The story features Lady Susie Cavaliere and friends as they attend a risque women-only retreat held on distant Caravelle Island, in The British Paradise Islands, during Founders' Day weekend, 1995. During the retreat Lady Susie and The Honourable Chloe Jamison meet and form a fast and intimate friendship.
The Goddess and The Princess is one of the earliest novel-length pieces written within the Paradise Two domain, having reached a complete draft in 1995 (the same year in which it takes place). Author Comet meant it as a kind of end bracket to the Lady Susie arc, which began with the novels The Seduction of Susie and Night on the Town.
The story is notable for its scenes of unrestrained lesbian sex, portraying a rarely-seen underbelly of Paradisian culture, a marked contrast to the more restrained, more affectionate, and less-potent experiences Lady Susie has known till now. It represents a wake-up call for the character, who crosses a boundary of knowledge and experience over which she shall never retreat unscathed.
Plot summary Edit
Lady Susie, at the prodding of Darby St Claire, agrees to attend the women-only gathering at the Breadfruit Beach resort on Caravelle Island, fully expecting it to be much less to her liking than to the liking of Darby. Accompanying them are Terri Peale and Nicole Bonelle, making this only the second time all three of Lady Susie's first seducers have been with her upon the same occasion. The retreat is hosted by The Hon. Amanda Connaught, a wily, willowy self-styled Cleopatra in her early 20s who has inherited the resort formerly run by her mother.
Amanda makes her entrance amidst a parade of lovely young women, sauntering round till she identifies a desirable partner. She selects an innocent-looking girl (who is clearly under 15, which worries Lady Susie greatly) for the honour of submitting to her upon a great white bed set up in a garden, before an audience of all her guests. As Amanda announces her first climax of the evening, a bell tolls and the entire party erupts into a sexual free-for-all.
Disillusioned with what she had hoped would be a pleasant gathering of like-minded women, Lady Susie wanders the grounds, engaging in sexual encounters with several strangers as well as with Nicole and Terri. She runs into a friend, Donna Waterford, whom she tricks into trading vinyl admission bracelets with her, throwing Amanda's spies off her trail and awarding Donna a coveted invitation to Amanda's private suite.
Catching a glimpse of a tall, dark-haired beauty by the pool, she recognises the girl's shyness and slyly pursues her till the two are able to engage in personal conversation. At one of the resort's private cottages, the girl, New Zealand fashion model Chloe Jamison, only daughter of Charles Jamison, NZ ambassador to the territory, and Lady Susie realise they are in similar predicaments, both too constrained by their families' wealth and influence to be able to pursue their own desires. The two agree to become friends, spend a romantic evening at the cottage, and conspire to leave the resort together in the morning. Unfortunately, by ducking all her invitations Lady Susie has offended Amanda, who sends spies and security staff after her, requiring both girls to steal away in early morning and to lose their pursuers by hiking the hilly, humid interior of the island till then can catch the Inter-Island Ferry homewards.
Once they arrive at Camelot estate, the two are at ease to become better acquainted. Lady Susie finds that her father, Lord Paradise, is well-acquainted with Chloe's father, the New Zealand ambassador to Paradise. The revellation that Lord Paradise has long been aware of his adopted daughter's preference for girls serves as a blessing on Susie and Chloe's budding relationship.
Most of the guests at Amanda's retreat are attending to slake carnal needs and to take advantage of a stranger's unrestrained hospitality. Ranging in age from 13 or 14 to upper 30s or lower 40s, the women are for the most part nameless, faceless and forgettable distractions to anyone of substance, often mocking anyone, such as Susie or Chloe, who has hoped to meet someone with whom to begin a meaningful, lasting relationship. Many speak in Cockney or Australian accents to differentiate their working-class sensibilities from those of the privileged Terri Peale, Susie and Chloe.
Lady Susie Edit
Though she is sometimes depicted as being, at least in part, self-centred, ruthless, even amoral, Lady Susie is shown as a scrupulous, sensible young lady entirely undeserving of the crude attention to which she is subjected at the women's retreat. She dresses sexily, but with good taste, in a white linen waist-jacket, silk and satin lingerie, and linen shoes having reasonably-high heels, whilst others, such as Darby, are garishly attired or only naked.
Upon arrival, she introduces herself as 'Leigh' and begs that Darby and the others honour her request to remain otherwise anonymous, to which they agree. As eager as she is to discover new experiences, the whole first evening is an exercise for Susie in discretion and diplomacy; and even when making love with Terri upon a garden bed before an audience she relies on overt audacity to dispel suspicion about her real identity. She drinks steadily, but has only wine over ice and is able to keep her wits whilst all about her others are lustily overindulging in drink, food and sex.
Suffering a rare case of inadequacy, Lady Susie is often seen to make egregious errors in judgement. Several times she yields to ego by submitting to mere serving girls who admit their attraction to her and then seeks to overpower them, as though to satisfy a need to dominate lesser creatures. More than once she mistakes their interest as genuine and realises she has been manoeuvred into a trap by Amanda's minions who seek to secure her for Amanda herself, a fate which Susie loathes utterly. When she at last meets Chloe, she readily admits her vulnerability, eager to just be herself in the company of someone with the same need for honest companionship and absolute discretion.
