by Farrah Rochon, contemporary (2012)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86254-2
The plot of Farrah Rochon's Pleasure Rush is straight out of the Handbook of Harlequin Kimani Formula Plots. Stop me if you haven't read this before: busy heroine persuaded by well-meaning sequel baits to take a vacation to an exotic place, only to meet and fall for the hero.
Naturally, hero Thelonius Stokes is pegged as another millionaire playboy type, even if he doesn't behave like one. His job, which is the only thing that distinguishes him from other Random Kimani Player Millionaire Heroes out there, is that he used to be an NFL professional who is now embarking on a new career as a TV sports analyst.
Our heroine Deirdre Small devotes her time to her son and her restaurant business, because she is one of those heroines who will die if she somehow touches a pee-pee that doesn't come with a wedding ring. Theo pushed hard for her affections once upon a time, but she refused to budge because she is smart enough to know that the penis is the root of all evil in this world. Now that they meet again in Hawaii, Theo once again pushes for some honey. Deirdre still believes that in the evil of the penis, but she also decides that she needs some time to let her hair down. Operation Seduce That Guy commences.
Yes, you've read that right. Hero wants the honey, the heroine has the honey, but she's not giving him any unless she succeeds in seducing him first. Let's not even start with how if she has to approach the seduction of a guy the way a blind man tries very hard to construct a Jenga tower, she may be better off doing something else more fun, like scrubbing her hair with rusty wires. You may be wondering by this point, "Why would that crazy woman want to seduce the very same man that she previously acted like a prickly hedgehog around? If she wants a no-strings attached affair, why choose a guy who is closely associated with her friends and family members? Why not just seduce some random hot guy?" All I can say is that I didn't write this thing, so don't look at me.
Naturally, Deirdre approaches the act of seduction with the mechanical trepidation of a woman who is asked to perform open-heart surgery on a loved one using a chainsaw. I have seen people greet the IRS fellow with more enthusiasm. Needless to say, once she finally has the honey, the guy discovers that she's out to seduce him, so he dumps her. He pushes for her affections hard, and she finally puts out to him, and then he gets mad when he learns that she wants his sexy body. By this point, I'm convinced that these two twits totally deserve each other.
Serving as distraction from the tomfoolery that is the romance is Theo trying to navigate through some tedious football jock drama which demonstrates that even the players with the biggest jockstrap can pout like a baby. Oh, and there are some sequel baits trying very hard to overlook the non-chemistry between Theo and Deirdre, pushing the agenda that those two belong together.
It's all a pity, really. The author can be witty and her narrative has bounce and sass. But the main characters have wet cotton wool for brains and their romance is a by-the-number formulaic affair with the irritant factor ramped up. The best thing I can say about Pleasure Rush is that it is readable... if just barely.
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