Saving Miss Pratt (The Hope Clinic #4) Read Online Trisha Messmer

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: The Hope Clinic Series by Trisha Messmer
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Total pages in book: 105
Estimated words: 98650 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 493(@200wpm)___ 395(@250wpm)___ 329(@300wpm)
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Saving her reputation, he lost his heart.

Timothy Marry has sworn off love. Once he takes up his position as a physician at the Hope Clinic in the East End of London, he knows he’ll need a wife who’s beyond reproach. But the last thing he wants or needs is passion that clouds the mind and leads to heartbreak.
Priscilla Pratt left London in disgrace after her failed attempt to lure the Duke of Ashton to the altar. Now exiled in the northern countryside, her only marriageable prospect is a dull, judgmental curate. And gone is her hope of finding a man who gazes at her with eyes filled with passion.
Meeting on a country road, the two take shelter in an abandoned cottage during a snowstorm. Sparks fly between them, but Priscilla gives Timothy a false name to avoid judgment. They part ways, each thinking they will never cross paths again.
Reunited in London, Timothy discovers Priscilla’s true identity, and she pleads with him to help her save her reputation and find a suitable husband. With each prospect it becomes clear that the only man he desires to see her with is himself.

And that simply will not do.

Full Book:

CHAPTER 1—WHEN YOU HAVE LITTLE CHOICE

Belton , Lincolnshire, England, November 18th, 1826

Priscilla fought a yawn, discreetly pressing her nails into the palm of her left hand. Mr. Netherborne expected a reply to his last question, no doubt. She struggled to remember what he’d just said. She opted for the safest answer.

“I completely agree.” She pasted on a smile to accompany her answer and focused on his thick head of neatly combed blond hair.

Mr. Netherborne, on the other hand, furrowed his brows, the corners of them meeting in a pronounced V over his pale blue eyes. “Pardon, Miss Pratt? I asked if you would be willing to participate in distributing food baskets to the poor.”

Oh that. “Forgive me, Mr. Netherborne. What I meant to say is I completely agree that the poor are in need of our charity.” What? She cringed at the stupidity of the statement. Contrary to what many believed, Priscilla was not stupid.

Oh, she was many other things.

Foolish.

Over eager.

Too easily persuaded.

Or she had been.

Her willing participation in the forced compromise of the Duke of Ashton three years prior gave testament to that. Now she paid the price.

Dearly.

Oh, how she missed the city. When the ton discovered her part in her mother’s nefarious plot to trap the duke into marriage, she’d been shunned—practically run out of London.

She longed for the busy Season with balls at Almack’s—she’d never be allowed entrance there again—soirées, garden parties, nights at the opera, Vauxhall Gardens, Gunter’s Tea Shop.

She had loved it all, but the mere thought of returning and facing the ton generated a sick sinking in her stomach. The glares, pointed fingers, and whispers behind fluttering fans would be the constant reminder of her disgrace. A brazen letter carved into her forehead would be no more condemning. There would be no welcome back with forgiving, open arms.

Instead, she and her mother were exiled to the family’s estate in Lincolnshire, her only dancing partners the veritable Mr. Netherborne, the parish curate, and—well—sheep.

Lots of sheep.

Not that sheep could dance. They were frightfully stupid creatures.

And to make matters worse—if that were even possible—winter approached. The sky had grown gray and foreboding, the smell of snow heavy in the air.

Mr. Netherborne studied her. “Yes. Well, that is . . . yes, of course.” He coughed, the sound forced.

Her mother eyed her from across the room, her head tilting toward the teapot lying on the table between Priscilla and Mr. Netherborne.

“More tea, sir?” Priscilla asked, her mother nodding her approval.

“Thank you, Miss Pratt.” He held out his cup, still three-fourths full.

She added a tiny amount, not spilling a drop. She excelled at pouring, as she did with embroidery, and making small talk.

Except when it came to Mr. Netherborne, then her skills at conversation seemed to fly out the window, seeking the same escape she, herself, yearned for.

There wasn’t anything wrong with Mr. Netherborne. Young, by his account, a mere eight-and-twenty, with even features on a moderately attractive face. He had all his hair and teeth—thank goodness. Not exceptionally tall, but taller than she was—which admittedly wasn’t a difficult feat, as she stood barely over five-feet. He acquired his lanky build by spending hours upon hours studying scripture and visiting parishioners.

She’d managed to catch a glimpse of his forearms once during the autumn when he’d rolled up his shirtsleeves to help the tenants with harvest. She took heart that there had been a modicum of muscles visible. Perhaps other, more concealed, areas of his body would be similarly well-formed.

No. There wasn’t anything wrong with him. But there wasn’t anything especially right with him either. Aside from when he preached against moral turpitude, his face remained passive at all times, never exhibiting emotion, whether it be embarrassment, joy, or even anger. Mr. Netherborne was—in a word—unflappable.


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