Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86340-2
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Bianca Wagner is a Las Vegas denizen who is doing her thing on the road one day when she presses on the brake to avoid hitting a car. Oops, the limo behind her couldn’t stop in time so there goes her car. Fortunately, the limo belongs to casino tycoon Tanner Long. They both like what they see in another person, and then, oops, Tanner leaves Bianca with an “unexpected gift”. That’s a baby, by the way, and not some crotch rot or worse.
As far as plot goes, that’s about it. This is actually a pretty short book, but it feels like a long one, thanks to Bianca helpfully padding the plot with her first class non-stop insecurity and paranoia. I don’t know what to make of her. First, she claims that she isn’t looking at any man because she wants to focus on her career. Fair enough. But once she sees Tanner, she starts becoming weird. She doesn’t want to date him or sleep with him, because he’d never get serious with her and so, he would break her heart! Her “sex must lead to a committed relationship and marriage or else” kind of attitude is a bit of a throwback, but I can respect that if she at least sticks to her gun. No, she easily lets him into her pants – hence, the surprise present – and all her constant protests and vehemence seem like a manifestation of some kind of complex she has about sex and guys. At the end of day, her hormones win so all her non-stop “I shalt not put out!” windbag nonsense is for nothing.
Even then, the doubts and paranoia continue. She keeps thinking, with increasingly feverish pitch each time, that he’d cheat on her, dump her, break her heart, make her a notch on his many-notched bedposts. See, he gives some woman a side-eye glance! He’s having sex with her! Men are all scumbags! When she finally gets some half-baked proof that he is dipping his body parts into other women, she runs with it, only to ends up humiliated when the whole thing turns out to be a misunderstanding that could have been prevented if she’d stop running away.
That’s my biggest issue with Bianca: despite her constant doubts and insecurities, she doesn’t do anything but to slink away like a defeated puppy each time she believes that she’s going to be discarded by Tanner. Girlfriend here is hot, she has a good career, and her friends adore her, so why is she so insecure like this? The author doesn’t go much into Bianca’s background, so I can only guess at the psychological problems that may be messing up her head. And really, if she has stormed to the man and slap him when she “catches” him “cheating” on her, she’d have avoided much of the misunderstanding that follows.
I try telling myself that maybe her pregnancy is making Bianca crazy, but no, she’s already crazy before the bun is baked.
Tanner is a bland guy, but that’s a good thing in this story, as Bianca is providing enough crazy for the two of them. He’s basically that nice guy who moves mountains for the woman he loves, only to have her accuse him of cheating on her because she caught him looking somewhere else other than her while he’s moving those mountains. I can only wonder how much more he can remain patient with Bianca before he too snaps and goes crazy.
Anyway, Bet on Love is a story where the romantic conflict basically boils down to “bitch be cray cray”. Hope you like that kind of thing, or else you won’t get much of anything else here.