She's Me

By: Mimi Barbour

Book One of The Vicarage Bench Series

Great Reviews for She's Me

“A cross between Sleeping Beauty and a girlie version of Back to the Future....a story full of surprising twists resulting in happily-ever-afters.”

~Lisa, Night Owl Romance Book Reviews

“A funny, endearing story of how four people struggle to co-exist in two bodies....The characters are believable and while you are laughing over their mishaps you are falling in love with [them]. This is a great read.”

~Whitney, Simply Romance Reviews

"I loved these three stories. What a brilliant idea to have bodies intertwined. It's so different from the usual time travel."

~Anita Birt, author of A Very Difficult Man

“Wonderful array of characters...and...wonderful changes and growth. Dialogue is snappy and... humorous. ("Hell's bells, now I can't even cry without getting hassled....") The...relationships that drive this story are hysterical.”

~Snapdragon, The Long and the Short of It

Chapter One

The large, oval mirror reflected what the top magazine photographers captured in every front-page sensation featuring Jenna McBride. Beauty might be skin deep as told to plain, hopeful little girls, but Jenna had never heard those words. All her life there had been comments about her “natural chestnut glory” or her “intense blue eyes with diamond-like highlights.” Even her figure, slender and tall, was unproblematic, as her system tended to wear off whatever she chose to eat, although since she chose the healthiest of foods she glowed with fitness.

As Jenna sauntered past the mirror she slowed to check herself out, as she was apt to do when passing any reflecting surface, and she spied her secretary’s grinning image behind her.

“Marnie, wipe it.”

The grin disappeared, but Marnie’s eyes remained full of merriment.

“Has Harvey called?” Harvey was the favoured man of the month, taller than Jenna, with eyes of a similar cobalt tone, hair silvered with distinguishing highlights, and more money than many banks.

Marnie’s answer was tinged with disdain, which was not lost on Jenna. “Yes, he’ll be there to pick you up at the airport tomorrow evening. His exact words were, ‘Tell her to doll up, because I want to show her off to some college buddies who’ll be joining us for a late dinner. They don’t believe me when I tell them she’s a female version of myself—eye candy.’”

Jenna’s laugh was fake and forced as she stepped outside the famous vicarage where her last shoot had taken place three days ago. She was burnt out from the many assignments she’d crammed in over the past few months. It seemed as though every manufacturer in the world wanted to have her face represent their products. Enough was enough. She needed to veg and catch her breath.

The quaint vicarage was over a hundred years old, filled with relics from the past and a peaceful ambience in which a person could unwind. The verdant colours of the vines clinging in masses to the exterior framed the stained-glass windows, while pink roses twining in and out here and there added delight for the viewer. The foliage explosion nearby covered a crumbling stone wall that enclosed a large garden filled with hybrid roses, all blooming, permeating the air with their fragrance. On the other side of the wall was a surprisingly busy lane where the folks of the small town frequently walked or drove by, following their daily routines.

Her normal choice of a holiday hotel it wasn’t, but for some unknown reason Jenna had fallen in love with the atmosphere of tranquility on sight and, reluctant to leave it, had rented the nest for a few extra days for herself and her secretary to relax after the shoot. It was essential for Marnie to stay there with her, not just for reasons of answering the telephone and other business matters, but because Marnie had worked almost as hard as Jenna these last few months and deserved a break. Keeping up with the daily correspondence, being at Jenna’s beck and call and catering to her every whim still left Marnie a bit of time left over to spend as she pleased.

Jenna was heading to her special place, a wooden bench near the roadway where she could people-watch, one of her favourite pastimes. She liked to breathe in the scent from the pink roses that trailed over the trellis behind the bench and gave a fresh contrast to the natural greyness of the oak. Today the scene was framed by a sky bluer than normal. She meandered along toward the empty bench, Marnie close behind her. As she stopped to smell a particularly gorgeous rose, a thorn bit into the fleshy part of her finger and she squealed with pain.