She has travelled back in time to find the love of her life.
Twenty-three year old Lydia Allen is a first year medical student who has been described by her classmates as arrogant, aloof, and overly competitive. She is convinced they are just jealous of her background and winning streak. After all, in the medical field, who can compete with an Allen?
But after getting into a car accident, she wakes up and notices her surroundings are vastly different to her glamorous L.A. lifestyle. A lone newspaper announces her new destination as Virginia, 1875. Horrified that she has somehow traveled back to the past, Lydia is determined to return to where she truly belongs. That is if the tall, brooding Dr. Elliot Banks, who has somehow arranged himself as her caretaker, lets her.
Publisher’s Note: This exciting time travel romance contains a theme of power exchange.
Lydia Allen had always been a planner. She had to be. Ever since she learned how to walk, she’d had a busy schedule, whether it was toddler tumbling classes or a piano recital. When she had been a child, she had been annoyed at her parents’ constant enforcement on scheduling her activities. But as a second semester first year medical student, she was now eternally grateful.
Thanks to her ability to perfectly arrange her schedule, she was one of the top students at UCLA Medical School while the rest of her classmates seemed to be hanging by a thread. But after all, she was an Allen and what else could you expect from an Allen? She practically came from medical royalty. Her grandparents had been the chief of medicine at their respective hospitals, her father was a well-respected heart surgeon, her mother a talented ob-gyn who taught classes at a private university three times a week, and her older brother Scott had just been accepted into a surgical fellowship program. For Lydia to have chosen anything other than medicine, would have been almost criminal.
In all honesty, Lydia wasn’t completely in love with medicine, but then again who loved their career? Luckily, it came easy to her, the perks of hearing stories and visiting hospitals since the age of two. Besides, a career in medicine would give her everything she always wanted, prestige, admiration, and money. Not that she would ever say those words out loud especially since everyone seemed to be so touchy lately. The last thing she needed was to put her foot in her mouth.
She stuffed a piece of toast in her mouth and chewed with her mouth opened, not caring it was unladylike. Her brown eyes widened when she looked at the clock, 6:57 am. Crap, she needed to head out the door, otherwise she was going to be late. She only lived five minutes away from campus and class didn’t start for another hour, but Lydia liked getting there one hour early each day to reserve a prime parking spot and to sit in the front row of the lecture hall. The last thing she needed was the teacher’s pet or some sleepy-eyed loser to take her spot. She would then have to resort to sitting in the back with the rest of the first-year med school students who were doomed to fail because they didn’t have the drive, intelligence, or the proper last name to succeed in medical school.
Lydia didn’t bother brushing her thick, chestnut brown hair because of the cold, raining February morning. Her hair was just going to end up frizzy anyway. She pulled up the zipper of her black hoodie and headed out the door.
The rest of the morning flew by, with endless lectures and note taking. By 12:05 pm, her stomach was growling, but her elderly professor did not seem in a hurry to finish. The elderly Dr. Wilcox was passing back the tests of their latest Human Anatomy exam. While the rest of her classmates seemed to be positively sick to their stomachs from nervousness, Lydia just felt annoyed. She knew she had done well on the exam. She always did well. Now all she wanted was a chicken salad sandwich.
Dr. Wilcox finally stopped at her desk with a rare smile on his wrinkled lips. He placed her test on the desk in front of her. A bright red circle with the number 110% stared back at her. “Lovely work like always, Miss Allen. You even got the extra credit right and that’s something most students don’t know until their third year of med school. All of you can learn a thing or two from Miss Allen. Many of you could benefit from a tip or two from her. This is not a film class like you took when you were wasting time in Undergrad. This is UCLA Medical School. I hope you remember that. Class dismissed.”
Lydia smiled at the praise as she ignored the grumbles and evil glares she received. Whatever, she was used to people giving her dirty looks. It was jealousy, simple as that. If they wanted better test scores, then they should just study more. Before stuffing the test into her binder, she took a picture of it and posted it on the family group chat. Other families used the group chat to communicate or to post funny pictures of dogs dressed like bunnies for Easter. Not the Allen family. The Allen family used it to brag about their accomplishments. As a lowly first year medical student, Lydia often felt like her own achievements were few compared to her older brother and not the least bit impressive.
