Attention to all of you authors out there who are hoping to one day have your work published: you should probably read this book. No, it doesn’t hold the key to making your book an automatic bestseller, or reveal how you can make millions, but it does show how you shouldn’t become an absolute douche-monkey just because your novel is receiving a little bit of attention. My God are there no decent people left in this world? Well, in the publishing world anyway? My regular readers will notice that this post is organized a bit differently, and that’s because I’m participating in this whole Blog Book Tour thing. I hope you like it!
Behind every book, there’s always more to the story. Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t always sell (at all) and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan. Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis. Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author, now as forgotten as yesterday’s news; and his nephew Nick, who wants to sweep Kate away from New York for another coast, California. As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, the over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week”, she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.
This book managed to do the impossible; it made me sympathize with an adulterer. Dare I even say, like him. Yikes, so much for my morals. Let’s face it, adulterers are cowards, and…what’s the word I’m looking for? Ah yes, scumbuckets! Therefore I really must tip my metaphorical hat to the author for managing to make me not detest MacDermott Ellis (aka Mac) at first description. That is talent indeed. We are provided with a little sob story about how Mac’s wife had miscarried years before and that it drastically altered their relationship, going from one of mutual love and respect to a complete lack of intimacy. Mac convinces himself that because of her religious faith, as well as that of her family, he is unable to divorce her, and has been engaging in extra-marital affairs ever since. Yeah, something tells me that her family wouldn’t exactly agree with your adulterous ways either. Nice attempt to justify yourself there buddy. Nevertheless, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to Kate, and has a feeling that she could be a game changer.
Basically the entire book chronicles Kate’s struggle to either explore her feelings for Mac, however inappropriate, or fall in love with Allan’s absolutely perfect nephew Nick, who lives in California. And now I’m going to give my girl Kate here a little advice: you could choose magical option 3 which is to choose neither one! Mac is married, and for most people with a conscience, that means off limits. As for Nick, sure he seems like the perfect guy, but you shouldn’t have to convince yourself to fall in love with someone. You live in New York City, and it sounds like you are a beautiful woman. I’m sure if you just went for a walk in Central Park, or even better through the zoo, you’d be able to find a great catch who’s single and actually lives on the same coast as you. And it’d give you an excuse to go to the zoo! It’s really a win-win situation.
A large portion of this book was spent on the interactions between Kate and Mac, which was definitely necessary as it’s difficult to straddle that line between handsome admirer and adulterous creep. As I stated earlier, this novel actually made me like Mac, so the extra time spent describing his personality and feelings towards Kate was an absolute must. However, the drawback to this was that there was so much more focus on Mac, that Nick sort of fell by the wayside. In my opinion, her feelings for Nick were lukewarm at best, so I was surprised that she spent so much of her time debating between the two men. From what I remember, she was introduced to Nick by his uncle Allan, they shared a lovely meal together, a kiss or two, and then she was talking about love and considering a move to California to be with him. It seemed like she had more of an emotional connection to Allan than Nick for crying out loud. Oh, we can call that option 4! Leave behind both handsome hunks to be with the old wrinkly author that you positively adore and admire. Allan was actually a hilariously wise old man, so I’m sort of fully supportive of this last option.
There were some funny anecdotes in this book which made me giggle, specifically related to all of the crazy author demands, as well as Kate’s outspoken friend Grace. At times though, there were a few too many author side-stories, especially considering so much time would be spent describing the author in question and their entire background, and then we’d never see them again for the rest of the book. I’d have to say that Grace was probably my second favorite character behind Allan. She’s not afraid to give her opinion, and she’s pretty quirky. Sort of reminded me of myself. Although, I’m not sure what it says when we have a love triangle going on, and my two favorite characters aren’t even part of said geometric shape. There was definitely a lot of build up going on leading to the second book of this series. I’d say that this was more of a set-up book so that we know who all the players are before we get to the real meat and grit of the story in the next novel.
Series: The Publicist series, book 1. Be sure to check back next Monday, January 19th for my review of the second book in the series, Shelf Life.
Should you read it? As far as novels featuring a love triangle go, this is probably one of the better ones I’ve read. If you are an author looking to feature a love triangle in your work, I definitely suggest you read this book and take some notes. It’s also a nice introduction to the publishing world.
Smut Level: It’s overall a fairly clean read, with some sexy parts here and there.
Author’s Bio: Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.