She’s Me Mimi Barbour
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental. “She’s Me” Vicarage Bench Series – Book #1 No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. This book was produced using Pressbooks.com.
Contents She’s Me Dedication Praise Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Afterword He’s Her Prologue - Book #2 The Vicarage Bench Series Also author of… About the author, Mimi Barbour Contact Me:
She’s Me Vicarage Bench Series – Book #1 By Mimi Barbour, NYT & USA Today best-selling author Sassy, spoilt model, Jenna McBride pricks her finger simultaneously with shy, chubby librarian Lucy McGillicuddy and becomes Lucy’s spiritual resident. In her smart-alecky way, Jenna forces Lucy to make changes to her eating habits and exercise routines, and she soon grows into a slim, beautiful woman. But in order to win the heart of the local doctor, Lucy has to build up her self-confidence—something that Jenna has never lacked. In fact, Jenna is rather full of herself and needs Lucy to teach her that outward beauty affects only the eyes of
the person looking, not the heart. Once she’s learned her lesson, all that’s left to do is get Jenna back to her own time and to the waiting arms of her handsome business manager.
Dedication I dedicate this book to my mother, whose love of reading taught me the magic in a good story, and to my father, who by example taught me that no mountain is too high.
Praise “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. A strangeness settled over her as she sat to pull out the spine. As soon as her body touched the bench, a trancelike state began to take hold. Her mind felt numb, and later she would swear that her body floated away from her and disappeared in small drifts, like a cloud shifting. Finally, she broke loose from these imaginings and turned to talk to Marnie, who was nowhere to be seen. She shook her head and reached up to rub her forehead, but when she touched herself she knew something was dreadfully wrong. It was as though she were having an out-of-body experience. Everything around her had altered. She closed her eyes and slumped further down on the bench. She twisted herself agitatedly, opened her eyes again and looked in every direction. It was then she realized that the road looked oddly different from the one she remembered. She swivelled every which way, still seated because she felt weakened somehow, too weak to stand. And then she spied her dress and screamed. When she’d walked outside, she was wearing white jean capris and a navyand-white designer top, with a rhinestone-decorated white jean jacket to set off the ensemble.
Now, clutched in her shaking hands, her garb seemed to be a full-skirted, polka-dotted garment that hung down well past her knees, along with—what scared her silly— white gloves over her decidedly plump hands.
Chapter Two “What the hell is going on?” she cried, and then, glancing up, her frantic gaze met the startled eyes of two ladies dressed for church in their flowered Sunday dresses and matching hats, their white-gloved hands carrying what looked like Bibles. They stared at her over the flower-covered stone wall, obviously wondering if they should call for a straight jacket. Across the lane a couple of teenage girls in miniskirts were gawking at her, too, eyes emphasized by lots of dark makeup, white-lipsticked mouths in O shapes. They looked like something out of an old movie. Just passing the gate was a slender man, a bit on the short side, well proportioned but of nondescript looks. He turned in quickly and came rushing to the garden bench, where he knelt in front of her. “Are you in trouble?” he asked, greenish-grey eyes full of kindness. His straight-cut beige pants and Perry Como sweater looked strangely old-fashioned, and so did his short, side-parted, brown hair. Jenna’s whole body trembled, shuddering so severely her purse fell from her hands and emptied onto the grass. Distressed, she moaned and covered her shocked eyes. She’d never seen that bag before. Quickly and efficiently, the stranger gathered her belongings and waited patiently for her to calm herself. In an apparent effort to help, he began to talk. “My name is John Norman, and I’m the doctor here in town. I have a practise in my house, which is right down
the lane if you have need of medical assistance.” He kindly pried her hands from her face and manoeuvred the motion in such a way as to give him access to her wrist so he could check her pulse. “Take a deep breath, my dear, and calm down.” Jenna looked up, fear swelling within her. “What is wrong with me? I feel so different. You’ll think me crazy, but this dress I’m wearing—I’ve never seen it before in my life, or these ridiculous gloves.” Voice rising, she stared into his wary eyes and notched the shock up one more level. “And these hands aren’t mine.” She started to cry in great, gulping, pitiful sobs that grew shockingly louder when she heard herself. These...