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Just Released: Hearts Apart by Patricia Hopper

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Hearts Apart is a story that I’ve thought about for quite some time. With politics often in the news these days the story demanded attention. I also drew some comparisons between the present and the past with the help of the wife of a very famous forefather. Then I began to investigate two characters who have the same goal to help humanity, but they go about it in different ways and for different reasons, yet they are connected by one particular event from their childhood that shapes their future. Leslie who left her small hometown to become a doctor, finds herself in a loveless affair and unable to accomplish her goal of making a difference in a large city. Disillusioned, she leaves the city behind for the post of general practitioner in her small hometown. She is apolitical and disinterested in politics, although her father was a famous congressman. Travis, on the other hand shucks the business world his parents hoped he would embrace to face the uphill battle to be elected a senator for Kentucky, and at the same time stay true to himself. This couple is drawn to each other despite their differences. To find a compromise is challenging and reveals their true personalities.

The book has both mystery and romance in addition to the main characters having an opposing view of the world. The storyline is that there’s an event in the lives of the two main characters when they were children that ties them together and shaped their future even though they’re not aware of it. Travis, the male lead, knows about their connection, but it is Leslie, the female lead that is most affected by the event.


After she retired Leslie found it difficult to sleep. The bed was comfortable, yet she tossed and turned. Giving in to restlessness she rose and put on a cotton robe over her pajamas. The air felt humid when she stepped onto the back porch and walked the length of the back garden. Lit by the full moon she opened a gate and noticed a worn path that stretched out across the hay field. Prompted by curiosity and wishing she had a flashlight she stepped outside the gate meaning to only take a few steps and then turn around. But there was something inviting about the field, its high silvery grass drew her forward in the moonlight. She ventured farther than she intended when she heard a snort. Her heart burst into rapid beating. She stopped and waited, unsure what to expect if she moved.

Horns peaked above the grass, soon to be followed by the body of a full-grown buck. A doe lumbered behind along with three or four fawns. Horror struck her when she realized they were headed for the back garden. She remembered leaving the gate open, and quickly turned and ran back, the deer following at a distance. Shutting the gate she stepped behind it to watch. Minutes later the deer stopped at the gate, stomped and grunted. Their foray for food was blocked.

Strong hands on her shoulders startled her and she lashed out with her fists. “Easy,” a familiar voice said.

She stopped abruptly and looked into Travis’s shadowy face. “Do you always prowl around at night scaring women?” she asked.

“I could ask you the same question,” he said. “About prowling around at night, I mean.”

“I couldn’t sleep.”

“So you wandered out to irritate the deer.”

“Of course not.”

Their voices had scared the deer off who disappeared into high grass.

“After I went past the fence and saw the deer, I realized you might lose your whole garden so I hurried back to close the gate”

“It wouldn’t be the first time deer helped themselves to most of the garden,” he said easily. “What possessed you to go through the gate anyway?”

“I saw a path.”

“And decided to explore it—in the dark? Not a smart idea.”

“It was easy to follow in the moonlight,” she said testily. “Besides, I wasn’t expecting company.”

“I couldn’t sleep either.”

“I don’t mean you. The deer.”

“You’ve lived in the city too long. There’s lots of deer round here.”

“They’re so pretty.”

“They’re pests.”

“Maybe you should live in the city a while to appreciate them.”

“Come on,” he said, taking her hand.


“To see where the path leads.”

He opened the gate and made sure to close it behind him. He lit the way with a flashlight and she followed him through the field that he obviously knew well. Trees bordered the field. He took her hand and beamed the way through dark snarled shadows on the ground. They emerged onto a grassy patch on the other side.

“Don’t go any further,” he said. “There’s a sharp drop-off here that you can’t clearly see in the dark.”

Down below, the lake shimmered in the moonlight. “I hear water,” she said.

“A stream comes out from the hillside down below on your left and empties into the lake,” He said. “There’s a steep winding path that takes you all the way down to the lake. It’s not the kind of thing you’d attempt at night.”

She gave him a withering look that was lost in the moonlight. He moved closer and his hand reached out and touched her face. Something stirred inside her and she stood very still closing her eyes as his fingers caressed her cheeks. He tipped her chin upward and gently grazed his lips against hers. She leaned into him and his lips lingered on hers. “Don’t go to New York,” he said, his breath mixing with hers.

“I’m not,” she said.

He stiffened. “What about Paul?”

“It’s over between us.”

He moaned and pulled her closer.

“You and Elaine?” she asked trying to catch her breath.

“There’s nothing between Elaine and me.”

“Elaine thinks there is.”

He kissed her again, deeply, sensually. “She has no reason to expect we have a future together.”

Her arms went around his neck and she surrendered to a primal response she didn’t know she possessed. He lowered her to a grassy patch. The cool softness startled her for a moment until he covered her with his warmth. He pulled off his tee shirt and she nestled her head against his chest. His fingers explored her face and stroked her arms to her fingertips. Deftly, he removed her robe and pajamas. His shorts came off and he pressed his nakedness against her. His eyes held hers for a moment before his lips pressed against hers with an urgency that matched her own. He dropped his head to kiss her neck and his hands covered her breasts, sending waves of longing through her.

He continued to intoxicate her body with his lips and when she arched toward him he smiled. She nipped his chest with her teeth and he groaned with pleasure. His fingers roved over her body in slow tantalizing caresses. They stopped at her buttocks and tempted her closer against him. He poised himself above her, teasing, tantalizing, and baited her desire until she wanted all of him. She abandoned herself to him, her voice echoing his name. He let out a groan and nothing else mattered but each other.

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About The Author:

Patricia Hopper Patteson is a native of Dublin, Ireland and resides in West Virginia. She holds a B.A.  and an M.A. from West Virginia University (WVU) .  She received honors from WVU such as the Waitman Barbe Creative Writing Award and the Virginia Butts Sturm Award. She received numerous awards from the West Virginia Writers’ competition. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in magazines, newspapers, reviews, and anthologies. In addition to Hearts Apart, published by Red Sage, her debut novel Kilpara, the first of a three-part Irish-American family saga was published May 2015 by Bygone Era Books. A sequel novel called Corrib Red was released in March 2017 by Cactus Rain Publishing. Aunjel, the final novel in the series is in progress.







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