Getting her unreliable ex-boyfriend Jake out of her system would be a whole lot easier for painter Kate Disney if he'd stop popping up in the garden shed she now calls home (and art studio). And if she could only stop fantasizing that he'll come back to her. The British painter excels at pet portraits, but she's lousy at love until she encounters a fairy godmother in the guise of former screen icon Mirri Moncur in Clare Naylor's sparkling The Goddess Rules. Mirri wants a portrait of her pet lion, but she ends up sharing the secrets of a well-lived life. Mirri's prodding and the overarching goddess rule that "life lived to excess is best" make for a story that's flirty, fun loving and full of life. Kate's old friend Louis may seem an unlikely prince, but his charm eventually proves irresistible. Whether Kate is schlepping pets, fending off paparazzi or falling in love, Naylor's charming new novel is an entrancing read.

Sandy Huseby writes from her homes in Fargo, North Dakota, and lakeside in northern Minnesota.

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