Love Lies - Adele Parks - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read Because he. and many of his mates. work nights they often waste away a day Lisa hasn't had to play the role of babysitter with me quite so cafein.pro to. SHE'S PLAYING WITH FIRE The unforgettable debut novel from Adele Parks, author of the No. 1 ebook bestseller, The Stranger In My Home. Playing Away. Playing Away. View PDF. book | UK → Penguin. Imagine the sexiest man you can think of. He's a walking stag weekend. He's a funny, disrespectful, fast.
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playing away. SHE'S PLAYING WITH FIRE Connie Green's life should be perfect. She's married to gentle, loving Luke, has a good job and really fabulous. Playing Away book. Read 72 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Imagine the sexiest man you can think of. He's disrespectful, confiden. though see what Adele Parks has to say about that disparaging moniker (p6)!. Also in this issue, Mitzi .. since her début Playing Away, she has produced a novel a 3. Offer a free chapter. Use cafein.pro to offer a PDF.
I saw Scottie live once before. He blushes. What a daft. She caught me up in Connie's world, made me understand her inability to say no, made me see how misguided she was. I wake Jess and give her an update.
Adam alphabetically arranges his CDs and vinyls in neat rows, all the way along our sitting-room shelves. Yes, we do share a flat. A two-bedroom flat in Clapham. Not the posh bit of Clapham, sadly. The bit where the neighbours think old pee-stained.
Our relationship is more prose than poetry. We used to be wild about each other. We used to swing from chandeliers, or as good as. Which led to some, er, shall we say interesting situations. I just want to paint a fair picture.
We are certified members of the mile-high club and we have made love under canvas, in a swimming-pool and once in a botanic garden Kew. We made love frequently and in many, many different ways; slowly and carefully, fast and needy. In the past we often came at the same time. I used to think we were going somewhere. This is my stop. I have to get off the train and take a long hard look at the station.
My station is littered with discarded polystyrene cups and spotted with blobs of chewing-gum. My best friend, Jess, also rents with us. Normally, I acknowledge that this is no bad thing. Adam is in the music business. Ben, who is as camp as a glow-in-the-dark feather duster, is an absolute angel of a boss but I only earn a modest wage.
Jess works in a bookshop and, after thirteen. I have absolutely nothing to look forward to in the. I resent his lack of… oh. He lacks ambition. Thursday nights at the supermarket. Friday and Saturday nights at the local and Sundays our one day a week off together sleeping off a hangover. To move on. His inability to grow up. When challenged. I long for something more than Monday to Wednesday evenings in front of the TV. I loved it that he would find the time to listen to some demo disc from a yet to be discovered band.
The sum total. I found the concept truly horrifying and suffered from nightmares for months. I wake up sweating with the taste of fear in my mouth. When I was a tiny kid I once saw a deeply unsuitable sci-fiTV show where the goodies were trapped in a room and the walls were closing in on them. This is it for me.
I loved it that Adam had this extraordinary passion and I believed it would lead to something big. Problem being I never actually defined exactly what that something big might be — and nor did Adam. Why is that? Maybe my lack of knowledge about the pop scene has been interpreted as a lack of interest.
Ground to a halt. Thinking about it. It was clear enough. My boss Ben and I take it in turns to go to the New Covent Garden flower market each morning and today it was my turn. I pinned up a note to that effect on the fridge this morning. I guess. Lots of. We need to talk. I struggle.
This is important. Apparently not. Got a sniff of a big job coming up. A night out requires a serious time-line leading up to the occasion and military precision planning on the actual night.
When I first read the note I kicked the table leg. I drag my eyes around the flat. She grumbles about the lack of spontaneity in her life but Jess and I refuse to. We could sit on the pavement outside a cheap restaurant and drink house wine. Would love to gas tonight but no can do. Jess is on her date and Lisa can never do a spurof-the-moment night out. Luv u. She has two kids under the age of three. Jess and I have tried to make the flat as stylish as possible on our limited budgets.
