Video Vixen by Elaine Raco Chase

Showing the true power of an eReader, I started Video Vixen because I was out and about when I finished the book I was reading. I needed something to entertain, so figured I’d read a short work to pass the time.

Well, Video Vixen was not what I was expecting. It had been on my eReader for some time. I don’t even remember where I picked it up or why, but it was probably because I found the concept of looking past the assumptions to the reality of what it takes to put together a daytime soap intriguing. When I saw the page count, I almost went looking for another title, but since I’d already opened it, I gave the start a chance and never regretted the decision.

I’ve read only a few titles classified erotica, and honestly, I wouldn’t have known this one was except when I opened it on my computer this morning to get the title, it was one of the tags. I’ll admit the sex parts were both more explicit and less than in most romances I read, and if that had been the main focus of this book…well, it’s not the strong point.

So what is the strong point?

The story. I’m all about story, and this one has trouble written all over it. In the very beginning, you learn about Vikki/Vixen, a woman whose momentary assist became a rising star acting career. She credits her success to the support of the real professionals around her at Always Tomorrow. Vixen is her personality opposite, but taking on that role gives her the ability to do what she believes worthwhile. She believes in soap opera as a vehicle for entertainment, escape, and education, exposing the public to a variety of important topics and how to find help regarding those.

Vikki is the innocent, Vixen is the seductress, and the show needs Vikki to play her part both on and off the stage. The public mixes the character with the actor often, and even more in her case because she’s so high profile and is the villain everyone loves to hate.

She’s a focused, dedicated, loyal woman with deep feelings. At the same time, she’s up for the game, willing to step out of her comfort zone, and even plays it up when confronted by not quite fans. She’s having fun being Vixen Mallory, the black widow of daytime television.

Daniel, on the other hand, is an award winning investigative reporter who doesn’t think soap operas are worth his, or anyone’s, time. But he ends up firing the man assigned this story, and when his gut responds more to her fully clothed layout in Playboy than the centerfold, he wants to meet her in person.

Yes, there’s an element of instant, physical attraction, but it doesn’t bloom until they learn more about each other, something they have every opportunity to do when the cast and writers beg Vikki to keep him distracted because they’ve each got something in their past they want to stay there.

It’s a tangled web she weaves, both for her and Daniel. Vikki has to face up to moral dilemmas, the dual demands of her own feelings and those of her friends, and the need to put her own past behind her and come back to life after losing her first love.

Daniel, on the other hand, has his assumptions handed to him about the soaps, and not just by Vikki either. The contradictions in her behavior let him see beyond the glamour, but at the same time he’s not against playing along.

The story line is complicated and draws you in, the characters are deep, and the interactions are both fun and well done. Even the seduction worked for me, if not so much the end result.

If I had to rate this book by stars, it would probably be no more than three, which is why I don’t like the star system. There were some rough parts in the text even beyond the sex, but I was looking to be entertained and got more than I’d bargained for. Story and characters are Elaine Raco Chase’s strengths, and she excels in those aspects.

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