Ann gets a volunteer position at the hospital when she learns that Malcolm is coming to have his heart checked out. What a small world. Ann decides to get even with him for everything he did to her in LA. But she gets something she does not bargain for!
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well written and very entertaining.
From the author:
Thirty-year-old celebrity journalist Ann Roth has one last chance to prove to her boss that she's the right woman for the job.
She's different from the other reporters at Famous, the L.A. magazine where she has her dream career interviewing stars like Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie. She values her ethics - she doesn't pick through people's garbage, doesn't print rumor and gossip, doesn't try to pervert the truth. But when her editor tells her she's too nice, that what he needs is a killer journalist who'll do whatever it takes to get a story, she realizes that she must do something drastic.
Of course, her plan backfires. Not only does she fail to score an interview with the notoriously media averse actor Malcolm Goddard (he'll only do the interview while piloting his Cessna and she has a terrible fear of flying), she gets fired. Her disappointment turns to rage when she learns that Malcolm knew about her phobia all along. He insisted on doing the interview on his plane just to get her off his back.
Hurt, disappointed, not to mention unemployed, she trudges home to her tiny town in Missouri to try to regroup, vowing to cure herself of her fears and reclaim her career. And then a surprising twist: she hears that the great Malcolm himself is in Middletown as a patient at the local hospital - under an alias. Opportunity knocks. Ann sees him as her ticket out of Missouri as well as a chance for payback. She volunteers at the hospital with the sole intention of pretending to befriend Malcolm and worm the story of a lifetime out of him. If she writes it, she'll have her career back and prove she's the killer journalist her editor had wanted her to be. But after facing her fear of falling in love, how much is she willing to risk for her job?
Things weren't going so well for the country that winter-the stock market was slumping and gas prices were rising and our soldiers were still at war-but they were going very well for Britney Spears, who was pregnant with her first child. She described the experience as "freaking awesome" during the two hours we spent together at her recently purchased nine-thousand-square-foot Malibu beach getaway, and she confided that sex with her husband, despite her swollen belly, was "crazy good."
No, the Britster and I weren't girlfriends sitting around having an afternoon gabfest, although there were moments when it felt like that. I was a thirty-year-old reporter for Famous, an entertainment magazine in Hollywood, and my beat was interviewing celebrities. Britney was an assignment for a cover story. She's generally viewed as a product rather than a talent, but she had a sweetness about her, I found, a giggly openness, and I enjoyed my time with her.
I enjoyed my time with all of them. I loved the feeling of gaining access to their private realms, loved trying to figure out for myself what it was that made them special. I'd been fascinated with famous people since I was a kid in Middletown, Missouri, a tiny place in the general vicinity of Kansas City. They were royalty to me-the beautiful ones with the beautiful clothes and the beautiful houses and the beautiful companions-and they were my escape from what was a dull and dispiriting childhood. I dreamed nonstop of fleeing Middletown and landing a job in L.A., and I'd made the dream come true. I'd really done it. So you could say that things were going very well for me too.
Well, you wouldn't say it if you're one of those snobs who thinks it's only news if it's on PBS or NPR. In fact, you're probably rolling your eyes right now as you picture Britney telling me about her morning sickness, her fluctuating hormones, and her cravings for pickles and ice cream, but I considered myself the luckiest woman on earth to be doing what I was doing. I could have been stuck in Middletown, where people get their kicks experimenting with different brands of snowblowers, eating casseroles made with cream of mushroom soup, and needlepointing pillows with bumper-sticker-type sayings on them, and where the biggest celebrity for a while was the guy who was cleaning his rifle and accidentally shot himself in the balls. I was bored out of my skull there, logy with the sameness of it all, convinced that if I stayed I would end up like my father, who died a slow and agonizing death, or like my mother, aunt, and grandmother, a trio of phobics who were too afraid of life to take risks and live it.
By contrast, I felt healthy in L.A., empowered, energized by the constant whirl of activity and by the people I met, most of whom were colorful and creative and the opposite of dull. I mean, I was attending movie premieres, film festivals, and Oscar parties, mingling with Clint Eastwood and marveling at the merry band of women who bear his children, waving at Penelope Cruz and admiring her ongoing battle with English, exchanging friendly glances with Meg Ryan and wondering why she looks so much like Michelle Pfeiffer now. It all seemed so glamorous to me, so Technicolor, especially in comparison with the grayness I'd left behind. Rubbing shoulders with exceptional people made me feel exceptional by osmosis.
Yes, the city was my oyster or, to be more L.A.-ish about it, my sushi. I had Leonardo DiCaprio's cell phone number, for God's sake. (Okay, his publicist's cell phone number.) It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Not for me. Not then. When you grow up yearning to be in the orbit of movie stars and then actually hang out with them, albeit in the service of helping them promote their latest project, it's, well, freaking awesome.
And as far as I was concerned, there was nothing cheesy or demeaning about my career. I mean, I wasn't one of those tabloid creeps who picks through people's garbage. My methods weren't exploitative or intrusive. I had scruples. I didn't resort to underhanded tactics to score an interview. I didn't have to. I was a hard worker and a good reporter. The new and notoriously temperamental editor of Famous, fifty-year-old Harvey Krass, had been expected to clean house and bring in his own writers when he'd taken charge the previous month, and though he did fire some staff, he'd kept me on. I assumed it was because of my straight-forward approach to the job, my integrity. He hadn't said as much-he wasn't big on compliments-but the fact that he'd asked me to stay at the magazine spoke volumes.
So, yes, things were going very well for me, I was living my dream, as I said.
And then, suddenly, a jolt.