It’s time for book 2 in the Chick Lit Plus Reading  Challenge.  I checked, and audiobooks count. I have to confess, when I chose Clare Naylor’s book at, I wasn’t sure what I was getting. I was looking for something “chick lit” and something with a bit of romance to it, because I’d been being far too practical lately.

The Goddess Rules delivers completely. Set in England (a nice surprise as I started listening), The Goddess Rules tells the story of twenty-nine year old Kate Disney. An artist who makes her living painting animal portraits, Kate lives in the converted garden shed on her friend Leonard’s estate in Primrose Hill. Not the typical starving artist,  Kate’s saving money  to buyt a flat with her boyfriend, musician Jake.  The problem is that Jake is a cad, refusing to completely commit to Kate.

Enter Mirabelle Moncur (Mirri), an aging, but still beautiful and sexy and oh-so-French former screen goddess. Mirri commissions Kate to paint a portrait of a lion cub Mirri has adopted.  After an awkward start, Kate and Mirri become friends. Mirri has always been a free spirit, forging her own path and collecting and discarding lovers along the way. Mirri helps Kate see Jake’s flaws and tells Kate, in no uncertain terms, that she can do so much better than him.

The adventures unfold as Kate becomes more sure of herself, more open, and embarks on a journey that might lead her to her true love.  Aside from the main story, there are enjoyable subplots, including the plight of Kate’s best friend, and Mirri’s long lost love.

I got more out of The Goddess Rules than I do a lot of other chick lit books. I think first it is because of the characterization. Mirri is strong and sexy and confident and plays by no one’s rules but her own.  Yet, she’s vulnerable, afraid to take the steps that could reunite her with the one who got away.  Kate, too, comes across as authentic. She’s insecure about the same things a lot of us are, like when we feel like all our friends are miles ahead of us in “life”. And while she wallows in self pity a bit, she also learns to take charge of her life and her decisions.

Mirri shows Kate how to enjoy life, to enjoy men. She helps Kate see that there’s so much more to life than just what Kate was experiencing.  She teaches Kate to live in the moment, to enjoy the small experiences. And most importantly, to listen to her heart and be true to herself.  Kate, in turn, teachers Mirri that Mirri is not the center of the universe. She brings out a compassionate side to Mirri. When Mirri is too afraid to look up her old flame, the only man she’s ever really loved, Kate steps in and encourages her.

All in all, I found The Goddess Rules to be an enjoyable listen. I’ll definitely check out more Clare Naylor.