#Read An #Excerpt From Rumor Has It By Elisabeth Grace
Please Note: The review will be up shortly.
“Ellie, you shoved your pie right in his face!”
“I did not shove my pie in his face.”
“I saw the video. You really did.”
“I don’t want to talk about this, Katie,” I said.
“Can you believe your video already has forty-three million views on YouTube?”
I dropped my forehead down onto my desk. “It’s not my video,” I ground out. “And I don’t want to know how many people have seen it.”
“I think we can officially say it’s gone viral.”
I sighed. There was no use. Katie would do what Katie wanted. We’d become friends since I’d started working this crappy job, but she existed in a bubble of her own creation. She didn’t seem to pick-up on social cues. This was the third time I’d told her I had no desire to relive the humiliating video of myself.
As much as she was annoying me, I didn’t have it in me to tell her what I was thinking. Katie was a bigger girl with thick glasses. I got the sense I was one of her only friends. Which at the moment was debatable. Instead I glanced up from my computer and said, “I have to get these reports done before Jeff comes back and has a shit fit.”
“Enough said.” She grimaced, tucked a stray piece of her mousy brown hair behind her ear, and headed to the back of the building.
If there was one thing we did share an opinion on, it was our jerk of a boss. Actually, jerk might be too mild a word for him.
Pompous ass had a better ring to it.
I’d been working at his real estate office for nine months. I’d left Miami, where I went to college, to move to Virginia Beach with my mother and her latest and greatest husband, Ralph. Apparently a degree in Comparative Media Studies didn’t scream “must hire” to potential employers. I couldn’t afford to live on my own anymore.
These days I worked at Jeff’s brokerage, pushing papers, answering phones, and being his gofer the rest of the time. I was still searching for that elusive job that would lead to a career. One that would allow me to pay my own rent, buy groceries, and pay off my student loans. If I was lucky after that I’d have enough to buy myself the odd Starbucks and night out with my friends.
The roar of a car engine brought my attention to the parking lot. Speak of the devil… Jeff raced his silver Mercedes SL65 into a parking spot and slammed to a stop. He got out of the car quickly, his face flushed. Whether from the early summer heat or agitation I couldn’t tell. As he approached the doors separating the outside world from my reception desk, I saw his creased forehead and pursed lips. Definitely agitation.
As much as I would have loved to avoid being an outlet for his anger, I was one step up from a Walmart greeter. Saying hello to everyone who came through the doors of Beachside Realty was my job. If I failed my duties I might as well paint a target on the back of my blouse. Maybe if I said hello and looked busy he’d charge on past and find another victim.
Jeff almost ripped the door off the hinges and stalked inside. Show time. I began typing gibberish and concentrated really hard on the computer screen.
“Good afternoon, Jeff,” I said brightly.
He stopped in his tracks and spun on his heels to face me. “Ellie.”
“I just got a call from the housekeeper who takes care of the Oceanfront Avenue property. The idiot locked the house before putting the key back in the lockbox and now she can’t get back in. The client who rented the place is due to arrive in the next couple of hours.”
“Is there any way I can help?” I didn’t mean it, but it sounded like the kind of thing someone who really valued their job would say.
“I have a client meeting me here in twenty minutes.” He wiped sweat off his brow. “Have Katie get you the spare key from the safe. Open up the house, find the other key, and replace it in the lockbox.”
“I’d be happy to,” I said with mock enthusiasm. I’d never get through those files by the end of the day now. That beach house was a good twenty-five minute drive on a day with no traffic, never mind on a Friday afternoon in the summer.
“Go before the client gets there. This guy is a big deal.”
“Don’t screw this up. I’ve had about all I can take of incompetent employees today.” He glared at me for a moment like the whole situation was somehow my fault, then stalked down the hall to his office.
I forwarded the lines to the answering service and rushed back to Katie’s office. She acted as the brokerage’s deal secretary but apparently, no transactions needed her attention today. She sat at her desk with her back to the door checking her Facebook account. I’d been avoiding my own page since some loser from my old high school had tagged me in the infamous YouTube video. Ever since my profile page had been loaded with comments from friends and strangers alike giving their unwanted opinion on the whole ordeal.
“Hey.” She almost jumped off her seat. It must have been a good day on her news feed if I’d startled her. She swiveled in her chair to face me. “I heard Jeff’s voice. You survive?”
I closed the door for privacy. “Oh, I wasn’t the main target—just collateral damage. I need the key for the Oceanfront Avenue property. The housekeeper locked the key inside and another client is due to arrive.”
“I wish I could get out of this office and go see a million dollar beach house.”
“You’re welcome to take my place,” I deadpanned.
Busy, right. With Facebook.
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All publicity is good publicity, right? Unless you’re recent college grad Ellie Wagner and an embarrassing video of you and your boyfriend goes viral. Every man in your life abandons you, but who knew a one-minute clip of your latest doomed relationship would brand you a slut, prevent you from getting your perfect job, and force you to keep doing the one thing you swore you’d never do again…live with your mother.
But staying with mom and her latest boy-toy (is this husband number four or five?) until your life turns around might not be all bad. Especially when you fall – literally – at the feet of a sexy, green-eyed stranger who offers you freedom and a life of luxury on a gold-rimmed platter.
There’s only one little problem – the man of your dreams is none other than Mason Nash, the latest hip-hop star busting up the music charts. Fame and fortune are his calling cards and he’s vying to steal the show on a new reality TV series that will catapult him into mainstream stardom. Hello spotlight.
The man behind the famous persona is perfect for Ellie in every way, but can she overcome the ugly pitfalls that come with Mason’s celebrity status? Or will she be forced to choose between the man she loves and the independent life she longs for? After all, fame and fortune aren’t always what they seem and not all publicity is good publicity…
About The Author:
I have a soft spot for romance novels with happily ever afters and a HOT spot for alpha males!
I currently live outside Toronto, Canada with my hubby, two small children and cat spawned by the devil. Life is busy, but never to busy for a good story and to share my love of reading and writing with others.
Things I can tell you that sum me up…I’m a sugar and carb addict, self-professed Gandy Girl, a disaster in the kitchen, a LOVER of all music, I enjoy reality TV and I’m an early riser!
When I have a moment to breath you can usually find me typing furiously on the keyboard to get my next story on paper, or curled up reading about someone else’s HEA. The second book in my Limelight series, Picture Perfect, is set to release at the end of March 2014.
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