Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86359-4
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Iris Sinclair is a criminal defense attorney whose specialty, apparently, is getting teenagers acquitted of all criminal charges. Maybe that’s why Tania Dupree insists that her loaded and famous uncle Nash hire Iris when Tamia is arrested for having drugs in her school bag. Tania is the only female that Nash has a fondness for – eeeuw, not that way, he’s her uncle and her guardian – since he’d been hurt before by a woman in his past, so he goes right away to look for Iris. Iris initially refuses to take the case, but his sex mojo is so irresistible that she can’t help but to say yes. The judge wants Tania to be placed somewhere away from Nash because Nash is a bad influence, what with him having a new girlfriend every week or so. Iris, who is representing Tania at that time, offers to take Tania in, so the judge says okay. Now Iris is never going to escape the hot guy knocking at her back door and wanting to be let in.
Now, I am not sure whether it’s possible that Iris would be given custody of some teenage girl she has no ties to outside of professional obligation to defend that girl in juvenile court, but I’m going to leave that to people who are in the know to discuss that matter. It’s the least of my issue with this story anyway.
My biggest issue is one dimensional the characters are in this story. They are flatter than pancakes that have been run over a few times by a steamroller. The characters are all recognizable stereotypes, and the author relies on my familiarity with those stereotypes to fill in the blanks.
With Nash Dupree, filling in the blanks is tough because there is barely anything there to work with in the first place. He’s the quintessential Kimani hero – loaded, rich, wildly hounded by the tabloids despite being a club owner, and has some standard baggage about cheating hussy. He also comes with a crazy stalker ex-girlfriend – that one is always fun, I tell you. Nothing screams “Marry me! I’m steady husband material” like a guy with a history of sticking it into crazy. What is his motivation? Is there anything to know about him? Well, not really. All he thinks about is either wanting to sleep with Iris because she’s hot or to get Tania off his back so that he can focus on expanding his business empire. The guy exists solely to service our heroine; everything else about him is designed to lead his pee-pee to its intended designation.
Iris is a stereotype too – an irritating one, actually. When she was younger, she was embarrassed by a boy she had a crush on. Fifteen years have passed and she now has looks and a body that would Rihanna feel ugly and fat. However, she looks into the mirror and still sees the rear end of a cow. So, what I get here is a story where everyone, especially the hero, talks about how astonishingly hot she is, and then there’s Iris constantly bleating that she’s the ugliest pimple on everyone’s behind. She’s also described as cool and confident, but, actually, she gets emotionally attached to every case she handles until she actually cries in court, and by the last page of this book, she has degenerated into a weepy emotional mess.
The problem here is this: her insecurities motivate her to become paranoid about Nash’s true intentions about her. In fact, early on, she’s lamenting to her best friend that Nash surely wants her because he wants to give her a pity shag. Too bad the friend doesn’t tell her that a man as hot as Nash won’t lower himself to pity shag an ugly cow unless the man has a fetish for barnyard animals. There is a hilarious kind of self-absorption in Iris – she feels that she is so ugly, hot guys are moved to shower her with affection because they pity her. It isn’t enough to be ugly, Iris wants everyone to know that she is special-ugly. Late in the story, she launches into two consecutive “He cheated on me! I won’t talk to him, I’ll just overreact!” drama, one that concludes just a few pages before the story ends.
Iris has no idea where Nash was when he just happened to spend one night not with her, so yes, he must be sleeping with some other woman. It’s true! She is humiliated and starts sobbing loudly to herself! Her emotions feel so violent and overwhelming, she cries like a frenzied baboon as she speeds down the road, whacking the wheel with her hand!
And they aren’t even married yet. That guy only has to look at a woman to have the tabloids link his private parts to that woman’s, so Iris is going to be utterly insane before their first anniversary. I hope Nash likes all that drama, because he’s going to experience plenty of it non-stop once he’s married to that creature! At the end of the day, he still sticks it to crazy. I almost feel sorry for him.