Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86362-4
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Unlike what the title Five Star Desire would lead anyone to believe, there isn’t much heavy breathing or rumpy-pumpy here. There are many overused clichés, though, all served up like last week’s dish that hasn’t even been refrigerated.
Kellen Alexander wants to be the boss in his family’s Beverly Hills hotel business. He is dismayed, however, when his parents pull a “Wait a minute, bitch!” and insists that he earns his dues by working his way up first. Kellen is not happy because, oh, this proves that his parents don’t trust him, so this is, like, so unfair. His mother is like, oh, go whine on Tumblr about it, otherwise just suck it up because this is business, not personal. Kellen is still not happy, inadvertently proving to his parents that they are right: he’s just not ready to take over the reins of the business. Ah, but Addison Evans, the hot lady that Kellen would be working closely with, is certainly a nice distraction. Will he sleep his way to the top (which is a good thing if a guy does it, of course, as guys in romance novels can never do anything immoral) or will he fall in love while trying to sleep his way to the top?
Oh, I’m sorry, did I give you this impression that this is a salacious tale of naughty people having sex all over the office furniture? I may have gotten carried away while trying to make the synopsis seem interesting. What is actually served up here is people talking. A lot. They talk about how they find the other person sexy, or, if they are the secondary characters, they usually talk about how Kellen and Addison really should start getting together. This is especially true when it comes to Addison’s stereotypical hussy best friend and colleague, she immediately wants to know when tab A is going to get inside slot B, may they never part, amen. After all, we all know that sleeping with one’s colleagues and bosses is a great idea, with corporate culture being just like spring break. You get a grope, and all your girlfriends in the next cubicles would start screeching, “Tell me more, tell more, was it love at first sight?”
Things may not be so boring if there had been actual sex on photocopy machines or something, but instead, the author resorts to padding the story with family issues. Some dude has leukemia, someone else has this, that, those, these… the whole thing is like a non-stop sappy Hallmark drama. The trouble is, all this drama has been done to death already, and the author has this “let them talk non-stop about everything” style that makes this story seem like a never-ending exposition. There is very little here that distinguishes Five Star Desire from any other story of this sort, and the eye-rolling constant detours into the lives and loves of the many, many family members of Kellen only add to the tedium.
I’ve brought up in the past Kimani books which seem to be written solely to be filler entries to pad out a series. Well, Five Star Desire is the epitome of such a book. The author is counting on me being such a fan of the Alexander family that any book, with any tired story would do. Too bad that I’m not that kind of reader, sigh.