Fiction Fest: More from Carla Kelly’s ‘Miss Grimsley’s Oxford Career’

Miss Grimsley 2x3Missed the last time Carla Kelly was in our Fiction Fest excerpt spotlight? Take a seat, we’ve got you covered!

If you’re a regular consumer of romance novels, then the name Carla Kelly should be one with which you’re familiar. Kelly has received numerous awards for her writing, including her recent Whitney Award for Best Historical novel.

“Miss Grimsley’s Oxford Career” was originally released by Signet in 1992, but with Kelly’s newfound romance audience, the book has been reissued by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.

“There’s some wish fulfillment in this book,” Kelly admits. “I wanted to study at Oxford, too. The only thing holding me back in this century was time, money and a family.”

You can purchase “Miss Grimsley’s” on, and


The jig is up. Ellen has been caught attending an Oxford seminar to listen to her paper read by Gordon. Does she dare confess that she authored the paper, which would lead to Gordon’s dismissal?

“Did you write these papers, Miss Grimsley? Speak up now.”

The full knowledge of what she had done descended with a thump on her shoulders. As she watched the warden leave the podium and start toward her, she realized that admission of the truth would mean Gordon’s immediate dismissal from University College. And no cavalry regiments would ever allow him to buy a pair of colors.

She lowered her eyes to the stone floor as the warden approached. Isn’t that what you want, Ellen Grimsley? she asked herself calmly. It was Gordon’s fault and blame entirely. He was lazy and he ought to be made to suffer for his sins.

She looked up at Gordon, his face as white as hersm his mouth open to speak. His hands tight around the papers. The looked in his eyes was naked, pleading.

James Gatewood had not stood up yet, but he was perched on the edge of the chair, his eyes on her face. She managed a smile at him, which the warden misinterpreted as he came closer.

“This is hardly a smiling matter, Miss Grimsley,” he thundered. “Did you or did you not write those papers?”

Ellen closed her eyes for an instant and then raised her chin higher.

“Of course I did, sir.”

It took the warden several moments to quiet the lecture hall. Gatewood was on his feet now, starting toward her. She shook her head and he stopped. Gordon clutched the lectern and bowed his head.

The warden stood directly in front of her, He towered over her like a bird of prey in his long robe with the velvet bands on the sleeves. He waved the noted under her nose.

“You wrote them?” he asked again, the incredulity in his voice unmistakable. “Impossible! Females cannot do such work!”