Book blogger Kim Long has worked tirelessly to squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty—and pretty-much-nameless—legal secretary in Manhattan. But while she finds no passion in the day job, she finds plenty in the handsome associate down the hall. At least until her high school nemesis, mean girl Hannah Marshak, bursts back into town. Not only does she flash onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—but Kim’s afraid she’s turning the head of her handsome colleague as well.
Adding salt to her wounded heart, Hannah’s book has popped into Kim’s inbox—along with a request for review. With a mere click of her mouse, Kim can deliver a nasty one-star review to thousands of followers. Or she could put on her big-girl panties and use Hannah’s success as a challenge to unearth a dream that she’s kept hidden for years . . .
“What a fun page-turning book this was!” —Katie Oliver, bestselling author of the Dating Mr. Darcy Series
“I consider it the Girls Just Want to Have Fun of books.” —Chick Lit Central
“What a fun book. The characters were incredibly well-written . . . Schorr is a talented author and I’m glad she has other books out for me to read! I’m definitely a fan!” —Becky Monson, bestselling author of the Spinster Series
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I slid my mouse back and forth between four and four and a half pink champagne flutes. I couldn't decide if the book Gladly Never After was worthy of four and a half flutes. The ending was abrupt and the hero kind of obvious from the beginning. But it was certainly an engaging story, so much so that I took every available opportunity to turn on my e-reader and see what happened next, even while squatting on the toilet between beers at happy hour.
I saved a draft of my review and stood up. "Yes, Rob?" I walked into his large fishbowl-shaped office knowing he wouldn't come to me. "What's up?"
Rob handed me two sheets of paper. "Can you scan this to Bartlett?"
Removing the papers from his hand, I said, "No problem. Should I include a message?"
He scratched his thick head of brown hair. "Nah. He'll know what it is."
Rob's recent takeover of a high-profile litigation was definitely getting in the way of my blogging. I had four books scheduled for review in the next two weeks and had received several more from publishers and authors in the past couple of days. Then again, it was my day job as a legal secretary at a midsized New York City law firm that paid my $1800 rent, not my voluntary — albeit immensely more satisfying — side gig as a chick lit book blogger.
"Also, send an email to the team about squad drinks around the corner at Banc Café at five."
My heart skipped a beat. "Who should I include in the email?"
Rob was now facing his computer. Without bothering to turn around, he said, "The whole team. Lucy, David, Nicholas, Blah, Blah, Blah."
Rob probably didn't actually say, "Blah, Blah, Blah," but I had tuned out after he said "Nicholas." Ordinarily, I preferred the company of friends over the partners, associates, and paralegals that made up Rob's team, but I'd make an exception if Nicholas was going to be there.
I took stock of my outfit, exhaling a sigh of relief that I was wearing a flattering low-cut black top and form-fitting black pants. I fingered my necklace, a platinum chain with an opal pendant that conveniently fell right in the line of my cleavage. "Sounds good. Uh, I forgot who else you mentioned after Nicholas." Not that it mattered.
Rob waved me away. "Just the team. The usuals. Add a sentence at the end about inviting anyone I forgot."
When I got back to my desk, I emailed the team about happy hour, casually adding Nicholas's address somewhere in the middle. It was very short notice, but it was free drinks and Rob was the boss. By virtue of him being the boss, sufficient advance notice was not required.
Once I confirmed the email went through, I hurried to the copy room, scanned Rob's documents, and sent them to Bartlett. I glanced at my Movado watch, a gift from my parents for my twenty-eighth birthday earlier that year. It was 4:42. After I grabbed my enormous leather purse from the bottom drawer of my desk and told Rob I was stepping away, I headed to the bathroom and called Bridget.
She picked up after one ring. "Is everything okay?"
I ran a brush through my long, light brown hair and shook my head from side to side to give it some bounce. "Why would you ask that? Because I called instead of texted?"
Bridget had been my best friend since the seventh grade. Text messaging often won out over actually talking on the phone, but it wasn't like telephone conversations were reserved for emergency trips to the hospital.
I removed the pink monogrammed makeup case I'd had since junior high from the bottom of my bag. "Having drinks with the team tonight after work."
"The team, huh? Does that include your work crush? What's his name again?"
Bridget snorted. "I know. Nicholas Strong," she repeated. "Rhymes with Long. I remember."
"Ha ha. Be nice." Mentioning the rhyming of my last name with Nicholas's wasn't one of my proudest moments, but it was after two flirtinis, and two flirtinis for a hundred-pound girl were like five flirtinis for an average-sized woman.
