"Venus Envy" is Shannon McKelden's first novel. Having been married to her high school sweetheart for 19 years, she finds that humor is a necessity in life and strives for that lighter tone in her writing. McKelden lives in Puyallup, Washington.
After several heartbreaking experiences, Rachel Greer has sworn off dating forever. Then a chance encounter puts Rachel in the path of the goddess Venus, banished to Earth by an angry Zeus who further punishes her by forcing her to serve as fairy godmother to young women needing love in their lives. McKelden's Venus is the epitome of the chick-lit cliche-shallow, manipulative, and obsessed with shoes, shopping, and men-the better to contrast with the gentle, altruistic Rachel, who, much to Venus's chagrin, volunteers at a soup kitchen for fun. Venus wants to get away from Rachel and Rachel wants Venus out of her apartment, but the only way to get Venus to leave is for Rachel to find her true love. He's not hard to find, but the trick is for Venus to help Rachel let go of her past and give in to love-which she does, because she's a goddess with a lot of tricks up her sleeve. Fans of chick lit with a lighthearted paranormal element (think MaryJanice Davidson) will find much to enjoy in this debut. Recommended.-Nanette Donohue, Champaign P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Charming. McKelden's sharp sense of humour pulls plenty of weight." - Publishers Weekly on VENUS ENVY"
McKelden dispatches the goddess of love to meddle in the affairs of lovelorn 21st-century mortals in her charming if formulaic debut. As punishment for being unfaithful to her husband, Greek goddess Venus has been demoted to the role of "fairy godmother" by her irate father, Zeus. The latest recipient of Venus's "Extreme Love Life Makeover" is Rachel Greer, whose "Loser List" of cheating, lying ex-boyfriends has caused her to swear off dating. Venus resorts to brute force, blackmail and tips from Cosmo to tempt Rachel into falling for "gorgeous, hunky" firefighter Luke Stanton. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Venus and Rachel, the story puts a fresh spin on the classic fairy godmother story, and Venus-catty and generous with her barbed wit-is cut from different cloth than the standard well-behaved fairy. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the book's mere mortals, who fit nicely into chick lit archetypes (stubborn, wounded Rachel; sassy best friend Hannah; and unflaggingly and inexplicably devoted Luke). Though this detracts from the creative premise, McKelden's sharp sense of humor pulls plenty of weight. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.