Announcing Our Best Books of 2021

Excerpt from The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

by Mackenzi Lee

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee X
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2018, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2020, 480 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Stitched, bandaged, and sorted. I haven't even broken a sweat.

A year of men telling me I am incapable of this work only gives my pride a more savage edge, and I feel, for the first time in so many long, cold, discouraging months, that I am as clever and capable and fit for the medical profession as any of the men who have denied me a place in it.

I wipe my hands off on my skirt and straighten, surveying the bakery. In addition to every other task that needs doing before we close up for the night, the dishes will need to be rewashed. There's a long dribble of blood along the floor that will have to be scrubbed before it dries, another on my sleeve, and a splatter across Callum's apron that should be soaked out before tomorrow. There is also a fingertip to be disposed of.

Beside me, Callum takes a long, deep breath and lets it hiss out between pursed lips as he examines his hand. "Well, this rather spoils the night."

"We were just washing up."

"Well, I had something ... else." He pushes his chin against his chest. "For you."

"Can it wait?" I ask. I'm already calculating how long this will leave Callum useless over the ovens, whether Mr. Brown will be able to lend a hand, how much this will cut into my time off this week, which I had planned to use to begin a draft of a treaty in favor of educational equality.

"No, it's not ... I mean, I suppose ... it could, but ..." He's picking at the edges of the bandage but stops before I can reprimand him. He's still pale, but a bit of the ruddiness is starting to return to the apples of his cheeks. "It's not something that will last."

"Is it something for eating?" I ask.

"Something of a ... just ... stay there." He wobbles to his feet in spite of my protestations and disappears into the kitchen. I hadn't noticed anything special when I was mixing the wine and vinegar, but I also hadn't been particularly looking for it. I check my fingers for blood, then swipe a clean one over the iced bun I had previously targeted. "Don't strain yourself," I call to him.

"I'm not," he replies, immediately followed by a crash like something tin knocked over. "I'm fine. Don't come back here!"

He appears behind the counter again, more red-faced than before and one sleeve sopping with what must have been the milk he so raucously spilled. He's also clutching a fine china plate before him in presentation, and upon it sits a single, perfect cream puff.

My stomach drops, the sight of that pastry sending a tremble through me that a waterfall of blood had not.

"What are you eating?" he asks at the same moment I say "What is that?"

He sets the plate on the counter, then holds out his uninjured hand in presentation. "It's a cream puff."

"I can see that."

"It is, more specifically, because I know you love specificity—"

"I do, yes."

"—exactly the cream puff I gave you the day we met." His smile falters, and he qualifies, "Well, not exactly that one. As that was months ago. And since you ate that one, and several more—"

"Why did you make me this?" I look down at the two choux halves with whorls of thick cream sculpted between them—he's never this careful with his craftsmanship, his loaves and cakes the kind of rustic you'd expect to be made by a big-handed baker of good Scotch stock. But this is so deliberate and decorative and—zounds, I can't believe I know exactly what type of pastry this is and how important it is to let the flour mixture cool before whisking in the egg. All this baking nonsense is taking up important space in my head that should be filled with notations on treating popliteal aneurisms and the different types of hernias outlined in Treaties on Ruptures, which I took great pains to memorize.

"Maybe we should sit down," he says. "I'm a little ... faint."

Excerpted from The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. Copyright © 2018 by Mackenzi Lee. Excerpted by permission of Katherine Tegan Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Women Who Ruled the Waves

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    The Office of Historical Corrections
    by Danielle Evans
    In The Office of Historical Corrections, the second story collection from Danielle Evans, readers ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of Mother
    The Book of Mother
    by Violaine Huisman
    Fictionalizing the life of author Violaine Huisman's own mother, this debut novel is split into ...
  • Book Jacket
    People from My Neighborhood
    by Hiromi Kawakami
    People from My Neighborhood is exactly what it sounds like — an unnamed narrator recounts a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Win Me Something
    by Kyle Lucia Wu
    Kyle Lucia Wu's Win Me Something opens with a young woman named Willa explaining that she did not ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beasts of a Little Land
    by Juhea Kim

    An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement.

Who Said...

The low brow and the high brow

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.