Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335-21695-3
Contemporary Romance, 2018
As some of you may know, I’m in the middle of moving house hell, so in the midst of my recent loading off my pile of unread books to the new place, I saw this one. Oops, I missed out one book during my review marathon of Pamela Yaye’s books – one of the least enjoyable experiences I ever inflicted upon myself, I tell you – so what the heck, I may as well sit down, read this one, and be done with it.
A Los Angeles Rendezvous was one of the last books in the Kimani line before it died. Sure, it is then resurrected into the equivalent of a two-headed zombie but the fact remains, dead. Reading this, I finally find it in me to let go of any resentment I feel for the line’s death, because my god, we have finally come down to this: a Kimani story that is nothing more than a meandering, painful justification as to why it’s totally okay for a man to treat women badly – because those women are all whores, you see, and they deserve to be crapped upon; when a man finds a special woman, then his inner goodness will shine and he will finally treat her right.
Sure, it’s easy to pin the blame on the author, as pretty much every single previous book of hers – barring a rare anomaly now and then – rags on and on about how every woman who isn’t the heroine or the heroine’s BFF or family member is a whore, whore, whore who deserves to be pumped and dumped by the “hero”. This one is part of the tedious multi-author series Millionaire Moguls, however, so an editor dictated the entire arc and several authors marinated the arc. They are all guilty of being banal and coming up a plot arc this dumb, so it feels so right that Kimani dies without even a whimper. How a promising line that also happens to be only romance-focused showcase of black authors from a major publishing house ends up being in this sorry state, I can only wonder and shudder. It’s like watching a dying relative on life support oozing pus and feces from every orifice while making “Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!” sounds – it’s a blessed relief when the flat line shows up on the screen.
Oh yes, the plot. Jada Allen is a mad woman who wants to mount her boss Max Moore on his table. She’s a “worldly virgin”, I guess because that hymen is her shield against accusations that she is a brazen slut who wants the peen. Sure, she wants the peen, but she’s a virgin, so that makes her automatically good, you see? She’s not like those other women who want Max’s peen, and who got it, only to get dumped by him later. They all call Max’s office to cry, talk to him, or whatever, but as Max’s PA, Jada knows that they are all whores unworthy of talking to the virtuous Max, so she deliberately prevents him from being bothered by these sluts.
Jada adored Max and was proud to be his assistant, but his favorite hobby seemed to be breaking hearts, and she worried one day he’d mess with the wrong woman and pay the price.
See? Max can’t do anything wrong despite having a string of broken relationships – the worry here is that he may be end up sleeping with the BIGGEST WHORE OF THEM ALL. That will be terrible, because poor Max, he doesn’t deserve that!
So, Jada basically puts out to Max after already taking care of his messes as well as his tween daughter, and then she is the last one to be shocked and hurt when he treats her the same way as he treated those other women. What does she expect? She’s a moron who hates women and thinks a man can’t do any wrong. It’s a shame that this is a romance novel and hence she will get a happy ending, because she is an idiot who can just eff off.
As for Max, he can’t understand why his half-brothers don’t adore his daddy like he does. He knows that his father cheated on their mom with Max’s mother and had little contact with his other sons, but Max doesn’t understand why that is so bad. He also doesn’t understand why the husband of the woman his father slept with will be mad at that man. In other words, infidelity is normal where Max is concerned; he doesn’t understand why people get so worked up over it at all! Yet, I am supposed to view this fellow as a desirable husband material. Seriously, Max can eff off too.
With the main characters behaving like the short bus float in the crazy parade, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the author pushes thickly the take-home message that a man can’t do anything wrong. The women deserve it because they aren’t special enough to make the man stay faithful to them, or they throw themselves at the man and hence are asking for it. If you’re a good woman, special and worthy, like Jada, then he will magically fall in love with you and become free from the evil influences of those SLUTS and WHORES.
Is this the final book by the author in my pile of unread books? Let’s hope so. If I do come across another one in the future, perhaps I’ll just pretend I don’t see anything and life will be fine.