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Authors: Lisa J. Hobman

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Bridge Over the Atlantic

 

 

 

 

Bridge Over the Atlantic

By

Lisa J. Hobman

 

 

This is a fictional work. The names, characters, incidents, places, and locations are solely the concepts and products of the author’s imagination or are used to create a fictitious story and should not be construed as real.

 

5 PRINCE PUBLISHING AND BOOKS, LLC

PO Box 16507

Denver, CO 80216

www.5PrinceBooks.com

 

ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-42-4 ISBN 10:1-939217-42-3

Bridge Over the Atlantic

Lisa J. Hobman

Copyright Lisa J. Hobman 2013

Published by 5 Prince Publishing

 

Front Cover Viola Estrella

Author Photo: Craig of Craig Photography Studio copyright 2013

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations, reviews, and articles. For any other permission please contact 5 Prince Publishing and Books, LLC.

 

.

 

5 PRINCE PUBLISHING AND BOOKS, LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

For Rich, my soul mate; my inspiration; my muse

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank my husband, Rich, for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream. Thank you to my beautiful daughter, for being very proud of me and making sure I know it. I love you both with all my heart.

 

To my Mum and Dad thank you for raising me to believe that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. Although the distance between us is now greater I love you more than ever.

 

Thank you to my BFF, Claire H for being there for me even though I moved so far away. It’s been seventeen years and you still put up with me. What would I do without you? I love you, Chick.

 

Ali, you kicked me up the bum when I needed it and were there when I needed you. You’re a star and I love you to bits.

 

To Ali, Liz and Claire M, thank you for being my beta readers; for laughing and crying in all the right places and for wanting me to write more. Also for supporting me throughout this journey. I appreciate your help and encouragement more than I can express.

 

Throughout this journey I have met some wonderfully talented authors who have provided advice and spurred me on. Heartfelt thanks to Allan Bott, Jan Romes, Melodie Ramone and Jon Rance to mention but a few. And thanks to Viola for interpreting my cover art request so perfectly.

 

Last but by no means least, I would like to thank my editor Bernadette Soehner, who became a lovely friend in a very short space of time; for her guidance and for putting up with my incessant questioning. And to all the wonderful staff at 5 Prince Publishing for believing in my debut novel and giving me the opportunity to be published. Thank you all so very much.

 

Dear Reader,

 

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the first step on the journey with Mallory and me. I hope you come to love Mallory as much I do.

 

The year 2012 was a bit of a rollercoaster journey for me. Not only did I move hundreds of miles north of home (
Yorkshire
,
England
) to my favourite place in the world,
Scotland
, but I also embarked upon a whole new career. Whilst leaving behind my friends and family was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I don’t think I would have been able to begin writing if we had stayed.

 

Writing this book has been a bit of a dream come true and I have loved every single minute. I have learned so much and met some wonderful people both in my new home town and through social media.

 

So…I’m a
Yorkshire
lass, living in
Scotland
with an American publisher…as you can imagine things have been very interesting! There were discussions around the language and whether I should Americanise it or stick with Anglicised versions. I am hoping we came up with a happy compromise.

 

I hope you enjoy the story and tell your friends about it too. Book number two is waiting in the wings and is a stand-alone story with its own twists and turns. Watch this space!

 

Lisa J Hobman

 

www.lisajhobman.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/LisaJHobmanAuthor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge Over the Atlantic

 

 

Chapter One

 

January 2011

 

“You can
NOT
be serious?” Mallory Westerman recoiled. It wasn’t a habit of hers, to inadvertently quote 1980’s sports stars. But even
she
was surprised when she heard John McEnroe’s words fall from her lips.

Thankfully, her fiancé, whilst obviously bemused at her reaction and frustrated by her lack of enthusiasm, didn’t really notice the similarities between her and the wiry haired tennis supremo. He was much too busy stroking the print-out in front of him, on the table, as if ironing out the creases would make his suggestion a more viable proposition.

“Honey, imagine the life we could have there right now,” he pleaded. “The open spaces, the fresh air-…”

“The midge bites, the lack of internet connection, no other civilisation for miles.” She rudely interrupted. She immediately felt guilty when Sam’s eyes took on the appearance of a scolded puppy dog. She slid her arms around his neck caressing the sides of his beautiful face. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. I just don’t see me…either of us, really, taking to a permanent life out in the middle of goodness knows where at
this
point in our lives, surrounded by sheep and wearing wellies and Tweeds!”

“Now you are being terribly stereotypical and insulting to all things countryside, Mallory,” Sam chastised in his Canadian drawl. “And besides, I think you’d look very fetching in wellies…just wellies that is, nothing else.” He grabbed her playfully and squeezed her. His green eyes flashed with a mischievousness Mallory had come to adore. She giggled and gazed up at him, lovingly recalling the first time she had found herself utterly mesmerised by him.

