No doubt about it, Venus Crockett Bom was born a singularly beautiful baby! Her blue-violet eyes, dark lashes and brows, ivory and peaches complexion, all topped off with moonbeam hair was the stuff of angelic cherubs from infancy on. Her appearance had also led to an endless stream of childhood beauty pageants, where she instantly became known as “Baby Bombshell”, later shortened to simply “Bombshell”. Never mind that she repeatedly asked people to call her “VC” and leave it at that.
Teeth whiteners and Botox fillers, scurrilous cosmetic tricks that some stage mothers used to turn their children into living dolls, hadn’t been necessary with VC. Still, her flawless little features were frequently smeared with heavy makeup, platinum hair prodded into adult styles, and preschooler body garbed in garish ensembles more appropriate for aging strippers. Not to mention the seductive dance routines, voice lessons, and flirtatious mannerisms she’d been taught.
The only time VC was free as a child to indulge her naturally tomboyish nature had come when she fell in love with rodeos and insisted on trying out for a spot on the local queen’s court. Being no cowgirl back then, she didn’t win, but her love of horses turned into the real deal.
By the time she entered college, no one had called Venus by her given name in years. From puberty on, she’d possessed an almost surreal resemblance to one of the most gorgeous actresses the world had ever known. The childhood moniker of “Bombshell” had stuck, like it or not. Now at the age of thirty-three, the former beauty queen still isn’t sure who she is or if she has any authentic value aside from her looks. Heaven knows, that’s what’s always attracted undesirable people who treat her as if she’s nothing more than a brainless commodity for them to exploit.
Currently on the run from a criminally-minded ex-husband, VC has loaded up her golden horse and fled Texas. Streaking up across New Mexico, she’s desperate for a safe place to make a new home. A random overnight stay at the Santa Fe rodeo grounds leads to a chance remark about a sparsely populated area west of Abiquiu. After mentally noting the information, VC heads into the high country of the Pecos Wilderness for some leisurely trail riding, but the peace and safety she’s craving isn’t there, either.
More exhausted than ever, the down-on-her-luck cowgirl decides to follow the curious tip she was given, only to find, upon traveling the designated road on the map, that it leads to somewhere that doesn’t seem to really exist. Yet, there’s an entire tribe of others residing there who are just like her; all of them hiding away from a world that judges them solely by their faces. She could do worse, she figures, so accepting her lot, she begins settling into her new life.
Before she can catch her breath, though, VC receives an email from an artist friend, whose artwork has been illegally appropriated to promote an oddly insignificant equine event right here in New Mexico! A bit of online research has VC stumbling over hard evidence of a shockingly widespread international ring of art forgers who are brazenly marketing her friend’s, along with many, many others’, copyrighted images and raking in vast amounts of money.
It’s a challenge right up VC’s alley, since she’s spent the past decade, after earning a law degree in college, secretly putting it to good use. On the trail of villains willing to stop at nothing in order to profit from others’ genius, even if it means murder, VC sets about infiltrating the ring of art parasites. Who knows? Being viewed as nothing more than a blonde bombshell just may turn out to be one of her most powerful weapons yet…as long as she isn’t killed in the process.
"THE BOMBSHELL RIDES AGAIN", Copyright Rush Cole 2021. All rights reserved.