As I've mentioned in the past, Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors. I love her Central Park Pact series but her latest novel, "To Sir With Love" was less than thrilling. It wasn't my favorite... which is why I was really excited for her newest novel, "Made in Manhattan."

This book comes out on January 18th and I was able to read it early thanks to NetGalley. It's based on My Fair Lady but in reverse; a woman trying to make a man more presentable to society since he comes from the 'wrong side of the tracks.' 

I read this book within days because I couldn't wait to know what happened. It was a little predictable but it still kept me on my toes because, at one point, I wasn't sure what was going to happen.

Let's get into it! 

Publisher's Summary

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.

My Thoughts

As soon as I started this book, I fell in love. I fell in love with Violet, her personality, her demeanor and the story ahead. I love a socialite, I love an elite Manhattan backdrop... there were very few things to not appreciate about the beginning of this novel. 

As I said before, this is a reverse of My Fair Lady where Violet needs to turn Cain into a Manhattan CEO and it was the perfect enemies to lovers trope, a trope that I usually like but sometimes it can be overdone, moved too quickly, or too corny. None of that existed here -- it was perfectly paced and had an undertone of deepness that I don't think a lot of romances can do properly.

Throughout the novel, we see Violet really come into her own. When we first meet her, she's very meek, simple, and happy with the way things are going. She hasn't been challenged but as Cain comes into her life and she sees things from a different perspective and starts to change while still staying true to herself.

While it was supposed to be a story about Violet changing Cain to be more accepted into Manhattan society, it was quite the opposite and it kept me on my toes... you kept wondering what Violet was going to do next. 

There was a point in the book where I really didn't know what was going to happen... it was that type of romance, where it wasn't predictable which I always love and appreciate! 

All in all, I think this was one of my favorite Lauren Layne books ever, and I think it was one of her best written. There were a lot of really good, intricate details, the characters were really well developed and it wasn't a corny romance. "Made in Manhattan" made me really happy, brought a smile to my face and is a great, quick read to pull you out of a slump!

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