 

~~~~~

 

December 2009

 

Mallory had lived in
Yorkshire
all the twenty-eight years of her life. Since dropping out of her PR course at Uni, through sheer laziness, she had endured a run of soulless jobs. Nothing ever really pushed her buttons. That was until an inheritance from her dear Aunt Sylvia had given her the opportunity to do the
one thing
she truly wanted to do.

Her little gift emporium,
Le Petit Cadeau
.

It had been the brain child of her Aunt many years before, when Mallory had taken to making her own Christmas gifts one year when, as was the case on more than one dreadful occasion, unemployment occurred on the brink of the festive season.

She had sobbed and sobbed when the solicitor informed her that her Aunt had left her the large sum of money under strict conditions that she was to, ‘get off her backside and do something fulfilling for once!’ She remembered almost laughing aloud at the point when the solicitor had uttered the quote directly as her Aunt had written it. Even in death, feisty Sylvia knew how to draw a chuckle from her beloved niece.

It was a fairly quiet early December Wednesday in
Leeds
, well perhaps
quiet
was not the right way to put it. The city centre was the usual bustling metropolis, but the Victoria Quarter was, ostensibly, being given a somewhat brief reprieve from the usual barrage of festive shoppers. Mallory huffed as she watched a swooning couple canoodling whilst browsing in the window of the lingerie boutique.

“Sod this for a game of soldiers. I think I need a break,” she informed one of the cute, jointed, Steiff teddy bears sitting, looking pensive on the shelf next to where she perched. “I reckon there is a tall, caramel macchiato with my name on it somewhere!”

Grabbing her oversized bag she chalked
Back in 20 mins
on her very own, handmade door sign. Once she had dropped the latch she headed out into the sea of suited business people and Christmas shoppers. She smirked at the vast number of pre-school children who were sporting cheap red Santa hats lovingly procured for them, she guessed, by harassed parents as bribery for good behaviour.

The paved precinct area was buzzing. Mallory loved
Leeds City Centre
with its designer boutiques and quirky shops. At this time of year, however, there was something transcendent about the atmosphere. Maybe it was the twinkling lights strung from building to building or the way that each and every shop was decked in sparkling silvers and gregarious gold. The myriad Christmas songs, being played in numerous outlets all out of synch with one another, were an assault on the senses. The stalls all laid out, down the centre of the precinct, were vying for the attention of passers-by with their brightly coloured gifts and trinkets. A delicious aroma of roast chestnuts wafted through the chilled air and into Mallory’s nostrils making her tummy grumble.

She rounded the corner heading for her favourite coffee shop when suddenly she involuntarily lurched forward. Her stiletto heel had become lodged in between two paving slabs, sending her and her belongings, hurtling into the arms of a passing stranger.

“Whoaaaa there!” The startled man grabbed for Mallory, in a bid to stop her inevitable collision with the pavement. “We haven’t been formally introduced and yet here you are throwing yourself at me!” He laughed. His accent was noticeably of the North American variety.

Rather dazed, heart pounding and feeling more than a little bit embarrassed, Mallory slowly lifted her gaze to look at the Knight in shining armour, whose strong, muscular arms had come to her rescue. She was met with vivid green, laughing eyes and a very,
very
handsome countenance. Suddenly the weight of what had just happened hit her like a stack of tumbling gift boxes and she realised she was holding on for dear life and staring, just staring at this poor bewildered guy. She quickly came to her senses.

“I-I am so sorry, how clumsy of me. My…my shoe…erm…oh no, it’s still bloody stuck!” She stammered almost falling for the tall stranger a second time, as she fought with the shoe, which was determined to stay bloody-well put, thank you very much. Perfect!

“Here let me help you.” The man aided Mallory into an upright position. He crouched in front of her. “Hold onto my shoulder and take your foot out of your shoe.”

Mallory silently obeyed her strikingly handsome saviour. She felt the flushing of her face, which was surely glowing like a Belisha beacon. Passers-by smirked in her direction, further increasing the heat in her cheeks. He twisted at the shoe until the heel finally allowed itself to be freed from the crevice,
rather like the sword Excalibur
, Mallory pondered.
Hmmm, that would make him the dashing King Arthur…yum.
She giggled at the errant thought.

He looked up and offered her the return of her shoe, whilst still on bended knee. She sighed as she reached out for it.
Oh if only I knew you and this was a diamond ring and I was in the midst of the most romantic proposal ever…
she shook her head to dislodge the ridiculous, mental intrusion and snatched the shoe.
Good grief, I have been single far too long!

“Thank you so much for helping me, I feel like such a muppet.”

“Don’t mention it. It happens to us all. But only usually on a weekend for me.” Then, with a fake and over-exaggerated glance around for ear-wiggers, he leaned in close to whisper. “My high heels are seriously frowned upon at work, and let’s not even
mention
the stockings.” The man chuckled, obviously pleased with his joke, his emerald eyes sparkling.

Smiling and
really
hoping that his last sentence was in no way a true reflection on his life, Mallory tilted her head at the stranger in an enquiring manner,

“You’re not from here,” she mumbled. Yup, she had just stated the blooming obvious, she realised as she was caught in his gaze and unable to look away. A wide grin spread across his gorgeous face. He wagged his finger, “Do you know…I knew there must be a reason why people keep on looking at me funny when I speak.” He paused and held out his hand, “I’m Sam, by the way. Samuel Buchanan, in case you wanted to know my full name. You know, for when you report my dashing act of valour to the
Yorkshire
Evening Post
.” His emphasis on the pronouncement of ‘shire’ made her chuckle.

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