If I Had You
by Michelle Monkou, contemporary (2012)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86251-1

Charisse Sanford believes that she had paid her dues in the world of public relations, having proven her capabilities and all. Alas, her business venture New Vision is off to a rocky start. The partner who promised to pour in the dough hasn't come through yet, and the economic climate is such that companies are slashing their PR budget instead of clamoring for her services. When Brent Thatcher, the music mogul of the moment, contacts her about the possibility of her doing PR stuff for his upcoming R&B act All For One, it's not like she is in a position to turn him down. Since they are both beautiful people, it is inevitable that they feel this compulsion to mash lips and tongues and all.

Incidentally, wasn't there already an R&B group called All-4-One in the 1990s? I wish the author had chosen something else as the name of that group du jour.

At any rate, this is a simple straightforward story. Very light on conflict, this story features a refreshingly normal heroine who seems sane for the most part, but she is paired with a rather bland one-dimensional perfect hero with perfect everything. Well, except perhaps for his control freak streak that forms the basis of the weak conflict late in the story, but he gets over that by the last page, so he's really perfect by then.

Really, this is a story that is fine. The characters are fine, the romance is fine... really, it's fine. But because it is so light on conflict, it is pretty much a tale of pretty people reaffirming each other's perfection. Sure, I'd love to know these people in real life, especially if they are very generous to their lesser mortal friends. But it sure is a snooze to read their story, because there isn't much that is interesting here.

Rating: 76

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