Good morning bookworms!
I have a super extract for you today from the latest book by Lisa Hobman, A Seaside Escape.
Here’s the blurb …
All work and no love can make for a dull life. But cupid’s arrow has a habit of striking when you least expect it… A heartwarming, feel-good romance to curl up with this winter. Perfect for the fans of Marian Keyes and Veronica Henry.
Mallory Westerman is the successful proprietor of Le Petit Cadeau, a gift shop extraordinaire in thriving Leeds.
Concentrating solely on her business, she has almost given up on finding someone to love. That is until she literally falls into the arms of a handsome, intriguing stranger who becomes her Knight in shining armour.
The whirlwind romance that ensues changes her life-path irrevocably. However, the road to true love is never smooth and things don’t always turn out how you expect…
*Shortlisted for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year 2014*
This book was previously published as A Bridge Over The Atlantic.
Sound good? Well I have an extract that should whet your appetite even more!
The extract …
Mallory had lived in Yorkshire all the twenty-seven years of her life. After the death of her parents she had moved in with her dad’s sister – Aunt Sylvia – who didn’t believe in holidays abroad and so Yorkshire and its familiar landscape became her safe haven.
After dropping out of her PR course at uni, Mallory endured a run of soulless jobs with nothing ever really pushing her buttons. That was until her guardian passed away and left her a large sum of money, giving her the opportunity to do the one thing she truly wanted to do but thought would never be possible.
Her little gift emporium, Le Petit Cadeau, had been the brainchild of her aunt many years before. It had occurred when Mallory had taken to making her own Christmas gifts as unemployment had occurred on the brink of the festive season.
At the will reading Mallory had sobbed when the solicitor informed her that her aunt had left strict instructions that the inheritance was intended for her 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.
Now, years on from that fateful day, Le Petit Cadeau was thriving and she was thankful for her aunt’s insistence. It was a fairly quiet early December Wednesday in Leeds, and the city centre was the usual bustling metropolis. However, the Victoria Quarter – where Mallory’s shop was located – was being given a somewhat brief reprieve from the usual barrage of festive shoppers. Sitting in her usual place by the window, she huffed as she watched a swooning couple canoodling whilst browsing the display of lingerie in the boutique opposite.
She slapped her hands on her thighs and turned to one of the stuffed bears on the shelf beside her. ‘Sod this for a game of soldiers, Mr Fluffs. I think I need a break.’ Obviously, the pensive-looking, handmade bear proffered no reply, yet she continued, ‘Yep. I reckon there’s a tall, caramel macchiato with my name on it somewhere.’
Grabbing her oversized bag, she chalked Back in 20 mins on her door sign, dropped the latch and headed out into the sea of suited business people and Christmas shoppers.
As she walked, she smiled to herself, noting the vast number of preschool children who were sporting cheap red Santa hats. Gifts 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 golds. The myriad Christmas songs, being played in numerous outlets all out of synch with one another, were an assault on the senses. The stalls 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. The stiletto heel of her inappropriate-for-winter shoe 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. She noted his distinct American accent which she instantly found adorable.
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’m so sorry, how clumsy of me. My… my shoe got… erm… oh no, it’s still bloody stuck!’ she stammered, almost falling into 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 and then 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.
Feeling utterly ridiculous, she began to giggle. ‘I think maybe wellies would have been a better choice. Silly me.’
The man twisted at the shoe until the heel finally came free from the crevice holding it prisoner – Mallory couldn’t help but think it was rather like the legend of King Arthur freeing Excalibur. He looked up and offered her the return of her shoe, whilst still on bended knee and she sighed as she reached out for it. This time the fairy tale of Cinderella sprang to mind.
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 crazy, mental intrusion, snatched the shoe and shoved it back on her foot. Good grief, I’ve been single far too long!
I do love the start of a potential love story, and especially one that is set in a city very close to me!!!
I’m off to grab my copy, you can too over at Amazon by clicking the link below:
My thanks to the publishers, Aria Fiction and the author for inviting me on to the blog tour! Please do follow the rest of the tour for some more extracts and guest posts from the author.
About the author …
Lisa J Hobman’s debut novel Bridge Over the Atlantic was shortlisted in the Romantic Novelists Association’s Romance Novel of the Year 2014 (The RoNAs) – Contemporary Romance Category.
Lisa is a happily married mum of one with two crazy dogs. She especially enjoys being creative and now writes almost full time.
In 2012 Lisa and her family relocated from England to their beloved Scotland; a place of happy holidays and memories for them and her new location now features in all of her books.
Writing has always been something Lisa has enjoyed, although in the past it has centered on poetry and song lyrics. Some of which appear in her stories.
The story in her debut novel, Bridge Over the Atlantic, was building in her mind for a long while but until the relocation, she never had the time to put it down in black and white. The move north of the border has certainly given Lisa the opportunity to pursue her dream. Being signed to 5 Prince Publishing has made that dream a reality.