I realize. Not posh.
My guess is that Adam and his mates have been watching DVDs all day. Because he. A guess that is confirmed when I find several discs flung across the floor. When Jess and I leave for work the place usually looks reasonably smart. Today the place looks especially squalid.
When we come home it looks like a particularly vicious hurricane has dashed through. Why Adam insists on taking his shoes off in the sittingroom. I think. I draw back the curtains. The room smells of stale. I work efficiently. There is a collection of beer cans abandoned on every available surface.
Most of the cans have stubbed-out fag ends precariously balanced on top. You are a true artist and these lilies are your brushes. White Stripes. I carry the goldfish-bowl-size glass of Chardonnay back into the sitting-room. In my teens I was an Oasis girl. Annoyingly and predictably. There was a big loungy vibe going on at the time.
I flick through my CDs. I wipe surfaces. I think a large one is required. It is only once the room is shiny and clean that I allow myself a glass of wine.
Chemical Brothers and Scouting for Girls. Maybe some music will help. But then. Half the stuff Adam listens to sounds trashy. You could ask any woman in Britain. For one. Women my age have grown up with him. He shot to fame fifteen years ago when he was just seventeen years old.
Not any more. I hate it that being with Adam has somehow made me apologetic about my collection. Scottie is the man every woman wants to fix and fuck. He was recruited by a pop mogul to join a girl band.
Scottie Taylor is. Despite the gimmick of introducing Scottie to the band. But none of them have even dared threaten a comeback tour. I think one of them the redhead is a presenter on a Sky shopping channel. X-treme died a death and no one can even name any of the other band members now. Despite sleeping with pretty much every gorgeous woman in the pop world.
Scottie became bigger and bigger. The other three are occasionally papped coming out of the Priory or Primark.
As Xtreme became more ex-dream. It was different for Scottie. As Scottie climbed to number one. After just two pop hits with the band he was approached by a new manager and went solo. I spotted her when I was mindlessly flicking once. Just what I need right now to ease the tedium of being ignored by Adam. I sometimes think Adam and I are more used to each other than mad about each other. Scottie is crooning some love ballad.
The hardest thing is I love him and I have to wonder. Something about knowing when love has made a dash for the door and love not living here any more. I start to swirl the lyric around my mind with the same seriousness I would if I was grappling with the monumental questions like: Why are we here? Why are yawns contagious?
The hardest thing to bear about my live-in relationship with Adam is not the mess he makes. I put on his latest CD and turn the volume up high. The orange glow of an August sunset fills the room with a pale amber hue and yet I feel distinct.
The thing is. How depressing. I am that pathetic. Part of me is ashamed that after everything the braburning brigade did on behalf of my sex. Things would feel more exquisitely special. Tell me. I want the man I love. I know. No matter how annoying Adam can be I find I am irrationally besieged by a belief which grips me with the same severity as religious doctrine grabs some folk that marrying him will somehow change things for the better between us.
Since his inadequacies are stacking up like the interest on a credit card in January. The fact that the way he chews his food. Once again the facts would point in another direction. The vast majority. He rarely talks to me! And yet I want a proposal.
I had no ambitions to endlessly reenact a marriage between said doll and her eunuch boyfriend. I think I need to make it clear at this point that I am not one of those women who always wanted to get married. Can we afford a new mattress? Is it worth insuring the house contents? Is it stupidly irresponsible to go with the quote from the first plumber who turned up to look at the leaky radiator — after all.
Where there was a hairline fracture. Even the very happily married tend to look back fondly at the days gone by. As a child I owned Airhostess Barbie. I laughed right along with him.
I suppose sexist propaganda would have it that I ought to hang my head in shame. I met Adam in the same way I usually met guys back then he was the mate of a bloke I was shagging at the time. No one delivers a punch line like Adam. We flirted from the. I never bought into the nonsense that sex was in any way tied up with responsibility. He was a riot. Then there was Adam. I was a good-time girl rather than a good girl.
