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The Overnight Socialite (2009)

Lucy Jo Ellis has been thrown down and stepped on by New York. Her dreams of one day becoming a fashion designer have ended disastrously and she's ready to run back home to Dayville, Minnesota, with her tail between her legs. Then everything changes when she meets the handsome and aristocratic Wyatt Hayes. Wyatt, who has had a little too much to drink after being publicly humiliated by his socialite girlfriend, offers Lucy Jo a proposition that at first she is reluctant to accept. Wyatt says that he can turn Lucy Jo, an average girl, into one of Manhattan's most wanted women. He'll turn her life around and get her a job with a designer if she will be the subject of his social experiment. He's even going to write a book on the whole ordeal but he doesn't tell Lucy Jo this part of the deal. Wyatt wants to prove that anyone, no matter their background, can be a socialite with the right training. With nothing left to lose, Lucy Jo accepts Wyatt's offer and things change immediately. First off, she is no longer Lucy Jo, from Dayville. She is now Lucia Haverford Ellis from a blue-blood family in Chicago. Soon Lucy Jo finds herself exercising with a trainer, wearing designer clothes that would have cost her whole salary, and attending parties every single night on the arm of one of Manhattan's most desirable men. She quickly becomes the talk of the town, attracting the attention of some of New York's richest men, much to Wyatt's chagrin. All this does not sit well with Wyatt's ex and reigning queen of all socialites, Cornelia Rockman. Cornelia is desperate to get Wyatt back and she'll stop at nothing to do so, even if it means ruining Lucy Jo's life. Vindictive and powerful, Cornelia is a force to be reckoned with. Three months of training for Lucy culminate at the Fashion Forum Ball, an ultra-exclusive event in which Wyatt hopes to end his experiment with Lucy Jo and show the world that anyone - not just a woman born with a silver spoon in her mouth - can become a socialite. This is a life-changing event for both Lucy Jo and Wyatt as they have to deal with unexpected obstacles and more importantly, they have to deal with how they really feel about each other. Written by someone who knows all about New York's upper-crust society and inspired by the classic Pygmalion tale, this is a fun and juicy read. However, considering its fantastic beginning and middle, the ending is rather demure. It leaves you hanging a bit (it could have done with another chapter to catch up on what happens to each character) but otherwise it is a book not to be missed. (AS)

Because She Can (2007)

Touted as The Devil Wears Prada of the book publishing world, this book's boss from hell is publisher Vivian Grant - a woman who thinks nothing of turning up at a wedding to berate the bride about unfinished business. Claire Truman thinks she's made it when she lands an editor's position at Grant Books and becomes the girlfriend of her university crush, Randall Cox. And despite having to weather Vivian's abuse and working to the wee small hours, Claire is determined to stay in the job for a year - and to see the book by Luke Mayville (the nephew of her former boss and mentor) published. But Claire can't help wondering if her future will have a happy ending.

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