The Great Recession. Reality TV. Luxury cosmetics. And a basset hound named Botox. What do all these things have in common?They’re all essential story components in BEAUTY SECRETS, a sexy romantic comedy novel, written in a style best described as “Jennifer Weiner meets E. L. James.”
Amanda Brown is a high-flying cosmetics executive for Revina Corporation, the oldest and most venerable cosmetics company in America. She comes from a good “old money” family, she went to Swarthmore, and she lives in a beautiful penthouse apartment in NYC’s Meatpacking District. But she’s only successful on the surface—-like many New Yorkers, she’s also financially overextended. Her parents are dead, her trust fund is gone, and when the Great Recession hammers her company, like millions of people across America she suddenly finds her job hanging by a thread.
Enter George Watson, a hedge-fund manager and self-made man from the Midwest who swoops in from Indiana to rebuild Revina Corporation from the ground up. Even if he fired everyone else at the company, he decides to keep Amanda on for her expertise. The two of them are from different worlds, and they can’t stand each other. But that doesn’t stop them from having wild no-holds-barred sex on their first meeting—-for reasons neither of them fully understand.
But this is no ordinary corporate takeover, and the unlikely romance between George and Amanda is no ordinary love story. It involves corporate greed, undercover investigative reporters, a sleazy reality TV producer who puts George and Amanda’s sexual relationship on national television, dark family secrets—-and a dog named Botox.
Amanda took a brief tour of the store. It had been so long since she’d done her own shopping — she even had her groceries delivered, not that she cooked very often — that the very act of trolling the aisles was a novelty. She walked up and down past racks of shampoo and conditioner (not her brand), bins of empty plastic spray bottles (what on earth were those for, anyway?) and the baby-formula section, finally ending up at a display of condoms next to the pharmacy counter.
Amanda stared at the rows of brightly colored packaging in wonder. She’d never considered the idea that people actually went into stores and bought condoms. All the men she had dated over the past several years produced them as if out of thin air when they were already naked in her bed. Her college sorority house had kept a jar of them in the communal bathroom, though she’d never taken any. Condoms were something that just seemed to appear when required, not something that you went out and purchased like batteries and pantyhose.
Her eyes scanned the racks, noticing that some of the selections on offer featured silhouettes of slender, naked couples in sensual embraces, while others had “special vibrating rings for extra fun.” There were even flavored lubricants and serums that promised to add “heat” and “wow factor.”
Amanda closed her eyes and felt herself blush. What kind of place was this? She felt like she’d stumbled into some kind of X-rated store on the side of the interstate, not a respectable-if-low-end Duane Reed. How on earth was stuff like this sold out in the open? Shouldn’t it be locked behind a counter or something?
Still, she couldn’t help but be intrigued, even a little titillated. Amanda’s sex life was nil at the moment, not that she cared all that much. But one should always be prepared, right? You just never knew what might happen. She selected a magenta box of Trojans with Vibrating Ring For Extra Fun and a tube of Wow Factor. Then she walked straight to the pharmacy counter to pay for them, too embarrassed to be seen carrying the racy items around the store. Once they were safely tucked in a plain white paper bag (stapled shut, for extra privacy), she headed to the front of the store to conduct a little market research.