Darby St Claire Edit
Darby is perhaps at her truest form at the retreat, agog with the vast variety of potential sex partners and relieved of any expectations of responsibility or emotional entanglement. Like a deprived child in a toyshop, she flaunts her availability, as well as her meagre physical assets, and assertively pursues numerous partners till she appears dressed in a man's suit and introduces her preferred bedmate to Lady Susie, claiming to have found 'the one'. Susie only dismisses her with scepticism and commends her to her choice; the two shall have little to do with each other thereafter.
Terri Peale Edit
Though she is just as eager as Darby to experience new people and new situations, Terri proves herself a much dearer friend to Susie, first by being a reliable, discreet partner for much of the evening and later by commending her to her newfound association with Chloe, whom she recognises, even without being introduced, as more of Susie's peer than is anyone else they both know. Pretty and bubbly without being vacuous, Terri is seen most often in pale-blue satin knickers and high heels, as sexy-looking as she is pert, pretty and dignified.
Nicole Bonelle Edit
Susie's first seducer, Nicole is also her first partner for the retreat weekend. Nicole is too sensitive to not sympathise with Susie's preoccupation about her family reputation and gently sets her free, perhaps aware before either of the others that this may be the last any of them shall ever have of the one they all conspired to seduce in the first instance. Always big in the bosom, Nicole keeps to deep red and black and is never seen outside the girls' hotel suite without a top. In the morning she is observed taking breakfast with a slightly-older woman and wishes Susie well with Chloe.
Nicole is not seen in the series again till she attends the engagement party for Lady Susie and John Pembley in 1999, after which she becomes a teacher of French at West Island High School.
Amanda Connaught Edit
Previous to this episode, Amanda is known only by her reputation as a bold, efficient businesswoman and unstinting hostess. In Goddess and Princess she is seen to be conniving, self-centred, arrogant and imperious, insisting on her own way with every girl whose company she requests without any regard for their feelings, preferences or other needs. When Susie escapes her, she is wildly irate, sending half a dozen of her minions off in pursuit despite having her choice of any other of the 200-odd guests on her property instead.
Amanda favours gold lame, gold satin, gold jewellery and the odd silver bangle or bracelet, in keeping with her queenly self-image. Throughout the story other guests discuss her haughtiness behind her back, some excusing her for being a spoilt rich heiress and some condemning her egoism; though none consider her an eligible personal friend, none would any reject an offer of her bed.
Amanda's minions Edit
The security, hospitality and administrative staff at the Breadfruit Beach resort, at least during the women's retreat weekend, are all young women, typically orphans from Paradise and other British possessions who have accepted Amanda's offer of education and support. Most wear a uniform of white spandex leotard having gold trim, gold lame sandals, and white-and-gold elasticised headbands; Amanda's personal-suite staff wear leotards all in gold. They tend to be dullwitted, easily duped through shallow flattery, and overly eager to transgress retreat rules by indulging in unauthorised sex with guests. Their names, most likely assumed after taking an oath of allegiance to Amanda, are rather insipid (Bambi, Toy, Cara, Flora). They are rarely described in more detail than by mentions of height, figure (bust size) and hair colour.
Party guests Edit
Most of Amanda's guests are aged 20-40; many are tourists who clearly have come to the territory expressly for this event. Both singles and couples tend to regard the younger guests, especially the provocatively-dressed Susie and the typically nearly-naked Terri, as party favours which they are entitled to sample. Susie encounters Ginger McKleeson and several others she has met at other parties and often narrowly avoids becoming involved out of obligation, typically eluding them after only polite greetings.
Guests with dialogue in the text are often revealed to be Australian or American, two places whose visitors are often guilty of transgressing delicate Paradisian principles, by design of the Author.
Chloe Jamison Edit
Possessed of a fashion model's elegant height and poise, Chloe makes an appearance in deep maroon, black and mauve, colours emphasising her private nature and pessimistic lookout. To the others at the retreat she is known as 'CJ', an alias she has used before and for the same reasons. Chloe may need the association with another sane, privileged, yet inescapably-restricted girl even more than Susie does; but once meeting Susie she is gradually disarmed, learning to revel in unrestrained joy, both emotionally and sexually, and especially learning to smile, laugh and even giggle.
Given the thematic content of the story, the novel includes frequent depictions of lesbian sex, nudity, and risque situations. Susie plays the part of half-ingenue, half-seductress well, repeatedly undressing to impress others with her beauty and eagerly performing sex acts before strangers. In numerous instances the fan service elements rise to the level of hentai, especially in the scenes of older, immodest women participating in random pairings and with groups. A 'mature themes' warning is appropriate.
The trope of the eager ingenue may apply; though in Lady Susie's case the initiation is more to the world of openly-pursued sex than to lesbianism in general.
The trope of the stranger in Paradise applies, in particular to passages in which the delicate Paradisian principles, especially as regards dress codes, sexual harassment, and traditonal gender roles, are seen to be violated or ignored by tactless visitors.
The story provides in-depth descriptions of the Inter-Island Ferry ride, the Breadfruit Beach resort complex, Hampton hamlet and the upper interior of Caravelle Island, much of which were devised as part of the author's preparation of the initial manuscript.
The blossoming friendship between Chloe and Susie lends a 'buddy story' flavour to much of the novel. Both girls have much to learn from each other; their gradually warming to each other's idiosyncrasies is part of the story's charm.
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