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True Hollywood Lies
True Hollywood Lies
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Josie gives an overview of the book:

For Hannah Fairchild, jaded Hollywood trust fund baby and aspiring astronomer, life as she knows it (financially secure, albeit emotionally frail) goes out of orbit when her father -- the larger-than-life legendary actor and playboy, Leo Fairchild -- drops dead while making love to a nineteen year-old C-list television starlet. Not only has Leo's conniving fourth wife frozen Hannah's trust fund -- putting a pinch on her ability to gaze at the only stars she feels are worth watching -- but the grieving widow has also been having an affair with Hannah's indie producer boyfriend.   Faced with a Fred Segal's credit card bill that rivals the national debt, Hannah is forced to put her planet search project on hold while she takes the job of personal assistant to British actor and People's "Sexiest Man Alive," Louis Trollope. Because Louis is just as...
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For Hannah Fairchild, jaded Hollywood trust fund baby and aspiring astronomer, life as she knows it (financially secure, albeit emotionally frail) goes out of orbit when her father -- the larger-than-life legendary actor and playboy, Leo Fairchild -- drops dead while making love to a nineteen year-old C-list television starlet. Not only has Leo's conniving fourth wife frozen Hannah's trust fund -- putting a pinch on her ability to gaze at the only stars she feels are worth watching -- but the grieving widow has also been having an affair with Hannah's indie producer boyfriend.

 

Faced with a Fred Segal's credit card bill that rivals the national debt, Hannah is forced to put her planet search project on hold while she takes the job of personal assistant to British actor and People's "Sexiest Man Alive," Louis Trollope. Because Louis is just as egotistical, self-centered, insecure, demanding, flirtatious -- and yes, irresistible -- as her father had been, Hannah is determined to keep him and his super-model girlfriend, bad boy entourage, and over-sexed agent at arm's length. Besides, she's falling in love with his best friend, the screenwriter Mick Bradshaw.

Read an excerpt »

There are so many features that make the Ritz Carlton Suite perfect for an evening (or, for that matter, a 59-minute, $1,800 session) of naughty debauchery. And, while each amenity is unique in its ability to spark romance, collectively they create the absolutely perfect ambiance for humping like rabid dogs.

Okay, well, perhaps like well-groomed highly pedigreed poodles.

Where to begin? For starters, there is its incomparable view of Central Park, as seen from the suite’s twenty-second floor picture window, and framed magnificently within the brocade drapes that complement the opulently furnished room’s taupe, pale rose and celadon color scheme.

Romantic enough to make you horny, you ask? Most definitely—particularly if someone else—say, the Hollywood studio you’re shilling for—is picking up the tab.

And if that view doesn’t ring your chime, try luxuriating in either of the two marble tubs. Then dry off in the fluffy Egyptian cotton towels before swaddling yourself in thick terry robes and falling into the king-sized bed swathed in 700 thread-count jacard cotton sheets. To further set the mood, the hotel invites you to light as many of the room’s fragrant Frette candles as you like. Or you can flip on the B&O stereo and play a mood-setting riff chosen from the library of in-room CDs, each chosen for its success in encouraging guests to just get it on.

And if none of this does the trick? Well, there is always the myriad of porn available via cable, as viewed through the integrated home cinema system’s 32-inch widescreen monitor.

While all of this was news to me, it wasn’t to Prudence K., who, as Louis’s regular “masseuse” during his New York journeys, readily partook in all of these amenities. Thanks to Louis (and other A-listers, VIPs, and expense unaccountable CEOs), the Ritz was her home away from home. In fact, in preparation for her audience with Louis, Prudence K. even helped herself to the contents of the complimentary Floris shaving kit, which provided the necessary accoutrements—a tiny yet super-efficient razor and ultra-foamy scented shaving cream—to touch up her Brazilian bikini wax.

