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The Overnight Socialite

by Bridie Clark

Published by Weinstein Books

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"Didn't we meet in Capri last May?" Lucy continued, saying each word cautiously.

"Yes!" Wyatt stopped in his tracks. "Yes!" It was the first time she hadn't pronounced the name of the island like those unflattering three-quarter length pants. "Go on, go on!"

In this beguiling retelling of the classic Pygmalion, we meet Lucy Ellis, a Manhattan transplant who dreams of making it as a fashion designer but instead toils away on a Garment District assembly line. Road-blocked each time she tries to score a break, Lucy is beginning to think the unthinkable: maybe it's time to pack it in and move home to Minnesota. Then, during a torrential downpour, at her most bedraggled and disheartened, Lucy meets Wyatt Hayes IV.

Wyatt -- man-about-town and bored Ph.D. anthropologist -- has just been publicly dissed by New York's reigning socialite, Cornelia Rockman, whom he'd been dating. He boasts to his best friend Trip that he can transform any woman -- even a trailer-born nobody like Lucy -- into this year's "It" girl. "Give me a few months," he tells Trip, "and I could turn her into a social luminary. She'll make the rest of the pack look like dim little tea lights." If Wyatt can fool the East Coast aristocracy into thinking Lucy's the real deal, he can reveal the farce behind Cornelia's social superiority complex . . . and score a career-boosting book deal.

Headstrong Lucy challenges her teacher at every turn, but armed with a made-up pedigree and a wardrobe costlier than most studio apartments, she's soon navigating a world in which the most photographed socialite takes all. Can Lucy survive in a wilderness where no girl wears the same gown twice, the Astors are considered Johnny-come-latelies, and weddings are more lavish than the coronation of Louis XIV? Will she forge the connections needed to make a name for herself in fashion? And can she surmount the schemes and suspicions of her newfound rival, Cornelia?

Three months of rigorous prep and test runs culminate in Lucy's showdown at the Fashion Forum Gala, where she and Wyatt confront the ne plus ultra of society . . . and their unexpected feelings for each other. But the gaps between them -- as well as Wyatt's secret agenda -- may make this improbable couple an impossibility.

Set against the gold-plated world of Manhattan's social elite, The Overnight Socialite puts a witty twenty-first-century spin on a timeless story of transformation and unlikely love.


pub date: 2009-12-16 | hardcover | 9781602860827