Title: I Invited Her In
Author: Adele Parks
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.
This is worse.
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.
After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?
I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.
Tuesday, 20 February
Neither airports nor aeroplanes particularly excited Abigail; she’d become accustomed. She didn’t bother looking at the tax-free luxury products that were available because she could afford to buy them at full price, if she pleased. She didn’t grab the in-flight entertainment brochure and get excited by the movies that were showing because often she’d been to early screenings, even premieres. She wasn’t interested in the glass of champagne that was complimentary in business class, because alcohol was dehydrating and it was important not to look drained after a flight.
Today she visited duty-free, bought the first perfume and lipstick that came to hand, put it on his credit card; she’d have bought more but they were calling her flight. And while she did still ignore the in-flight entertainment, she put herself in danger of becoming it, as she helped herself to four glasses of champagne and knocked them back swiftly, ignoring the slightly concerned looks on the flight attendants’ faces.
Abigail felt cheated.
He’d stolen from her. Her dignity, her youth, her opportunities, her time.
Him, and that woman. She wasn’t going to take it lying down. She was going to even up the score. She was owed. And she was going to collect.
Thursday, 22 February
Abigail insisted that she’d get a cab to ours rather than allow me to go out of my way to pick her up. I’m grateful because it gives me a bit more time to dash around the house, making last-minute adjustments.
The box room has been cleared to the extent that it is now at least possible to see the sofa bed. The musty old boxes have been shoved into the attic. I promised Ben that I would sort them one day, maybe when all the kids leave home and go to university. I’ve put the exercise bike, which I insisted upon buying about a year after I had Lily, into Liam’s room.
He wasn’t best pleased but I pointed out he could throw his clothes over the handlebars, rather than on the floor, which means I won’t have to stoop so much when I’m picking up his dirty washing. I’ve squirrelled away the rest of the rubbish wherever I could.
Along with the house, I’ve benefitted from a mini makeover.
I’ve taken care with my make-up, I had my hair blow-dried and I’m wearing a new shirt. I’m wearing accessories: hooped earrings and multiple bracelets. I’m now worried that rather than channelling hippy chic, I’m more gypsy fortune teller.
I’ve bought scarlet gladioli, because they’re dramatic and impactful but don’t break the bank. I’m just hunting out a long thin vase—I know we used to have one; I think it may be in one of the boxes that I’ve just moved up to the attic—when the doorbell rings.
Abigail. She is even more glamorous in the flesh than either I remembered her or the photos on the internet revealed. She is five foot eight, four inches taller than I am, and yet seems somehow dainty, frail. Maybe it’s because she’s been through something so awful recently. Her skin is pale, cool and smooth. No spots, no freckles, no lines or creases. She looks brand new. I fight an urge to caress her cheekbones. They are so sharp, I might prick my finger and draw blood, like people do in fairy tales if they touch a spinning wheel. Her hair is sleek, slightly longer than she wore it at university, blunt cut at the shoulder. Glossy. With her arrives a waft of something exotic, a shiver of something exciting.
After all this time, it’s good to see her.
“Darling.” She flings her arms around me and hugs me close to her. I feel her collarbone and can smell her perfume and cigarettes. I’m surprised she smokes. I thought it was practically a criminal offence in LA. “You look amazing,” she gushes. Her voices oozes—I think of amber syrup sliding off a spoon.
I almost believe her. I mean, she sounds sincere but I have mirrors and “amazing” is a stretch.
She holds me at a distance, her hands on my upper arms and her head tilted to one side. “Amazing,” she repeats. Breathily. And now. Yup, despite the evidence, I believe her. She flicks her eyes at my newly purchased bay trees that stand proud and neat in pots, either side of the door. Yesterday, when I dragged the girls to the local garden centre to purchase them, I’d thought they were the most perfect things. Now, under her gaze they look a little try-too-hard. My fault, not hers.
“Come in, come in,” I say. “Go right through to the kitchen. I’ve baked.”
“You’ve baked!” She repeats this as though it’s the most astonishing thing she’s ever heard. In truth, it is quite astonishing. I only bake about half a dozen times a year and four of those occasions are to make birthday cakes.
The scent of dough, butter, and cream drifts through the hallway. Tempting and comforting. Suddenly, I feel a little shy about admitting to baking. It seems like too much of an effort; I doubt Abigail ever eats cake anyhow. She can’t possibly, not with a figure like hers. Still, she makes all the right noises; she insists it smells like heaven and that she can’t wait to try them.
Lily is bouncing around her like a puppy. Imogen is holding back a little but is clearly transfixed. Abigail is possibly the most glamorous and beautiful woman they have ever seen in real life.
About the Author
Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages.
1500+ 5 star reviews have kindly been written by her fans on Amazon.co.uk
She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers.
Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970’s childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including Rad Babes Read in Adele’s Excerpt Tour. Visit the other blogs on the tour HERE.