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wealthy. Becky works as a financial journalist for the magazine Successful Savings, a job she says that no one who works there is very excited about, and they all say that they just "fell into," while in fact being unable to get better jobs. The job bores her. Becky admits to actually knowing very little about personal finance as she is thousands of pounds in debt as is evidenced by a run through of her Visa card bill. She becomes deeper in debt by uncontrollably spending on designer homeware, clothes and beauty products. The book emphasises that her cycle of debt is not easily broken, as, even as she is thousands of pounds in debt, Becky still receives letters offering her credit and department store cards. She often rationalises her overspending, for instance by referring to items as an 'investment' or necessary. Unfortunately for Becky, she considers things such as birthday presents for her friends as necessary.
On her way to a press conference held by Brandon Communications, Becky notices a sale sign in the window of the Denny and George shop. She sees that the scarf she has long craved for is on sale at a discount of 50%. Becky sees this as a unique opportunity but realizes that she has left her Visa card at the office and asks the shop assistant to reserve the scarf until she can retrieve her credit card. The assistant reluctantly agrees to hold it until the end of the day only.
Upon arriving at the press conference, she is greeted by a staff of Brandon Communications, who mentions that there's been some surprising news in the banking field and asks Becky her opinion on the news. Becky has no idea what the woman is referring to and has to feign knowledge. After the staffer leaves, Luke Brandon, head of Brandon Communications, realizing that she was feigning knowledge of what was happening, tells her that one financial group recently bought another, and it was recently rumored that Flagstaff Life was going the same way.
Halfway through the conference Becky is given another errand by her employer and realizes that she will not have time to return to the office for her credit card, but only needs twenty pounds more to buy her Denny & George scarf. She asks her friend Elly Granger if she can borrow some money, but Elly has none. Luke hears Becky ask for twenty pounds, and stops the whole Press Conference just so he can hand a twenty pound note to her, once she has made up a story of needing the money to buy a present for her aunt who is in hospital. Right after she has bought the Denny & George scarf she bumps into Luke Brandon and has to make excuses to leave, before he finds out that she's lied.
Later on during the week, Becky's flatmate Suze asks her to go to a restaurant with her and her cousins, including Tarquin. There, Becky sees Luke and his parents having dinner. The mother comments on
Becky's scarf, and she blabs about getting it as a bargain. Then she realizes her mistake, and abruptly tells a suspicious Luke that her aunt died. Becky is mortified.
Luke runs into Becky after that and asks her to come shopping with him at Harrods. Initially she really enjoys shopping with him for luggage and goes up and down the shop wheeling around the luggage playfully, helping Luke choose the best purchase. After he reveals that the luggage is actually for his girlfriend -Sacha, Becky is very upset, telling Luke that she feels he's used her and not treated her with respect.
Throughout the story, a man named Derek Smeath, who is the manager of Becky's bank, is constantly trying to get ahold of her so he can set up a re-payment schedule for her overdraft. Becky always has some excuse as to why she cannot send a check or meet with Mr. Smeath and his assistant, Erica. The excuses range from a broken leg, a dead aunt, etc, etc, until it becomes obvious to Mr. Smeath that Becky is quite unable to repay the overdraft. He becomes quite insistent upon setting up a meeting with her.
Suze and Becky happen to be flicking through a magazine and see a list of eligible millionaires. Tarquin is the fifteenth richest there, but also on the list happens to be Luke Brandon. Tarquin asks Becky out, while there Tarquin compliments Becky on her scarf and she continues the pretense that it's from her deceased aunt. She further embroiders that her aunt had set up a charity for children abroad to be given violin teachers. Tarquin writes out a check for £5000, which would solve Becky's financial problems, but she feels she can't possibly accept it, and painfully refuses. While Tarquin goes the bathroom, Becky sneaks a look at his checkbook, wondering if a millionaire gets to buy a lot of lavish items. The content isn't extraordinary. Tarquin returns and Becky is sure he saw her looking at the checkbook.