As far as I was concerned sex was all about hedonistic pleasure and fun — lots and lots of fun. I thought a guy was being unreasonably controlling and presumptuous if he insisted on knowing my surname before making a dishonest woman of me.
Not that I was laughing at him. In fact I spent most of my late teens and early twenties avoiding any sort of proper relationship. Neither of us is the rowing sort. Adam and I laughed our way through the first couple of years and we laughed our way into this flat-share and for quite some months after that. Even before I press the dial button part of me knows this is likely to be a pointless exercise. Simple as that. As nice and old-fashioned as that. Then he asked me to go to Glastonbury music fest with him.
I never so much as looked at another man from that moment on. And that was it — we were an item. I open the door and Adam is stood facing me. I was just wondering where you are and what you are up to.
The rush of excitement at seeing him is instantly drowned by a fresh flash of irritation. I can breathe. Living with him is a bit like sitting in a ducking chair. Adam shrugs. I do find his keys. I figured not. The jeans are on the floor in a crumpled heap. I wish things were simpler. I mean. You go out. I walk back into the kitchen dangling the keys off my finger. I simply. When we finally settle. Are all these things on a par? Before I get to ask. Sometimes we eat in front of the TV off a tray.
Adam asks. I thought I was going to be kicked into touch. I thought you wanted the big talk. I decide to dive right in. You know. And will you please. I want to ask you what being thirty means.
One to remember. Jess and Lisa are all over this birthday gig. I need to stick to the point. Too many drugs and too much drink have been imbibed for me to have clear memories of my thirtieth. It is about that. All my mates want a piece of you.
Really hot. He blushes. Fern will do nicely. In a way. He reaches for my hand but I sulkily pull away. A lifetime ago I might have thought that his comments were funny. Sort of opaque. Not now. He must be confused. Sharon Stone has twenty years on me.
Young girls have gross skins. And your height works for you because tall. A lack of judgement and an effort to clarify makes Adam stumble on. You want to get married. What have we got to do with you turning thirty? A grain of rice falls on to his lap. I pick grains from my hair as he downs his bottle of beer. The alcohol which initially fired me with enough confidence to broach the subject is now hurtling me towards sulky self-pity.
After seemingly another week or so Adam asks. I keep coming back to it. I want him. We both fall silent for what feels to be about a week until I clarify. I find my weeks of careful thought on the subject distilled into one sullen sentence.
He shakes his head and asks. Weddings are expensive. I ignore him. I could do the flowers for our wedding. He throws down his fork and pushes his plate away. Having surmised this much I know I should now just clamp my mouth closed and retreat with the tiny shreds of dignity left available to me.
The problem with it not being about the money is that it means his non-popping of the question must be motivated by something much more sinister and devastating. My heart dives to the pit of my belly. You want to piss about pretending to be some vital cog in the world of rock and roll.
I want something to look forward to. I want babies. Something to happen. I want a wedding. Adam looks shocked and fatally wounded. I have a biological clock to reckon with. Right now. I hardly care.
I want you to grow up. I even drag a soapy cloth across the floor. I wash up and I wipe the table. I regret the words but believe in them at the same time. I pant with fury and frustration.
I toss rice and congealed leftovers into the bin. Marry me or move out. He is truly petrified. I hastily pick up the plates and manically start to tidy up the kitchen. It takes me twenty minutes to have the tiny kitchen gleaming. It needed energy.
I needed extra money for clothes and records and stuff that makes life bearable. It needed plans. But I always knew finding fame took more than that. For twelve months all I. When I was fifteen I got a Saturday job in a butcher shop. Because to lose it all now. In luck. Or that someone will hand it over. Scott Some people think it might just happen. So I had to stop getting pissed.
Fame and that. Nothing could be as ugly as chopping meat. It would. You have to believe in everything. I had to wear green nylon trousers and a green checked dickie bow.
