Quell and crabs and Laura Ashley: Belle’s naïve protagonist Benny (Bennington) Bloom gets her fill of each, not to mention close encounters with the homeless ensconced in an emptied-out indoor pool in lower Manhattan. Bennington (Daphne to clients) is the life of the novel, a college-tuition call girl — think Liza Doolittle meets Mr. Magoo — who emanates black comedy. She’s a satirical cold shower on Pretty Woman’s shoulders.
According to Cosmo, men who sleep on futons can’t commit, says Benny. But Jennifer Belle can, and her first novel is hilariously bitter chocolate.