Becky gives up trying to date Tarquin, as he is just not her type, even if he is very rich.
At this point her bank manager is trying desperately to arrange a meeting. Unable to come up with any more excuses, Becky goes back home to hide at her parent's house, lying to them when he calls and saying he is a stalker, Becky learns that her next door neighbors made a financial decision based on advice that Becky had absentmindedly given them and stand to miss out on thousands of pounds in a windfall resulting from a bank takeover. The bank had sent an offer of a carriage clock to people who would get the windfall, if they change their account to a different plan. The bank knew of the planned takeover and upcoming windfall, while the customers do not, but if they accepted the plan for which they are offered a gift, the customers will not receive the windfall. Becky is horrified by being partly
culpable for her kindly neighbors losing out, and sets out to make things right by writing an article that exposes the bank's duplicity. The article is a success, and leads to Becky appearing on a daytime television show called The Morning Coffee. Unfortunately, Becky did not know that the bank was a client of Luke Brandon's PR firm. Luke became very angry with her, and thought she wrote the article just to get back at him for treating her poorly. Becky and Luke square off during her appearance on The Morning Coffee. After arguing with Becky Luke conceded that she was right, the bank had frauded their customers. So Luke Brandon announces that Brandon Communications will no longer be representing that bank. Becky gets a regular slot on the show.
Luke Brandon invites Becky out for a seeming business dinner at the Ritz Hotel. When Becky arrives at their meeting, business is not on the agenda and instead they eat their fill of the food, including a selection of all the puddings they liked the sound of, and then end up spending the night at the Ritz together. Becky has to miss yet another meeting arranged with her bank manager, but he writes and tells her this can be postponed, as due to her regular slot on television, her finances are now rosy. But the bank manager, Derek Smeath, will continue to keep an eye on her account. SHOPAHOLIC ABROAD 2001 Life looks good for Becky Bloomwood. She has a great relationship with boyfriend Luke, a steady job giving financial advice- on TV! And is actually getting along with her bank manager, Derek Smeath. But when Mr. Smeath retires from Endwich Bank and Luke announces he wants to make it big in New York, big changes are in store (literally) for Becky. She takes to New York like an angel to heaven. Becky has never been happier and the reader is treated to Becky seeing the Guggenheim in a unique way, winning the attention of employees at Barney's and discovering sample sales. Becky is spending a lot, but is sure she's financially secure, with the job offers on TV piling up. But an article in the Daily World reveals her high debts, calls her a fraud for telling people how to manage their money when she is herself feckless. This causes a fight between her and Luke, as there are current rumours about that his PR company, Brandon Communications, will lose Bank of London as their client, and her being revealed as in debt (and Luke not even knowing about it) doesn't help situations. More and more opportunities are ruled out, when more and more people read the article. She even loses her current job on Morning Coffee, and is replaced by her former co-worker Clare Edwards, who Becky never liked, being boring and smug. She returns home to her roommate and best friend Suze, while Luke remains in New York, and their relationship comes to an apparent end. Becky and Suze go to Becky's new bank manager to ask for a bigger overdraft, but are met with nothing but hostility and disgust. A woman who worked for her former employers Morning Coffee contacts her and asks her to lunch, Becky becomes hopeful, but it turns out she only wants Becky to come on and be told off by Clare for TV. Becky becomes depressed. On a trip to Luke's office to collect a package for her delivered there, she overhears a conversation between 'Alicia Bitch Long-Legs', Luke's employee, and another Brandon C. worker, which confuses her. She discovers Alicia and the worker are planning to steal Luke's clients, along with Bank of London, and set up on their own. She contacts Luke's colleague Michael Ellis and tells him, but asks him not to let Luke know it was her. Suze suggests for a healing and empowering exercise that Becky throw out all her