"Well, have fun. Don't do anything I wouldn't do," Bridget said dryly. Gun-shy after an uncharacteristic one-night stand generously left her with a case of crabs, she hadn't done anything with anyone in over a year.
"I'd be willing to wager a Barnes & Noble gift card that Nicholas has never given me any thought beyond asking me to connect him to Rob's voicemail, but he's serious eye candy. Chances are we'll exchange less than four words, I'll end up extremely frustrated, and regret going in the first place."
"There you go, Ms. Positive. Good luck."
"Thanks. See ya." I hung up the phone and wiped the corners of my lips before applying a shiny but translucent gloss. I dusted powder over my nose, trying unsuccessfully to hide the constellation of freckles that appeared at the tip. I zipped the case and returned it to my bag. If only I knew how to apply dramatic makeup, but every time I made an attempt, I looked like one of those freaky pageant kids.
It was only 5:05 when I returned to my desk, but Rob's light was already off. He must have been really thirsty.
I opened my saved post to finish my review.
In closing, I would highly recommend Gladly Never After to all lovers of chick lit, particularly those who prefer books with more action/dialogue and less description/backstory.
Rating: 4.5 Champagne Flutes
I set my blog to post the review at six the next morning and logged off my computer. At least I'd be fashionably late.
I spotted my crew immediately upon entering the dimly-lit restaurant. They had taken over the left side of the semicircular bar. I stood up as tall as my four-foot-eleven frame allowed and approached the crowd. Even as my eyes looked straight ahead toward Rob, always the center of attention at these events, I used my peripheral vision to confirm Nicholas was in attendance.
He was talking to Lucy, a junior associate in the group. I knew nothing about Nicholas's personal life and had wondered if he'd ever hooked up with any of the female lawyers in the office while pulling an all-nighter or after one of the many firm-hosted parties. Lucy's daily attire consisted of stodgy business suits and she always pulled her straight blond hair into a bun, but for all I knew, she was the dirty librarian type and kinky in the sack. As I glanced at her in jealous paranoia, I was surprised to catch Nicholas looking directly at me. Could he tell I was thinking about him? Bridget and I always said guys had a radar.
"There she is. My right hand. What are you having?" Rob asked.
I stopped staring at Nicholas and focused my attention on Rob. "A glass of prosecco. Thanks." I considered asking for a cocktail menu, but wanted a drink in my hand too badly to spend the time considering my choices.
Rob raised one of his thick dark eyebrows and took a sip of his lager. "Beer isn't good enough for you?"
"Not when the firm is paying."
While Rob ordered my drink, I casually looked around. I caught Nicholas's eye again. Prepared this time, I gave him a friendly wave.
"Hey you," Nicholas said as his brown eyes darted down to my chest and quickly back to my face.
His appraisal of my rack, while subtle, was unmistakable. Not that a guy checking out a girl's chest was an indication of actual interest. It was merely instinct for them, but I was still thrilled. I would be the first to admit that I drew attention to my chest since, being so short, I needed to give people a reason to look down far enough to see me. "Hey," I said with a smile before accepting my drink from Rob.
I wanted more than anything to go over and cock block Nicholas's conversation with Lucy, but I didn't have the nerve. Checking out a girl's cleavage was not necessarily an invitation for conversation.
"Did you send that email to Bartlett?" Rob asked.
Without batting an eyelash, I responded, "Did you ask me to?"
Rob offered a bemused smile. "Touché. I thought you might be too busy working on your blog to attend to such menial tasks like getting your work done."
"When has my blog ever gotten in the way of attending to your business, Rob?"
Rob loved to give me a hard time about my blog, but I knew he was joking. I had only worked with him at our current firm for four months, but had been his assistant at his previous one for close to two years. He had left our old firm more than six months earlier, leaving me behind with a promise to use his influence to get me hired as well. We worked well together. In his mid-fifties, Rob had the energy of a teenager and was extremely high-strung. I knew how to take him down a notch without threatening his authority.
I felt a flush creep across my cheeks as I turned around to face the source of the question. I wasn't surprised. I blushed whenever I talked to Nicholas, even when the phone rang at work and I saw his name on my caller ID.
"You didn't know about Kim's blog?" Rob asked, his blue eyes reflecting amusement.
Nicholas shook his head, not removing his eyes from mine.
