Dear Miss Snark,
Title is a 60,000 word romance novel I'm querying for representation.
Deep in a quarter life crises, Todd's boss "helps" by setting him up with his daughter, Ricarda, despite Todd's fiancé and social implications of dating the boss' daughter. (diagram that sentence; I dare you) The ensuing affair U-turns Todd's life. (U-turn isn't a verb)
The twist: upon Todd ending his engagement, it's revealed Bossman and Todd's fiancé were secretly dating; hooking Todd on Ricarda was their plan all along.
err...huh?? I've stopped reading right here. You have a romance and the main characters are both men? even I know you've got a fundamental problem from the get go.
McBride leaned into the corridor, smiling. His veneers arched to each ear like Christmas lights.
"Sir?" Todd got to his feet, allowing himself a polite smile, but his stomach dropped at the impeccable cut of his boss' suit.
"I was just saying to–" McBride guided Todd into the office. His monolithic desk was the type of furniture that made Also Sprach Zarathustra play in one's mind. " you know Sheryl?"
Todd shook his head, never privy to his boss' lady friends. He gazed at the mound of CVs littering the desk. Well, that certainly wasn't a good sign…
"I was saying to Sheryl," McBride went on. "Coffee? No? The other day - we were down at Fitzpatrick's stud last weekend. Great place. Are you into the GGs?"
Todd shook his head again, thinking of the nodding dogs that sat on dashboards. Did Bossman even remember why he'd called him?
"-so she said that you're nothing without an education. Of course, I think that's bullshit. Dropped her sharpish, so I did," McBride barked a laugh and took up an empty mug. "Snotty bitch."
Todd felt it appropriate to speak. "Yes, sir."
"And I told her straight out so I did, I told her to her face. 'Sarah,' I said."
"Hmm?" McBride looked up from his coffee making. He stared and Todd knew McBride didn't have a clue what he was talking about. Bossman cleared his throat. "Let me tell you Todd, know why I'm doing this?"
Todd sighed inwardly. His answer was the utmost truth: "No, sir."
"Want to know why I'm making my own coffee? I, me, making coffee?"
Those executive development classes returned to haunt him. Something about…
McBride snapped his fingers and the veneers flashed. "That's right. See? I like you Todd, always said that. Gotta think on your feet. Independence. Make your own coffee. Wipe your own arse."
Todd thought for a moment. "Y-yes."
"Mmm?" McBride cocked an ear, but then: "For fuck's sake, no cream.
How the hell are you supposed to make coffee?"
"Drink it black?" Todd thought, but then the words sounded… audible. Shit, had he said that aloud?
McBride stared again.
Dear, sweet, holy Lord please don't freak, the words ran through Todd's mind and he kept his face blank.
"That's another thing – adaptability." McBride took a swig of the black coffee and hissed, steam rolling from his mouth like the maw of hell. "And independence. Gotta have them both. That's what I like to see, especially in my employees. Always thought you've got 'em
both. I have. Yes, you're quite the candidate..." He drifted off, sliding into his supple chair. McBride kicked his feet onto his desk, ignorant of the CVs he rumpled.
"Candidate?" Todd stepped closer, forcing his hands to de-fist.
"Kids today," McBride made a face and picked up the nearest page. "Look at this: 'best practices' blah, 'amortization' blah, 'Sarbanes Oxley' blah. No one gives a shit." He tossed the page in the bin and looked up. "Am I supposed to care?"
"I-I would think... Uh… perhaps?"
Hmm." The corners of McBride's mouth turned down.
Misstep, misstep, thought Todd. "Unless... you can delegate the position… or the candidate… it's… delegate…" Todd realized he had no idea what he was saying. His mouth closed and he tried not to envy the aroma of roasted, ground goodness.
McBride snapped his fingers and an odd expression alighted his face.
"Know what else I admire?"
Todd felt like a long-suffering butler. "Delegation, sir?"
"Delegation." McBride grinned. "You gotta have it these days. Independence, adaptability, so on. You need them all. Can't function sans, just can't." McBride glowered at the CVs. "That's something these eejits should realize. I won't have it Todd. I can't hire a single one of them."
"There's a vacancy sir?" Todd asked, puzzled. Then the penny dropped. Of course there's a vacancy. That's what happens when you're fired. He gulped, "But sir, you said I-"
"Now you Tom, uh, Todd," McBride pointed a finger, "Todd, you're different. You're like me."
I've seen this a million times already.