Venus Envy
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Venus Envy

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by Shannon McKelden

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Rachel Greer is fed up with love. For years she was sure her Prince Charming was right around the corner. Ha. Was she ever wrong (and she’s got the exes to prove it). Witnessing her parent’s perfect marriage, her younger sister’s wedding plans in full swing, and her brother’s quickly growing brood, Rachel can’t even go home anymore—


Rachel Greer is fed up with love. For years she was sure her Prince Charming was right around the corner. Ha. Was she ever wrong (and she’s got the exes to prove it). Witnessing her parent’s perfect marriage, her younger sister’s wedding plans in full swing, and her brother’s quickly growing brood, Rachel can’t even go home anymore— it’s just another reminder of how she’s failed at love. So Rachel’s devoting her life to meaningful pursuits, like her Customer Service job at the bank and volunteering everywhere from the local dog shelter to a soup kitchen. She’s also determined to ignore handsome firefighter Luke Stanton—who suspiciously opens up a new account once a month. Enter the goddess Venus, forced by her ornery father Zeus into fairy-godmother servitude. Venus is only a few love-life fixes away from returning to Mount Olympus and she’s not about to let some reluctant mortal stand in her way. Venus has barely unpacked her designer luggage before she’s found the perfect man for Rachel:  Luke.  He’s got a great job and a great bod.  And best of all, he’s definitely interested.  But Venus has also found an enemy, in the form of Rachel’s best friend, Hannah.  Hannah’s not so sure Venus has Rachel’s best intentions in mind.  Between Rachel’s sabotage and Hannah’s mistrust, Venus has her hands full on this assignment!  Sexy, sassy Venus is a force to be reckoned with—this goddess always gets her man, even if she’s trying to get him for someone else. Armed with her extraordinary goddess powers(well… the few she has left after Zeus got through with her), a killer wardrobe, and the goddess bible (Cosmopolitan), Venus sets out to turn Rachel’s orderly life upside down in the name of True Love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.
Library Journal
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.
From the Publisher

“Witty, charming, and surprisingly touching. Don’t miss this delightful novel!”
—Beverly Brandt, bestselling author of Match Game on Venus Envy

“Sexy, clever and fun . . . absolutely delightful from beginning to end.”
—Jane Porter, author of The Frog Prince on Venus Envy

“Fans of MaryJanice Davidson will find much to enjoy in this debut. Recommended.”
--Library Journal on Venus Envy

“Mount Olympus-sized fun!”
—Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of How Nancy Drew Saved My Life, Vertigo on Venus Envy

“McKelden will dazzle readers with her brilliant twists on the beloved fairy tale. Venus Envy is fun, snarky and divine!”
—Susanna Carr, author of Lip Lock

“Take some Greek mythology, add a dash of fairy tale and a big dollop of Cosmo, and you get the cocktail that is Venus Envy—a cute story for anyone who's ever gotten in her own way when it comes to love.”
—Cathy Yardley, author of Turning Japanese

“Loved it from the first line. Full of delightful snark and lots of heart!”—Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and Love You To Death on Venus Envy

“Delicious fun! A sparkling, laugh out loud treat.”—Gena Showalter, author of Jewels of Atlantis on Venus Envy

“Charming. McKelden’s sharp sense of humor pulls plenty of weight.”—Publishers Weekly on Venus Envy

Product Details

Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Venus Cronus

It’s not every day a fairy godmother gets to pick her next victim . . . er . . . godchild.

Actually, today’s not good for me, either. I’m so bored with the whole thing, I could just spit. It’s the same every single time. Pick a loser human female from the crowd, try to convince her she can “be all she can be,” and then wait until she gets it through her thick skull. Then, you move on to another vict— er, godchild—and go through the same process again.

Ad nauseam.

So, in an effort to keep from flinging myself to my death from the next skyscraper I come across (an impossibility, since fairy godmothers can’t die—unfortunately), I’ve decided to liven things up by using a different method for choosing my next godchild. Something more interesting. No, “interesting” isn’t the right word. Entertaining. Definitely entertaining.

I just haven’t figured out how yet.

I’m off to my favorite pastime . . . creative retailing. “Retailing” being shopping . . . for basics like Jimmy Choos, microminis, and that incredible Prada bag that is so on my must-have list. “Creative” because fairy godmothers don’t have a clothing budget. And, no, I don’t shoplift. That would be unethical, and I am ethical if nothing else—although occasionally that depends on who’s defining the word “ethical.” All that counts is that I uphold the standards of my position.