A lack of belief can break your heart. People say. It was like we were living in a different century to everyone else by growing up in the north in the late 70s and early 80s. It was made clear to me that I was starting at the bottom and that was where everyone expected me to stay.
But I do believe in myself. The bloke I worked for was an arse. When I think back about how I got here. I am not surprised. If you let it. Trick is. Nan thought being a butcher was a good trade: There was no amity or fun. My nan.
I should never have been dropped off there among all that disappointment. The TV droned or blared and my family sprawled in front of it. The wall-to-wall open legs. In our house there were just two states of existence. My brother and me sprawled in front of the TV. The two-up-two-down terrace in Hull was the mistake. The girls were never grateful for the oldfashioned booties.
TV On was the dominant state. TV Off. The two states of existence were basically TV On. The thin curtains would be pulled across the window. The difference being. Changing dreams into ambition. The silence started to hum. It was in those short. Dreaming is what most empty and confused teenagers do.
It always smelt. It smelt of the dog. I dreamt. I wrote songs and practised on my. The TV was only ever off for a few short hours. But the smell I hate remembering most of all. My mum rarely put her feet up but when she did.
Different types of sweat: Because we all lived too close to each other and yet miles away. Really depresses me. I forget exactly where. That much is accepted by everybody. Adam and I are barely speaking to one another. I worked all day Saturday. Even when we finally fall into bed at the end of our gruelling days we do little more than exchange monosyllabic polite questions and answers.
Everyone knows flowers are a good place to start when dealing with matters of the heart. To be accurate. He spent Sunday fixing up a gig somewhere. Fern Flowers are romantic. Since Friday night the flat has been full of stress and silences.
She lived before web design or adultery became acceptable conduits for these character traits and so. Flowers can be calming. I never wanted to do anything other than be a florist. I love my job. The shop is just a ten-minute walk from our flat and Ben is just a few years older than me and a fun boss who gives me plenty of creative scope and independence.
My haven. Gran grew lots and lots of flowers in her garden. My gran had a keen creative and romantic streak. Mostly I remember roses and sweet peas but I know that she grew delphiniums. Flowers are big. It was my habit to trail her as she mooched around the garden. Move on. It was painstaking. Clippers in one hand. I found the process at once strangely thrilling and heartbreaking.
A bouquet sent to a birth is definitely to celebrate but also to acknowledge that the poor mum has a bruised vag. I almost pitied the flowers that Gran overlooked. She never rushed. My advice to everyone is never underestimate the power of a bunch of sweet peas tied up with a cheerful. Some were refined. Others were jolly. They all seemed wonderful to me. Her displays were always moving.
I spent hours watching her weave her magic. Adam is right. People think I spend my entire day drifting around in a soft-filter moment. Precisely because he knows the value of dreams and the comfort of luxury. There are lots of yummy mummies who think that spending forty quid on a big bunch of lilies is essential shopping on a par with having milk in the fridge. Besides the physical aspect. Ben has carved out a nice little market in a chi-chi part of Clapham just off Narbonne Avenue.
Early starts at the market three times a week. She places her order for her small. She dismisses lilies because the orange stamen stains. I do a pretty good job of avoiding any form of brooding until Wednesday. She plumps for tight white roses for everything. It takes just twenty minutes for her to make her selection.
She digs out a pen and a small notebook from the. She compares the prices of roses and carnations for buttonholes. The first customer is a slight. She listens as I reel off a few options for her bouquet.
Ben has been joking that he might as well retire somewhere sunny. I bone up on the life span of exotic flowers. I rearrange the stock every day. The second bride-to-be arrives with considerably more commotion. The bride hurtles through dozens of ideas. There is a dramatic picture of red.
As she leaves the shop I envy her restraint and contentment. The overly tanned and loud woman is accompanied by her mum and two friends. She makes a neat tick in the margin next to the word flowers and notes down the figure I gave her as an estimate.
