Svetlana and her daughter Elena saw a little success with their Perfect Dress clothing line after the disastrous Paris fashion show in Celebrity Shopper. The dresses are selling fairly well in Europe, but are much better suited for the style of American women. Svetlana is handling sales in Europe, while Elena is overseeing operations in America. But Elena has fallen apart and so have sales overseas. Like a woman without a country, Annie is a woman without a project, so when Svetlana asks her to go to New York to help Elena for awhile, you know she won't be able to resist.
Lana was to spend her gap year working on Annie's television show. Since that show was scrapped, and Lana didn't care to work there anyway, she has the opportunity to visit America with Annie. In a much larger role than she's been given in previous books, New York Valentine is really Lana's coming out party. Seemingly directionless prior to the trip, she becomes more sure of herself during their New York stay, proving to be just as fashion forward and business savvy as Annie.
Lana's love life is also on display and while she does have her usual angsty teen moments, she proves to be mature in that area as well. Given the focus on Lana and the attention given to her story line, I have to wonder if Carmen Reid is setting her up for her own series in the future. Because she's younger, I would think that she'd have a slightly different audience than the readers that have come to adore early 40s Annie. While Lana might be interesting to read about, I wonder how believable others find a just out of high school 18 year old acting in such a leadership role when she has absolutely no business experience other than selling items on eBay.
Back at home, Owen's pockets are bulging with money from the sales he makes at the weekend flea market. At least that's where his family believes the money is coming from. And Ed has been suspended from work for suspicious pornographic material uploaded to the school servers from his laptop. As much as she hates to admit it, there's no way Annie can stay in New York and try to save someone else's business when her own family is falling apart.
Published: January 2011
Theme: Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring that bleating goat