When Cassie Ellis graduates from Columbia University, her first task is to dig herself out from a mountain of student loans. She needs a job and fast but worries that a 9-to-5 schedule won't leave her with enough time to pursue her dream of becoming a screenwriter. So Cassie takes on a few shifts as a bartender at a Soho pub and finds herself quickly seduced by the nightclub lifestyle and all it offers. When someone dangles a summer job at a Hamptons hotspot in front of her, Cassie jumps at the chance. From her place behind the bar, Cassie marvels at the heretofore unknown world of sex, drugs and money parading before her. But she soon finds that even a thick wooden bar is not enough to keep this new world at bay. Partying until dawn every night, she's raking in the dough and having the time of her life, but finds herself floating dangerously far from reality and her writerly aspirations.

In the midst of a slew of roman ˆ clefs written by lowly workers employed by the glitterati, The Perfect Manhattan manages to set itself apart with its quick pace and sharp social commentary. The authors, real-life bartenders Leanne Shear and Tracey Toomey, met while working the party scene from Manhattan to the Hamptons and are well-acquainted with the jet-setters they write about. The Perfect Manhattan is guaranteed to go down smoothly paired with a sunny beach afternoon and an ice-cold cocktail.

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