TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER: ‘Bond Girl’ perfect read for anyone who’s had love/hate relationship with job

By Terri Schlichenmeyer

It seemed like the perfect job. Everything they said during the interview process made you practically salivate. Perks, prestige, vacations, opportunity to learn and advance, chances to grow, what’s not to love? Hearing “you’re hired” made it even more perfect.
But somewhere between then and now, your sterling job has tarnished and there are things you’re really starting to hate about it. As you’ll see in “Bond Girl” by Erin Duffy, you’re not alone: sometimes, landing the best job can end up being the worst thing that ever happens.
Alex Garrett was a wild child.
Never one for pink and frou-frou, Alex spent much of her childhood playing with the neighborhood boys – until the day she beat them at baseball and they sent her home. That was the day that Alex’s father, a Wall Street banker, offered comfort and a chance to visit his workplace, and Alex’s life was never the same.
Everything was exciting on Wall Street. Men in fine suits swaggered from desk to desk, the buildings soared and stretched, time was money and money was all anyone thought about. To Alex, it was perfect.
As soon as she could, Alex went to college, then immediately landed a position in sales and trading at the prestigious Wall Street firm, Cromwell Pierce. The job was a plum – thousands of Wall Street wanna-be’s would kill for a mere interview – but doing the actual work was not so sweet.
As one of two women in the group, Alex quickly became “Girlie” with a folding chair, no desk, and no dignity in her work, an indentured slave tasked with fetching pizzas and sandwiches, running high-formula reports, and toiling til long into the night. It took a long time, lots of mistakes, a hundred bleary-eyed late nights, and plenty of fortitude before Alex gained the respect of her boss and co-workers, the eye of a cute officemate, and the unwanted attention of Cromwell’s biggest client.
Still, life on the Street was one of never-ending parties, big-spending investors, and it was everything Alex ever wanted. But when a workplace romance got complicated (wasn’t she warned about this?) and the economy soured, so did everything else. How could the perfect job make her feel so perfectly soulless?
Ever want to smash the alarm clock to smithereens on a workweek morning? Uh huh, yep, you have … so you need to read “Bond Girl.”
With an eye for detail that only someone with experience could possess, author Erin Duffy leads her readers through a high-finance boys locker room where lying is a way of life, chaos is the new normal, and alcohol is the way to deal with both. Duffy’s Alex is the perfect character for this setting, though: she’s sassy, savvy, smart enough to endure, and likeable enough to keep you hoping for a happy ending.
If you’re looking for a good weekend retreat or a great book for the beach, look for this one. For any woman who’s ever had a love-hate-detest relationship with a job, “Bond Girl” is truly perfect.
Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives in West Salem, Wis., with two dogs and more than 9,500 books.