All I could think about was running my fingers along the dark stubble on his jawline. Never completely clean shaven, he currently looked like he hadn't touched a razor in several days. I held his gaze willing my voice not to give away my crush, but the heat on my face suggested a crimson complexion that probably already had. "I have a website where I post book reviews." Since this was the first time my chatter with Nicholas had extended beyond work-related topics, I wasn't surprised he didn't know about it. It was that unfamiliarity which I blamed for my chronic bashfulness in his presence. Well, that and his overwhelming sex appeal. Unable to maintain eye contact a second longer, I glanced back at Rob hoping he'd pick up the dialogue.
"It's incredibly popular. Publishers actually beg my secretary to read and review their client's novels on a daily basis." Rob beamed at me like a proud uncle, as if he were somehow responsible for my blog's immense popularity.
I turned back to Nicholas and smiled shyly. "Every other day basis is more accurate, but yes, it's a widely read blog. I have several thousand followers and get requests from authors, publicists, and agents pretty often."
Nicholas looked at me with admiration. "Awesome. What types of books do you review?"
I hated this part of telling people from work about my reviews. I never knew if the attorneys would raise their noses in the air and judge my taste in "literature." Here goes nothing. "Chick lit," I admitted.
Nicholas tilted his head to the side. "Like the gum?"
I giggled as if I'd never heard that one before. "Yes, it's called chick lit, like the gum. But it's also a book genre. Like Bridget Jones's Diary, The Devil Wears Prada. You know?"
Nicholas looked thoughtful as he rubbed his thumb along his chin. "My ex-girlfriend had a bunch of books with pink covers. Were those chick lit?"
Forcing myself to stay focused instead of wondering what his ex-girlfriend was like, how long ago they broke up, and why, I said, "Possibly." Chick lit had certainly evolved beyond stereotypical pink covers, but it wasn't the time to go into defense mode.
Nicholas smiled wide. "Very nice, Kim." Glancing at his empty glass, he said, "Time for a refill. Be right back," and walked toward the bar.
I tore my eyes away from the back of Nicholas's light blue business shirt and over to Rob. But Rob was now talking to Lucy about some guy she had deposed the previous day. I downed the rest of my prosecco and walked over to the bar.
After getting the bartender's attention, I ordered another glass, on Rob's tab of course, and observed Nicholas finish sending a text. As he smiled into his phone, I felt my Hanky Panky thong practically melting off. At only five foot seven, his stature might have kept him off of some women's top five lists, but since I was vertically challenged too, he was currently number one on mine. I couldn't even think of who would follow him in second and third place.
"Penny for your thoughts, Blogger Girl."
I snapped out of my list making and faced Nicholas, silently praying he was not a mind reader.
He looked at me expectantly.
I swung my free hand in dismissal and lifted my drink toward him. "Nothing important. Cheers."
Nicholas clinked his glass against mine and took a sip of his drink.
Following his lead, I sipped mine.
Nicholas inched closer to me. Speaking in almost a whisper, he said, "Having fun yet?"
Very aware we'd never stood this close to each other, and that these were the most words we'd ever exchanged one on one, I replied with faux nonchalance. "Can't really complain about free drinks. You?"
The cuffs of his shirt sleeves had been pushed up to his elbows, and I pondered whether the dark hair on his arms was coarse or soft. I imagined what it would feel like to run my fingers up and down his arm. I also wondered if he could hear my heart beating through my chest.
"Definitely can't complain about that," Nicholas agreed. "And a break from work is always welcome, especially these days. Doing anything good this weekend?"
I had practically forgotten it was Thursday night, which was odd for me, since I lived for the weekends when my secretarial duties didn't get in the way of my obsession with chick lit. "Not sure yet. Probably drinks with friends. And I need to catch up on some reading. For the blog. What about you?" Please don't mention a girlfriend.
"Oh, this and that." His eyes glowed, almost like he was holding back a secret.
I bit down on my lip and without thinking, blurted out, "Do This and That have last names?"
Nicholas gave me a onceover before shaking his head in amusement. "I'll probably spend most of it at work actually." He took a step closer to me. "Tell me more about this blog."
I tipped my head to the side. "What do you want to know?"
"What made you start it?"
"The condensed version or the truth?"
Nicholas cocked an eyebrow. "How long of a story is the truth?"
"Why? Do you have a date to rush off to?" I swallowed hard. Nice, Kim.
Ignoring my question, he said, "I've never met anyone who has a blog before. I'm intrigued."
I twirled a strand of hair around my finger. "The condensed version is I started the blog because I've always loved to read, blah, blah, blah."