Scott was the first to respond. He had ignored his sister’s photo completely and instead bragged he had been specifically requested to assist in a cardiac surgery. Her parents immediately responded with boasts of congratulations for their eldest child, leaving a bitter taste in her mouth at the lack of acknowledgments for her own accomplishments. Was it any wonder she felt abandoned at times?
“Miss Allen, are you all right? You seem upset,” Dr. Wilcox wheezed.
Lydia noticed the lecture hall was completely empty and she flushed pink with embarrassment. She murmured a response and quickly exited the lecture hall. A smile appeared on her face when she saw her boyfriend, Ashton, waiting for her as he talked with some of her classmates.
Ashton was a second-year med student and absolutely gorgeous, with sandy-blond hair and hazel-brown eyes. They had hit it off at a mixer the faculty had thrown for students at the beginning of the year, and they had been inseparable ever since. Even though they had been dating for almost eight months, they still hadn’t slept together which Lydia knew annoyed him, but she had firmly told him she wanted to wait. As a virgin, she had wanted her first time to be special and with someone she trusted, not a random one-night stand or a relationship that fizzled out after a couple of months.
“Hey, babe!” Ashton gave her a movie star worthy smile as he waved her over.
Lydia smirked; unbeknownst to him she was planning on losing her virginity to him in exactly one week, on Valentine’s Day. Even though it was incredibly cheesy to lose her innocence on February fourteenth, she also found it a bit romantic. She had already reserved a place at an upscale hotel in downtown L.A. and bought overly expensive lingerie. It was definitely going to be a night to remember.
“Wilcox is such a jackass. My answer on the essay portion was perfectly acceptable,” Meredith Laughlin complained, her blonde ponytail bouncing up and down. “It dropped my grade to a seventy-nine. If I don’t get at least an eighty-five on my next test, my average will be screwed.”
“Maybe you should study more.” Lydia shrugged her shoulders as she squeezed Ashton’s hand. “Dr. Wilcox’s exams are straight from the textbook and lecture notes. Everyone knows that.”
Meredith’s thin face turned bright red as she turned to look at Amelia with a raised eyebrow as Darren and Justin awkwardly laughed and stared at their shoes.
If Ashton noticed the awkwardness, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he wrapped his arms around her shoulders. “Hey, babe, we were talking, and the group and I are going to this club called Eclipse tonight to blow off some steam before midterms. You in?”
Lydia saw everyone in the group besides Ashton visibly tense up and she couldn’t help but feel a pang in her throat. Did people dread her company that badly? Yes, she could sometimes be a bit blunt, but it was for their own good. She was just trying to help. Fine. Two could play at that game.
“You wouldn’t want to go,” Meredith warned. “It’s loud and the music is not good, we’re just going because the beer is cheap and not all of us can afford champagne.”
“There are lot of people smoking too,” Amelia piped in, looking at her friend for approval. “Don’t you have allergies? You might want to stay home.”
Lydia wasn’t much for any activity past 9 pm, but she would stay up all night if it meant wiping the condescending looks off her classmates’ faces. She turned to face her boyfriend as she smiled. “I would love to come.”
Later that evening, however, she was quickly regretting her decision. Even though Lydia was wealthy, she wasn’t much for splurging or going on endless trips to the mall looking for designer couture. Her wardrobe consisted of jeans, t-shirts, sweatpants, and the two tailored suits she used when she had important meetings or interviews. After all, it wasn’t like she was going to need an evening gown to study for finals.
Lydia stared in frustration at her pathetic closet. Ashton would be here at any minute, and she was still dressed in her robe. She angrily moved the clothes around. She just didn’t have anything club worthy. She breathed a sigh of relief when she found a black Dior dress crumbled at the back of her closet that her mother had passed down to her when she grew tired of it. It looked more appropriate for a wedding reception than a nightclub, but unfortunately it was her only option.
She quickly put it on, ran a hand through her dark hair, put on some red lipstick and waited for Ashton to show up. The black heels she was wearing pinched her toes and her phone barely fit in her clutch, but Lydia would be at Eclipse come hell or high water. After all, she loved proving people wrong. It was her specialty.