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When Venus Fell

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  596 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Home is wherever the heart leads....
The ties that bind us--to our families, to our pasts--are at the heart of this deeply engrossing story.
Venus Arinelli saw her future as a concert pianist shattered when her father's life ended in disgrace. Now Venus plays in cocktail lounges, sporting her survival skills like a suit of armor. When a stranger emerges from her parents' l
Paperback, 453 pages
Published October 5th 1999 by Bantam Books (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This book is so good. I think it straddles the abyss of women's fiction (I hate women's fiction) but in such a good way. I say that because although it's a romance, it's also a story about two sisters and their journey to finding a home and stability. The writing was so effortless and the storytelling utterly addictive. The characters snuck their way inside your heart. Venus is a very unique but completely likeable heroine. Her upbringing is quite unusual, and she is a piano prodigy who ends up ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by Deborah Smith, and I didn't like it nearly as much as her other one. I mentioned earlier that I was having trouble with the prose's pacing, and this problem persists through the entire book.

There doesn't seem to be any logic behind most of the character's interactions. What they say, do, and mean are often totally different things. The main character kept getting offended, and I never understood how the other people upset her so badly.

The romance wasn't very
Feb 25, 2011 LadyCalico rated it liked it
I have been working my way through the Deborah Smith novels and this is my least favorite so far. It was well-written and well-developed, but I really didn't like Venus, and her inappropriate nasties really got on my nerves after a while. I knew that sooner or later the author was going to have to knock a few chips off her shoulder and humanize her if the story was going to go anywhere, but until that process started, it was not an enjoyable read for me. Granted the author did a good job with th ...more
Oct 19, 2008 Relyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: romantic saps with a thing for the South
Recommended to Relyn by: discovered another of her books in Foozels
I am rereading this book for the umpteenth time. I love this book utterly. More when I've finished. Note, it is definitely a sappy romance.

I've been thinking about how to describe this book. I still don't know. I think this is a book that you either love or are completely indifferent to. It is definitely a romance story, so skip it if you hate them.

What to say about this book?

I guess I'm just in love with Gib. He's wonderful. I also love the prickly, passionate, fiercely loyal
Jul 31, 2007 Ellen rated it did not like it
This was picked by a member of my book club for our next meeting. I am only about 100 pages in so far. Isn't terrible, isn't great. So far it seems a bit over-dramatic, almost like a romance novel. And the main character, Venus, isn't very likeable. She reminds me of that girl in high school that takes great pains to show everyone how "deep" and "troubled" she is and how her life is so complicated. Kind of annoying so far. Some of the other characters are very cliche, for example the "mysterious ...more
Jan 11, 2011 Bree rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

I love love love Deborah Smith. Her books are just beautiful.

In saying that, this is my least favorite so far. It was still really good and I didn't want to put it down. But the female lead grated under my skin. I just didn't like her is all. But, overall the book was excellent!
Sharon A.
Jan 02, 2010 Sharon A. rated it really liked it
I enjoy Deborah Smith's books -- she writes intelligent yet romantic stories. I was thrilled to find this older book at the library; especially when I realize I'd never read it before.

Alasandra Alawine
Nov 06, 2013 Alasandra Alawine rated it really liked it
Venus and her younger sister Ella have spent ten years on the run after their Father was arrested for treason. Government agents seized their home, belongs and harassed the teenage girls, one low life almost raped Venus (Nellie). So when former government agent Gib Cameron shows up claiming to have money left for the girls by their Father Venus is understandably suspicious, but agrees to visit Cameron Hall, in the mountains of Tennessee.

The delicate Ella is charmed by the Cameron Family and fal
Tania Martins
Apr 11, 2011 Tania Martins rated it it was ok
Shelves: english-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2010 Marla rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
Okay, so ya, this is a romance novel. It's been forever since I read one and probably won't on purpose for many years to come...if ever again. I'm not even sure why I picked this off the shelf at the library. But I did. I freely admit that I couldn't put the thing down. Very engaging, if you're even a little bit romantic. But it was pretty typical as far as romance novels go (I read more than my share as a teenager, so I recognized the pattern well). Two people meet who have something in common, ...more
May 02, 2013 Stacy rated it really liked it
Venus and Ella Arinelli have been on their own for the ten years since their father died in prison where he was being held for crimes against America. The government took everything and followed them, city to city, harassing them. The two sisters work nightclubs as a musical duet, Venus on the piano and Ella on her violin. Then one day an old family friend finds them and tells them about $100,000 that belongs to them, but there is a catch.