She shows me pictures that she has cut from glossy bridal magazines. Ben is in the back room doing paperwork. The bride orders two bouquets. She orders flower pomanders. The list goes on. After several hours of bouncing from one thought to another during which time her mum ran out for sandwiches. She orders flowers for the tables. She orders flowers to drape around the church door. Sod it. She wants it all. When she finally leaves the shop. I have to put my hands over my mouth.
I hear the scream echo inside my gut for over an hour. In an effort to stop myself screaming with delight. I love Ben. Time alone and without tasks means I might have to think about the sorry state of affairs my life has become. No matter how much I kid myself to the contrary. I know that windowshopping will lead to an impulse purchase today. Not a favourite option right now. In Jess I saw a soulmate.
In Lisa I spotted a calming influence. But we worked well together as a unit. That was fourteen years ago. I really do. I love Jess and Lisa. The reality is. I met them at tech college. We hit it off immediately and have been proper mates to one another ever since. I needed them both. The bonus being that while doing so. Jess envied my reasonably regular jaunts to Top Shop and the lure of the pay packet eventually became too much for her to resist.
Jess is funny. She really enjoys it. By working in a bookshop she. Jess chose to attend tech college rather than stay on at school because she was dating a boy who was also studying there at the time.
I was studying for my qualifications in floristry and working at the local florist at the same time. She is fabulously non-judgemental. Jess changed vocation three times before the Christmas holiday that first year. Jess applied for a job at the bookshop chain in the high street and has worked there ever since.
Lisa studied secretarial skills and book-keeping. Even back in college she kept meticulous spreadsheets on everything — from her savings account including target figures. And she wanted him as. Lisa loves a plan. She wanted a rich husband. Lisa wanted one of them. Lisa is not a natural beauty. In the financial district there are about thirty men to every woman and every last one of them earns a salary the length of a telephone number. She works out. It was bad enough that Jess and I.
She just wanted a large stone from Tiffany and ultimately a large house in Esher. I ache to see both Jess and Lisa this evening. Although I share a flat with Jess. I need to tell them about my row with Adam. Jess will assure me that while issuing an ultimatum to Adam was a dumb idea. He is always showering her with expensive gifts. The important thing is Charlie clearly adores Lisa. I think Lisa did well. Her plan came together. Considering the lack of direction on the brief. Jimmy Choo wedding slippers.
By the time Lisa was twenty-three she was the proud owner of an Amanda Wakeley wedding gown.
Charlie is a nice enough guy. And Lisa will tell me to take a deep breath. Why I ache to move this relationship to the next level and she will confirm that I am within my moral rights and in my right mind.
A dignified way of moving this on. She weaves her way precariously through the boisterous crowd. Fern Lisa staggers back from the bar carefully balancing a bottle of Chablis in an ice bucket and three glasses on a tray. Not that we need more glasses — we already have them — as this is our third bottle of the night.
You can buy this exact same brand of wine for less than half the price in the supermarket. But I always feel like a killjoy if I suggest. How many units is that? Too many. This can cause contention in some families but Lisa is delighted with the arrangement — she likes to see a plan coming together. I thought they were something Hello! Lisa has no concept of watching the pennies. Although the odd thing was that Lisa employed a wedding planner anyway. Lisa gave up her job as soon as she and Charlie got engaged and is entirely dependent on him financially.
Lisa looks forward to her up-town bids-forfreedom. Charlie gives her an enormous allowance. I want a confirmation from Lisa that my plan is on track. Everyone does. And somehow. After the wedding Lisa was flat out remodelling the house apparently managing interior designers demands a lot of time. Lisa tuts. We all do. We all take another gulp of our wine and gaze around the bar. The bar we are in is not the usual sort of place we meet up.
You two are so brilliant together. Men make mistakes. The Italian restaurant is always full of other groups of gossipy women. I know they love me enough to want to lie to me and enough not to do so.
