November 15, 2018

Excerpt Reveal: I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

I Invited Her In
Author: Adele Parks
Genre: Adult Thriller
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: MIRA/Harlequin


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.
I run out of paint halfway through the second coat. I’m a little snow-blind anyway. It’s late, there’s no natural light and in the electric light it’s hard to see where I have layered the second coat and where I haven’t.

I admit as much to Ben and he comments, “That suggests a second coat is unnecessary. Come on, love. I’ve made you a cheese and pickle sandwich. You should eat something. Come and sit down for five minutes and tell me what the rush is.”

It’s too welcome an invite to resist. I collapse into a kitchen chair. Ben squeezes my shoulder and I lay my cheek on his hand. He feels warm, smooth, comfortable. “We’re expecting a guest,” I explain.

“We are?”


“My mother?” He looks a bit aghast as he places the sandwich in front of me.


“Who then?”

“My friend, Abigail Curtiz.”

He sits opposite me, scrunches up his eyes the way he always does when he’s trying to recall someone. “Oh, the woman who emailed this morning?”


“When is she coming?”


“This Thursday?”


“And you’re redecorating because someone is coming to dinner?”

“She’s staying with us for a few days.”

“How long is a few days?” he asks suspiciously. Ben is a social man, he’ll accept pretty much any invite that comes our way and we reciprocate, too. However, he has his limits. He likes waking up in his own bed and he doesn’t like entertaining before breakfast, so he’s not a big fan of stayovers.

“I’m not sure. As long as she needs,” I reply, vaguely.

“But why?”

“I told you, she’s getting a divorce.” I realise this doesn’t address the question he is asking. Why would I invite someone he’s never heard of until today to stay with us? We rarely have house guests. Theoretically we have a spare room but it’s incredibly small and currently stacked with boxes full of Christmas decorations, old clothes, files and photo albums, as well as unused gym equipment and the ironing board. “I think it will be nice,” I say breezily.

“How will it be nice? It will be cramped.”

“Cosy,” I insist. I start to devour my sandwich. I hadn’t realised how hungry I was until I stopped painting. Besides, with my mouth full I can’t answer any difficult questions.

Ben studies me. “Will it be OK, her staying here for a few days?”

“What do you mean? Why wouldn’t it be OK?”

“It’s just I haven’t heard you talk much about this Abigail Curtiz over the years. At all, actually. I didn’t realise she was a particular friend, not the sort you offer our spare room to indefinitely. I mean, who is she?”

“Well, we were once very close. People lose touch.” I hope Ben won’t push. I can’t bring myself to articulate exactly why we had to go our separate ways. Why me having Liam made it impossible for me to continue to be her friend. He must understand our lives went in very different directions.

While I was trying to secure a place for Liam at nursery, Abi was stepping onto the stage to receive her certificate that confirmed her first-class honours degree. While I was spooning goop into Liam’s mouth, Abi was being interviewed for her first job in TV as the assistant to Piers Morgan’s assistant.

“No big thing. We just drifted,” I say with a shrug. “You’ll like her. I promise. Everyone does.” I stand up, lean across the table and kiss him briefly on the lips. He stands, too, and puts his hand on the back of my head, kisses me hard and long. Even after all these years, that particular manoeuvre makes me melt.

“I have cleaning to get on with,” I mumble, breaking away.

“We’ll be quick.” I can hear the smile in his voice. “Liam’s out and the girls are asleep. Why wouldn’t we?” He’s kissing my neck now.

“What’s got into you?” I ask, giggling. “It’s a Monday night.”

“It must be the paint fumes,” he replies. He slips his hand up my T-shirt and works his thumbs under my bra strap. My body leans into his; instinct, habit, pleasure. I’m aching from painting and tidying all day but suddenly I realise this is what I need, what I want. It delights me that Ben knew as much before I did.

“You are not suggesting doing it on the kitchen table, are you?”

“I thought that was why you cleared the clutter.”

“Are you mad?” I ask, laughing.

“About you,” he replies cheesily.

We compromise and do it on the sofa in the sitting room. 

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