All The Wrong Places
by Randi Perrin
She starts out with an eviction notice, followed by screwing up her latest audition, losing her job, and catching her boyfriend in bed with her nemesis.
Jobless. Homeless. Single. All in one day. Fantastic.
Things start to look up weeks later when she stumbles into the well-built arms of Christian Whitmore, a hot cop with a sinful smile, impeccable timing, and, as it turns out, a twin brother.
Christian is always there to rescue her when she needs saving, but for everything that’s right about him, there’s something wrong too. It really doesn’t help when she finds out his twin is everything he’s not.
Or is he?
Although Christian and his brother are complete opposites in every way, they are both harbouring secrets and Rachel’s having trouble trusting either one of them. Can she overcome the deception or will she just add both Whitmore brothers to her long list of spectacular fails?
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Pink Satin Romance
“Rachel Kennedy.” The guy wearing hipster glasses and khakis that were an inch too short and showed off his mismatched argyle socks tapped a pencil against the clipboard in his hand and scanned the room. “Ugh, Rachel Kennedy. Going once, twice...”
“That’s me,” I shouted as I stood, crumpling the eviction notice into the bottom of my bag. I waved my hands in the air as if I feared he didn’t notice me in the sea of women in their mid-twenties all vying for the same part.
He gave me a once-over and shrugged. “Right this way, Miss Kennedy.”
Well, at least I didn’t get the snort of derision that directly translates into you don’t belong here that I often get. It’s a step in the right direction.
I smiled, my lucky, last season Louboutins clicking on the dingy, white, tiled floor as I walked past a dozen other hopefuls going through their pre-audition rituals. Some closed their eyes and mouthed their monologues. Others paced the floor. One actress, whom I’ve always admired, had her yoga mat out and was in the middle of a sun salutation.
I needed some yoga right now. Or Xanex. Something to ease my nerves from this audition and the frustration about the eviction notice I pulled out of the mailbox the other day. I know I’m not rolling in the dough—anymore, since Daddy told me it was time to live on my own money instead of his—but I paid my half of rent. There may not be petrol money or much food some months, but that rent cheque clears on the third of the month like clockwork. I knew my boyfriend, Mark, had been struggling to make his half because his hours had been cut at work. Our landlord was none too pleased, but he said he’d work with me. Turns out he’s a liar, because now we’re out on the streets in a week.
Straightening my back as I walked into the dark auditorium, I pushed all my anger and nerves aside. I needed to nail this audition. My career depended on it. I hadn’t had a show since Nunsense a year ago, and with that notice burning a hole in the bottom of my designer handbag, even more was riding on this. My big break had to come soon. My mother never made it as an actress, but by God, I was going to. I was going to live the dream she gave up for me. I knew she’d never see it, but I was still going to make her proud.
The click-clack of my heels gave way to a thunk-thunk as I stepped onto the honey-coloured wooden stage. Standing center stage, I focused on the orchestra pit. Staring back at me were three casting directors, and I had to swallow back the bile that crept up my throat. I wouldn’t have a chance in hell if I spewed on the casting directors. The only person who had ever chucked on a casting director and still landed the role was Cassandra Browne. Just the thought of her sent a shiver down my spine.
Taking a deep breath, I shook the nervous energy out of my hands.
“Whenever you’re ready, Ms. Kennedy,” said a familiar older man with a bushy monobrow. Directopillar. He had a reputation for being tough to impress. But I had impressed him when I landed Nunsense. I could do it again. No. I would do it again.
I glanced at the other two casting directors but didn’t recognise them. I closed my eyes and gathered everything in me before I opened my mouth.
“Well, Tommy has proposed to me again. Tommy really does nothing but propose to me.”
Fudge cookies! I messed up my accent.
I shuffled my feet as I debated continuing in the contrite southern accent that fell off my tongue like I meant to do it. Or should I stop altogether and ask for a redo? The former would be embarrassing, the latter unprofessional. There was no way to win here. Either way I went, I was a colossal screw-up.
Directopillar paused from taking notes and glared at me, a scowl on his face. I wouldn’t be surprised if his note read, Go back home to the States.
“Excuse me, Ms. Kennedy,” Directopillar said, his proper British accent mocking me. “You are aware An Ideal Husband is set in London, correct?”
