues with beautiful women and victories in the boxing ring. Men admire his skills, power, and quick fists, and are more than willing to bet their hard-earned coins on his name. Women admire his handsome face, his undaunted confidence, and his powerful body. Nothing will change his successfully plotted course, until…

Lucinda Vermeal arrives on the Philadelphia social scene when her father moves them to the city in the hopes that his only daughter will find a suitable partner. After all, her husband will be intimately involved with Vermeal Industries whose business interests and political connections touch France, England and all of the United States. Lucinda’s pale statuesque beauty attracts the finest of Philadelphia’s young men, but her cool and reserved attitude keep them at arm’s length. Until she meets a man willing to challenge her at every turn. Will James Thompson expose Lucinda’s passionate nature like no other man ever could?

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James Thompson smiled at her, just one side of that full mouth of his lifting up, revealing deep dimples and a small chip on the corner of his front tooth. It was a devastating smile, Lucinda Vermeal thought, and men smiled at her all the time and she was rarely, if ever, affected. He was not as easily manipulated as she was accustomed to, but then she’d never known a boxer before. How gauche! It was if she were dancing with Laurent, the Vermeal butler!

Thompson slid a hand around her waist and grasped her hand with his—calloused, strong, and large. She laid her palm on his shoulder and felt muscles bunch under her fingers. It was a wonder his finely made jacket did not split its seams. She was used to an entirely different sort of man. Her father was tall and slender, still handsome, even though he’d been a widower for nearly twenty years.

All the men she’d known in Virginia before her father had moved them to Philadelphia earlier in the year were the same. They were property owners and intellectuals, well-bred and mannered, certainly not working men. But even so, her father felt Philadelphia was more properly able to introduce his only daughter to a higher and more sophisticated society than what Virginia had been able to. He was sure his gem, his diamond, would be admired and courted and much sought after in the city of brotherly love. And she was! She was courted and admired until she was bored to tears. There was nothing authentic about her swains’ regard; she was a pretty—some said beautiful—prize with scads of money and a family history of French royalty and influencers. She knew exactly what they were after: aligning themselves with Henri Vermeal, his tobacco money, and his vast properties in America and Europe.

This man, this James Thompson, she said to herself, was nothing like any of the other men she knew, probably because they didn’t go around smashing their fists into another man’s nose to support themselves. But there was another difference. He was focused on her in a way she was unaccustomed to. His eyes had not left her face, his intense gaze slightly mocking. Even the chipped tooth and the stitch-mark scar she could see near his mouth, as she was close enough now to notice, did not detract from how handsome he was. In fact, his beauty was enhanced by those imperfections, turning a perfect face into a wildly attractive one. She felt a little breathless. A little overwhelmed. Not that she’d allow this ruffian to know he’d unnerved her.

About the Author

“Love always has something to say. Sometimes it shouts from the highest hill, and sometimes it whispers so softly one must listen closely to hear. Do not turn away. It is a rare and precious commodity. Treasure it.” The Gentrys of Paradise

Holly Bush’s historical romances are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s. The first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise, released in the spring of 2017 and began with the novella Into the Evermore where readers meet Virginia horse breeders, Eleanor and Beauregard Gentry. The following books feature their children, Adam, Matthew, and Olivia. For the Brave is Matthew’s story and is the first full length book of the series. Olivia’s book, For This Moment, released in the spring of 2018. The final book, For Her Honor, is now available.

The Crawford Family Series following the fortunes of the three Boston born Crawford sisters and includes Train Station Bride, Contract to Wed, Her Safe Harbor, and companion novella, The Maid’s Quarters. Cross the Ocean and Charming the Duke are both British set Victorian romances. Fan favorites stand-alone historical romance novels include Romancing Olive and Reconstructing Jackson. Holly’s books are described as ‘emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance.’

She also writes General Fiction under the name of Hollis Bush.

Holly makes her home with her husband, one happy Labrador Retriever and a clever Jack Russell rescued from the pound, and two difficult cats in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com, on Twitter @hollybushbooks, on Instagram, and on Facebook at Holly Bush. Follow Holly on her Amazon author page to receive new release updates and on BookBub to check out her reviews and get sale information.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 19
Review at Probably at the Library
Review at American Historical Novels

Tuesday, April 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, April 21
Excerpt at American Historical Novels
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, April 22
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Bookish Rantings

Monday, April 26
Review + Excerpt at Elodie’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, April 27
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 28
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, April 30
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf


Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Bareknuckle Groom Tour


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