Deanna Reynolds had it all planned: She'd start out in the newsroom of a small Chicago station, then move up to one day host her own talk show. When her mentor Angela Perkins leaves for the big time in New York, Deanna risks everything for the chance to replace Angela on the air. Finn Riley, the network's sexiest journalist, falls for the risk-taker in the small town girl. But soon they are caught up in the bitter backlash of Angela's revenge Together Finn and Deanna must unmask the hidden betrayals of Deanna's fiercest rival by taking the biggest risk of all
The latest from veteran Roberts ( Genuine Lies ) is set in the glamorous world of television and concerns the rise of hot new talk-show host Deanna Reynolds. Deanna, a sincere and dedicated one-time local reporter in Chicago, has moved to New York, determined to be number one in the field. This pits her against her former mentor, the high strung and manipulative current talk-show queen, Angela Perkins. Angela doesn't take well to the competition and resorts to stealing guests, blackmail and crossing boundaries of good journalism in her effort to fight Deanna's increasing popularity. Deanna's romance with the handsome and much lauded reporter Finn Riley, Angela's former love interest, only increases the tension. But the novel's main question is who will do in Deanna first, the obsessed fan who seems to know her every move, or Angela, whose bitter vows for revenge are hastening her own downfall. Despite one weak plot device--the identity of the obsessed fan is too clear, too early--the novel is a fun read with a good pace and both thoroughly likable and thoroughly loathsome characters. (July) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 30, 1994
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Excerpt from Private Scandals by Nora Roberts
It was a moonless midnight in Chicago, but to Deanna, the moment had all the makings of High Noon. It was easy to see herself in the quietly dignified, stalwart Gary Cooper role, preparing to face down the canny, vengeance-seeking gunslinger.
But damn it, Deanna thought, Chicago was her town. Angela was the outsider.
It suited Angela's sense of the dramatic, Deanna supposed, to demand a showdown in the very studio where they both had climbed ambition's slippery ladder. But it was Deanna's studio now, and it was her show that garnered the lion's share of the ratings points. There was nothing Angela could do to change that, short of conjuring up Elvis from the grave and asking him to sing "Heartbreak Hotel" to the studio audience.
A ghost of a smile flitted around Deanna's lips at the image, but there wasn't much humor in it. Angela was nothing if not a worthy opponent. Over the years she had used gruesome tactics to keep her daily talk show on top.
But whatever Angela had up her sleeve this time wasn't going to work. She had underestimated Deanna Reynolds. Angela could whisper secrets and threaten scandal all she wanted, but nothing she could say would change Deanna's plans.
She would, however, hear Angela out. Deanna thought she would even attempt, one last time, to compromise. To offer, if not friendship, at least a cautious truce. There was little hope the breach could be spanned after all this time and all the hostility, but hope, to Deanna's mind, sprang eternal.
At least until it dried up.
Focusing on the matter at hand, Deanna pulled into the CBC Building's parking lot. During the day, the lot would be crammed with cars -- technicians, editors, producers, talent, secretaries, interns. Deanna would be dropped off and picked up by her driver, avoiding the hassle. Inside the great white building, people would be rushing to put out the news -- at seven A.M., noon and five and ten P.M. -- and Let's Cook! with Bobby Marks, the weekly In Depth with Finn Riley, and the top-rated talk show in the country, Deanna's Hour.