Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86522-2
Contemporary Romance, 2017
Khalil Gray manages a chain of gyms that are disabled-friendly. He likes Lexia Daniels, who runs his favorite café. But he has had a nasty ex, so does she, so ooh. And that’s basically what A Touch of Love is all about.
Or, more accurately, it’s about conversations and reams after reams of exposition about the most mundane things. A few paragraphs detailing Khalil’s routine at his gym before telling me that he is stuck in traffic, so he’s a few minutes off for his date with Lexia. He talks to his apparently endless family members, mostly to praise one another about what wonderful existence they all lead. Our hero has a health crisis shortly into the story, but because he can afford the best healthcare, his family members all clamor to take care of him, and I’m pretty sure the author will not dare to let even a single square inch of Khalil be anything less than perfect, that crisis feels as exciting and suspenseful as following two snails in a race.
And, finally, the grand drama – trust issues! Oh god, who cares? Okay, he comes off as a bit of an ass by telling her he’s not ready for love after he’s inspected every inch of her body up close and personal, while she certainly overreacts by projecting her insecurities onto him, but these two are as deep as cardboard cutouts up to that point, so yes, who cares?
A Touch of Love is constructed like a soap opera – it focuses a lot on mundane details as the characters inch through day by day at a snail’s pace, but the author doesn’t seem to know where she wants to take her story to. Too much of this story is just people talking to one another about things that don’t add anything to the story, when the author is not detailing what these characters are doing as if she was in charge of the slowest, draggiest reality TV show ever.
Sadly, this one lacks anything truly bad to qualify for anything less than three oogies, but it’s not good enough to get four oogies. Hence, the three oogies I’m giving this one can be tad misleading, as folks may think that this is, hence, a decent read. Perhaps it can be such to some readers, but the only moment I feel joy while reading this thing is when I realize that there are less than five pages to go before I’m done with this for good. It’s okay, but it’s so, so dull and flat at the same time.