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A Girl's Best Friend

A Girl's Best Friend

3.6 16
by Elizabeth Young

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Dogs Are Better Than Men
  1. They never brag about their ex's stunning cleavage.
  2. They don't moan or sulk if you're a half-hour late.
  3. They never tell you a Brazilian would really turn them on.

After her most recent disaster with the King of the Unrepentant Jerks, Isabel "Izzy" Palmer is finally convinced that the only male she truly needs


Dogs Are Better Than Men

  1. They never brag about their ex's stunning cleavage.
  2. They don't moan or sulk if you're a half-hour late.
  3. They never tell you a Brazilian would really turn them on.

After her most recent disaster with the King of the Unrepentant Jerks, Isabel "Izzy" Palmer is finally convinced that the only male she truly needs in her life is Henry, her lovable part wolfhound, part who-knows-what. Henry's faithful, he adores her madly, and he's great fun to sleep with. So who needs the additional heartache?

But even armed with powerful knowledge and a new resolve, Izzy starts to feel that familiar itch ... and it's all because of Nick. He's a vet for goodness sake -- confident, handsome and compassionate -- if a bit rough around the edges. After teasing her about Henry's unusual looks and questioning her most recent choice in men, Nick then has the gall to turn halfway charming. But he doesn't stop at halfway, and though she already has a best friend, Izzy realizes it doesn't preclude her from having a perfect match, too.

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Chapter One

Though I say it myself, I made a lovely tart.

From my wardrobe mirror she pouted back at me: Emerald Caprice, slapper with a heart of nine-karat gold plate and very good at games. Naughty schoolgirls with cabinet ministers, Miss Moneypenny to a bishop's Bond: you name it, Emerald had done it and taken notes. Just now she was about to publish her memoirs, go on talk shows, and sell excerpt rights to the Sunday papers.

And get murdered.

"Serve you right, too," I said in her mother's Cockney accent, as Emerald had started life as Janice Trotter. "I always knew you'd come to a bad end. Your dad would turn in his grave, you little trollop. Just look at you -- your dumplings is boiling over."

But possibly not enough. Hitching up my scarlet satin Wonderbra another couple of inches, I gave myself a critical inspection. False eyelashes, perhaps? Since I have the reddish-gold hair that often goes with green eyes, my lashes aren't my best feature. False nails would be good, too. Emerald would probably go for those two-inch jobs that double as weapons, and woe betide any client who wouldn't pay.

However, the leopard-print top was perfect: two pounds fifty from a thrift shop and sprayed on. The trousers were supple black leather, borrowed from my colleague Louise. "I've only worn them once," she'd said. "I was terrified of sitting down in case they split right up the bum."

They were skintight on me, too: one of those size eights that calls itself a twelve. Still, tight was the idea. Much of my stomach was gasping for its life, forced up for air.

After slapping on lipstick in Red Hot Red I went downstairs to show Leo. Flaked out on a beanbag sofa with Henry snoring beside him, he gaped at me. "Christ, Vera. When you said tarting yourself up, I didn't think you meant it literally."

My name is actually Isabel, but I won't go into that now. I shot him a flirty pout. "If that's a gun in your pocket, darling, it's pathetic. Come to Emerald, and for fifty quid I'll turn it into an AK-47."

A grin spread over his face. "Emerald? What's all this about?"

"Felicity's party. We're away for the weekend, remember? Her pre-Christmas, getting-in-the-mood bash in Devon?"

This wiped the grin off his face. "Don't tell me it's a costume party? Please, not vicars and tarts?"

"Leo, it's a murder party. Didn't I tell you?"


This was why I'd conveniently forgotten to tell him before. "Sorry," I lied. "I could have sworn I had." I showed him the invitation, done in scary Gothic script, as Felicity liked to do things properly. It said:


You are invited to a weekend of treachery,
violent death, and ham acting at the

House of Horror

Under date and address she'd written: Come Fri. night if you can, otherwise Sat. lunch. Bloodstains will be provided. NB Do not bring bottles, Bill the Booze gives me a discount.

Leo was gaping at the address. "Colditz?"

"That's what the locals call the house. It's hideous Victorian Gothic, used to belong to her family. I told you she'd rented it for the weekend."

He was not looking exactly overjoyed at the prospect. "Is she throwing in the odd vampire as well?"

"No, and there's only going to be one tart, so don't get overexcited. Plus a bishop and a has-been rock star, among others."

His eyes closed in an oh-shit fashion. Leo had once told me he had a phobia about anything smelling of a costume party, ever since his mother had sent him to a party as a tomato sandwich at the age of six. He'd had nightmares about the abject humiliation of it, when every other boy was Batman or Robin Hood, and he'd wet himself because he couldn't get his top slice of bread off.

"Oh, come on," I coaxed. "Don't go all boring on me."

"Who am I, then? Dirty Dick, your pimp?"

"Emerald handles her own career development, thank you very much. You're down as a dodgy City type who's laundering crack money in the Turks and Caicos."

