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21 Steps to Happiness [Secure eReader]
eBook by F.G. Gerson

eBook Category: Mainstream/Humor
eBook Description: Lynn Blanchett's Steps to Happiness: Step 1: Find a job. (Done! I'm doing PR for hotshot young designer Muriel B.--which I'm totally unqualified for.) Step 2: Find a man. (Check! There's a rich, gorgeous man chasing me ... so what if I find him infinitely less appealing than my charming, possibly gay, French coworker?) Step 3: Find a translator. (Hmm? I do have that French-English dictionary ... but it so doesn't help with the language of love.) Step 4: Find a shower. (I did just fly in from New York.... I can't be fabulous all the time!) Dropped into a ridiculously cushy job in Paris by her distant fashion-icon mother, all Lynn has to do to prove she's not a fraud (which she is!) is fi gure out what exactly her job entails, how she got involved in something that can only be described as fashion treason and how to untangle her love life in time to make Muriel B.'s next runway show the event of the season. With time running short and expertise running low, Lynn has little to guide her but a self-help manual that promises twenty steps to happiness. Written by a fashion insider, 21 Steps to Happiness is a dishy must-read whose narrator boldly and hilariously goes where no young American in Paris has gone before--behind the seams.

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Red Dress Ink
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2006

3 Reader Ratings:
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Step #1:
Never be ashamed of who you

"You're on the next flight, leaving at 5:40, Miss Blanchett."

Listen to her French accent! It's so…

"I can check in your luggage straight away."

"That would be just fine," I say with a suddenly posh voice.

I make a mental note: easy on the posh voice.

I pass her my bag. She frowns. Okay, it's not one of those fancy Frenchy-looking kind she expected from someone like me. It's more like a little Adidas job I used to take to yoga. And yes, it looks horrible, like an old sheep stomach stuffed with clothes and underwear. But darling, you should take a look at the rest of my life.

I have no time for futilities such as traveling wear anymore. I'm so desperately busy right now!

I am a businesswoman.

Going to Paris!

"You may wait in the Premiere Lounge and I'll place a call for your boarding," she says extra gently as she points at some sort of classy hotel-reception area behind her. "And…Miss Blanchett?"


"I love your mother's work."

"Sure, thanks," I say, stepping cautiously into the lounge with the feeling that I'm entering a sacred place.

Hello? I mean, Bonjour?

L'Espace Première is a magnificent lobby full of aging golden boys playing with their cell phones and computers, reading French newspapers while drinking scotch on the rocks under appropriately dimmed lights.

I make another mental note: Lynn, you must get used to these swanky places. Because, right now, I feel as comfortable as a monkey sitting on a rocket.


A waitress brushes past me and places a basket of pastries on the buffet table. I move closer. I'm guessing they were baked in Paris this morning and flown to JFK.

"Are they from Paris?" I ask.


"The croissants?"

"I don't know," she says. "They deliver them by truck. We heat them up in the microwave. I'm new here, anyway."

"Thank you." I grab one of those ridiculously tiny plates and fight a natural instinct to beat the cake-eating record, which is actually held by a Japanese woman, or so I've seen on the Discovery Channel.

Since Jodie asked me to behave like a young lady of the world, I put the tiniest of all the croissants on my plate, ignore the tray of éclairs, and find a seat next to an elegant woman.

She is all I would like to be. Startlingly beautiful. Confident. At home in such surroundings.

She is much older than me, about Jodie's age, somewhere in her comfortable forties. She's sipping tea while browsing through a magazine. She looks so calm, so perfect, so…erudite. She drops her reading, looks up and smiles at me. I smile back with my mouth full, shrug and struggle to eat as elegantly as a bird.

"They're lovely croissants, aren't they?" she says suddenly.

"Oh, yes, lovely!" Some crumbs come flying out of my mouth and land on George W. Bush's face on the cover of her magazine.

She brushes them off gracefully. "I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I think we can board our flight. You're going to Paris, aren't you?"

I swallow a mouthful and say, "Well, yes, I'm flying to Paris!" As if it was the most obvious thing to do.

"I thought so." She stands and gives me her hand. "Roxanne Green. Nice to meet you."

Roxanne? What a cool name.

"Lynn," I say briefly, controlling a survival impulse to say, That's Lynn Blanchett, yeah, that's right, the daughter of super-famous Jodie Blanchett, so who's the most glamorous one now?

"Lynn? Mmm! Nice to meet you, then." She gives me a condescending smile. "Our gate is this way," she says and darts away immediately.

Oh! Should I…

She stops. "Are you coming?"

Yes, yes! I abandon my croissant to catch up with her.

"First visit to Paris?"

Apparently it's tattooed on my forehead.

"Oh, no! I go often," I lie. "What about you?"

"Not as often as I'd like to," she says, but every single Air France attendant is, like, hello, Miss Green, how are you, Miss Green, how nice to see you again, seat 1A as usual, the Chablis is already in the chiller, ha ha ha, have a nice flight.

"What brings you to Paris so often, Lynn? Studying at the Sorbonne?"


"Oh, no, no, work mostly."

"Really? Working? What is it that you do, then?"

"I'm a PR…er…person. I work in couture," I hear myself say.

"How interesting! Paris! Couture! At your age! You must lead a very colorful life."

"I can't complain."

"Who are you working for? Dior?" Roxanne giggles.

"Muriel B."

"Oh, you're working for Muriel. That's so funny. I know Muriel very well. Her father is a good friend of mine. You know him? Francis Boutonnière? It's such a small world, isn't it?"

"Oh, yes! Extremely tiny," I agree awkwardly, since I hardly know anything about Muriel B and I've never ever heard about any Francis Boutonnière. "Do you work in the fashion business, too, Roxanne?"

"I'm just an enthusiast. I make my living as a writer."

"Oh…have you written anything I might have heard of?"

She gives me that smile again. "Are you familiar with self-help titles?"

"Boarding pass, please," a flying attendant asks as we're about to board.

Roxanne hesitates a second, but finally snatches mine. "Where are you sitting? Ah! Business," she breathes and looks up at the stewardess. "Would you mind upgrading my good friend Lynn to premiere? Seat 1B. We just didn't realize we were on the same flight."

Copyright © 2006 by Francisco Gerson.

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