That's Belinda Hennessey's new philosophy in life, work, and love after moving to Atlanta to escape a disastrous six-hour marriage. Now she has a killer job,spunky carpooling gal-pals, and the velvety voice of a traffic helicopter reporter to guide her on her way. She's even feeling lively enough to contribute to the manual on relationships and men her friends are writing to kill time during their commute.
But then a traffic mishap with a drop-dead gorgeous cop unleashes a series of events that bolsters Belinda's new bad-girl attitude -- she gets a tune-up from "Officer Goodbody," catches the eye of the throaty traffic reporter, and is targeted for a big promotion. But before Belinda can say "corner office," a coworker is murdered, and evidence points to a carpool conspiracy! With a killer on the loose, her friends at one another's throats, and two men offering southern comfort, Belinda knows only one thing for certain: climbing to the top can be murder on a girl.
|Product dimensions:||4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)|
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Kill the Competition
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great book!! Some scenes in this novel are laugh-out-loud funny. Sephanie Bond writes with a very easy style and definite wit. The dialogue is so realistic that you can pratically hear the characters speak, and the characters are fleshed out enough to have distinct, credible personalities. It's a little light on the romance, heavy on secondary characters, and there's a lot going on in the story-- kinda like real life. Bond's previous books were written in the same vein, so if you liked those then you'll LOVE this one!!!
Atlanta carpool women write a book abut men. But their nasty boss gets killed. Belinda was expecting a promotion, but was the last one to see the victim alive...
This was so-so. It didn't hold my interest because I didn't get invested in the main chick's character.
Belinda came to Atlanta hoping for a fresh beginning to heal her heartache and embarrassment. It is not long before she is involved in a carpool with three other women at work. The morning drive is spiced with girl talk, gossip, writing a relationship Do's and Don't's book, and the sexy traffic reporter's voice. Then, life gets interesting. ..................... First, they have a car wreck, with a to die for cop. Then, Belinda begins breaking a few rules and confronts their 'witchy' with a B boss, only to land a promotion as a result. Then, she runs into none other than the sexy voiced man and finds out there's more to him than a voice. She is also discovering that she has an eerie amount of things in common with a dead woman. All of that would be fine, except for one thing, there's a dead woman in her trunk, and it the top candidates for the killer are either Belinda or those closest to her. ...................... **** Whatever kind of book you want, you will probably find it in Kill the Competition. Laughter, suspense, passion, and female bonding all combine in this realistically complex and sometimes whacky book. Ms. Bond has created magic, and she pulls more than one rabbit out of the hat to surprise her readers. ****
Having just moved from Cincinnati to Atlanta, financial expert Belinda Hennessey adjusts to her new town. She knows that her new town is more expensive than her previous one and that the rush hour traffic into the city is unbearable especially from the north side. Thus she has joined those drives using the HOV carpool lane into and out of the city. Belinda works on an assessment whether her new firm Archer Furniture should acquire the mom and pop Payton Manufacturing. Her boss ¿Maniac Margo¿ wants the report done yesterday (weekend or not). Belinda concludes that the potential new addition cooked the books, but Margo tells her to be quiet. Reluctantly Belinda agrees being the new kid on the block and wary to make waves. Not long afterward, someone murders Margo with the evidence pointing towards Belinda due to the fiscal cover-up or a member of the car pool who have had run-ins with the now dead queen of nasty. KILL THE COMPETITION is a delightful relationship drama wit a strong police procedural plot to anchor the tale. Though the romance between Belinda and police officer Wade Alexander is warm and fun to observe and the murder investigation cleverly intertwined into the prime plot, the tale belongs to the four female car poolers. Their outlook on Atlanta, work, and men forge a strong bond between them and make for a witty novel that readers will cherish especially if you ever been stuck in Spaghetti Junction (Atlanta¿s most notorious parking lot during the rush hour). Harriet Klausner