Starting over sounds good...in theory!
The reality? Well, Gabriella Haines isn't enjoying that so much. Once a top-rated TV host, suddenly becoming the junior editor at a publishing house isn't playing to her strengths. She does have one chance to fast-forward a few career steps, however. If she can manage the impossible--convincing former American hero Jamison Hunter to finish the autobiography he owes them.
Too bad he's resistant to all her tactics. Worse, that little star crush Gabby had on him before his downfall? She isn't quite as over it as she thought. In fact, the more she knows the real him, the more she wants to uncover the truth about what happened. Because restoring him in the public eye may be the best chance they have at a future together.
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Harlequin Enterprises, Limited
April 01, 2012
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Excerpt from The Way Back by Stephanie Doyle
"Gabby, I think you should do it. What do you say?" Melissa Smith, senior editor at McKay Publishing, sat at the head of the table wearing an expectant expression.
Gabby Haines looked at her boss. Oh, no. Melissa was talking to her. She expected her to say something in return. The proper response would have required listening. Probably not the best time to admit she'd been thinking about what she would have been doing at her old job at this time of day. Not when she was only two days into her new job.
Let's see, Gabby thought. She was a junior editor in her first editors' meeting and her boss was calling her out to do something. She was probably being asked to do a low and vaguely demeaning task such as fetch coffee. Best to simply go with it.
"absolutely. I'm on board. Tell me what you need."
Melissa clapped her hands. "Excellent. Go bring back Jamison Hunters' tellall biography with a nice pink bow on it."
Gabby blinked. Okay, she had not imagined hearing Jamison Hunter's name. No way would a conversation containing those two names, Jamison and Hunter, occur that her ears didn't perk up and her brain immediately focus. Not to mention other parts of her body. "I'm sorry? Who...?"
Melissa smiled. "That's right. The elusive author we want you to track down is none other than Jamison Hunter."
"Jamison Hunter? The astronaut. The legend. The...cheating pig bastard?"
"That's the one." Melissa nodded as the other editors surrounding the massive conference table chuckled. Apparently everyone was in on the joke except Gabby.
"You're the new kid on the block and we always send the new kid on the block."
"I went three years ago," Mary Jane, an editor who focused on cozy mysteries and self-help titles, chimed in. "Disaster. The man had me in tears in mach two seconds."
"I don't get it," Gabby said, trying to catch up with what she'd missed. "You want me to bring back his story? The autobiography of Jamison Hunter? He's one of the most reclusive people on the planet. He hasn't been heard from in years. I'm talking J.D. Salinger level hermit. You've got better chance of getting President Clinton to give us a tellall about his days with Monica Lewinski than you do of getting this guy to talk."
"Yes, I know," Melissa agreed. "But here's the thing we have with Hunter, which we don't have with President Clinton--a binding contract. Hunter--in a major deal, I might add--agreed to give us his story. Granted, that was a few weeks before the scandal hit. Afterward, he tried to return the advance, but we refused it. We thought he might change his mind, might want the world to know his side of the story. And when that time came, he'd already be committed to us. Given the sizeable advance we paid him, we've got a lot at stake. So every few years we send an eager new face to meet him and personally give him a nudge."
Eager and new were not two words Gabby would necessarily associate with herself. Washed up and worn down were more accurate.
Get a grip, Gabby. You got fired, not murdered.
It was her inner therapist at work. Just because she lost the hottest job on morning television in Philadelphia to a younger, thinner, hipper version of herself did not mean her life as she knew it was over. Her ego had taken a punch was all. And her self-esteem. And her self-confidence.
And her wallet.
The truth was, she'd been lucky to land this job--even if it was an entry-level...