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Songs for Simple Hearts

By Scarlett Rush

Songs for Simple Hearts
Paperback, 274 pages paperback Online Price:
ISBN: 9781783754625
Imprint: Xcite Books
Published: 20th February 2014

EPUB, 274 pages ebook Online Price:
ISBN: 9781783754618
Imprint: Xcite Books
Published: 20th February 2014

Category: Contemporary, Erotic Novels, Romance

Rating: 0 vote(s).

Troianne is an actress who knows about the pitfalls of professional romances. She is always going weak at the knees for all those beautiful celebrities, both men and women, who she perceives to be more famous than she. So how will she hang on to her heart when she finds herself cast alongside her screen idols, Hollywood heart-throbs, and dashing new young actors – all looking fabulous in period costume and all with the run of the sumptuous stately home being used as the backdrop? Fame, four-posters and illicit ménages beckon, but can there possibly be love at the end of it or will she just find herself being duped again?

Songs for Simple Hearts is a scintillating tale of what happens when Georgian naughtiness is recreated today. Morals might count for little when all those tight riding britches and plunging necklines get in the way.   

‘I had to drop out, absolute last minute. Guns is just too big for me to leave. It’s a career move, Emily, and I’ve got to take it. You understand.’

I don’t. He thinks Midden Hall is going to bomb. He thinks it’s a dead duck. He thinks it will fail and all those involved will be damned by association, including me – although I’m the only one who is going to have to get her bits out for the privilege. I understand that he is casting me adrift, completely. I’m signed up to something he has wriggled free of. I can hear myself trying to talk him back around but I know this defeat is absolute. I’m hanging there, startled and confounded, but it’s gone. Like a cartoon figure suspended mid-air two feet from the cliff edge, looking back at the smiling, cute hero he was chasing until outwitted, then down at the ground a thousand feet below, then wistfully back at the camera, I am about to hurtle to an earth-denting end. Two minutes ago everything was fine but now it has all been ripped down. He has gone into my chest and plucked out my heart, still beating. He must have gone in through my stomach because it is all scrunched and aching, only a gaping hole there now. My limbs are cold and feeble, my brain too numb to form anger or hatred, like I have been thwacked across the top of the head with a shovel.

‘There’s another thing,’ he says, still not looking particularly remorseful, or in my direction. ‘I’d rather you heard it from me than through sordid whispers. I’ve been seeing someone else. Melissima Seagrave.’

Oh God, not her. Two-time Sexiest Soap Actress, the red-headed siren who plays manipulative bitches and wins awards for it, although now we see she was simply playing herself. Melissima, who my freshly pronounced ex-boyfriend once described as having “a face like two badgers fighting a fox”, something I now realise was only said to put me off the scent. He’s been snogging her for half the last series of Guns of Brixton,telling me all the while how awful it’s been, when clearly it’s been enormously un-awful. I always feared having to vie for his affections against someone with her clout and screen presence, and I was right. She’s just got it, and I ain’t.

‘And this just slipped your mind while we were having sex a moment ago?’ I say, incredulous. ‘You went in and out of me enough times. Did you not, at any point, think “hang on a minute …”?’

The sarcasm is my defence mechanism but I’m sounding a touch hysterical. I’m sounding like I want him to tell me it’s a joke, or that he is just rehearsing for his last big scene. For some bizarre reason I’m clinging on for a miracle. But what is the point? Truly, what is the point? It’s done; it’s gone. There is no return from this because the chemicals in his body only work for another girl. What I thought we had never was. It probably never even started to be and I was too wrapped up to notice. Now my empty body and shattered ego are calling out for compensation through some kind of excuse, some good reason, and there is none.

There is nothing he can say to sticky-tape me back together. I am not good enough for him and anything he says will mean only that, however fancifully he dresses it up. The visions I had were only make-believe, a working script and not the final draft. I am not the one he wants. I almost certainly never was, although he might have made me believe it. In time, I might look with less rose-tinting and see where the cracks were, see that he wasn’t even close to what I thought him to be, this lie-teller, this heart-napper. One day I might be able to think of him and stay strong. I might be able to smile and know that he was never worth me. Not now, though, because just a few short moments ago everything was just fine. Well, it seemed fine, although the two of us were actually living different realities, weren’t we? I was moving us into a life of joyous wedded harmony and he was busy packing my cases. Deary me, what an idiot I’ve been. What an utter, misguided, blinkered, cotton-pickin’ fool I truly am.

And now I must go because it’s not my flat but his. I don’t even get the dubious moral victory of sending him into the night with the sound of the slammed door echoing in his ears. He gallantly offers to let me stay over – presumably so he can slip me a final shallow, meaningless fuck – but I decline. Lucky I have a friend in Jane. Luckier still that she has a room going spare and luckiest of all that she is currently between girlfriends, meaning I won’t have to feel like a gooseberry or listen to the haunting sounds of people truly in love making love. At least I get to tell her loudly on the phone the extent of his treachery, while he listens. I get to vent just a bit of the hurt in the form of anger, before it can turn to tears. I get to call him a very, very rude name, and to look his way while I do it. He just shrugs a little, as if in resigned agreement, and stares at his shoes. He just wants me gone.

I gather my stuff together: all that represents my time with him in one solitary bag. There is no more excuse to hang around, clinging on for a reversal, so I go and wait outside for the taxi. It’s getting late and my mind is addled. I won’t have the energy to pick apart the bones of this with anyone.

Jane takes me in and lets me sob. She knows what I feel – what I felt – for this man. In the past she has sat through my excited chattering as I attempted to explain his specialness, to quantify the power exuded by that star quality. She was always slightly reserved about the whole thing, and now I know why. She hugs me but not too tight, doubtless mindful that just once in our long shared history when we were this close we kissed – not that she ever allowed her sexuality to cloud or complicate our friendship. She tells me everything will be better in the morning, pats me on the head to force a weak smile to my lips, and then sends me to bed.

The fat lady has sung. There is no excuse to go back to see him, so no reason to see him at all. We weren’t close-knit enough for our lives to be that hard to untie. I’m empty. My stuffing’s been left scattering the floor of his flat, 18 months of me dusting those bespoke wooden boards. I have to sleep now, to somehow get him out of my head, to forget the year and a half of emotion that has just been pointlessly frittered. I need to drive out the feelings of stupidity and inadequacy. I mustn’t dwell on a future of being alone and unprotected, of being mired in a show he thinks bound to fail – that is indeed far more likely to fail now he isn’t going to be in it. I must forget him and move on, just sleep.

It is three o’clock in the morning and all I am is lost.

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