Even if I hate my position.

But, back to shopping. I do not steal to supply my fashion needs. They’re given to me. Usually by wealthy (read: horny) men who are only too happy to supply little old me (and by “old,” I in no way mean to imply that I look old) with the very items that will bring me the most joy. They’re grateful to hand over that American Express for me. Really. That glimpse I give them of cleavage—that their aged, saggy wives no longer possess (or won’t share)—makes it all worth their while.

Well, that and the little mental ego-stroking I provide.

It’s just one of my many skills. I “tell” them how wonderful they are, how virile, how overwhelmingly hot. Never underestimate the power of a well-placed psychic suggestion. I may walk out of that boutique with a shopping bag full of my favorite designers, but the men who fill those bags for me walk out feeling stroked and stoked and larger than life. And after that, I’d bet they’re so fantastic in bed that their wives/girlfriends don’t even notice the five-hundred-dollar women’s clothing charge on the credit card.

So anyway, today, in an effort to assuage my boredom, I’m heading to a darling boutique that’s been calling my name. I think I’ll pop in there and see what I can do to lift my spirits and those of some unsuspecting, er, grateful male. And, perhaps I’ll also find the next contestant for the Venus Cronus Extreme Love Life Makeover.

Or perhaps not, and I’ll just get a momentary reprieve from the tedium.

Copyright © 2006 by Shannon McKelden Cave. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Shannon McKelden has previously published short stories and poetry in True Love and True Confessions magazines. Venus Envy is her 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 and is an active member of the Eastside Chapter of RWA and has served as secretary for the past two years.

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Venus Envy 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took this book with me on an extended vacation. I would not have finished reading it if I had another book to replace it. I really did want to like this book, however I found it very dull and predictable. So many scenes were right out of a cheesy lifetime made for tv movie. Example: Luke chopping wood with a plaid shirt undone? Yikes. I thought the main character, Rachel, was trying to hard to be a goody goody, she was disgusted by some sexual talk etc, then the author went into great detail when her and Luke finally did get together. Maybe I'm more used to realistic chick lit or a littler darker, such as Marian Keyes. I never felt a connection with the characters.
passionreader More than 1 year ago
I liked the characters Rachel the (scared of a brokenheart) and Luke the (hot firefighter.)But Venus not so much for most of the book I couldn't tell if she was "friend" or "foe" for Rachel.Venus is the kind of charactor that is hard to trust so you can say I didn't like her very much.But Rachel and Luke I find my self cheering them on and very badly wanting them together.Too much for my likeing Venus came on way to much to Luke, she acted too much like a slut then a fairy godmother that was my only thing that driving me nut about the book.Luke and Rachel characters is what made this book good.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the Puget Sound area, though surrounded by family members with their loving partner like her parents, her brother and now her younger sister, Rachel Greer believes she must have inherited a recessive trait that only brings losers into her life as her former boyfriends are a pathetic lot. With love everywhere she goes near her family, Rachel feeling like a Trogg hides as much as possible, doing good deeds for people whether at work as a customer service employee at a bank or volunteering at the dog shelter or soup kitchen. Because of her track record with males, Rachel buries her attraction towards firefighter Luke Stanton, who monthly opens up new accounts. P Ann irate Zeus has demoted his offspring Venus to the fairy-godmother community service on earth for cheating on her spouse. She detests this punishment that she feels is too harsh, but also knows she better complete the sentencing or find a home on Mount Hood instead of returning to Mount Olympus. Venus sees an easy pickup wit Rachel ¿Loser List¿ Greer matched up with Luke the hunk though she would not mind a side snack of him. Venus applies her sure shot 'Extreme Love Life Makeover' on a reluctant Rachel while telling the mortal¿s best friend Hannah to butt out. When that somewhat fails Venus physically and verbally bullies and blackmails Rachel to force her to fall for Luke. P Rachel and Venus alternate first person accounts leading to the audience obtaining a chick lit romantic fantasy. Whereas Rachel is out of chick lit stereo-casting, Venus is a refreshing takes no prisoner acerbic fairy godmother (think of the Carol Kane character, the Ghost of Christmas Present, in Scrooged). Readers will appreciate VENUS ENVY as she does what she does best, cause havoc with the heart. P Harriet Klausner