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Another riches-to-rags-to-riches tales from celebutante author Richie.
After tapping the seedier side of her personal life, Richie (The Truth About Diamonds, 2005) composes another avatar for herself, a spoiled heiress digging deep in a time of crisis. Charlotte Williams is a 22-year-old princess living the high life in New York City, thanks to the largesse of her father Jacob, a Wall Street tycoon. Charlotte's other inheritance, her looks, come from her late mother, a legendary supermodel who was killed in a car wreck. Her introduction is painfully formulaic. Here's Charlotte clubbing; gossiping with her catty girlfriends; and shopping, shopping, shopping as the author drops designer names like they paid for product placements. Tragedy strikes when father Jacob is arrested by the FBI and charged with embezzlement in a ripped-from-the-headlines case of fraud. Before long, Charlotte is assaulted by a stranger and starts receiving death threats by telephone. She doesn't have resources to fall back on, because her $10 million trust fund has been frozen by the Feds, forcing her to (gasp) pawn her jewelry collection. "She realized if she was going to get out of this situation, she was going to have to be resourceful," Richie writes. "Creative. Bold. But first? Shopping."Fortunately, the narrative picks up a little when Charlotte flees the city to stay with Millie Pearl, her former nanny, in New Orleans. There Charlotte meets a pair of kindred spirits in Kat Karraby, a lesbian force of nature who manages a hot vintage-clothing store, and Jackson Pearl, Millie's handsome son who introduces the debutante to the earthier side of society. Richie still manages to add both glam and friction to this latter section, guilelessly as ever. Naturally, Charlotte instantly becomes a famous singing star when Kat puts her performance on YouTube, while her creepy stalker continues to circle his noose around the rising diva.
A clichéd fairy tale, about as original as the TV movie it will inevitably become.