unnecessary possessions. Becky has a better idea, and decides to sell them. She has a huge bidding and sells all of them, even her Denny and George scarf, a big symbol for her and Luke's relationship. She accepts the slot on Morning Coffee, but shocks them all by telling them she has no more financial problems, has paid of all her debt, and is heading off to New york now to work at Barney's (all of which is now true). Luke turns up at the airport, and tells her Michael told him all about what Becky did for his company, and thanks her. He begs her to stay, to come and work at Brandon C., but she tells him she doesn't want to settle down at a job she doesn't want, as she's too young for that. Becky leaves for New York. Some time later, Becky is working as a personal shopper at Barney's, when Luke shows up as a customer. He apologises for all that happened and they get back together. SHOPAHOLIC TIES THE KNOT 2002 The book opens with Becky living with her boyfriend Luke in Manhattan (both are from England). She has finally found her career calling as a personal shopper at Barney s and is happily helping her best friend Suze plan her wedding. Becky is shocked when she catches Suze s bouquet and finds a marriage proposal from Luke in it. Suddenly, she finds herself caught in the middle between her mother and Luke s mother, both of whom want to throw her a lavish wedding, one in England and one at the Plaza in New York. The problem? Becky can t seem to tell either of them no, even as both weddings are being planned for the same day. SHOPAHOLIC AND SISTER 2004 The novel commences with the protagonist, Becky Brandon, on her ten month-long honeymoon around the world with her husband, Luke. Although the newlyweds have been enjoying themselves, Luke and Becky (nee Bloomwood) decide it is time to return home to England. Before returning home, the couple embark upon a brief trip to Milan, where Luke is due to meet a potential client. After agreeing with Luke that she will not buy anything in Milan, Becky explores the city. Her resolve is weakened, however, when the chance of a lifetime comes along - the opportunity to possess an Angel handbag, the bag of the season which Becky simply is determined to purchase. A wealthy businessman, Nathan Temple, helps Becky jump to the head of the waiting list. Becky shows her gratitude by promising to pay him back somehow.
Back in England, Becky and Luke stop to visit the Bloomwood family and surprise them with their early return. Becky is shocked and dismayed when her parents appear to be hiding something. Not only that, but they are not impressed with Becky's gifts and don't seem as excited as Becky had hoped. The next day, Luke and Becky attend the christening of Suze's twins. Unfortunately, Suze has befriended a local woman,Lulu. Becky feels isolated from Suze because Lulu is a mother of four and she feels that Suze and Lulu have more in common.
Becky's troubles become worse when two trucks full of her souvenirs arrive. The bills for them are outrageous. With her new job not due to start for several months, Luke orders Becky to sort things out around the house with her spare time. Luke immediately switches back into business-mode, cutting his hair and donning expensive suits.
Becky's parents arrive with big news. They explain that they did not want to tell Becky initially, but she has a half-sister from a previous relationship of her father's. Becky is ecstatic - she claims that she has felt a hole in her life and has always wanted a sister. She imagines shopping, girls' nights in, and a new best friend to replace Suze. Once she meets her half-sister Jess, she is disappointed: Jess is studious, thrifty, and a bit standoffish. Jess tries to encourage Becky to save money; Becky can't comprehend why Jess doesn't want to do anything fun. When Becky overhears Luke saying that she is hard to live with, Becky is shocked and thinks that her marriage is falling apart.
After a falling-out with Jess, Becky decides attend her half-sister's home in northern England to learn to be thrifty. Jess has departed on a mountain climb on a gloomy day, and Becky follows to try to catch up. She ends up off the trail and has a nasty fall in dreadful weather. Luckily Jess watches over her and the two girls discover that though their interests are different, they have the same level of passion for their hobbies. The book concludes with Becky helping Jess organize a protest against a new shopping mall (which turns out to be one of Luke's new clients) and Becky discovering that she is pregnant. SHOPAHOLIC AND BABY 2007 Becky s life is blooming! She s working at London s newest big store, The Look, house-hunting with husband Luke (her secret wish is a Shoe Room)...and she s pregnant! She couldn t be more overjoyed especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery to the latest, coolest pram to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician. But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be Luke s glamorous, intellectual exgirlfriend, Becky s perfect world starts to crumble. She s shopping for two but are there three in her marriage?