Venus In Blue Jeans
by Meg Benjamin, contemporary (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-394-4
Venus In Blue Jeans refers to the heroine Docia Kent, of course. After a bad break-up with an unworthy ex, she heads out to Konigsburg, Texas, to give herself some space from her well-meaning but overbearing parents and perhaps find a hot rebound affair in the process. Cal Toleffson is also a newcomer to Konigsburg - he's the hot vet who is good with animals. Needless to say, the ladies in Konigsburg all of a sudden realize that their pets are constantly in need of treatment. But all it takes is one look for Cal to realize that Docia is the one for him. Unfortunately for our happy couple, some people are not happy with Docia's presence in Konigsburg and will do whatever it takes to get rid of her.
This is a small town romance, but on the bright side the author has not allowed her secondary characters to run wild or behave like unruly children in a food fight. There are no creepy people unnaturally obsessed with matchmaking our main characters, for example. The villains are bit on the one-dimensional side, but one of them is actually the most interesting character in this story, given her Cruella De Vil personality.
The thing about Venus In Blue Jeans, though, is that it doesn't really reach out and grab my attention. In fact, when I have to sit down and write this review, I find myself wondering what to write. The characters are sane and likable, the pacing is fine, and the setting is pretty well drawn, but I find myself thinking that this story is pretty forgettable despite its strengths. A big reason for this, I suspect, is due to the "romance" being quite skimpy. There are not enough scenes here where Docia and Cal actually talk and enjoy each other's company without being interrupted by other characters, miscellaneous animals, or even dramatic events. I am told that they like each other, but I don't see how that can happen.
Venus In Blue Jeans is a pleasant story with a hero who loves and is good around animals, how sweet. Unfortunately, I'd prefer it to have a little more romance and a little less drama, especially when the romance comes off as lacking here.
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