Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86488-1
Contemporary Romance, 2017
Mimi Collins is a popular blogger who apparently managed to get a book deal out of pontificating endlessly about her love life. Okay, there are some people who did that in real life, about ten years or so ago before publishers wised up and realized that people who followed blogs won’t necessarily buy their favorite bloggers’ books, especially when the book contained rehashed materials from their blogs. And there are apparently enough fans out there for Mimi to have page views of thousands and more on a new blog entry within seconds after publishing it, right before she is called to give an interview based on her new blog entry. Oh, and Mimi is hot, gorgeous, and a complete babe who lives a life of privilege while trying very hard to portray herself as some kind of unhappy sod in order to gain some semblance of memorable personality.
Something tells me that Mimi and Feel the Heat are both materials from a blogger’s wildest fantasy rather than a legitimate story in its own right.
Mimi is sued by a matchmaking firm for blogging about it and portraying its meet-ups as sleazy con jobs, and luckily for her, the hot new neighbor Brent Daniels is willing to come examine her brief and help her score a big one in the court.
This book is like that friend whom you enjoy hanging out for not more than an hour tops. She’s fun, always have some wacky stories to tell, but you will want to instinctively strangle her as time drags on because she will get on your nerves. You know that kind of person, I’m sure, and Feel the Heat is the book version of that person. The author displays a bouncy writing style with lots of humor and some sharp banters, but my goodness, the heroine is a colossal immature putz. Watch as she acts like an irrational dingbat even as the hero works around the clock to help her win the case – she throws a hissyfit that lasts for weeks because the hero tells the lawyer representing the company suing her that Mimi’s blogging is not “real journalism”.
Mimi would like all of you to know that she is a real journalist, thank you very much. Okay, she writes mostly about the emotions of her navels and the pains of not having found the right man to hump happily ever after, but that’s like so Pulitzer prize-winning, you all, and anyone agrees is a hater whom she will give the silent treatment for the next twenty-nine hundred years. That’s when she’s not walking around acting like some melodramatic fourteen-year old trying way too hard to be Cookie Lyon when she’s actually just one of the random extras on the set. It’s a good thing that Brent is patient with her – that or the sex must be truly amazing for him – as she’s prone to sabotage herself when she gets into her typical overemotional mood.
Still, other characters remark on Mimi’s immaturity, so I suppose it’s small consolation that the author knows what she is doing… whatever “what” is, because an annoying brat is still an annoying brat no matter what her motivations are.
The story is actually solid when it comes to everything unrelated to Mimi. Brett’s own daddy issues are pretty interesting compared to Mimi’s childish antics and trust issues, and secondary character interactions are fun to read because they don’t come off too much like sequel baits inserted into the story only to go, “Hey! Buy my book!” It is only when Mimi is going “Me! Me! Me!” (that explains her name) that the story screeches into a grinding halt for me to cringe and go, “Ugh!”
Also, this is another story where other women who threaten Mimi’s happiness or her continuous body-rocking with Brent are portrayed uniformly as whores, villains, or whorish villains. I know, we romance readers are all fat, lonely, and sexually frustrated dumplings bearing a grudge against thinner, hotter women who get to be happier than us, but come on, Mimi is already annoying enough. I don’t need more extras from the skank parade to make the whole thing more grating on my nerves, especially when the male skanks in the story are celebrated for the “virtue” of being a player. Either skanks are skanks, regardless of sex, or they aren’t. The author can’t choose which skank is sexy and which is skanky depending on what is between their legs – that’s just silly.
Anyway, the hero and the upbeat vibes of the narrative are two strong positives when it comes to Feel the Heat, more or less balanced by the negatives, which are the immature brat of a heroine, eye-rolling double standards, and some groan-inducing moments. A particularly noteworthy example of that last is the hero telling the heroine upon their first meeting, “I get the feeling that you have a lot of surprises underneath that gold dress.” Some readers may find that line sexy, but I find it cringe-inducing and awkward as can be, and that horrible line almost ruins my initial impression of Brett.
Considering its pluses and minuses, this story falls squarely in the middle, hence the three oogies.