Friday, 24 June 2011

Love Hurts

This is my first contribution to the "Romantic Friday Writers" Challenge, where contributors have to offer 400 words on a specific subject.

This week's subject is 'Love Hurts' and this is an excerpt from 'His Leading Lady' when Jess has learnt from her friend that Kyle had been in a relationship with her twin sister:

Jess closed her eyes in an effort to absorb everything Alison had said.  Part of her identified with Lora’s anguish but the other part was a total confusion of thoughts and feelings about Kyle. 

“I’m so sorry, Jess.”

The sympathy was too much.  Tears blinded her eyes as she looked at Alison again.  “It’s okay.  You had to tell me.  But –”  She swallowed hard, then wiped away the tear that had trickled down her cheek.  “I’ve made a total idiot of myself, haven’t I?  Allowing myself to become another notch on Kyle Drummond’s bedpost.”
“No.” Alison’s face creased with concern.  “No, you mustn’t think that.  Kyle isn’t – doesn’t – Look, when you’ve been in the West End for a while, you get to know which directors and agents sleep around.  And Kyle isn’t one of them.”
“I’m not sure that makes me feel any better.  If you’re right, and he doesn’t, then Lora must have been pretty special to him.”

“I suppose so,” Alison conceded.  “And there was a lot of speculation about them as a couple.”

“So where does that leave me? He asks me to take over Lora’s role in Token – and Lora’s role in his bed too?”  She clenched her fists. “What a total fool I’ve been!”

“You fell in love with him.  What’s wrong with that?”

 “What’s wrong?” Jess echoed.  “Alison, she’s my twin sister.”  She paused for a moment, remembering.  “When we were about fourteen, we made a pact that we’d never go after the same boy.  All right, this isn’t a teenage thing.  This is a man, but my sister’s in love with him.”

“You didn’t know that.”

“No, but he did.  He should have told me, he should have been honest about it.  But he wasn’t.  So maybe for him I’ve just been a substitute.”

“Not necessarily.”

Jess shook her head.  Anger had started to replace the shock.  Anger at Kyle for being dishonest, and anger with herself for having been duped so easily.  “It doesn’t really matter, does it?  Because that’s it – end of story.”  She tried to ignore the wave of agonising pain that washed through her.  Tried to concentrate on the anger instead.  

“So what are you going to do now?”

“I want to go home.  Away from all this.”  Hot fury consumed her and she banged her fist on the table.  “I told him I didn’t want to be part of the West End theatrical scene.  Now I know I was right.  This kind of life isn’t for me.”

(From ‘His Leading Lady’ published by Whiskey Creek Press, June 2011)


  1. Hi,

    Hee hee, lovely snippet, Paula, and welcome to RFW! This piece truly encapsulates the essence of "love hurts". I'm so looking forward to reading His Leading Lady, because I reckon "Identical Twin" themes are in vogue with this particular publisher at the mo: hence my contract signature on a twin theme to WCP.

    Your cover image, too, bears the hallmark of content. ;)


  2. Ooh, I'm going to have to read this now - I'm hooked! Theatre, twins, a prospective rotter? This has it all! Great piece!

  3. That's an excellent excerpt and really fits the theme, Paula - need to read more!

  4. Hello.
    Hmm...plenty of sorrow indeed. Wonder who's going to be victorious in this menage-a-trois?
    Excellent snippet!

  5. I would have liked to have known. in the lead-up, whether Lora was missing, dead, or...? (Guess you want us to buy the book and find out, you sly thing!)

    Even not knowing, her Jess's divided loyalty and pain rings true. And why is Alison so defensive about this guy? Good job!

  6. Francine - I had no idea identical twin themes were in vogue! I wrote the first 3 chapters of this story about 30 years ago, so maybe I was being clairvoyant either then or when I decided to continue it about 2 years ago LOL

    Margo - glad the excerpt hooked you! Hope you enjoy the rest of the story!

    Rosemary - many thanks! Finding just 400 words to fit the theme was the real challenge.

    Andy - there's plenty of conflict and anguish before the final 'victory'!

    Beverley - no ulterior motive in posting this snippet ;-) Bit I didn't want to give any spoiler about what had happened to Lora!

  7. Oh I like the topic you've chosen for this piece. I was hooked throughout. Lots of ideas running through my mind about the characters motives and feelings. Great stuff. :O)

  8. Thanks, Madeleine - glad to hear it got you thinking :-)

  9. Great excerpt. Can't wait to read the whole thing!

  10. Paula,

    You sure are getting around these days! So glad you're basking in the success of your latest release!

  11. Thanks, Jennifer, hope you enjoy it when you do!

  12. Hi Debra - with this post, I'm trying to support Francine and Denise's 'Romangtic Friday Writers' theme - but it was a good exercise, anyway, finding a 400 word snippet to fit their theme for the week!

  13. Nice to meet you in RFW ~

    Nice excerpt... Whew you have a book published. What an achievement. Still have to learn a lot from you guys.

    This is indeed a sticky situation - having your own twin sister loving the guy you also love. Looking forward to more of your writing ~

  14. Thanks, Heaven, but all is not as it seems with Jess and her twin sister. Not saying any more, LOL!
    It's actually my 5th published book, but the other were many years ago, so this counts as the first of my return to fiction writing.
    Check out my website at

  15. What a great way to post about HLL, Paula. You know I love your book already, so I'll just say everyone else will love it, too.

  16. Oh, Paula, i want to read on! Nice excerpt!

  17. Well written. I can think of real life situations that might have echoed this, so the truth rings in this piece.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  18. This is an awesome little teaser! Even better, I love that you spelled her name right ;)