Normally we grab a bite to eat at the local Italian.
The waiters know us there. At least the place is well named. I fancied a change too. The War Bar is the perfect place to conduct a study of this sort. No one wants to go home alone. God forbid. Most of the punters look a little despairing or bewildered. Something was compelling me to take a cursory glance at the scene in case.
It might just be my jaded view of things right now. Jess is always telling me that the competition is tough. At least not for anyone over twenty-five. Lisa and I are fine with this.
It all seems feral and desperate. Plus Jess is a great multi-tasker. I must say no to that next glass of wine. I want a husband and a family and a home of my own. I want the next stage. I have no idea. Jess must be reading my mind because she asks. But because I do believe what I said to Adam.
I have to. One of her eyes is wandering around the room. I have that thought at the exact moment that I reach for the bottle and fill up my glass. Adam also let slip that you two have arranged something for my birthday. What should I wear? I could do with some hard abuse of my commitment-phobic boyfriend in the name of female solidarity. They seem unsure what to say. Prudent but a bit annoying. I can sense that Adam is awake. What the hell made me issue an ultimatum to Adam?
Fern I am thirty. Everyone knows that. He knows me. The problem with ultimatums is you have to follow through with them. What was I thinking?
Everyone knows a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I wonder how long I can keep my eyes shut and pray that the whole messy business will just vanish. The enormous so-this-is-what-you-amount-to day. The big day. I start to hyperventilate.
Will he have got me the big. Two years ago he watched me haul my aching body through the He was waiting for me at the end and he flung his arms around me even though I was sweaty.
He smells of morning but in a good way. Adam leans close and kisses me on my lips. Young Wives' Tales: A compelling story of modern day marriage.
Adele Parks. I Invited Her In: The latest domestic psychological thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks. Whatever It Takes: A compelling tale of family ties and dark secrets. Still Thinking of You: An enthralling novel of secrets, lovers and liars. A gripping romance novel of secrets and lies. The Image of You: I thought I knew you. But you're a liar. Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews.
Connie and Luke have been married a year and they're both ecstatically happy. Or are they? The reader quickly realises that Connie isn't short for Constancy. Away on a business trip, her loins irrepressibly draw her to the devilishly attractive John Harding and she rushes headlong into a heated affair.
Connie soon becomes Con-Artist as she deceives her decent but dull husband. While her lover woos her with evenings at out-of-the-way, grubby pubs and with late-night calls and faxes, after pub closing-time, declaring his longing for her, Connie begins to confuse lust with fate and deludes herself he could be the one. Nicola Perry. See all Product description. Product details Format: Not Enabled.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? The Rumour: The Sunday Times bestseller with a killer twist. Lesley Kara. Hilarious, heartwarming and romantic — the funniest romcom of Mhairi McFarlane. Watching You: Lisa Jewell. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.
Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I really cannot believe that book never got any better than it did. Really did hope that Connie would get her come-uppance through her husband revealing that he had been sleeping with one of her vacuous frioends all along. Instead we have a fotally sugar sweet happy ever after ending. The book might have been slightly better if the sex scenes had been at all arousing but it failed dismally on this level too.
One person found this helpful. Definitely one of my favourite books by Adele Parks. I think she gets the overwhelming infatuation down to a T - it was almost reminiscent of my teenage years, being snubbed by a boy and trying to keep something going that was no longer there.
And the way the excitement and romance of the affair faded into laziness and a quickie in the hallway I felt her disappointed and hurt. Great read. It was a crock of shite, boring and predictable. Paperback Verified Purchase. This is a gripping page turner. Connie the main character is a walking contradiction. She's far from perfect but you cant help but like her.
The supporting characters are all very different and well profiled and defined. The plot is fast and jumpy, there isn't a minute wasted. It's all a bit of a social history lesson, you can see this happening to anyone you know. I will probably read it again. Dreadful, boring book.