Picks and Pans Review: When Venus Fell
Beach book of the week
Being named for a heavenly body carries quite a responsibility—especially if your namesake is the evening star, object of the wishing world's affections.
Venus Arinelli, 29, the lonely, wisecracking heroine of this entertaining read, is on the run from government agents determined to question her about her late father's checkered past. As Venus hides behind pseudonyms and hair extensions, Gib Cameron, a nearly forgotten friend, shows up with a wish of his own: that she visit his ancestral home in Tennessee, where their pasts are intertwined. Smith (A Place to Call Home) unspools wacky and wonderful lore while bringing her wistful protagonist down to Earth, so that readers cannot miss the essential point: When Venus fell, she fell in love. (Bantam, $23.95)
Bottom Line: A stellar romance