Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blind Speed Dating #32

Genre: Commercial Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 86,000


Taylor Ford’s mother is a floozy. The bummer is that Taylor hasn’t fallen far from the tree. In fact, she has her own branch.

When Taylor’s academic reference letters get lost, so does her hope for a prestigious PhD in Sociology. Scrambling, she applies to Maritime University, a school she’s never heard of in a province she’s never seen. At her Goodbye to Toronto Party, Taylor hooks up with her best friend Caleb, which would have been great except for his live-in girlfriend. Who finds them together. Not sleeping. 

Escaping to MU, Taylor gets busy forgetting her guilt. As the Don of Darby Hall, the lone all-female residence, she spends her nights mopping floors after impromptu foam parties and putting out fires in the elevator. Accustomed to marathon library sessions and cutthroat competition, Taylor flails in the relaxed academic environment.

When Caleb resurfaces to declare his love, Taylor has little choice but to face her inherited Other Woman Gene. Mostly because Caleb just won’t go away. With the help of a ganja-friendly hottie-pants and some giddy Darby girls, Taylor learns to give herself a break. Forgiving herself means forgiving her mother, though, and that's something Taylor didn’t plan on doing. Ever.

First 250:

Holy Hell. This can’t be it. 

Driving past the WELCOME TO FREDERICTON sign, I promptly ran over the small amount of optimism I’d managed to bring with me from Toronto. The strip mall on my right looked like an apocalyptic movie set and it didn’t bode well that the streets were practically deserted. When I passed what had to be the first McDonald’s franchise, with its old-school sign and vintage arches, I looked twice to see if there were any carhops rolling around on skates.

Not a good start.

When I pulled into my hotel for the night, The Lord Pennyhill Hotel, I had expected something regal and possibly wearing a top hat. Not the concrete communistic prison that stood before me. While waiting out front for the valet, I called my cousin Rachel.

“Hey Taylor, just one sec, okay?” Rachel said quickly before muffling the phone and barking orders at someone. “Sorry, I’m back.”

“Not a problem. You’re at work? It’s Sunday.”

In the most unlikely of career choices, Rachel worked as a chartered accountant in a fancy downtown firm. Glass walls contained men and women in business attire, sitting at oversized desks with huge piles of papers, isolated from the outside world but on full display. It was my idea of a nightmare but Rachel loved it. Probably because it gave her permission to lecture those who tried to write-off kitchen renovations and green fees as “legitimate” business expenses. 

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