Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86356-3
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Tiffany Gentry runs the Petite Boutique, a quaint store in Chicago where you can get nice stuff for a decent price. The service isn’t bad. Tiffany realizes that the security of the place can be better, especially after a recent run-in with a creepy customer after the store is closed. Her friend’s mother-in-law decides to send her way someone who can help her out: Colonel Ivan Mangum, who knows stuff like this and is willing to help Tiffany out without charging an arm and a leg. You know how it is: he’s hot, she’s hot, everything’s hot. There is a woman in his past that may cause problems for these two, however.
Okay, I’m actually stretching things a bit with the other woman thing, but that’s because I just wanted to make the synopsis seem a little bit exciting. There isn’t much of a conflict here. True, there is another woman, but she’s an ex of Ivan who ended up marrying his army buddy, who eventually got killed on duty. Now, Ivan is helping her out financially due to a promise he made to his dead buddy, and there is some friction arising from how she doesn’t want Ivan to hook up with Tiffany and thus ruin her direct line to easy money. However, Ivan and Tiffany are pretty sanguine about this matter, so the drama is nowhere as big as it may seem to be on paper.
While Her Heart’s Desire may not have a swooping plot full of dramatic conflicts, it has a wonderfully sane and likable couple that behave just like two normal people who happen to meet and fall in love. Sure, she has some issues with the men in her past, but she deals with this reasonably. No “All men are bastards, I just knew it, so stay away from me, Angry Monster Penis!” nonsense on her part, and there is also no “All women are cheating bitches!” melodrama from him. The secondary characters show up as friends and family members that play a role in the story instead of just showing up to tell me to buy their books. All in all, there is an appealing down to earth no-nonsense “Just falling in love – no distractions, no BS” vibe here that is easy to get caught up in.
Normally, stories with slow plot can be pretty easy to put down and forget, but here I find that I’ve finished this book in one sitting without realizing it. There’s a lot in this story that is so easy to like, and it’s always nice to read an enjoyable romance story that is all about love without angst or moody tantrums to get in the way.