What a field day the hotelier’s quality control team would have if they’d survey her opinion as to whether the Stearns & Foster SilverDream Euro Pillowtop mattress was truly firm enough for marathon sexcapades, or how well the upholstery’s Teflon stain-resistant finish stood up to that potent combination of semen, sweat, vaginal fluid, and Glow by J.Lo, or the actual burn factor incurred when kneeling on the plush Oriental carpets!

All of this was her domain—or so I gleaned in the 18-second elevator ride we took together down to my room, certainly a more meager and less opulent cubby.

“Jeez, whattaya supposed to do in this cage, screw standing up?” Prudence K. sniffed scornfully as she surveyed its much punier bed.

Since this was to be her temporary rendezvous site with Louis—thanks to my efficiency in relaying his whereabouts to his beloved Tatiana, who had been cooling her Rive Gauched heels in the intimate but still very public VIP lounge while Louis’s onsite point man, Barry, frantically relayed the direness of the situation to a very irate Louis—I prayed that this was in fact the case, since, subsequently, I too would be sleeping on those sheets.

I certainly wouldn’t be getting any sympathy from Louis: upon seeing Tatiana’s petulant pout staring up at him from the lounge’s reproduction Eames sofa, he hissed through his teeth-gritting grin, “Dammit, Hannah, I thought you knew the score!” before sauntering over to “the face that has launched a thousand magazine covers” and sweeping her up in his arms.

Then, with a slight wave, he banished me to clean up the merde I’d made.

After getting Prudence K. settled, I shot back to Louis’s suite and blathered out some lie about the Vanity Fair photo editor needing to meet with him to go over the wardrobe for the shoot later that afternoon.

“I come, too, yes?” slurred the perennially annoyed Tatiana with a Slavic lilt. “That art director knows next to nothing about lighting. Once she make me look like corpse!”

This from a woman-child whose alabaster skin was stretched so woefully thin on her five-feet eleven, 103-pound frame that her catwalk photos from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Auschwitz-inspired fashion show brought tears to the eyes of Holocaust survivors.

“No!” both Louis and I answered in unison.

Shooting me a daggered smile, he continued, “I wouldn’t dream of putting you through such torment” With a steely grip, Louis pushed me forward into his lushly upholstered lair. “Hannah here will keep you company. It should take fifteen minutes, tops.”

With that, he left the two of us to get acquainted; that is, Tatiana studied her Opi-glossed nails with that world-famous look of boredom etched in Prescriptives Matte Foundation Velum No. 3, while I tried not to stare . . .

As if.

It was easy to see how Louis could fall in love with her, even if this infatuation, like all the others, lasted only a few months. She was more beautiful in person than she was in her renowned partially nude Mario Testino photos: in 3D and living color, those sharp green eyes were an ever-changing emotional kaleidoscope, despite the placid countenance on her exquisite face.

Particularly when she was thinking about Louis, as she obviously was during the 52 minutes prior to her not-so-nonchalant inquisition. “You, Whatever-Your-Name-Is-That-I’ve-Already-Forgotten: how long have you worked for Louis?”

“Only for a couple of days.”

“Oh? How did you get the job?” The chill in her voice relayed her suspicions on how I must have accomplished this magnificent feat.

“I was referred to him by Jasper Carlton.”

She grunted her approval. But believe me, that utterance took all the magic out of our budding relationship once and for all.

Not that I could blame her for having doubts. Heck, if I were his girlfriend I wouldn’t trust him on the other side of the door unless he wore an electronic ankle bracelet.

Which is probably why, like me, she leaped to grab the phone when it rang. Thank God, I got there first. I attribute my win to the fact that she probably hadn’t eaten in a week, and hadn’t had the energy for anything longer than a short sprint.

“Yeah,” I growled brusquely, praying it wasn’t Louis saying he was “all tied up”—literally—and couldn’t break away.

“Hi, Louis! It’s Caresse.” To demonstrate that she was just as accommodating on the ground as in the air, our friendly flight attendant purred, “Care for some company?”

“No thanks,” I snapped back, then hung up.

“Who was that?” asked Tatiana, suspiciously.

