by Lauren Layne
Publication Date January 18, 2022
Published by Simon and Schuster
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Central Park Pact comes a reverse My Fair Lady for the modern era about a pampered and privileged Manhattan socialite who must teach an unpolished and denim-loving nobody from the Louisiana Bayou how to fit in with the upper crust of New York City. Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne.
Violet Townsend has always been a people pleaser. Raised in the privileged world of Upper East Side Manhattan, she always says the right things, wears the right clothes, and never rocks the boat. Violet would do anything for the people closest to her, especially her beloved grandmother. So when she asks Violet to teach the newly-discovered grandson of her friend how to fit in with New York City’s elite, Violet immediately agrees. Her goal? To get Cain Stone ready to take his place as heir to his family company…but to say he’s not exactly an eager student is an understatement.
Born and raised in rural Louisiana and now making his own way in New Orleans, Cain Stone is only playing along for the paycheck at the end. He has no use for the grandmother he didn’t know existed and no patience for the uppity Violet’s attempts to turn him into a suit-wearing, museum-attending gentleman.
But somewhere amidst antagonistic dinner parties and tortured tux fittings, Cain and Violet come to a begrudging understanding—and the uptight Violet realizes she’s not the only one doing the teaching. As she and Cain begin to find mutual respect for one another (and maybe even something more), Violet learns that blindly following society’s rules doesn’t lead to happiness…and that sometimes the best things in life come from the most unexpected places.
Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne is a fun, My Fair Lady retelling, but in reverse. I enjoyed this lighthearted, enjoyable book.
Violet Townsend grew up in the privileged world of the Upper Eastside of Manhattan. Although she grew up in a life of excess and privilege, her life isn’t all parties and balls. Her parents passes away when she was a child, and she went to live with her grandmother. When her grandmother passed away, she was left without any family, except for her grandmother’s best friend Edith, who treats Violet like her own granddaughter. Violet spends most of her time running errands for Edith who is the CEO of a huge family business and going out in the evenings with her boyfriend Keith, who is hoping to take over that family business one day.
When Edith discovers a long-lost grandson, Cain, she insists he learns the ropes of the family business so she can leave it to someone in her family. The problem is that Cain is a bit rough around the edges as he’s spent his entire life in New Orleans, building his distribution business. Edith tasks Violet to show Cain around New York, and teach him how to fit in with Manhattan’s elite social crowd. Violet agrees to the task only to please Edith. When Violet and Cain spend time together sparks start to fly. But, can perfect socialite Violet ever be compatible with the rough, cursing, and resentful Cain?
I enjoyed this reverse My Fair Lady story and was rooting for Violet through the entire book. The story is fast-paced and enjoyable from cover to cover. I don’t usually like to read about the privileged and elite, but I found Violet to be a very engaging and likable character. Her grandmother’s friend Edith was delightful and so were the other side characters in this book. I also enjoyed the banter between Violet and Cain as they worked together to make him more palatable to the snobby elite crowd in New York. The author does a great job mixing the dialogue and description so the book moved quickly, but I still had a good sense of the surroundings.
Lauren Layne’s love of New York City shines through in this fun novel and it’s always fun to travel around the city through her eyes. I did want to learn more about Cain and know more about his backstory. I think knowing more about Cain would have made this book more complete and given it some depth. But, it was still very enjoyable.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves NYC and romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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