Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86487-4
Contemporary Romance, 2017
Once upon a time, Danielle Stewart had a crush on high school basketball jock Jacobe Jenkins. The fact that he was faithful to his then-girlfriend and showed no sign of being tempted by other women probably added to his appeal. When he broke up with Christy, she decided to satisfy her curiosity by wearing her hottest dress to put on a show for him. He certainly enjoyed the show, if you know what I mean, and she was satisfied. Okay, so he never called like he said he would, and she heard that he soon hooked up again with Christy, but that’s fine. She never expected more. She moved on, curiosity satisfied, and yes, he could be caught by her, and it was rather validating, come to think of it.
Now, if you are, like me, thinking that, hey, Full Court Seduction sounds like a pretty interesting kind of different when it comes to the same old reunion romance, well, you are sort of right. Danielle is a nice change from the usual same-old, same-old kind of heroine, but the rest of this story will feel very familiar indeed.
Today, Danielle is an event planner who is also hard at work trying to get that factory that is polluting the neighborhood waters shut down. Meanwhile, Jacobe is now a player as well as a basketball player, and he has sworn off commitments ever since he learned that the child Christy claimed was his isn’t actually his, but his best friend’s. This played out overused plot device leads Jacobe down a dark, dark path where he ends up being such a boring kind of that guy. You know, that guy, the one that shows up in every other Kimani book. This story deals with the two of them hooking up again while she is hard at work caring about the environment… at least until she gets married and then it’s also about the bling-bling and trips to exotic locales for the happily ever after. At least one thing reals true about this story: for every one environmental science officer genuinely concerned about the ecosystem, you will find twenty pampered folks who lecture middle class folks about using fuel and electricity while they themselves chill in airplanes and tapping away on mobile phones assembled by third world workers in sweatshops.
One thing is pretty obvious here: every woman is a lying ho or bitch, unless she is Danielle or Danielle’s BFF, whose name I believe is “I Exist Solely to Prop Danielle, Be Her PA, and Go SQUEEEE as I Urge Her to Mash Her Privates with His and I Will Probably Not Know What to Do with Myself Anymore Once She Is Married; Maybe I’d Go Stalk Them and Leer at Them as They Hump in the Honeymoon Suite”. The hero has the same old boring issues about every woman being a lying ho, and in the end, he learns that every woman is a lying ho except for the heroine. Well, good for him. The environmental issue subplot is understandably on the over-simplified “any industry is bad for the environment” side, and is not every interesting to boot because the players involved are all on the cardboard-thin black and white side.
Danielle is a nice change from the usual type of heroines, and I like how she can look at the issues standing in the way of her and Jacobe to their happily ever after in a fairly intelligent and pragmatic manner. No emotional hysteria, wild jumps to wrong conclusions, and other stuff from her. Hence, it is a shame that everything else about this story is cookie cutter. Our heroine deserves better, surely.
As it is, Full Court Seduction is a very nicely readable story, quite smooth sailing from start to finish with only minimal bumps along the way. It’s just not very engaging or memorable, I’m afraid.