Cover image for Love : a user's guide
Love : a user's guide
Naylor, Clare, 1971-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Fawcett Books, 1999.

Physical Description:
278 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Paperback

On Order



Working for Vogue, Amy spends her days dressing waif models in London's latest apparel while fending off insults from the Gucci-garbed staff. Hardly the glamorous job she hoped it would be. But that won't stop her from fantasizing about the jet-set life she knows she's destined for--or the prince who's bound to redeem her from a less than glowing record in romance.

However, beneath her dreamy exterior, Amy has a sure streak of common sense. So when the impossible happens--and her path crosses that of London's hottest film star--she swoons with longing, expecting nothing in return. But Orlando Rock has other ideas. For Amy is just the kind of girl he's after--smart and witty, with a penchant for quoting from the classics, different from the daft supermodels and vain leading ladies he's dated before. Or is she? For with fame, fortune, and true love just around the corner, Amy's head is spinning, her jet-fueled imagination poised for takeoff. Is her love for Orlando stronger than her lust for the limelight--or is she merely fated to be the paparazzi's latest prey . . .?

Hip and hilarious, this enchanting, sizzlingly sexy tale of a winsome twenty-something caught between romance and reality will have you rooting her on through each outrageous mishap and daring plunge toward love. . . .

Author Notes

CLARE NAYLOR is the author of The Goddess Rules, Catching Alice, and Dog Handling , and the co-author of The Second Assistant with Mimi Hare. She lives in England.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The British Invasion rolls on, with permutations of Bridget Jones popping up everywhere, this time in Naylor's light-hearted and assured debut novel. Twentysomething Amy is a fashion assistant at Vogue, where she dresses undernourished teen models who "look like heroin addicts in bondage gear." Despite the Cinderella nature of her surprisingly unglamorous job, Amy remains staunchly convinced that fame and fortune are in her future. When she meets her Prince Charming in the form of gorgeous film star Orlando Rock, she believes that her dreams of romance and celebrity have finally come true. But then the hitch: although he returns Amy's affections, Orlando is determined to keep their romance a secret from the tabloids, escorting her only to out-of-the-way places not at all consonant with her ideas of the high life. Will Amy be able to forgive the screen god for merely loving her and wanting to be with her? Naylor hilariously details Amy's frenzied preparation for dates with Orlando while providing her with a lively supporting cast, most notably in the person of Amy's boss, who could easily do a stint on Absolutely Fabulous. She's also savvy enough to pepper the plot with the kinds of misunderstandings, complications and flies in the ointment that romantic comedies thrive on. Most importantly, however, she has created a comic heroine with a difference. A fan of Shakespeare, Dostoyevski and Ana‹s Nin, Amy's romantic expectations are glossed with literary allusions. With the sharply intelligent wit of a modern Elizabeth Bennett and the imagination of Ally McBeal, Amy is the best excuse yet for surrender (temporarily at least) to the Invasion. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



