The Year of Living Famously

The Year of Living Famously

by Laura Caldwell


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373090693
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises Ltd
Publication date: 07/22/2011
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Laura Caldwell, a former trial lawyer, is currently a professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is the author of eleven novels and one non-fiction book. She is a nation-wide speaker and the founder of Life After Innocence, which helps innocent people begin their lives again after being wrongfully imprisoned. Laura has been published in thirteen languages and over twenty countries. To learn more, please visit

Read an Excerpt

The Year Of Living Famously

By Laura Caldwell

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-25075-4

Chapter One

Until that night in Vegas, I was the girl in back of the nightclub line, the girl who always had to wait for a cab. I was ordinary. I was just like anyone else.

I was with my friend Bobby that night, and we were staying at Mandalay Bay, where Bobby's talent agency had unknowingly sprung for a two-bedroom suite. Bobby's a film agent, and he was there to watch one of his clients in some high-end cabaret show. Bobby and I met when we were in grad school in Manhattan (me at FIT for fashion design, he at NYU for creative writing). Although he lived in L.A. now, and we hadn't seen each other in a year, we were fabulous purveyors of the witty voice mail and the novel-length e-mail, so we still knew all about each other; we felt as connected as we had back then.

We hit the Strip with a vengeance that Friday night, throwing ourselves headlong into the glitter and the lights, pretending we weren't in our early thirties, that the vodka martinis wouldn't make our heads scream the next morning. We roared with laughter at the stories we knew by heart and updated each other with new ones, our exaggerations and outlandish details showing how much we'd learned about creativity in grad school.

At midnight, we were fairly stumbling through the lobby of theBellagio, past the jangling slot machines and the occasional shouts of triumph from the craps tables, when Bobby stopped and peered through the crowd, his dark eyes narrowing.

"Is it Trent?" I said, referring to Bobby's friend we were supposed to meet. The guy's full name was Trent Tanning, which sounded made up and Hollywood. I wondered whether I would like him at all.

Bobby shook his head, and his tight, black curly hair gleamed under the lights.

A pack of about ten people were moving through the tables and slots. Muscle-bound guys flanked the group, swiveling their heads menacingly, like they'd pummel you if you got too close. In the center was a woman who looked familiar - tall and model-thin with hair the color of oatmeal. The others gravitated toward her, glancing at her constantly, leaning in to whisper in her ear.

When they were about ten feet away, they turned and began walking in a different direction.

"Lauren!" Bobby yelled, and the entire entourage froze like deer that sense a rifle is near.

The big guys glared in Bobby's direction and held out their arms as if to shield the group. The woman looked vaguely in Bobby's direction, but then her studied expression shifted into a luminous smile.

"Bobby Minter!" she called. "What are you doing here?"

She wafted through her group, past the big men who appeared annoyed at the break in formation. She was wearing a vintage taupe dress with a cowl-neck.

By this time I had figured out that she was Lauren Staple-ton, the actress. I'd seen a few of her films - romantic comedies, the type people see when they need one hundred and twenty minutes of escapism. Lauren played the geeky but gorgeous girl, the one you wanted the hero to fall for, which he certainly would in the last few scenes, leaving the audience feeling all was right with the world, that it was okay, in your own life, to be divorced, overweight and in debt.

Bobby hugged her. "I'm mixing business with a little too much pleasure. Lauren, this is my friend, Kyra Felis."

She gave me the wide, toothy grin I'd seen on-screen. She towered over me in her blond greatness, making me feel tiny and dark. Of course, I am tiny and dark - about five-one with wide brown eyes and black-brown, shoulder-length hair. None of this has ever been a problem before, but beside Lauren it all felt inadequate.

"You're in the business?" she asked me. Her voice was pleasant but bored, as if to say, Isn't it all such a pain in the ass?

"Oh, God no," I said.

Something snapped shut in her face, and she turned to Bobby. Soon, they were engaged in a serious discussion about whether a producer they knew had a heroin addiction or whether it was just cocaine. Bobby always got very dishy when he spoke to movie people, a trait that amused me, since Bobby's real goal in life was to write quiet, literary novels.

As they talked, I noticed one of the men from their group, a tousle-haired brunette in a suede jacket, standing at a nearby blackjack table. He was making one of the normally stoic dealers bite his lip with laughter.

I wandered over to the guy, not even sure what drew me. I wasn't looking for a pillow partner, and although I was bored by Bobby and Lauren, it was something more than that. I keep asking myself why I took those ten steps, because it seems to matter. Everything would be different if I hadn't.