"Blah blah blah. Gotcha."
After he said that, he winked at me. When my knees wobbled in response, I grabbed the bar with my free hand. "The truth is that one day I was bored at home, surfing the internet, and I found all these blogs dedicated to romance books, like Harlequin stuff. Then I found some devoted to science fiction, thrillers, and so on. But I could barely find anything dedicated to chick lit, and it pissed me off because I love it. I figured there must be other girls who feel the same, and maybe if I started this blog, I'd find them and we'd bond." I paused. "Aren't you glad you asked?"
His phone rang, and Nicholas distractedly responded, "Yeah, that's cool," before bringing it to his ear. He whispered, "Sorry" before answering it.
I wondered if it was from "This" or "That."
Nicholas hung up his phone and frowned at me. "I knew it wouldn't last. I have to head back to the office."
"Oh, that sucks," I said hoping my disappointment wasn't too obvious. It had taken us four months to have a one-on-one conversation and I didn't want to wait another four to do it again.
Nicholas shrugged. "The glamorous life of an associate. But it was nice talking to you, Kim. Don't be a stranger."
"You either. Don't work too hard."
"Tell that to him," he said, gesturing toward Rob. With one last smile and a light tap on my shoulder, Nicholas walked away. I answered another co-worker's question about where I had bought my peep-toe bright red patent leather pumps, while Nicholas made his round of goodbyes.
Even though I was pleased my banter with Nicholas had finally progressed beyond telling him Rob was in a meeting or running late, I hoped I hadn't gone too far with the blog talk. It wouldn't be the first time. I looked inside my half-empty glass. Rather than chugging almost two drinks, I should have used the time to read. I was too buzzed to concentrate on a book now and was positive I was incapable of writing a coherent review.
I grabbed my coat and walked over to Rob to say goodbye.
"You're leaving before my big announcement?" Rob asked, his shoulders dropping.
I pretended not to notice his disappointment. Rob had a "thing" for making announcements. I wasn't sure if the content of the speech mattered to him as much as the pleasure he derived from hearing his own voice against a backdrop of silence while he had everyone's rapt attention. "Are we all getting six-figure bonuses? And by 'we all,' I mean secretaries included?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Blogger Girl"
Copyright © 2016 Meredith Schorr.
Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 stars I read Blogger Girl every free chance I had, and I wish I had had more free chances because I did not want to put this book down. Kimberly Long is a young woman who is in a job she kind of likes with a great boss who allows her to pursue her passion, book blogging, while at work. She is strong and tough. Kim stands up for herself, and she is quick with the witty comebacks. I was surprised by some of her insecurities, but I was glad that she had them. That made her more real. Kim is likeable and relatable in a lot of respects. Kim runs an extremely popular chick lit blog, Pastel is the New Black (cute name!), and she is contacted to review a new release by Hannah Marshak, an old nemesis from high school. Kim is a pretty accurate portrayal of a book blogger—in some ways, she reminds me of me. She has a list of TBR books, a calendar of deadlines, an inbox full of requests, and she loves it (as do I). The only time I didn't like Kim as much as I wanted to was when she went a bit petty regarding Hannah and reviewing her book. If I was in Kim's position and had experienced Hannah's meanness in high school, I probably would have had the same initial hesitation to reviewing her book. But I think that I would have gotten over that pretty quickly, at least I hope I would have. Hannah still seems to behave the same way she did in high school, even ten years later. Hannah is a character that everyone knew in school. She will be familiar to most readers. I thought her progression throughout Blogger Girl was fabulous. (I don't want to give anything away about that, but it was done well.) Kim's progression after accepting the request to review Hannah's book, Cut on the Bias, is also fabulous. She went everywhere emotionally, and I loved the cancelled post—both the reasons for the content of it and the reason behind it being cancelled. I think everyone would love to have a boss who is as awesome as Kim's boss, Rob! Rob is a fantastic character whom I liked from the start. I loved their banter and working relationship. They make a great team, and I couldn't imagine Rob with a different secretary. And his obvious support and pride in her is wonderful. Kim also has a major crush on an associate at the law firm where she works. Nicholas is your average hard-working associate—long hours, tedious work, not a lot of free time. Ms. Schorr nailed the realities of an associate working at a law firm. Nicholas is a sweet guy, and he seemed to really like Kim. He was behind her and saw straight through her. Nicholas was a great love interest. Also, I liked the fact that he didn't just open up to Kim and tell her everything. That made Nicholas real to me, because really, how many guys do you know open up about their past and their feelings? Nicholas also had a strong wit and countered Kim's beautifully. I disliked Daneen from the get-go. However, I enjoyed how the relationship between Daneen and Kim was "mended" in the end. Kim's friends, Bridget and Caroline, were sweet and true friends, Bridget especially. I didn't quite understand the point behind the spa scene except that it facilitated the end, which was a great end. The last dialogue exchange was fantastic!!! Left me with a big smile. I believe I also gave a hearty laugh out loud during the scene leading up to that exchange. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes.