“Just the front desk, checking to see that everything is okay.”

Tatiana said nothing, but she scrutinized every word coming out of my mouth, like a human lie detector registering any deviating nuance.

Had I tipped her off? I wasn’t to find this out until Louis came bounding through the door some 37 minutes later.
“Finally! What an unmitigated ordeal!” he moaned, taking Tatiana’s granite-like visage between his hands and giving her a long, lingering kiss. “Hannah didn’t bore you too badly, did she, love?”

“Not at all,” murmured Tatiana. “I can see why you keep her around, Louis.”

“Oh?” he laughed warily. “And why is that?”

“Because, dearest, she is too smart to fall in love with you.”

Considering all that had transpired in the last two hours, I would have assumed that Louis would be relieved to hear that observation, but the way he raised his left eyebrow indicated that this was not the case.

Thankfully, she hadn’t noticed. There was a mirror too close at hand, all the better to monitor the effect she made as she wrapped herself in his arms. Immediately, though, she pushed him away.

“Louis my love, how close did you let that woman get to you? You reek of Glow! Go shower, then we make love. . . Oh, and You-Whose-Name-I-Can-Never-Remember, you can go now, okay?”

#

Yeah okay, bitch, consider me out of here!

I made it back down into the bowels of the hotel and the (eeeuw-yuck!) comfort of my cubby—only to find Prudence K. still cooling her Manolo-clad heels on my bed.

“Louis said you’d cover me,” she said, slipping her hands into a pair of cashmere-lined leather gloves.

“He what?”

“He said you’d have my cash.”

I now saw how she lived up to her name. “How much?”

“Eighteen hundred.”

“You’ve gotta be kidding!”

“Hardly. And believe me, no one ever complains.” She licked her lips seductively.

“Yeah, right. Um, do you take credit cards?”

“Visa, MasterCard, Amex. No Discover. You can’t get this kind of merchandise at Sears, know what I mean?” She laughed at her own cleverness. It wasn’t the first time, I’m sure. From her Kate Spade striped tootsie she pulled out a wireless credit card processing terminal, swiped my Visa, and handed it back with a printout to sign.

“I guess he expects me to add it to my expense report,” I said, thinking out loud to myself.

Prudence K. clicked her tongue sympathetically. “Nah, I don’t think so. He said something about this whole thing was your fuck-up, and that’s why it was coming out of your pay.”

With a wave of her Gucci-gloved hand, she was out the door before I’d even finished saying, “Room Service? I need a new change of bed linen—now!”

#

Vanity Fair’s real photo editor was not wearing Glow.

Nor was she at all pleased with Louis’s abuse of the magazine’s renowned celebrity photographer, or his overt flirtatiousness with the stylist, make-up artist, hair dresser and the art director’s barely legal but certainly awestruck intern (“For his own good, you need to lower your boss’ dose of Viagra. . . ”), or the way in which he second-guessed how the photographer lit the studio for the shoot (“Jeez, who does this prick think he is, Brad Pitt? That hasn’t happened to me since that supermodel bitch Tatiana pulled that same stunt, then went whining to my publisher when I told her where to stick her little light meter...”)

As his handler, it was my duty to try to reel him in, but since it was me he was punishing with this outrageous behavior, I very seriously doubted he’d listen to me.

Still, I had to try. As the photographer set up the next shot, I followed Louis into his dressing room, where his next wardrobe change was already laid out: some duded-up urban cowpoke ensemble, courtesy of John Galliano. It was perfect for the surreal fantasy in which a model, trussed up in strategically placed leather straps, was to be branded by Louis with a faux hot iron inscribed with his initials.

Upon hearing me enter, Louis sighed. “What is it, Hannah?”

“Louis, I think we need to clear the air about what went on back at the hotel.”

“Oh, you do?” he asked with a dark smile. “You have no need to worry. I’m not going to fire you over it.”

“Oh.” I don’t know if I was more relieved or disappointed. “Why—why not?”