Venus, who has been taking care of her weaker sister has
Jul 02, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it
"Life had always seemed chaotic to me. That was why I liked music. The precision, the order, the logic of it. It was the same with a well-oiled machine, a fine meal, a freshly polished floor, a perfect sunset. A moment of pure order, where the world is safe and absolutely right, and just by being there to appreciate the moment, to observe, to listen, to perform, to learn, you're the center of the universe.
Jul 28, 2010 Pbwritr rated it it was ok
An obvious romance, but I didn't notice when I bought it. The protagonist, Venus, is annoying with her "out there" attitude, comments, and behaviors. All other characters were fairly well drawn. A story about saving another ancestral home and reopening it as a hotel after a tragedy the previous year. Venus and her sister, Ella, are embraced by the family when they arrive to claim their father's legacy.
Sep 23, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
The novel seems to go along with Smith's formula of taking an outcast, tough, misunderstood young woman and putting her with a large, ecentric Southern family where she fights and then loves the troubled oldest brother of the clan. Though it was unbelievable at times, the love story between the two always works for me and made me speed through the book until it's end.
Jul 23, 2008 Arthur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a stunning but delicate story from beginning to end. There are only minimal lengths in mystery that abound about love and remain love woven from its very outset for this story. Concludes with the subject of all the potential ideals that encourage many for the tough are the one’s who need to get their going. And then when the rough is even harder.
C C Cedras
Oct 23, 2012 C C Cedras rated it it was amazing
My God, I've read this book more times than I can count, it always makes me fall in love with ALL of these characters again and again, makes me laugh and cry, it's that good. The other day I read a writer's blog that said that you cannot cross the literary fiction and romance genres. Smith disproves that theory in almost every book she writes. Highly recommended!
Aug 10, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing

Loved the main character of Venus and her protective sarcasm. It had me laughing a lot. Smith is great at creating strong female characters in a Southern setting. Even though the romance between Venus and Gib is predictable, you are still drawn in to the pair. And as in all of Smith's novels, the antagonist always gets what's coming to them.
Feb 10, 2014 Dona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read other books by Ms. Smith that I enjoyed much more. The "tie" that connected the Arinellis and the Camerons was just too tenuous to support all that this tenuous relationship was suppose support and cure. There was something about the story line that seemed a little forced.
Deborah E. Chin
Jan 12, 2015 Deborah E. Chin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Mountain folk are a nation unto their own. Having lived the life this book tells, brings you back to the simple life we all miss with sweet yet interesting characters. A journey well worth taking.
Apr 16, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an excellent book. I really didn't like Venus at first, but she grew on me. This book made me laugh and cry. The writing was excellent and the story engaging. Definitely one to recommend.
Feb 03, 2008 Barbra rated it did not like it
Tried to read this but couldn't get into it so it hit the wall.

Back Cover Blurb:
Entrancing tale of a woman who finds herself embarking on a reluctant trip to the Tennessee mountains, after her dream of being a concert pianist falls through.
Jul 08, 2012 Michelle rated it liked it
A friend picked this up in a grab bag and we were sharing it. It was actually better than I thought it would be. Part romance, part mystery. But lots of tweeks to make it different.
Lori Baldi
Dec 06, 2010 Lori Baldi rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, family-sagas
This book was a bit of a disappointment for me. Not up to the quality of the other books I've read by the author, Deborah Smith.
Jan 11, 2008 Ravie13 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened_to
This book I listened to primarily because Mary Stuart Masterson is the reader. She did a pretty good job!
Jun 12, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it
Pure escapism. Prickly romance set in a beautiful part of Tennessee. Central and surrounding characters drawn well. Sentimental rather than instant sex. Nice reading for a smile on a rainy day.
Dec 03, 2010 Nefret rated it liked it
Interessante Ausgangssituation. Venus steht dem amerikanschen Staat sehr kritisch gegenüber, Gib ist ein ehemaliger Leibwächter des Präsidenten. Leider war mir das Buch etwas zu depressiv.
Harriett Bulger
Dec 03, 2012 Harriett Bulger rated it really liked it
Easy read..a romantic book set in the hills of Tennesse!!Girl finds boy...girl looses boy...girl gets boy back...all is well!
Gloria Fisher
May 21, 2015 Gloria Fisher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The characters in this book were amazing! I felt a part of both families as my heart ached for their problems, especially Gib and the Nellies. Five stars easily.
Oct 27, 2008 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
She is a great story teller and really develops her characters. Also, her books always end "happy" and I love that!
Katherine Coble
Katherine Coble rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2012
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aka Jackie Leigh
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Deborah Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of A Place to Call Home, and the No. 1 Kindle Bestseller The Crossroads Cafe, A Gentle Rain and other acclaimed romantic novels portraying life and love in the modern Appalachian South. A native Georg
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