“Yes, sir.” I nodded, avoiding eye contact. I didn’t want to see the disappointment painted on his face; the tone of his voice was disparaging enough. “I just thought it might be fun to put an American spin on it. Who better to make fun of than those in the American South?”
“We will not be changing the setting.” He cracked the pencil in his hand and tossed it over his shoulder. “I will give you one more chance—and know this is not a luxury I grant many people. Please start from the top.”
Grateful for the second attempt, I decided to move closer to them, so the emotion I portrayed wrapped them like a warm blanket, leaving them with a warm fuzzy that whispered, “Cast Rachel Kennedy,” for the rest of the afternoon.
I walked to the edge and dropped down to the stage, without showing the casting directors everything I owned—not that it mattered. My boyfriend, Mark, and I hadn’t had sex in so long, I think my hymen had grown back. All I needed was a pair of granny panties, and my transition back to virgin would be complete.
I swung my feet as I opened my mouth again.
“Well, Tommy has proposed to me again,” I began, and although I wasn’t a Southern belle anymore, I was an Irish clanswoman. The last big cheque I wrote to my dialect coach was spinning down the drain.
Directopillar massaged his temples. Still, no one told me to stop, so I moved forward with Oscar Wilde’s words. “Tommy really does nothing but propose to me. He proposed to me last night in the music-room, when I was quite unprotected—”
My precious Louboutin slipped off my foot and flew through the air, landing in the lap of the casting director on stage left. She glanced down at my shoe and back up at me.
I shrugged and tried to pick up where I left off. After all, the show must go on. “...unprotected, as there was—”
Directopillar held up his hand. “That’s enough, Ms. Kennedy. That—”
“…was at least on the right continent,” supplied the recipient of my shoe.
I crawled to my knees and then rushed off the stage—as much as someone wearing only one five-inch heel could rush, more like hobble—to retrieve my shoe.
Taking the heel from the casting director, I held my head low and slipped the shoe back onto my foot that was in desperate need of a pedicure, something else I couldn’t afford these days. I was wearing the Louboutins when I landed Nunsense, and I was hoping there was still luck in their red soles. Based on the hushed whispers behind me as I walked out of the theatre, all signs pointed to no.
In fact, all signs pointed to Rachel-is-a-big-fat-loser-ville. Population, me.
I dropped down onto an empty chair and rooted through my bag, finally finding my phone wrapped up in the evil paper that started the domino effect of it-sucks-to-be-me events. Just as I expected, the red notification light blinked at me, demanding my attention like a zit before an audition.
I didn’t even have to unlock my phone to know it was my best friend, Lily.
Lily: Tell me you knocked them dead. I know you knocked them dead.
Rachel: Well, I almost knocked one of them out.
If I were in front of Lily, I’m certain I would have been on the receiving end of the most epic eye roll.
Lily: I’ll see what strings I can pull. Directopillar is a tough nut to crack.
Lily also worked in the theatre; she was the most fantastic costumer I’d ever seen, and that’s saying something for a girl who spent all her free time hanging out on Broadway until her father forced her to move to Australia.
Rachel: Don’t bother wasting your breath. I never made it past the third sentence.
Rachel: On my British accent.
Lily: Go home. Lick your wounds. Tomorrow is another day, and there’s always another show.
I didn’t need an agent. All I needed was Lily. She was the most in-demand costumer. She was always aware of what was coming up next in the theatre scene long before it hit the streets because they had to fight to get on her schedule. It was a lovely position to be in, even if it paid squat. I’d give anything to have directors begging for my time.
Slipping my phone back into the abyss of half-used lipstick tubes and compacts in my handbag, I rose from the chair and walked towards the exit, my heart heavier than my footsteps.
A few feet from the door, the ever-mature “loser” cough stopped me in my tracks.
Let it go. My head knew the answer.
Somehow my feet didn’t get the message as I turned around and scanned faces until I landed on one that made my skin crawl. Cassandra, who was trying to hide the laugh behind her hand to no avail. Such an actress. She could just kiss the soles of my Louboutins. No, she wasn’t even good enough for that. Especially since that evil wench stole every part out from under my nose.
The most humiliating part about it wasn’t just that she always won the parts; it was that she was only a couple days shy of eighteen. Sure, it’s only a seven-year age difference, but it feels like an entire generation gap. I continually lose out on parts to a child.
I put on my sunnies and marched towards the door, mainly so she wouldn’t see the lone tear of frustration that ran down my cheek.