“I don’t know. Let’s just chalk it up to my magnanimous nature.” He chuckled ironically. “Sure, I was pissed at first. Had every right to be, wouldn’t you say? Then again,“ he broke into a broad smirk, “having Tatiana waiting her turn while Prudence K. and I were screwing in your bed was—well, let’s just say that the love of one good woman—or several, for that matter—has a way of getting your juices flowing, know what I mean?”

No, I didn’t. And I was hoping that he wouldn’t go into any detailed explanation, either, considering that I’d actually have to sleep in that bed.

Alone.

I felt a tingle go up my spine as he walked over. He stood so close that I could feel the heat of his breath on my face.

Slowly he picked up the branding iron and examined it. “Frankly, love, I’m getting a bit bored with Tatiana. I mean, if I weren’t, then why would I feel the need for ‘a massage’ every time I hit town? The truth is that she doesn’t understand me.”

He stroked my face with the branding iron gently, slowly. “Not like you do.”

“I don’t know, Louis,” I stammered, “After this afternoon, we are now both in perfect agreement that I really don’t ‘know the score.’”

“Oh, I think you do. In fact, I think you knew exactly what you were doing.” His eyes were mesmerizing.

“What was that?”

“Encouraging Tatiana to see that the sooner she moves on, the sooner I can, too. Am I right?”

Even in my state of suspended animation, I was aware that I was witnessing a perfect example of the Hollywood spin on Newton’s theory of universal gravitation: what was down—currently, his ego—could only be inflated again if those around him were willing to blow enough hot air into it.

Was I willing to pucker up?

I had no choice. A happy Louis made for a happier world.

I smiled uncertainly. “I guess you’re right, Louis. Must have been a subliminal slip.”

“Look, I know you just want to make me happy” —he paused at that, as if considering the possibilities—“and I’ve no doubt that soon you’ll become a pro at doing so. Still, the next time you have some grand scheme involving my love life, just ask. I don’t bite—unless you absolutely insist on it.” Playfully, he tapped me with the branding iron, his indication that I was now excused to go.

As I lurched toward the door, he called out, “Why don’t we discuss some new ground rules, at dinner? Make a reservation somewhere—but don’t choose some place where we’ll be seen—uh, interrupted. The paparazzi are already staking out the lobby. Tatiana’s visit tipped them off. Better yet, let’s just order in room service. We both might just want to hit the sack early, right?”

Not me. At least, not on those sheets.

I stopped cold. Was he insinuating. . .

Flustered, I turned back around. “Um, Louis, I don’t think—”

“You know, Hannah, that’s just you’re problem: you don’t think. But all that will change…once you know me intimately. Oh, which reminds me: call Barry. Tell him I won’t need Prudence K. tonight.”

Prudence K.—again?

But now. . . he wouldn’t?

Why not?

#

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Josie

Josie Brown is the author of these novels:

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Author's Publishing Notes

"…The tone is confessional, the writing laced with venomous humor..." –The Wall Street Journal "Brown captures the humor of working for a megalomaniac...[A] well-paced, entertaining story." –Publishers Weekly "A fine piece of literary work." –New York Post, Page Six "Josie Brown does an outstanding job capturing the glitz and glamour of Hollywood living yet illuminating the stark loneliness present beneath the façade. Filled with good-natured humor and witty repartee..." –Romance Reader's Connection Before you check out the stars walking the red carpet at next Sunday's Oscars, spend time with True Hollywood Lies. Josie Brown's new satirical novel is about an irritating actor nominated for an Academy Award, his harried personal assistant and all the angst endured from the moment the nominations are announced until the winning name is read out loud. Brown, a journalist with her share of celeb interviews, drops names a-plenty." –Lowell (MA) Press "With tongue-in-cheek dialogue, TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES provides a fascinating look at the jet set lifestyle of the rich and for-the-moment famous.... You will laugh, cry, and wonder if it's worth it to be rich and famous." –Romance Reviews Today