Today we are on the blog tour for Almost Forever I have a sneak peak extract for you to enjoy. At the time of this feature, the eBook is only £1.99. A welcome addition to your Kindle.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1386.0 KB
- Print Length: 270 pages
- Publisher: HQ Digital (9 Feb. 2018)
| Synopsis |
Can love truly conquer all?
When a vicious attack leaves Paul in a coma on his wedding day, the doctors fear he will never wake up. But his fiancée Fran will never give up hope.
Fran has always known Paul is the only man for her, from the first moment they locked eyes as children to the day he finally told her he loved her. Paul can’t leave her, not now their lives are just about to begin.
Love will always find a way… won’t it?
| Sneak Peak Read|
My back is curved, my elbows are digging uncomfortably into my thighs, and my head is burrowed into my hands. Loose strands of hair are covering my face, while my eyes are staring into a world that’s now opaque with crippling fear.
I quiver at the noise of the ambulance sirens that still echo inside my ears, inside my head, and I shiver at the chill that has descended inside me, dimming the clarity of my memories.
I cannot remember how I got to the hospital. I think someone drove me here, but I’m not quite sure who it was. I recall the journey through the traffic, the sound of my sobbing filling my thoughts with scared confusion. I remember my voice shaking when I asked after Paul at the reception desk. I puffed while running up the stairs, taking two steps at a time, the sound of my shoes reverberating all around me. All that rushing, just to be asked to sit, to be told to wait.
I’ve been sitting and waiting for what feels like an eternity already. Grinding my teeth, I keep asking myself questions that I have no answers to. Worse still is the fact that no one else seems to have any either, which is both upsetting and frustrating.
The police are not sure about what happened to Paul, the doctors are not sure about his prognosis and I’m not sure I’ll be able to survive, if he dies.
Then suddenly, in the silence of my despair, I hear her calling my name.
Her voice echoes inside my head, resounding through the ringing in my ears, distant and foreign. The fact that I’ve known that voice for twenty years bears no significance in the dark place I am in. Her steps are hurried as she walks towards me but I don’t have the strength to look up. She calls my name again. Her tone is urgent, preoccupied, but I don’t seem to find the energy to get up, to look at her, so I remain exactly as I am. Motionless.
I hear her approaching.
‘Fran?’ she calls again, softly, but it’s only when she eventually places her open palms on my shoulders and shakes me gently, that I manage the strength to lift my head and look in her direction. She seems to be enveloped by a hazy glow. My eyes are tired and sore from crying. I can sense that they’re puffy and because of the stinging sensation in them, it takes more than a few seconds to focus on her face. She is standing in front of me, only a few inches away. I stare at Georgie, my best friend since pre-school, and I feel a sudden sense of relief.
‘Georgie …’ Her name is a whisper of relief that comes out of my dry lips like a prayer.
‘I’m here,’ she murmurs wrapping her arms around me when I press my face against her shoulder and take a deep breath. Even such a small movement demands an enormous effort on my part. My back tenses as it shifts upright.
As soon as the oxygen fills my lungs, the tears inundate my eyes and the sobs come all at once. They are uncontrollable fits, fuelled by a raw fear that slashes through me with each breath I take. Georgie lets me purge, stroking my back, murmuring soothing words in my ears. I cling on to them, on to her, as if someone else’s hope will keep me afloat.
‘This is one of the best hospitals in the country, Fran, possibly in the world, and they are just going to do the impossible to make Paul better,’ she says and those words become a mantra looped into my murky brain, as their ripple washes away some of the panic inside my chest.
They’ll make him better.
They’ll make him better.
I keep repeating it to myself until the crying stops, and my breathing returns to normal. I’m not sure how long it takes to calm down because it feels as if I’ve somehow lost the ability to estimate the passing of time, and I can’t tell how long it is before I dry my tears with the tissue Georgie has put in my hand. How long before I get hold of my raging emotions and shake myself from the apathy that has seeped into my veins.
‘Do you know what happened?’ Georgie asks tentatively, and I feel as if she’s been waiting until I’ve regained some control before posing this difficult question.
‘No,’ I answer her shaking my head. Frustration fills up my throat. My voice sounds hoarse because of it. ‘The police … they think he may have walked into a robbery, but they’re not sure. He was beaten, stabbed,’ I say, telling her the little information that I know. My heart sinks at the reality that Paul is fighting for survival, on our wedding day. ‘Today was supposed to be the happiest day of my life,’ I whisper to Georgie, who nods in understanding.
I can see her eyes are filled with sorrow but there is nothing she can say to soothe my pain. We both know that; she just moves on to a different topic.
‘I spoke with Harry,’ she says, taking my hand. ‘He’s on his way. Albert is with him. They left as soon as you called and they were near St Albans when I talked to him. It won’t be much longer now.’ I nod looking down at the floor. I can hear Georgie still talking about something but my mind has drifted off. My heart goes out to Albert.
He is Paul’s father and I’ve known him since childhood, but since his wife died last year, he’s not the man he was. Josephine’s passing broke him and I’m dreading to think what this unexpected blow will do to him. Josephine, Paul’s mum, was ill for a long time – for as long as I can remember – but all the way through we never stopped looking for a cure. We didn’t give up hope, not even when she deteriorated significantly last year.
Albert retired so he could spend every minute she had left with her, convinced that his love, his affection, and his constant presence at her side would perform a miracle. When Josephine eventually died, the doctors agreed that it had been astonishing for her to survive that long given the poor state of her lungs. Still, she outlived even the most optimistic prognosis by ten years.
‘It was a miracle,’ Albert said in his eulogy to his beloved wife. ‘Amor Vincit Omnia – Love Conquers All,’ he added with a broken voice and a shattered heart. I grab on to those words in this moment of despair, and hold them tightly as they are the only glimpse of hope I can see right now. If only Harry were here with me, he would know exactly what to do.
Harry is Paul’s younger brother. He often spends the weekend with his father in Cambridge, in their family mansion, and that was where he was driving back to London from.
I used to live in Cambridge too, in a three-bed mid-terrace on a busy road, but the FitzRoys’ mansion was the home I really grew up in. I feel a painful twinge in my heart when all the beautiful memories I have of that house come flowing back like a swollen river flooding its bank. I can’t stop them, and I’m suddenly swallowed by the past. While the reality of what just happened to Paul blurs away, I’m back in a hot summer morning, a few weeks before my eighth birthday. That was the day I met Harry and Paul, and Josephine, and my life entwined with the FitzRoys’ forever.
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