by Janice Sims, contemporary (2012)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86218-4
Ana Corelli and Erik Whitaker have known one another for a while now. While he's more than happy to take things to another level, Ana would prefer that they remained friends - at least, she was content they remain platonic friends for the last two years. Now that she's about to make some big changes in her life - new vocation, new outlook, that kind of thing - she is starting to wonder about him and her. But...
Oh, I give up. I've been trying to make the synopsis of Janice Sims's A Little Holiday Temptation even a little interesting, but I just can't. This story is so dull that it took me a while to finish this book because I kept putting it down. On paper, this friends-turned-lovers story may sound good, but the execution could be a little more exciting.
There is a lack of conflict, so for a long, long, long time, Ana and Erik are just going around chatting up each other or various secondary characters when they are not assuring me of how awesome they are. And they are awesome.
Ana isn't just a model, she's also a talented artist who is about to headline her first show. Now that she has put on some pounds all the right places, she's also making a statement about how curvy ladies can be beautiful when she's not feeling some guilt about how, as a model, she used to help perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards. I stop taking her seriously as a character by page 25 because Ana is just too unreal when it comes to how amazing she is. Ana isn't a character - she's a pastiche of superlative adjectives.
It's the same with Erik. He's patient, gentlemanly, and wealthy. Women "accidentally" spill drinks on him just to feel him up and get him back to their place, but he has eyes only for Ana.
The secondary characters are all drop dead gorgeous and talented and marvelous too. Those who are married are fantastically happy, and everyone is supportive of Erik and Ana. In fact, they know from the start that these two people are meant to be.
This is a story with no flaws or genuine dissenting opinion in sight. Any hint of conflict is eventually resolved with nary a trace of animosity. The last quarter or so of the story is interesting, but unfortunately, it revolves around a closeted secondary character - our main characters are still on the flat and dull side.
The problem here is that the characters start out so fabulous that they are practically demigods. Therefore, there is not much need or room for the characters to grow or learn anything. And without any interesting conflict to make up for this lack, A Little Holiday Temptation ends up being too dull for its own good.
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