There I was, drawn to that slightly shaggy hair, the dark gold suede of his jacket, the glow that emanated from this guy as every player at the blackjack table gazed at him and laughed.

I heard the last lines of his joke as I neared. "So your man says, 'No, I'll shove it up your arse.'" Although I hadn't heard the beginning, I could tell it wasn't my type of humor. In fact, under normal circumstances, even if I had been looking for a little action, I would have turned around right then. But it was his elegant manner despite the crass words. It was his light Irish brogue that sounded, somehow, like warm caramel on the tongue. It was the good-natured, almost childlike, grin that made me chuckle along with the rest of the group.

"Like that one, did you?" he said when he saw me.

"I've heard better."

"Yeah?" He smiled. His teeth were unnaturally white and straight. I should have known then he was an actor.

"Definitely," I said.

"So let's hear one." He faced the blackjack table. "Lads, the lady has a joke to tell."

There were two older men in golf shirts, a Hispanic guy who looked about fifteen and two mafioso types with slicked-back hair and jackets with huge shoulder pads. They all looked at me expectantly.

"Oh, no," I said. "No jokes from me. I can't remember them."

"Bollocks," the Irish guy said. "You can't tell me that you've heard better and not tell one yourself."

"That's true," said one of the mafia dudes. "Ya gotta tell one now."

"Really, I don't have any." I hoped Bobby would call my name.

"We're all waiting," the Hispanic guy said.

I'm not normally a blusher, but I felt my face coloring. The golden Irish boy was grinning, his face bordering on a smirk, the two older men seemed impatient and the mafia guys looked as if they'd fit me with concrete boots if I didn't get on with it.

The Irish guy leaned in. "Do you want me to save you?" he said in that wonderful voice, his breath warm in my ear. I felt like kissing him then. The desire came that quick.

"Um, sure," I said, not clear what he meant. Not caring.

He leaned even closer, so the suede lapel of his jacket brushed against the skin at the scoop-necked opening of my dress. I was wearing one of my own designs, a fifties-inspired number with a high waist, and I wondered if he thought it attractive.

"I'll give you a wee one," he said, "and then you can tell them."


Excerpted from The Year Of Living Famously by Laura Caldwell Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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The Year of Living Famously 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
skinglist on LibraryThing 22 days ago
There's good chick lit like Marian Keyes and not-so-good chick lit like Bridget Jones, this one is definitely in the good category.I really like Kyra and felt like we were able to really get to know she, Emmie and Declan.
moonriver on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Man (actor) and woman live a normalish life until actor gets breakthrough role that makes him a celebrity overnight. It was a very interesting read that gives a reader somewhat of an insight into what it's like being a celebrity, both the good and the bad. I loved the main characters, but thought the supporting ones could've used a lot more development. It made me feel sorry for celebrities, honestly.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books I have read in a while! It was a quick read, but has colorful characters and a fun plot. Laura Caldwell truly sucks you into the life of Kyra Felis and makes you forget you are reading a book. Part witty, girly fun and even a bit of mystery thrown in. Excellent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed. The first two books she wrote were much better. I just didn't find Kyra to be very likable so it was a repetitive painful read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cancelled my Saturday night plans to finish this book! It's one of those books that you pick up and at the end of the first chapter you know you won't put it down until the end. The language that Caldwell uses not only grabs your attention but she has a way to draw you in the book that feel like you are the main characters friend going through her journey with her. This is a great book about true love, relationships, and going after what you want... not what you think other people want for you.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In her thirties, Kyra Felis struggles to make it as a clothing designer in Manhattan. She works odd jobs and uses her trust fund that she inherited when her parents died to supplement her meager income earned from the vocation she loves. Her friend, movie agent Bobby Minter invites her to be his guest in Vegas. There she meets his client, actress Lauren Stapleton who has rising star Declan McKenna in her retinue. Surprising herself as she has not had a male relationship in years, Kyra finds herself drawn to Declan. The Paparazzi catch Kyra and Declan talking, which soon has the tabloids talking romance...................... Declan apologizes to Kyra and they begin seeing one another. Soon they fall in love and marry. However, he is Hollywood while she is Manhattan so when the beautiful Lauren makes her bid for Declan, no one expects Kyra to have a chance....................... This is an enjoyable look at the price of fame on relationships. Fans will like the lead couple and hiss at the third angle in their triangle. The story line remains lighthearted fun as the audience wonders who Declan will choose while hoping that he selects love (reminiscent of Roy Orbison¿s Running Scared)............................ Harriet Klausner