Cover image for Kill the competition
Title:
Kill the competition
Author:
Bond, Stephanie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Avon Books, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
374 pages ; 18 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060539832
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Escaping to Atlanta to forget her short-lived and disastrous marriage, Belinda Hennessey is rebuilding her life with a new job and new friends, until her life is transformed forever by a traffic mishap with a gorgeous cop and the murder of a co-worker.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite its title and blood-red cover art, this tart, down-to-earth tale from Bond (I Think I Love You, etc.) focuses more on the nature of female friendships than on the murder mystery that throws the heroine's life into a tailspin. New to Atlanta, finance specialist Belinda Hennessey is glad to have her carpool mates to take her mind off her failed marriage. Before she can get too comfortable, however, she hits Officer Wade Alexander's police cruiser, misses a crucial meeting and clashes with her malevolent boss, Margo, who wants her to overlook the fact that the company they're merging with may have fudged its numbers. Belinda reluctantly agrees and then finds herself in hot water when Margo turns up dead. Though at times too gullible for her own good, Belinda comes into her own over the course of the novel. Her uncertainties about her job, her zany friends and her budding relationship with Wade are ably portrayed, as is the setting (Bond describes Atlanta's traffic as only a resident could). Clever snippets from the carpool quartet's work-in-progress, a relationship dos and don'ts book for women ("DON'T underestimate the extent to which men underestimate women"), leaven the story, as does the women's banter. Readers who prefer heady sex and romance won't find either here, but for those who appreciate fun, classy, relationship-centered tales: DO read this novel. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

A surprising, tartly funny chick-lit tale that focuses more on the nature and complexities of female friendships than on the romance and murder mystery that have turned Belinda Hennessey's world upside down. After an extremely short marriage, our heroine flees Cincinnati for the traffic nightmares of Atlanta, where her shaky finances compel her to join a carpool of women whom she outranks in her new firm. One morning she rear-ends a police cruiser, messes up her small car, misses a very important meeting, and has a dramatic scene with her nasty new boss. It seems the company with which they are about to merge has been cooking its books, and said employer wants Belinda to look the other way. Then her new boss turns up dead. Parts of this novel are laugh-out-loud funny, and Barbara McCulloh is an expert at character delineation. While Belinda is just too na?ve for words, her trials and tribulations will tug at the listener's heartstrings. Enthusiastically recommended for public libraries.-Barbara Perkins, Sachse P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Kill the Competition Chapter One Belinda Hennessey opened the shower door and leaned out, hair dripping, her soapy ear piqued for the voice of the predominant man in her life -- although granted, the fact that she'd never even met the guy was a tad on the pathetic side. From the clock radio on the crowded vanity, a sexy, Southern-bred accent reeled into the room over the whir of helicopter blades. "Traffic is jammin' up on I-85 south-bound below the I-285 junction due to a three-car accident in the rightmost lane. Southbound Peachtree Industrial and Buford Highway are feelin' the effect, so my advice is to hop over to Georgia 400 while it's still a speed limit ride, which won't be for long." He whistled low. "If you're comin' into Atlanta from the northeast this mornin', I hope you're not runnin' late. I'm Talkin' Tom Trainer for the MIXX 100 FM traffic report." Oh, that voice . Belinda shivered, then glanced at the time and swore softly. She yanked a towel around her, made wet tracks to the bedroom, and let the ho-hum carpet soak up most of the water dripping down her legs. With one hand she ran the towel over the rest of her while flipping through hangers in her closet. Her shoulder muscles still twinged from an "iron arms" session in the gym -- a degrading experience she had allowed herself to be talked into in lieu of lunch a couple of days ago. According to a fitness report on the radio, now that she had entered her thirties, she was losing muscle mass at an alarming rate. Yes indeed, it was a fine time to be single again. When her fingers touched a knee-length gray jersey dress, she pulled out the garment and tossed it onto the unmade bed. An indignant yowl sounded from beneath the leopard print comforter, and Downey's black head appeared. "Sorry," Belinda offered. "I'm running late." Downey blinked. The feline's morning disposition reminded her of the man who'd given her the cat, her ex, Vince Whittaker. She hesitated to refer to Vince as her ex- husband , since their marriage had lasted a mere six hours. Downey was the best thing to come out of that train wreck, despite her current slit-eyed disdain. "I know -- I shouldn't be late on my first day driving the car pool." The shower was her downfall. This town house was the first place she'd ever lived in that had an adequate hot water heater, so she leaned under the spray every morning until her skin was just short of a good scald. The indulgence was heavenly, but the trade-off was hell. With the agility of a hurdler, she leapt into underwear, panty hose, dress, jacket, and pumps, then gave her unremarkable auburn hair a one-minute blast from a blow dryer. A touch of translucent powder, mascara, and lip-stick would have to pass for makeup; her cheeks were still pink enough from the shower to skip the blush. There wasn't time to make the bed, although she knew she'd be plagued with thoughts of dropping dead before the day ended and her mother's tsk, tsk when her parents came to gather her personal effects. "I knew this move to Atlanta so soon after the you-know-what was too much for her, Franklin." (Her mother refused to make direct references to the reneged wedding.) "Look, she didn't even make her bed -- I heard on the Today show that untidiness is a sure sign of depression." Little did her mother know, she didn't have time to indulge in a good cathartic bout of depression. Her new job was consuming every waking hour, and for that, she was eternally grateful ... because the urge to wallow was so close to the surface. Especially today. Since opening her eyes to stare at the white fluted globe covering the light-bulb in her bedroom ceiling (over the past two months she'd grown to hate that globe), she hadn't been able to shake the sense of impending doom. The last time she'd felt this out of sorts had been on her wedding day. Yilk. She dropped an earring twice, poked it in as she jogged down the stairs to the foyer, then dashed into the kitchen to grab an instant breakfast drink from the fridge. Her briefcase sat open on the table, surrounded by accounting spreadsheets. She shoved the papers inside and slammed down the lid, catching her thumb and bruising the nail. Gritting back a foul word, she checked Downey's water, knuckled the cat's regal pouting head, and managed to slide behind the wheel of her clover green Honda Civic just after 6:30 A.M. , only five minutes late. But getting started a measly five minutes late in the Atlanta commute could mean the difference between arriving in time to prepare for her 8:30 A.M. meeting, and tearing into the meeting already in progress with murmured apologies to her scowling boss, Margo. And "tardy" wasn't the opinion she wanted the woman to take into her first performance evaluation, which was mere days away. She'd worked long hours for the Archer Furniture Company in the hopes of getting a raise that would put her on the same earning level of her previous financial position in Cincinnati. She thought of the sliding balance in her savings account and sighed. Everything in Atlanta was more expensive than it was in Cincinnati. Carpooling was only one of the cost-saving measures she'd adopted since her impromptu move. If she could've gotten a refund on a gently worn wedding gown, she would own a couch ... Kill the Competition . Copyright © by Stephanie Bond. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Kill the Competition by Stephanie Bond All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.