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Merely a Woman by Jo Barrett

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  • Selena had a vast number of gentleman callers, as she was considered quite beautiful--and her father's wealth was an additional inducement for such attention, but she found it all rather tiresome. She was merely a woman, after all, not some paragon of perfection. And yet upon meeting Dr. Horace Kensington, a man stubbornly tight-lipped in regards to his work, she embarks on a mission to not only discover the truth about her father's illness , but to entice the handsome doctor himself.

    Digital ISBN: 978-1-61217-598-0
    Pages: 38
    Word count: 11,000

    Excerpt:

    “I do beg your pardon, but I would very much like to speak with you, Dr. Kensington,” she said.

    “Just another moment, Mrs. Cox.”

    Selena grinned at his mistake. She in no way resembled the housekeeper, who was thirty years her senior at least. She moved slowly about the room, reading the various titles of the books he’d brought with him lying about, looked on with some interest at the desk covered with piles of correspondence and notes, and all in a haphazard fashion, before she came to stand opposite the table where he worked. He jotted down a few more notes then glanced at her clasped hands before her then back to his notes, then abruptly snapped straight to gaze at her in shock.

    “I—I do apologize, I’d not realized—that is, you are not Mrs. Cox,” he said.

    She smiled at his befuddled expression, noting his very handsome face now that she could see it clearly. “No, I am not.”

    He blinked, his mouth working to form words, or so she assumed, but nothing came out.

    She’d seen similar reactions before when meeting men. Her looks, apparently, surprised and pleased them. She’d always thought it rather silly, it was just a face, just a form, like everyone else, but for some reason men thought her beautiful.

    She’d once been told she was more beautiful than Praxiteles’ sculpture of Aphrodite.

    All of which was nonsense of course, she was merely a woman like any other. She did, however, rather like her appearance. It suited her well, but all the fuss seemed a ridiculous waste of time when one considered all the unpleasant things in the world. Things that truly needed attention, like her father’s illness. Empty flattery would not save his life or anyone else’s.

    “I am Selena Wilton, Mr. Wilton is my father,” she said.

    “Of course you are. Yes.” He ran a hand through his hair, letting loose a single, dark and unruly lock to caress his brow. “I am happy to make your acquaintance, Miss Wilton.”

    She held out her hand, but as he clasped her fingers and started to bow he bumped the table, sending books to the floor. With a giggle she couldn’t suppress, she bent to retrieve them.

    “No, please. I can manage,” he said.

    “I don’t mind. My presence has disturbed your work. I insist I lend a hand.”

    “No, you didn’t disturb me, not at all. Well, perhaps—but nothing too important. That is, I mean—”

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Merely a Woman

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