Accidentally Working Class
Publication date: July 1st 2022
Genres: Adult, Chick-lit, Women’s Fiction
Socialite Quinn Appleton knows how to live life—at full speed and with no limits. She has the perfect life, an amazing boyfriend, friends by the bucketload and an eye for fashion. Life is good.
The Appletons are a household name, their eponymous biscuit empire having been in the family for over one hundred and fifty years, making them one of the country’s richest families. They are no strangers to controversy either, constantly gracing the covers of gossip magazines, caught in compromising positions at outrageous parties.
But CEO and matriarch Lady Elizabeth Appleton has had enough. Tired of her children and grandchildren not pulling their weight and dragging the once respectable Appleton name through the mud, she decides to cut them all off financially.
With her life in ruins, Quinn is just one Jimmy Choo heel away from living in a cardboard box when Gran gives her an ultimatum: take a job at the company for six months and her trust fund will be reinstated. The catch? She must do it under a false identity and work her way up—no one can know she’s an Appleton.
Surely it can’t be that hard to hold down a lousy job? After all, millions of other people seem to do it. But Quinn is about to learn just how different the world is when you find yourself suddenly working class.
‘The company has always been the heart of this family—for generations. The Appletons were synonymous with the products we made, that’s what made it special—we had wholesome, family values. But now the only way anyone hears anything about the Appletons is in the gossip magazines.’ Gran nodded at ever-faithful Lionel, who stepped forward on cue, turning to gather a stack of magazines from the sideboard to spread out on the table.
Her brother was on some of them; his arm draped across the shoulders of a topless woman on a beach somewhere exotic on one, and standing naked in the doorway of a luxury villa on another, a huge yellow star hiding his groin (which, personally, Quinn thought was probably twice the size of whatever it was supposed to be covering).
On the other covers, Greta was captured at various parties, kissing multiple men and women on different occasions; on another, she was holding up a bottle of Scotch with one hand and flipping the bird to a photographer with the other.
Then there were the ones which featured her. Quinn grimaced slightly at the cover closest to her, having been taken after a heavy night of drinking. Of all the photos Gran could have used. She was sitting in the gutter out the front of a prominent nightclub, her top sliding off one shoulder, her skirt hitched up to an indecent level and her makeup smudged and hideous. It was unfair that even in drunken debauchery, Greta had never been caught on camera looking that horrific. Cow.
Quinn had been featured in way more magazines than that, and had actually looked fricking amazing. Typical that it would be that cover they used to highlight her wayward behaviour.
‘This is what a once respectable family name has become,’ Gran said as her gaze moved around the table.
‘Mother, I hardly—’ her father started before he was cut off by a glacial glare.
‘I blame all of you for raising such delinquent children.’
‘Just pointing out that I have no children,’ Tobias said, with a doleful glance towards his mother, ‘and can honestly say, looking at this, that I’m bitterly disappointed in my siblings and their offspring.’ He shook his head sadly at the offending magazines.
‘Oh, shut up, Tobias,’ Gran snapped, and without even needing to look at Lionel, the man dropped another three magazines on the pile, featuring her uncle in varying displays of undress at some questionable-looking parties.
‘Oh. Yes,’ Tobias murmured with a devilish grin, reaching over to snag the top one. ‘I remember that night.’ The self-satisfied smile vanished from his face when Gran reached over and snatched the magazine from his hands.
‘I will not have this family’s name dragged through any more mud. All of this nonsense stops right now. Until I’m confident that we’ve rebuilt our reputation back up to a standard we can be proud of, none of you will be getting a single cent out of this company.’
‘Mother, I think you’re blowing this all out of proportion,’ her father tried once more, but bit back a frustrated sigh when she waved off his protest.
‘You’ll be noticing several changes that will start immediately,’ she continued, just as a rumble sounded outside.
‘What on earth is that?’ Quinn’s mother asked, frowning, or what would be frowning if her recently administered Botox had allowed her forehead to crease.
Tobias dropped his linen serviette onto the table as he rose from his seat and went to the window, curiosity getting too much for him. ‘Mother, you wouldn’t,’ Tobias gasped, turning a disbelieving stare on Gran.
Karly Lane lives on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW in Australia. A certified small town girl, she is most happy in a little town where everyone knows who your grandparents were. She writes women’s fiction – everything from romantic suspense to family sagas and life in rural Australia. She has romantic suspense titles published under Karlene Blakemore-Mowle and her latest release, Third Time Lucky is available now.