First Page: Contemporary Romance Novel
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“You know you’re screwed right?”
Audrey Greer sighed pointedly at her best friend. “Katy you are aware that you’ve said that to me now at least three times since we’ve been sitting here, right?”
“I count four,” their friend Nick offered helpfully.
“Thanks friends, I’ve always counted on the two of you to kick me when I’m down.”
“No trouble, it’s our job,” Nick said with a grin.
“Look, as much of a buzz kill as you two are being, I really think this job is going to be great,” Audrey said optimistically. “Traveling to Natalie Donovan’s hometown for an in-depth interview and feature piece with her will be a piece of cake compared to some of my assignments, plus it’s for Vanity freaking Fair! It’s been my dream to have an article in Vanity Fair and now it’s finally happening!” Audrey did a little shimmy in her chair proud that she managed not to pump her fists in triumph considering their lack of privacy. The three were sitting outdoors having lunch at The Urban Gardener, their favorite lunch spot, in downtown Santa Monica.
Katy eyed her skeptically. “Yes, but the bad thing, remember? Your interviewee is dating Rupert Moore, the Rupert Moore who directed The Sea and Time which you gave a less than glowing review.”
“Savaged him is more accurate,” Nick commented.
Audrey rolled her eyes at him. “First of all Natalie wasn’t even in that movie and second of all it was terrible and totally deserving of all its bad press. Be happy I didn’t force you to go with me to that screening. It had mermaids and time travel you guys. Mermaids and time travel!”
In her five years as a film critic she had seen only a handful of movies that were more self-important and ridiculous, which was a direct quote from her actual review. For most Hollywood directors bad reviews were an occasional fact of life, in a competitive business like film you needed a thick skin to weather the critics, but Rupert Moore had yet to develop his. He’d taken out a half-page ad in Variety to call Audrey a hack in print. His exact words were “spiteful bitch” with “penis envy” that wouldn’t “recognize a masterpiece even if it was painted on her giant forehead.” Audrey had laughed about it with her friends and colleagues saying that any notice was good for a struggling film critic but Nick and Katy had correctly pointed out that she had gotten a haircut the following week, with bangs. So maybe the giant forehead bit had made an impression.