Kimani, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-335-43302-2
Contemporary Romance, 2019
First, hands off to Chloe Blake for daring to start off A Taste of Passion with the heroine Maya North having a sexy thing with one Rick fellow who is not the hero. Of course, Rick turns out to be more of a dick, complaining that Maya is leading him on when she dares to tell him that she has an early flight so she’d rather sleep early that night. Oh, and while he claims to be a feminist, his wife won’t be allowed to have a career. So she dumps him, and discovers later that he’s brought on to her company for the post that she has been hoping to be hers. So now the dick is her boss, and he’s doing all he can to undermine her.
Never mind, she takes off to Paris to look into the vineyard left to her by a father she has never known. Meanwhile, she sleeps with our hero, Nicolas Rayo, and oops, he turns out to be the protégé of her late father, and he isn’t too pleased that somebody is waltzing in to take over what he believes should be his. So yes, he is also the guy who is trying to buy out her share in the vineyard.
It’s probably a good thing Maya stops there. The next guy she sleeps with will likely be an assassin hired to kill her.
Meanwhile, Nic also has to contend with a woman who is determined to ensure that he will hers and only hers. To be fair, the heroine also has her asshole other guy, so all’s fair when it comes to serving up the exes and hos here.
Now, while I can’t say I’m bowled over by this one, it’s a pretty fun read. There is a mix of campy antics and more solemn family drama here, and throughout it all, our main characters avoid coming off as too annoying or getting into contrived jumping to wrong conclusion antics to bring on the drama. There are, after all, enough nonsense from external sources here to keep them busy. When they’re not busy dealing with drama, they are pounding up the beat in the bedroom like nobody’s business. I’m not sure whether these two have romantic chemistry as much as they are all about the sexual electricity, but I’m okay with that because those scenes are, er, pretty nice to read.
I won’t be able to describe in detail what our hero and heroine are like, as they are on the sketchy side, but they do fit together very well with or without clothes. I also really appreciate how Maya doesn’t let life knock her down – she just keeps going and actively seeks out ways to get herself out of any mess she finds herself in. Nico… well, let’s just say that he’s that French fling that every woman deserves at least once in her life. Who cares about forever when that guy can go for gold in hitting all the right spots?
I also like how this one reads like an actual story rather than an advertisement for future books in a series. No forced exposition on the lives of secondary characters that don’t matter in the big picture, no bizarre exposition on what the hero and the heroine are wearing or eating, no wooden information dump of the main characters meeting this person before meeting another person and then one more person, not too many annoying secondary characters urging the main characters to have sex some more… In fact, none of the technical annoyances that really ruin my ability to enjoy too many Kimani titles in the past is present here, so everybody say love.
If this review sounds like one long backhanded compliment or soft bigotry of low expectations in action, you really haven’t read the slew of previous Kimani books like I had, lucky you. Even if I avoid comparing this to those books, A Taste of Passion still remains an entertaining kind of sexy melodrama. I’d say that there is probably a bit too much drama for a story of its length – what’s the point even with that Daphne woman, and we don’t really need the Rick the dick thing as well – and the story could use a few dozen more pages to make things less rushed and overcrowded. Still, in its current state, it’s still potent enough to hit all the right spots.