HH Com 121

Can a relationship built on lies survive?

When handsome J.J. pulls up in his Jaguar, dressed like a prep, Alexandra Coulter is taken aback, but accepts that he is a temp for Movin’ Up, her moving company for small businesses. J.J. has hidden that he is actually Jacob Edward Chamberlain, Jr., a patent attorney and son of the Republican candidate for New Jersey governor. It is his office that Alex is relocating, and he has arrived in time for the move in order to retrieve unsecured trade secrets before they can be stolen, jeopardizing his practice. When a photo in the newspaper reveals J.J.’s true identity to Alex, she is furious that he lied, and that he distrusted her professional ethics. Will her attraction to him prove stronger than her desire for truth, instilled by her parents’ lies in her youth? (that sentence needs a scalpel--here use mine)

You've got the right idea on form here but it needs sharpening up.

You've also got a problem in that who cares if he lies? He toted boxes down the stairs for $10 an hour didn't he? Who cares? Not me. Alex is an idiot if she does. And "professional ethics" for a moving company? What the hell is that? That they'll arrive on time and not drop Grandmother Snark's porcelain spittoon down the stairs?

If you headline this "can a relationship built on lies survive," you need lies about something that matters. Like he's really Satan or she's really a man...good stuff.

Get some meat here. Right now this is a tofu turkey.


Anonymous said...

"Dressed like a prep," strikes me as very high school-ish. I would definitely change that to something that doesn't date the author.

December Quinn said...

I don't get it. It's his company, why does he need to pretend to be a mover to retrieve some of his own files? He could just walk in and say, "I'm Jacob, here's my card. I'm going to move those files personally, okay?" Done.

Also, what sort of professional ethics does she have if some guy can just get hired without even a background check (required for bonding), or notice the temp agency sent one person too many? (I assume he didn't actually go through the agency.)

Clarice Snarkling said...

Mmm... tofu turkey.

I think the last name "Coulter" has too many public-arena connotations these days. I see that name and I get an immediate picture of Ann in my head. Everyone has a strong opinion of her these days, whether a positive or a negative one. Coupled with a first name that begins with "A," I think you're unnecessarily veering into dangerous territory. Alexandra... Carver, maybe?

Dave said...

ooh, he lies about being rich, handsome, powerful and a great guy to become a dumb, unattractive, slob moving furniture? AND, AND, AND driving a jaguar?

Sure you're kidding. That doesn't work for me at all.

Writerious said...

Q: Can a relationship built on lies survive?

A: No.

I know from bitter experience. Run away, Alexandra! Run away!

HawkOwl said...

The weirdest thing is really that there is no relationship. Not the way you've written the hook. The guy isn't even lying in order to have a relationship with her, he's lying to get into his office, and he's not even so much lying as just showing up dressed as a labourer for a moving company. Big f'en deal.

But to answer your question, yes, yes it can. My man lied to me the day I met him: I asked him for placard holder and he pretended not to know what they are, so he could walk me around the shop pretending to look for them. That's about the same level of deception your dude has, and it hasn't hurt us at all.

So in short, no.

Anonymous said...

Having moved and helped with moving I would be highly suspicious of the rates charged by a guy who drives a Jag.

C'mon, just how blond IS the heroine?

The opening premise stretches belief the way great aunt Murgatroyd abuses her spandex bowling pants on Tuesday nights.

Kim said...

Wait - it's her company and she doesn't know his real name? How did she put him on the books without a social security number? Even if he was coming from a temp agency, the information would have to made available to Alexandra, wouldn't it? Or at least he'd have some paperwork from an agency, wouldn't he (I've never temped, so I don't know exactly how that works.)

And if he's faking being her employee, wouldn't she be a complete twit to NOT know that she didn't request a temp? How does she run her company, if she doesn't even know her own employees?

HawkOwl said...

Nah. He's a labourer. Varies by location but where I am, as long as he puts in less than about 50 hours a month, I wouldn't need to get any info from him except what name to put on his cheque. And even if I did get info from him, there's no way I'd make the effort to check whether his name, SIN and DOB are real or fictitious. I'd just want a phone number so I can call his house if he doesn't show up to work.

Kim said...

Ok - I'll let slide about the paperword *g* but that still doesn't account for the fact that she doesn't know who works for her. If she's really that clueless, she'd be TSTL and I'd want to smack her upside the head and tell her to get a clue, not spend 250 to 400 pages (or so) with her.

thraesja said...

Yeah, I'm never going to sympathize with anyone named A. Coulter. I'd be too busy expressing my gratitude for being allowed to share the same continent with her.

Unless J.J. is seriously more deviuos than he seems, I don't see much of an issue. I assume there is one. You need to tell us.

Her parents' lies are important to her character, yet they get tacked on at the end as a throwaway, rhyming couplet?