Genevieve Masters, Ginny to her friends, has achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.

Following training in Baltimore at the Harrow School of Nursing, she secures a position caring for children at The Philadelphia Children’s Hospital.

It is here she meets the handsome, but troubled, Dr. Brayden Jenkins.

Can Ginny break down the carefully constructed walls surrounding Brayden’s heart, or is he destined to remain alone and bitter?

A NURSE FOR BRAYDEN IS LIVE. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!!

𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐨𝐧 𝐔𝐒 –www.amazon.com/dp/B089K6CT9M
𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐨𝐧 𝐔𝐊 – www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B089K6CT9M
𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐔 – www.amazon.com.au/dp/B089K6CT9M
𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐀 – www.amazon.ca/dp/B089K6CT9M


Chapter One

Baltimore, Maryland.

May 1868.

GENEVIEVE

“I’m so very proud of you, Ginny.” Papa hugged me close and kissed my cheek.

Mama, my brother, and sister also took me into their arms. I had successfully completed three months of training and graduated as a nurse from the Harrow School of Nursing in my home town of Baltimore. Constance Harrow, a protégé of Miss Clara Barton and Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, had founded the school and had instructed us in the Florence Nightingale principles…

Keep everything clean and in good order. Windows are to be open to allow the flow of fresh air, except in frigid conditions. She believes light is vitally important for a patient’s well-being and mental stability so curtains should be drawn back to allow as much in as possible. Patient cleanliness and hygiene is of the utmost importance and meals provided should be balanced and nutritious. Doctor’s orders were to be followed at all times.

With the assistance of Miss Barton, who drew on numerous contacts, graduating students had been offered positions in hospitals all over the country.

I had made it known that my preference was to nurse children and had been thrilled when I was offered a placement with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Miss Harrow had also arranged for me to live with a kindly couple who were friends of hers and whose home was only a short distance from the hospital. Mama and papa felt more at ease knowing I would have a responsible couple looking out for their daughter’s wellbeing.

My brother, Alex, who was eight years my senior, was to accompany me on the train trip from Baltimore to Philadelphia. The journey would take approximately ten hours from station to station. His wife Melanie, along with their two and a half year old son, David, and one-year-old daughter, Kerry, were to stay with my parents while he was gone.

Mr. and Mrs. Tabor, the couple who had offered to host me, would meet us at the station in Philadelphia when we arrived. Alex would spend the night with us before returning to Baltimore the following day.

I felt a mixture of excitement and trepidation at the thought of finally beginning my career as a nurse. It was a dream I had worked toward since I had been a young child. The only thing which gave me pause for concern was being so far away from my beloved family.

I glanced around at the gathering. Many of our friends had been lost in the war when they had fought for the Union. Others, like my papa, brother and brother-in- law had returned, but their survival hadn’t been without consequences. I knew all of them suffered nightmares and became nervous on hearing loud sounds. Papa suffered a limp due to a badly broken leg, the result of shrapnel from a miniѐ ball, which hadn’t healed normally. My brother and brother-in-law had resembled skeletons when they had returned and it had taken every day of the past three years, since the war had ended, to bring them back to good health.

They had experienced horrors on the battlefield I could never begin to understand, although we hadn’t been left untouched in the city. Food had been short and people fought over what little had been available. There was also tension between those of us who supported the north and others who supported the south. We had been a city divided and I had prayed to the Lord above every day for an end to the conflict.

Papa poured me a glass of cider before checking our friends, who were gathered at our home to both help me celebrate my achievement and to wish me well before I departed, also had a drink. He then lifted his glass into the air and called for everyone’s attention. Everyone quieted for papa to propose a toast.

“To our youngest daughter, Genevieve, or as we all know her – Ginny.” He turned to face me. “Your mother, family and I are extremely proud of your accomplishments culminating in your becoming a nurse. We have known since you were three years old, when you repeatedly insisted on bandaging your brother and sister from head to toe, that nursing would be your calling. It is a most honorable profession and I truly hope the reality of practice surpasses your long held dreams. Congratulations, my darling. May good fortune follow you wherever you may go.”

Everyone held their glasses up and shouted, “congratulations,” before calling out for me to make a speech.

My sister, Elaine, the eldest of my siblings at thirty-one years old, twelve years older than my nineteen years, stepped to my side and wrapped an arm around my waist before also urging me to make a speech. As much as I loved her, I wanted to throttle her for encouraging everyone to demand I say something.

When I glanced toward her, she smiled and kissed my forehead before returning to where her husband Blake stood holding their two-year-old daughter, Samantha.

I wasn’t what could be considered a shy person, but speaking in front of a gathering, even a small one of friends and family, had nervous tremors skittering up and down my spine. Swallowing hard, I clasped my shaking hands together and began speaking.