CHAPTER 1   Orgasm. It was the most perfect word. Eliciting all it could, easing meaning out of every syllable. O ... a large perfect Oh, the softly parted lips, the promise of the never-ending union. Gas ... gasp, a shuddering intake of breath, a sensation to savor and the arching curving back as you sink into the mmmmm ... the bliss. Yes, it was a great word, Amy thought. She'd had a fair few in her time, some deft and delicious, others more hit-and-miss affairs; she'd been thinking about that word all morning as she basked in the afterglow of sex like early morning sun on her face. What she doesn't know, but we do, is that there are greater and better things to come (as it were) for Amy, more Ohs than she can dream of, enough gasps to take your breath away, and an abiding mmmmm of satisfaction that would keep any girl smiling. Yes, there's a lot for her to look forward to, only she doesn't know it just yet.   Amy crawled on the floor looking for a pin to hold together the spare wisps of silk in the model's organza creation. Her boss rushed forward and tugged it from her hand.   "Come on, come on. OK, Amy, the shoes are wrong, pass me those blue Patrick Coxs."   Amy groveled on the floor a bit more.   "Cloud or duck egg, Lucinda?"   "Those, those. Here, pass them here."   Another Monday morning, another undernourished teenager to be got up in the spirit of the lazy days of summer. Amy shivered in the biting February chill of the studio. Carefully ironing between the beads of a pair of Lacroix harem pants, she lapsed to thoughts of herself as a Matisse muse, reclining plumply on a chaise longue, fauvist colors warming her bare breasts, one hand propped above her head, a harlot's smile flickering about her lips, and the divine beaded Lacroix creation adorning her gently rounded, golden-tanned stomach. And Luke Harding--she knew it had just been a one-night stand but she couldn't resist casting him in the role of libidinous painter (sorry, Matisse). When Luke could no longer keep a steady brush he strolled to her side and placed indolent, painterly kisses all over her courtesan form ...   "Amy, the Lacroix, quick. Today purleasse."   Lucinda was a bitch from hell on a shoot but then so were all fashion editors. They had the artistic sensibilities of the photographer to worry about--"more tits, darlin', pull it down a bit" (this was Vogue, by the way, not Big and Bouncy)--and the poor model who bit her lip and cried as she exposed an inch more of her pigeon chest; the makeup artist who sulked at the model's spots and shouted if the shell pink of the clothes clashed with the navy blue lipstick he was about to apply; not to give credence to a multitude of hairdressers and PR girls on the end of the phone demanding the aforementioned shell-pink number back for a Marie Claire shoot in an hour's time. This made for a pretty hellish time for the editor, but it was perdition for the lowly fashion assistant, i.e., Amy, who was the only emotionally balanced person in attendance. Allegedly.     Postnightmare, Amy and Lucinda sat nibbling the remains of the model's lunch. Cucumber isn't really a square meal but it provided an excuse for them to natter purposefully and wind down from Lazy Days of Summer hell. Lucinda kicked off her scarlet satin Manolos and grilled Amy about the weekend and the smart wedding she'd been to. She was a girl who knew her social onions, so a wedding of society pages' significance was always a treat. Who was there? Did Lady Blah get pissed again? What possessed the bride to wear Ozbek and most importantly who snogged whom? Amy deliberately filled in each of the former first.   "Miranda looked like an angel, naturally," Amy began.   "Naturally," echoed Lucinda.   "It was Josh's parents' place down in Surrey, there was a kind of wood nymph theme I think, I couldn't quite work it out. I thought the bridesmaids had wings but the woman I sat next to at dinner said they were just weird veils. Anyway, they looked lovely." Lucinda lapped up the details. "And the house was amazing but most of us stayed at this hotel down the road." Amy suppressed a smile at the memory of the hotel. "And Josh cried during his speech, which was quite cute, I suppose." They both gave a perfunctory nod on the understanding that, yes, it was cute, but not something they'd put up with in their own husbands. Once Amy had exhausted her repertoire of ways to describe lace and hats, she broached the subject closest to both their hearts and blushingly admitted to having a bit of a ding-dong with some guy called Luke she'd fancied for years.   "Woweee, ohmigod, you didn't? Tell all!" Lucinda exploded.   Amy flushed with pride and hid her delight behind a slice of cucumber. "Well, his name's Luke Harding, I haven't seen him for years but--"   "Not Luke Harding with the very little bottom?" Lucinda furrowed her brow.   "Well, I suppose so, now that you mention it. Why?"   "Ohmigod, quel rat!" darted Lucinda. She was imbued with the spirit of Breakfast at Tiffany's and could often be heard shrieking Holly Golightly phrases with a little less grace than la Hepburn.   "Because, darling, he's been living with my friend Kate forever. Oh. My. God. Poor Kate."   Amy choked, horrified. She wiped the traces of spluttered Evian from her chin. "I knew he had a girlfriend, but ... God, Luce, not your Kate."   Lucinda nodded so hard her rouge noir lipstick became a fuzzy streak of color against her alabaster face. The effect was like fairground lights from the Big Dipper. Amy felt sick.   "Yes, my Kate. Shit, darling." She paused, sternly contemplating the infidelity. "Was he good in bed?"   They were hysterical with tears and Evian all over the place when the photographer walked back in, stifling the deluge of tales relating to Luke Harding's willy. He looked at them, turned round, and left. Cue more laughing like drains. Excerpted from Love: A User's Guide by Clare Naylor All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.