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Venus Rising by [Kennedy, Celia]
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Venus Rising Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


Kirkus Review
Two academics forge an unlikely romance despite their deep-seated emotional wounds.
Fresh off an academic stint in Afghanistan, author, world traveler, and political scientist Dr. Jared Harrison has taken a guest lecturer position at a small, private college in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He spots a beautiful professor at his first faculty party. Art historian Akshaya Bertrand is notoriously distant, and Jared vows to earn her trust. He starts sitting in on her classes until he nabs a coffee date with her at her family's cafe. Akshaya sprains her ankle, and Jared's top-notch care persuades her to slowly lower her guard. As the relationship develops, Jared discovers that Akshaya was adopted after narrowly surviving a fire in her native India. Though she can't remember her birth parents or country, her body bears the scars of her time there. While Akshaya comes to terms with her past, Jared wrestles with his privilege guilt. The couple's professional and personal lives intertwine when Jared proposes they write a book and take a research trip overseas, but the added strain on their relationship almost proves too much. Kennedy (Cognac & Couture, 2015, etc.) has created two believable, well-developed characters, defining their trauma with specific experiences. Jared relives the violence he's seen ("a dust-covered woman, screaming silently as she held a tiny, lifeless hand pierced Jared's sleep"). And Akshaya battles her fear of intimacy that stems, in part, from her ex-boyfriend Rishi's reaction to seeing her scars: "When he looked at wasn't purely curiosity he felt. It was pity. No girl wants to see that. She wants to see love, acceptance, trust, desire." The romance develops gradually, understandable considering the couple's histories. The novel is grounded in poignant examinations of poverty and conflict, like Akshaya's first encounters with the caste system. The New England and Indian settings are rich and populated with vivid characters that reflect Kennedy's own travel experience.
A weighty, slow-burning read.
Annie McDonnell - Chicklit Plus
What an amazingly written love story; not only about romantic partners, but love of family, friends, food and places to call home/visit. This story is splendid in culture, colors, tastes and feels. Celia Kennedy weaves a tapestry of the lives of two very hurt individuals. And, it is beautiful.

It was fabulous reading this story to see what was uncovered. Often, the stories I love the most, are the hardest to review; because I want to be sure I write the review well enough that you will want to read it. HA. So, that is my plan here...Read this story.

Celia Kennedy writes of Akshaya Bertrand and Jared Harrison who meet while working at a college in Massachusetts. Akshaya is an Art History professor and Jared is hired as a Guest Lecturer at the school. Jared is a self-professed Nomad. He traveled the Middle East as a journalist and writer, and has seen horrific things, and one that had a very personal effect on him. Akshaya's personal story is just as interestingly told. Both characters could have each been their own book! That is why I was enraptured by them being shared in the same story, walking the same path.

Akshaya and Jared have emotional traumas to deal with, yet they are falling in love with one another at the same time. They need to learn how to live with or move on from these "pent-up" feelings. Only then would know if they can still be capable of a long term and intimate relationship. Both have a lot of ground to cover if they want to get to one another, as a couple.

The question is: Can they?

Jared was to write another novel. He asks Akshaya to co-author, because he wants to write a book about "Art in a war-torn part of the world". This opportunity could be their saving grace, as a trip to India and Afghanistan could have them re-write their very own personal story.

This trip may provide them the healing they have needed for so long.

I was in love with this story, and in love with both Akshaya and Jared. I challenge you not to do the same!!

From the Author

I've long thought about the phrase, "When love is not enough."

Some of us are trapped within the confines of our minds and bodies to the point where we fear love because we'd have to expose ourselves. At our core we still want the most primal of things, love and acceptance. The question then becomes, how do we navigate the minefield of our psyche allowing ourselves to become vulnerable, loveable?

Venus Rising is a toe dip in the water. Through Akshaya and Jared, we explore this question. Each of them personify a limitation and it is when they meet a kindred spirit that they finally explore the boundaries they've lived their lives with in.

Product details

  • File Size: 971 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Celia Kennedy; 3 edition (August 8, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 8, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,017,333 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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