“Thank you everyone. I have had tremendous support and encouragement from each of you over the years and it has helped me to stay focused and achieve my dream. I have no doubt that I would have reached this point in my life on my own, but having you by my side during exceedingly difficult times, has made the journey more pleasurable. Special thanks go to my parents, brother, and sister. They have shown unending patience with me when I repeatedly insisted on practicing ‘procedures’ on them. To my two best friends, Rowella and Katrina…” I paused to brush a tear from my eye. “I am going to miss you both desperately and I will hold you both to your promises to visit me in Philadelphia.”

The girls stepped forward and pulled me into a hug. Tears fell, none of our eyes remained dry, with the knowledge we were to be separated all too soon.

“I believe my daughter has finished speaking.” I heard papa say. “Let me add on her behalf, Ginny loves all of us here today and because she loves us, I know my girl will carry a piece of us in her heart no matter where her dreams take her.”

Rowella and Katrina stepped to each side of me, our arms wrapped around each other as we stood close.

“Thank you, papa. You are right, I love everyone here very much. I shall miss you all terribly, but being a nurse and working with children is my dream come true and I will follow that dream wherever it leads me.”

With the speeches done and everyone again mingling and chatting, I seized the opportunity to take Rowella and Katrina by the hands, whisked them into the house and upstairs to my bedroom where we all flopped down onto the bed. The three of us clasped hands as we sat facing each other.

“I don’t want you to leave here.” Rowella bemoaned.

“Nor do I,” Katrina agreed.

I had heard the same complaints from them dozens of times over the past few days, ever since I had told them about my employment in Philadelphia.

“If it wasn’t for Cody, I would move with you.” Rowella was engaged to be married to a boy we had all known during our years at school.

As far back as I could remember, he had proudly told anyone who would listen that he was going to marry my friend one day. They had been close friends since grade school and during high school the relationship had blossomed into a romance.

Katrina was also being courted by another of our friends, Cody’s twin brother – Timothy. Their engagement was to be formally announced as soon as the twins’ parents returned from a holiday overseas. Katrina had been too excited to keep it from me and Rowella, but we had been sworn to secrecy.

Of the three of us, I was the only one who had no serious interest in any boy. I hadn’t wanted for invitations to step out, but had always declined in favor of my studies. Maybe things would change in Philadelphia and a man would attract my interest and attention. I wondered if being on a man’s arm was what I really wanted at this point in my life.

“I promise you both, I shall write often and if the opportunity arises for me to come home for a visit, I will do so.”

What about our weddings?” Rowella asked. Distress that I may be absent on their big days was evident in her voice.

“Neither one of you plan to marry for at least one year. Maybe I will be able to request a few days off to come back, you would need to marry within a day or so of each other if I am to be at both.”

The two girls glanced at each other before Rowella suggested to Katrina. “How would you feel about a joint wedding? Ginny would be able to see us both wed. Do you think Timothy would agree? I’m sure Cody could be persuaded to share our day, especially with his brother.”

“I think it’s a splendid idea and I’m quite sure Timothy wouldn’t object. I’ll discuss it with him when he escorts me home tonight. When we meet at the railway station in the morning to farewell Ginny, I will inform you both of his answer.”

“I will also ask Cody on our way home. Oh, it will be such fun organizing our wedding together.” Rowella squeezed my hand. “You must attend us both, Ginny.”

I was happy for my dear friends, but sad knowing I would be unable to take part in the preparations for their special day.

“I would love to attend you both, but I must work for at least six months at the hospital before having time off.”

“December!” Katrina blurted. “It must be December, Rowella. Ginny could celebrate an early Christmas with us and her family.”

“Winter brides! Maybe even snow. I think it’s a wonderful idea,” Rowella agreed.

Some of their excitement began rubbing off on me and I excitedly promised to speak with Matron about securing the time off when we met in two days’ time. “I will write and let you know if she is agreeable.”

We all hugged and moments later, Cody called Rowella’s name from downstairs.

“He always seems to know where to find me.” Rowella laughed.

I accompanied them both downstairs where we found Timothy waiting by his brother’s side. Both girls kissed my cheeks before moving to their fiancé’s sides.

I escorted all four to the door. “I will see you all at the station in the morning.”

After watching them disappear into the darkness of the night, I closed the door and headed toward the back garden where my family and other friends were still gathered.


𝐌𝐄𝐄𝐓 𝐒𝐔𝐒𝐀𝐍

I live in sunny Queensland, Australia and retired after 37 years of Nursing.

My husband of 45 years, together with our elderly Jack Russell Terrier and extremely opinionated 26-year-old Cockatiel, enjoy holidays and travelling.

When we are at home, which is a small rural village, we spend our time renovating our home.

I write a variety of stories including Western Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Male/Male, Ménage and Shapeshifter.

Each book has a strong focus on story line with romantic interest building throughout.

I explore real life issues from kids on the streets to motorcycle war and put my own twist on each one.

𝐅𝐎𝐋𝐋𝐎𝐖 𝐌𝐄

𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐠: susanhorsnell.com
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