“Blogger Girl” is the first book by Mereidth Schorr that I have read. I generally read mysteries, chick-lit and a few romance books as well. This book definitely falls into the chick-lit category. Kimberly Long is a legal secretary by day and a chick-lit book blogger/reviewer by night. This caught my attention because, early in my own career, I was a paralegal who both wrote and designed by night. I could well understand the crush of things to do that Kim was constantly battling with. Kim is attracted to one of the associate lawyers and much of the book is devoted to the building of her relationship Nicholas. Along the way, we visit her relationships with her sister, mother, best friends and her old enemy from high school, Hannah Marshak. There are lots of laughs, some mean girl stories (but, hey, Kim has a bit of a snark attitude towards some women herself) and definitely sexual situations along the way. I would have liked to have seen a little more of Kim's blog entries and, perhaps, some responses that she received on her blog “Pastel is the New Black.” It could have added more humor and day-to-day reality to the story. I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
I've definitely found a new author. This is the second book I've read by this author and I've read them both this month! The Blogger Girl series is actually pretty funny especially when her arch nemesis from high school wants her to read and review her new chick lit book. Of course, in high school, all this girl wanted to do was make her life miserable. So Blogger Girl (Kimberly) has a huge dilemma. Should she make nice and read this girl's book? And why oh why is this girl turning up everywhere she goes? And then of course, there's the associate down the hall at work. Try as she may, she just doesn't seem to get his attention. Until she finally does and then her boss hires the new associate, (forget her name, but it starts with "D", her nickname starts with "S" and it's a good one) who has made it her job duty to make Kimberly's live miserable. This was an entertaining, funny and just couldn't put it down read. And as I can't wait for the next one, I don't have to. It's already on my TBR pile. I think this is going to be a great series and I'm ready for it! Thanks to Henery Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
I started this book assuming it would be about a blogger, maybe a book blogger but I had NO idea how realistic this book would be!! Meredith really pinned the book blogger in this book. I related it to, and fell in love with it straight away from chapter one. I started this book at about 6-ish one evening and finished it a few hours later. I couldn't have put it down if I wanted to because I loved it. I gave this book 5 Stars Kim, was such a fun, witty, sarcastic and lovable character. She's stuck in a job where she's comfortable, and in a relationship that is not exactly a relationship but more of a booty call. Her best friend Bridget is a hoot, and her 'booty call ex-boyfriend' friend adds an amusing character to the mix. Hannah, is every high-schools mean girl and is the wrench in Kim's blog status for now. Then there is sexy, lawyer up the hall Nicholas. Afraid that he is out of Kim's league, he starts to show interest in her and her book blog. She thinks it's really just a pity like and over-thinks the entire situation, right up until she's in so far she doesn't want to go back. The whole book is funny, like able (for book bloggers and bloggers everywhere I think) and a true light-hearted chick lit read. This book went into my favorites and I can only hope that the talk of a sequel and a prequel are true! What I Loved: -I loved that Meredith talks about the whole 'Chick Lit is Dead' thing in her book with Kim's blog. I don't believe Chick Lit is Dead, I just believe that true, awesome Chick Lit writers are far and few in-between recently. -I love that you can really visualize the entire book without the unnecessary long explanations some books have. -The world of book blogging is VERY much exactly what Meredith describes. I loved that. I felt like this story could be true in some book bloggers world. -I fell in love with Nicholas! Who wouldn't, sexy lawyer, uh, yes please! What I didn't Love: -Not much! I really enjoyed every moment of this book and was so sad it ended! I can't wait until a possibly sequel! What I thought of the Cover: (something new I'm doing for my reviews) -I am sad to say I do judge a book by it's cover. With the right cover, I've never been let down by a chick lit book. -I didn't LOVE the cover of this book, but I definitely don't hate it. -I think with a more 'chick lit-ish' book cover this book is something I'd have chosen off the shelf, where as now.... maybe. see the full review at www.hellochicklit.com