He groaned. "I can see it now. Hammed-up Agatha Christie-stroke-Clue. We'll all be sitting about waiting for dinner when the lights will go out, and somebody'll scream. Then there'll be a body on the carpet, and Lady Posh will say, 'Dear me, how very tiresome,' and we'll all pretend we don't know who dunit for the sake of form."

Even this was probably optimistic, culturally speaking. Felicity had asked a friend to dream this murder up, on the grounds that he'd written a play entitled Rude Riding Hood for the Village Players. "You'll love it," I soothed. "All you need is some red suspenders -- it'll be a doddle. You're Charles Plonker-fforbes, with two fs."

"Two fs is about right. I hope this Felicity isn't into cretinous party games as well."

I couldn't lie, because she was. Killer around the dining table was a favorite, or grown-up Pass the Parcel, with amusing little items from Ann Summers. "I'm afraid so. Like lining all the girls up on chairs, blindfolding the blokes one by one, and getting them to feel all the legs, to identify their own partner. You'll just hate that," I added, running cunning fingers through his hair. Leo had gorgeous, glossy hair, midway between wavy and curly and two shades short of black.

At last he was cracking his face, which was a relief. As I hadn't seen Felicity for months, I didn't want a reluctant player in tow ...

A Girl's Best Friend. Copyright © by Elizabeth Young. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Young started writing after holding a variety of jobs that included modeling for TV commercials in Cyprus and working for the Sultan's Armed Forces in Oman. She has two daughters and lives in Surrey with her husband who never once told her to forget writing and get a "proper" job.

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Girl's Best Friend 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh. My. GOD! I was originally a little put off by all the english slang, but may I just say. Wow! She makes the story so real life with all the messy everyday chaos that runs around love like candy filled tikes. Trying out a new author is always scary cause you never know if they will try to Nicholas Spark's you. I nearly burst a gasget at one point when I thought she was doing just that. Top of the line in contemporary reads. I can't wait to devour more of this genius!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...but not everyone's cup of tea. Despite my absolutely loving Elizabeth Young's writing style, the family members with whom I usually share books just can't get into her. They feel like things don't really move along -- whereas I enjoy the descriptions of quirky daily life and the undercurrents in every conversation. Give it a try, though -- you might find yourself a new keeper! I just wish she had more books -- I find myself re-reading her entire catalog every few years, when I'm in just the mood for her particular flavor. (Two down this time around so far. Why aren't more on eBook??) Off to buy an old-fashioned paper version... And that tells you something.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I came across Liz Young from her book Asking For Trouble. I loved, loved, loved that book and decided to read another book of hers. Since I too have a puppy it was A Girl's Best Friend and I'm so glad I read it! I love this book! This book has everything for a perfect day to unwind and have a laugh. It's funny, cute, touching, full od zesty romance, and a definite one of those you never want to put down. The characters are great and close to people who probably know. Throughout the book, I didn't come across any boring parts or just any long plot threads. The plot flwoed evenly and made sense. The relationship between the main character Izzy and her little dog Henry is touching and her relationships with men is funny and real. Once you're captured in this book, you'll be kept in it until the very last page; wishing for more. You'll laugh and cry with the characters throughout the story, and you can practically feel the electric sparks between them. I hated putting this down when I was done! I'd reccommend this to anyone who loves a laugh and a fun book. Elizabeth Young is a great writer and it definitely shows!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fun romp through the English country side while finding love. I fell in love with Nick before Izzy fell for him. Fast fun story that is a fast fun read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well I just recently read all three of this author's novels, and I just thought they were great. This one in particular was very good because of the more ups and downs it has; leaves you wondering a bit in the first dozen pages especially. The characters are all entertaining, she even describes her 'best friend' in such a way that I even wanted to go out and get one! Anyway, the only thing I didn't love was the whole 'murder weekend,' but even that was only because I was being too lazy to keep along with their alias names.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just think, this story could be real: Cheating boyfriends, friends who help each other out, and your new future standing right before your eyes. Read this book in two days, I just couldn't put it down. Elizabeth Young has done it yet again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Young's chick lit novels all sparkle with wit, class and sexy but subtle romance. Unlike so many other (lesser) chick lit heroines, Ms. Young's heroines may get into scrapes, but they are never stupid, annoying or vulgar. Her characters are so appealing and likeable, you wish they were your friends in real life. Isabel (Izzy) Palmer and Nick Trent, and their lively supporting cast of friends, are no exception. And this book has a large and lovable dog as one of the central characters too. A wonderful read!
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soberholt More than 1 year ago
I usually like dog romances, but this one just didn't cut it. The dog was just another character of many that I had to keep track of. I stopped at Ch. 11 because I hadn't developed a love for any of the characters. The plot seemed to drag on so I thought it was boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read. The only thing that disappointed me about it was that it ended to abruptly. It seemed like it just ended when it got good and then there was a quick summary at the very end. Other than that it was very funny and the characters were very charming and fun to basically see their lives unfold as the pages went on. I just would have loved to see this book a little thicker, I guess.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There were parts that should have been bigger, but were not talked about alot or wasn't put in good detail at all. But the very beginning was good, it just went down hill from there though.....-_-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What would be a good age range for this book? Please help!