An associate enters a bet with publishing mogul Henri (Ree) Higgins to see who can take a random person and make them famous within two weeks. At the appointed time, cleaning lady Elizabeta enters Ree’s office and so becomes his fame game project. Elizabeta is actually a single mother and office manager who cleans on the side to learn more about the publishing industry and help launch her daughter Angelina’s fashion design business.
With its nod to Pygmalion, this story isn’t about teaching someone to be a lady; instead it’s about making someone a well-known name, in a society where so many chase their fifteen minutes of fame and where value is measured by social media likes and clicks. Elizabeta is an ambitious character, with a laser-focus drive to support her daughter, who has Down’s syndrome. She embraces Ree’s challenge and films a series of Youtube videos showing how you can spruce up your surroundings with her simple tips. So there is no My Fair Lady makeover as expected but of course Ree does become accustomed to her face in what is a pleasant, light read.
Australian fantasy/sci-fi author Nicole Murphy is releasing her first romance novel, The Making of Henri Higgins, under the name Elixabeth Dunk. The summary says: "He thought it was all a game ... until he grew accustomed to her face.
Henri Higgins is bored by everything - his life, his work, even the models he regularly sees socially (and privately). So when a close friend suggests a high-stakes, friendly competition, a 'fame' game, Ree leaps at the opportunity for a little shake-up in his daily routine. The rules are simple: the competitors are to take the first person that they meet at a certain time and make them as famous as possible within two weeks. But Ree doesn't expect Elizabeta.
Elizabeta Flores del Fuego has a plan. An office manager by day, she moonlights at a number of creative Canberra businesses by night to learn all she can about the fashion industry and put her in the best place possible to help launch her beloved daughter, Angelina's design career. Cleaning the office of Higgins Publishing is just one of those jobs, but when Henri Higgins offers her a week's worth of work and a paycheque large enough to get Angelina Designs on its feet, it's an offer she can't refuse. But Elizabeta doesn't expect Ree, and neither expect the lessons in love they're both about to learn." The Making of Henri Higgins is out in March 2017.