The Boyfriend Bookmark: ★★★★★
Life As I Know It:
Such was my life in fabulous Las Vegas. But what do you expect when you’re the daughter of a prostitute. This is not the life I want for myself, and I have a plan.
Life As I Want It:
Go to college.
Get my degree.
Get as far from Vegas as possible.
But life has other plans. Plans that include him. Life isn’t always sunshine and roses and even the best laid plans change.
This is my story. The story of a girl who thought she had it all figured out until life threw her a curve ball. My name is Presley and I refuse to be just another Working Girl.
Who doesn’t want more? Who doesn’t want to be in a better place than they are now? This book is about learning to live again. Did Elvis sing a song about that? If not, he should have. Just so Presley could have her own anthem. The need to want more and the desire to be something better, to be better than the life she has been given… just more.
Presley wasn’t brought up in ideal circumstances, her first job was against the law, she worked for a brothel… her mother, a whore. Presley loved her mom but could never understand why she was so easily committed to this life and she hated her for that. Presley wanted more out of life. She knew that she wasn’t going to stay here forever, but there were a few things standing in her way… the biggest was her own belief in herself.
Presley is determined. She waited three years to go back to school, just so she knew she could. She wanted more out of life and she was going to get it. She hoped. Something happened in that Bookkeeping class though. He offered to help. It was an easy and simple gesture but he actually offered to help. But as I said, Presley is determined. She wants to do this and she knows she can do it on her own. She doesn’t rely of people to help her. But there’s a catch about those eyes staring back at her…
Emerson knows from the moment he sees Presley walk into the class that there is something special about her. Something unique. Something that he wants to protect. Someone he wants to save and so that day Emerson takes a chance and does something different. He doesn’t care what other’s thing there is something about Presley that he sees, something he wants to heal, something he wants to protect. I think it is true, men like him only appear in books, but oh my, he is completely swoon worthy! He is sweet and kind and even though Presley tries to push every button, he stays strong, he is not giving up.
This book is a hard look at a tough life. Presley didn’t grow up in a subdivided neighborhood with the perfect parents and friends. Her life was so different and perhaps that is why she was holding out for so much more. She didn’t want the life her mother had raised her in. She didn’t want the life that he best friend experienced. She wanted more.
This is a powerful story about getting out, being normal, starting over and learning to love. It is a powerful look at the daily struggle someone like Presley has experienced. The struggle she faces for change. It is a powerful story of determination, not just Presley’s but Emerson’s as well. This is a powerful story of a different kind of lifestyle and trying to break free from the ties that bind, the ties that have formed Presley’s life and the ties that have bound Emerson to her.
If you are looking for the perfect happily ever after kind of a story, this is not it. If you are looking for a sweet and simple romance, don’t look here. There is nothing ordinary or simple about Presley and Emerson. And then you throw in her Boss and his dad and holy crap, all bets are off in every aspect of what you are holding out hope for.
This book broke me. I hurt for the life that Presley was given. I hurt for the father that Emerson really didn’t have. I hurt for their losses. I was moved and yes, even at the very end, I was in tears. But the tears at the end were happy. But so necessary. After the struggle, after the faith and hope, after the worry and after all the shame, the love wins out and steals the heart.
A.E. Woodward does such an amazing job telling the story and making her work un-put-down-able. I really consider which authors that I can’t read one or two books from and be done and authors who capture me and I know that I want to read everything they write. A.E. Woodward has become one of those authors for me. The reality of it is, is that there is a passion in her writing that just grips my heart and Working Girl is just one more example of the fabulous writing! Working Girl is a five-star fabulous read!
“Chrissy!” I whine.
She laughs and lies down next to me. “Stop thinking, Pres. Live. Let him in. You deserve to have someone else on the inside. You have way too much beauty locked up in there to not share it. Whether or not you want to believe this, you have so much to offer someone if you would just take the chance and let someone else in. Trust me, I know what is behind those carefully constructed walls, and it’s amazing.”
If it were possible to look more like a goldfish I’d be stunned. Living this life has made Chrissy hard-faced, and although she is forever telling me she loves me, and that I’m worth more than I believed, I’ve never heard her speak with such conviction before. The problem with keeping yourself locked up tight and spending most of your time alone is that the thoughts and opinions you have about yourself fester. They fester and grow and seep into every aspect of your being, until one day, you wonder how it is that you even managed to get one true friend. Even then, I managed to convince myself that had we not been born into the same life, that there’s no way Chrissy would have wasted her time on me. She thinks so, but up until now I haven’t been so sure. We’re just so different. She exudes confidence, whereas I shy away from life. She walks into a room and commands attention; I am more than happy to sneak in via the fire exit, just to make sure no eyes are on me.
Chrissy’s eyes shimmer with tears and I know that she not only means what she is saying, but that it means something to her that I believe her. This beautiful broken soul has believed in me for so long that I owe it to her, and to myself, to allow her words to take hold of me. I reach for her hand, unable to form words eloquent enough to tell her how much she has done for me, how much she has given me. I look into her eyes and I try, with everything I am, to convey what I feel burning in my chest. I am enough.
A moment passes between us; a moment too special to mar with anything but silence. When Chrissy sniffs and shifts in her seat, I know she’s ready to move on. And I know just how.
“He’s asked me out for coffee tomorrow,” I say quietly. “What should I do?”
“Meet him. Meet him tomorrow, and every day after that.”
“But . . .” I start to argue. Getting involved with Emerson is dangerous for both of us. Someone is bound to get hurt.
Chrissy reaches out and softly places her hand over my mouth preventing me from talking anymore. With her free hand she snakes underneath my pillow and grabs my cell phone before handing it over to me. “Stop thinking, and just say yes.”
About A. E. Woodward
A.E. lives in Vacationland with her husband and two children. Between her real job and writing she finds little time to enjoy life’s finer things. However in the free time she does manage to steal, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and reading. A.E. is the author of Kismet and A Series of Imperfections: Imperfectly Perfect, Imperfectly Real, and Imperfectly Bad. Working Girl is her fifth book.