The Goddess Rules: (Lib)(CD)
When obsessed pet owners have pooches or kitties they want immortalized on canvas, Kate Disney is the artist of choice. From her shed (which doubles as a studio and apartment) in London’s Primrose Hill, Kate caters to the whims of the rich and famous while herself living a decidedly bohemian existence. The problem is, she has a tendency to cater to her on-again, way-off-again boyfriend as well. Jake is so erratic, that most of her friends don’t understand why she even bothers. But it’s hard to fall out of love with a man who writes her songs and calls her “Angel”–even if he disappears for weeks at a time.
Luckily for Kate, Mirabelle Moncur isn’t buying any of that claptrap. Mirri was an actress, a legend in her time. Now, at age sixty, she’s given up on fame and men and lives in Africa, where she raises lion cubs. But her reclusive nature has done nothing to dull her beauty, mar her incredible figure, or dampen her outrageous joie de vivre.
After sweeping into London to have Kate paint a portrait of her favorite cub, Mirri seizes hold of Kate’s life–from the baggy wardrobe to the hopeless taste in men. Under Mirri’s tutelage, Kate learns to dance on tables with abandon, drink like a dockworker, and flirt like a goddess. And when her old friend Louis reenters the picture, she begins to see things in a whole new light. But Mirri has secrets that hint at a less than divine future. Now it’s Kate’s turn to teach Mirri a thing or two about life, love, and being fabulous.
From the Hardcover edition.
The goddess of this entertaining fourth novel (and first Ballantine hardcover) by British author Naylor (Dog Handling, etc.) is an aging French screen star named Mirabelle Moncur. We know Mirri is French because she says non and merde and because she likes sex and knows her way around men. Heroine Kate Disney also likes sex, but she doesn't know her way around men, especially Jake, her caddish lout of a boyfriend. When Mirri commissions Kate, a painter of animal portraits, to immortalize her pet lion cub, the two become friends; soon Mirri is teaching Kate how to dress properly, stand up for herself and enjoy a man's attentions. For a time, Kate is a model student: she romps in Capri with Felix, a French playboy, and has casual sex in a swimming pool. The supporting characters are pat romantic comedy types: there's Kate's appropriately Byronic suitor, Lewis; her reliable best friend, Tanya; and her older, gay mentor, Leonard. The subplot, involving Mirri's search for her one true love, is engaging, as are the multiple twists of the main plot. When Jake returns to the scene, relentlessly courting and then winning the affections of a newly free-spirited Kate, Mirri's disappointment is palpable. The action Mirri takes to bring Kate to her senses is predictable but satisfying, which is also an apt description of this light, fun read. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition. *Starred Review* Though set in contemporary England, Naylor's delightful, romantic romp seems suffused with fine French Chardonnay as retired screen temptress Mirabelle Moncur (she's so close to "my heart"--get it?) arrives in London to stay with longtime friend Leonard. Still knocking-'em-dead gorgeous at 60, Mirri has ostensibly come from Africa, where she has created an animal refuge, for portraitist Kate Disney, temporarily resident in Leonard's garden shed, to paint pet lion cub Bebe. She winds up turning around Kate's wrecked love life. En passant, the Brigitte Bardot-like film legend embarks, with a handsome heartthrob half her age, who has followed her home, on a passionate idyll made very public by the international paparazzi camped outside wherever she, or he, goes. (On the other hand, the affair does start with an all-too-audible tryst on the hammock outside Kate's window.) Furnishing additional sparkle, somehow, is Jake, the loser-user, on-and-off object of Kate's affection, despite Mirri's disdain for "this slug" who keeps standing Kate up, sleeping around, but showing up again like the proverbial bad penny. Laugh-out-loud scenes and authentically touching asides on aging and lifelong yearnings combine in a perfectly balanced, irresistible confection. Whitney ScottCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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