Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86420-1
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Nichelle Wright and Wolfe Diallo – Wolfe Diallo, good lord, were his parents on crack when they named him? – are friends and business partners in a management consultant team, but friendship turns into a flagship of sexy times when they are forced to pretend to be married in order to woo a client. Yes, Affair of Pleasure is that story, and yes, the plot assumes that all those people fooled would not think of anything amiss should these two break up once the dotted line is signed. For a long time, they dance around whether they should do it, oh they go ahead and do it, and then they wonder whether they should have done it, and so forth. Nothing new, nothing unusual here.
That’s my problem with Affair of Pleasure – it has a well-used plot and the author’s interpretation of this plot never fails to remind me of how artificial the entire premise is. I don’t know, maybe these two needed to pretend to be married to get into a reality show, perhaps? I don’t know, perhaps going all wacky and crazy would have made things interesting for a change. As it is, this one is just one of those “only in romance novels” stories without anything interesting to make it stand out from the rest of the fake marriage contemporary stories out there. The hero’s name must be one of the worst ever, though, so there’s that.
Wait, there is one notable thing about this story, though. The author introduces a conflict late in the story, which is basically a communication breakdown problem when one party gets so offended that an over-the-top flouncing commences. For once, it is the heroine that overreacts, when usually it is the hero who goes off the rails in misguided self-righteousness. Still, that’s probably an academic kind of thing to take note of, as that conflict, like everything else about the story, feels contrived. The whole thing, from start to finish, is like a homework assignment for the author to be as faithful as possible to a plot that never makes much sense in the contemporary context in the first place.
Hmm, this review is pretty short, but that’s because I really don’t have much to say about it. It’s what it is – faithful to the tropes, and in the process, ends up unbecomingly forgettable.