Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86273-3
Contemporary Romance, 2012
To paraphrase Selena Gomez, it does seem like every romance plot’s been already written, and right now, here’s another one. The romantic comedy featuring the millionaire playboy hero and the working class heroine has been around for a long time in various incarnations in books as well as movies, so if it’s done right, it’s magical. If done wrong, it’s as tasty as stale bread.
Fortunately for the author and me, Case for Seduction is beautiful, like a dream come alive, incredible, miracle, lyrical, and… okay, I’ll quit while I’m ahead.
Jacob Hamilton the Third is born with at least three silver spoons in his mouth. He works hard at the family law firm, but he used to play hard as well. As heroine Charlotte Evans would put it later in the story, he’d need a color-coded Excel sheet to keep track of his various flings and one night stands. Maybe it’s just him mellowing with age, but as of late, he’s feeling vaguely restless and his happy-go-lucky lifestyle seems to be losing its allure. Perhaps it is timely that he notices Charlotte Evans one fine day at the Starbucks near his favorite gym. It’s lust at first sight.
When he realizes that she is actually an employee at his family’s law firm, and she’s a divorcee raising a two-year old to boot, maybe this time he may just be crazy enough to fall in love. Charlotte isn’t sure whether he’s capable of being around for the long haul, however.
Now, where do I start? I’m at a loss because nearly every thing about this book hits all the right spots with me. Jake and Charlotte are fabulous together, and they have crazy chemistry even as they indulge in adorable, unforced banter and sneak lustful glances at each other. If I’m not smiling, I’m laughing, because this story is full of comedy that works like a charm. I love seeing these two together, they feel so perfect.
The plot is all about falling in love despite what their better judgment would tell them, and oh my, everything just works. Charlotte’s doubts about Jake come off as understandable doubts of a smart – and sane – woman who could see Jake for what he is, and Jake is just simply cute as the playboy who falls heads over heels in such a way that he truly doesn’t know what hits him.
Now, if you have read my previous reviews of Kimani books, you’d know that I am generally unhappy with the abundance of filler scenes, too much telling and not enough showing, and the emphasis on setting up sequels instead of developing the story of the main couple in that particular book. Ann Christopher avoids all these common plagues of recent Kimani books.
The humorous secondary characters – Jake’s family members and other fellow sequel baits – are never intrusive, as their roles here are to complement the main characters. The spotlight always remains on Charlotte on Jake, and the focus never wavers from their relationship. Oh, and Harry, Charlotte’s brat, is just too precious in a good way. He’s a realistic two-year old with temper tantrums and all, and some of naughty things he gets into fall into the “Oh, that is so true!” category that anyone with a two-year old could relate to.
At the end of the day, I have to weigh on the score I should give this book. Well, a good book makes me smile or sigh, but a really good book goes the extra mile to affect me a bit more than that. Case for Seduction doesn’t just make me laugh, I feel so silly and happy reading this book that it is as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could float on air. Or something. This book has lots of love and humor, and all this lovely fuzzy stuff is infectious. I love this book like a love song, and I keep hitting re-peat-peat-peat-peat-peat-peat.