Prudence and the Professor by Sibelle Stone

Prudence and the Professor by Sibelle Stone
Publisher: Moon Valley Publishing
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (128 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Civil War widow Prudence Worthington has vowed to never again be at the mercy of a man. She’s determined to make her own way in the world after being one of the first women to graduate from a business school in upstate New York. In search of adventure and independence she takes a position as a personal secretary to an eccentric inventor and heads to Montana Territory.

Professor Gerritt Rhinehart must develop his newest invention to meet a critical deadline. Someone is willing to do almost anything to stop him, and the distraction of a raven haired beauty he hired as his secretary makes it impossible to concentrate. But he must stay focused, especially when his invention could change the course of the War-Between-the-States.

This steampunk romance is set in Montana in the days of the war between the states. Prudence, a war widow with an independent streak, travels to Jubilee to take up the post of secretary to the inventor Gerritt Rhinehart. She assumes this gentleman to be a crusty old professor, boy was she in for a surprise.

Likewise Gerritt assumes she is old maidish which is good as women who come to Jubilee tend to become wives in a very short time due to the lack of women.  Love blossoms, but they try unsuccessfully to fight their feelings for each other.

This is a great story of an almost elastic relationship as the main characters are drawn together then pull apart. In the background the war casts a shadow on Jubilee and a traitor in the town is attempting to steal Gerritt’s plans for a war machine and this also puts Prudence in danger.

Ms Stone introduces the heat of passion and the frustrations which come from this passion in a very intriguing manner. Add to this the danger of being in the middle of nowhere with the enemy coming closer and the tension builds to breaking point. Most steampunk books are set in Victorian England so one set in historic America makes a pleasant, fresh change.

Nicely done Ms Stone, the controversy between hero and heroine kept me reading with interest.

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