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Fame Fatale by Wendy Holden

Fame Fatale

by Wendy Holden

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Oh dear me. I'm reluctant to mark this as awful, because parts of it were actually quite amusing. But, taken as a whole, it was really very disappointing.
Grace is a PR person in a small, specialist (read struggling and esoteric) publishing house in Bloomsbury. She's typical "girl next door" material, although does have a bit of a tendency to put her foot in it and isn't always the most professional person. She's got trouble with her socialist, no-hoper boyfriend and her mother trying to set her up with Counts and Dukes and other landed gentry. She gets in a pickle when promoting Henry Moon's book at a literary festival, gets drunk with him & sleeps with him. See what I mean about professionally putting her foot in it? Anyway, with such a small press office, she continues to have to deal with him and a series of excruciatingly embarrassing press opportunities follow. It was toe curlingly embarrassing, but quite funny, the scrapes she got into.
Then there's the flip side of the story, Belinda Black. She is a mean, scheming, gold digger who makes Cruella D'Vil look like a well rounded character. She's got a poxy little interview column and she aspires to the main interview column of Mo Mills. She does something rather underhand and gets her chance, which she blows quite spectacularly by being a complete bitch (and it serves her right). The thing that doesn't quite work is that she is two timing Grace with the Socialist no hoper. not that either knows this. You think they'll meet, have it out and it never quite happens - seems like a bit of a redundant connection, somehow.
It all gets even more out of hand when Grace is asked to handle the press for a celebrity's book, which he thinks is ground breaking and is a pile of tosh (by the sound of it). Belinda wants to interview the star for her column, Grace puts her foot in it (again) and I found myself screaming at the stereo in frustration. Honestly.
The end is pretty much where you think it'll end up after chapter 1, so no surprises there. But it just goes off the deep end. I feel it would have been a better book had Belinda been less of a cartoon character, had the interlude with the celebrity not happened (I didn't feel it added anything and descended into slapstick farce) and had there been less in the way of co-incidence relied upon. Three people share a cleaner, despite living in (apparently) quite different areas of London. Two protagonists share a boyfriend. It was made important for part of the story, but it didn't convince. Make Belinda less extreme, remove the celebrity disaster and focus on Grace, her trials, tribulations and general idiocy with men and I think this would have been more satisfying. ( )
  Helenliz | Aug 5, 2013 |
In "Gossip Hound" by Wendy Holden, Grace Armiger is a publicist for an ailing publishing house. The book begins with her "accidentally" sleeping with one of her clients while she is dating a wannabe socialist. Your typical single-girl-in-the-strange-world-of-(fill in the blank here) shenanigans ensue.

The book was fun enough that I read it in about two days but there was something lacking overall. The characters were, without fail, flat and undeveloped. They fit neatly into the categories of "best friend," "matchmaking mother," "weird boyfriend," etc.

Despite this, there were moments when I laughed out loud while reading. Holden does a fairly decent job with the plot although the end felt rushed and the thread of plot about her ex boyfriend was dropped. I was most irritated not only by the flat characterization but also the complete predictability. It was almost painfully obvious to see where this was going

Overall, I gave this a three because it's an average, chick-lit read without any real sparkle to delineate it from other chick-lits. ( )
  dreamingreader | Feb 6, 2009 |
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Fame Fatale also published as Gossip Hound
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0747266158, Paperback)

Ruthless, beautiful Belinda wants a rich and famous man. Her problem is that interviewing Z-list celebs offers zero opportunity for megastar-bagging. Gentle Grace, meanwhile, only wants a quiet life. Her problems include an egomaniac boyfriend, a meddling mother and a publishing job with the authors from hell. Belinda makes the A-list, while Grace finds fame thrust upon her in the shape of a handsome film star. As the girls' lives and careers spectacularly collide, it is then their real problems begin.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 19 Jun 2016 07:29:56 -0400)

London publicist Grace Armiger's boring life takes a dramatic turn when she is given first viewing rights to what she assumes to be a Hollywood tell-all by A-list star Red Campion -- a manuscript that has gained the attention of aspiring tabloid journalist Belinda Black.… (more)

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