8 Oct 2017

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Blog Tour Book Extract / A Seaside Escape by Lisa Hobman

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.


Available on NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2xzTo3V

Buy links:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2wLsnpS

Follow Aria

Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa’s debut novel was shortlisted in the 2014 RNA. Her stories centre around believable, yet down to earth characters and the places in Scotland she has visited and fallen in love with. She is a happily married mum of one with two energetic dogs.

Follow Lisa

Twitter: @LisaJHobmanAuth




 

CHAPTER FOUR - EXTRACT

Mallory sat stoic whilst people dressed in black fussed all around her. She loved that people cared, but she just wanted them to all just sod off and leave her alone. She hadn’t cried yet. She’d just felt completely numb. The ache inside her had been replaced with a strange feeling of… nothingness. People talked about her whilst she sat; as if she had suddenly become invisible. Does she want a cup of tea? Should she have a lie-down? Has she cried yet? Do you think she’ll move back to Yorkshire? It irritated her, but she hadn’t the energy to fight.
Mallory kept replaying the Police Officer’s words repeatedly in her mind. ‘We’re so sorry, Miss Westerman, they couldn’t revive him, they tried, but the injuries from the crash were just too severe. Is there anyone you’d like us to call?’
As soon as they had found out, Renee and Ryan had flown straight over to be with Mallory. Cara had to stay home with their baby boy, Dylan. They had all been amazing, but due to the absence of Sam’s family in the UK, initially, Mallory had been the one asked to identify his body. The image just wouldn’t leave her, it was etched on her cerebral cortex like a horrific tattoo; irreversible; a permanent fixture for her memory amongst all the happiness she’d had up to then. The experience had left her feeling almost anaesthetised.
There had been a discussion about funeral arrangements. Mallory had felt she had no right to even join in the conversation, after all she was only his fiancĂ©e; they were his family. Much to her surprise they had decided that Sam should be cremated and the service held near their new home. Renee and Ryan felt that Sam would have wanted that if he’d had the chance to decide for himself. Plus, they added, Mallory needed Sam to be near her. She should choose what to do with the ashes. After all, Mallory would not be returning to Yorkshire. There was nothing to go back for. Aside, that is, from her business and two best friends.
Mallory couldn’t express her overwhelming gratitude for the kindness of the Buchanans. She couldn’t really express anything. But she did thank them with a silent hug. Both Ryan and his mom had cried; Mallory had not. Ryan had felt responsible and had apologised over and over, If only I hadn’t asked for his help… if only he had followed Mallory as planned… if only. Mallory had assured him as best she could that she didn’t blame him. What was the point?
The cremation service had been lovely; if that’s even a possibility for cremations. People had come from far and wide to pay their respects. She had sat and listened as people eulogised about her fiancĂ©. Their words had been so kind. She had been asked if she wanted to say anything at the funeral, but she couldn’t even attempt to muster up the words to express her feelings of anger, loss, emptiness and most of all sadness.
She thought about what Ryan had said and about his apologies. She wanted to go back; to make Sam not go into work on that day. Maybe Ryan was right? Maybe then he would still be alive. If he had followed her instead, maybe that lorry driver would not have lost control on the narrow, rain-covered road by Loch Lomond. When she had, for a couple of moments yesterday, been granted a little bit of mobile signal, a voicemail had come through, so very cruelly. She had played the message over and over again…
It’s me my little Yorkshire puddin’! I’ve just left work… it’s about… aaahhh… noon… you must be driving or something… anyways, I’ll be on my way in the next hour… I am sooo excited, baby! You, me and Rubes will have the best time, you’ll see! The BEST!! I love you more than life, I hope you know that and I’m so sorry about today. I promise I’ll make it up to you. Don’t go “chasing cars” ‘til I get there, okay babe? See you soon! Love you.’
Each time she played it she could pretend he was still alive. She could pretend he was just at the other end of the line. It comforted her to hear his voice; the voice of the funny, loving, kind, sexy man who had come into her life and given her so much – loved her so much. How could that be over? It just didn’t seem real. Maybe that’s why she couldn’t cry.
She remembered what Sam had said about his uncle’s funeral which had taken place shortly before they met. He had hated how sombre the whole affair was. A total contrast to his father’s apparently. They stood in the church whilst the choir sang ‘Abide with Me’ and Sam had admitted to fidgeting uncomfortably.
On the day he had told her about it he’d said, ‘If anything happens to me I want you to promise me you’ll make sure that people wear bright colours, get drunk and laugh about the good times!’
She had whacked him. ‘Shhh! I’m not going to talk about you dying. You’re not allowed to die,’ she had informed him, feeling rather cross that he had brought it up.
‘I’m just saying, I think it’s sad when people die and all, but you have to try to remember the happy times.’ He had squeezed her hand and, understanding what he meant, she had squeezed his too. At the time it had been something she didn’t even need to consider, let alone want to think about. It had therefore been pushed to the very recesses of her mind for a time when they were old and grey – or so she had thought.
Back in her new reality, people gradually said their goodbyes until only Renee, Ryan, Brad and Josie remained. The scent of fresh flowers filled the whitewashed lounge of her cottage. Her cottage. Funny how in such a short space of time the plural had become singular.






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