Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335-21676-2
Contemporary Romance, 2018
Kevin Koucky, a basketball player, is 36 and he decides that it is time for him to retire. If you are wondering which team he plays for, boy, what are you expecting from this story? Details? That’s for school kids – go read a textbook if you want details. This is the present year, we don’t need details or world building or any of that nerd club nonsense. All you need to know is that the hero is hot, the heroine is hot, there is one book coming up next in the series, and baby, you better go buy the previous two books in this series too. Wait, what is this series called, you ask? Seriously, stop asking stupid questions and focus only on the answer that matters: you have bought this book, good, now buy the others or you are clearly not a true fan.
So, this story. He decides to do an amazing thing that has never been done before in this time and age. No, not release a sex tape or get his phone hacked and have all his naughty pics uploaded on the Web. He’s going to… ta-da, pose for that “naked athlete with naughty bits strategically covered” thing that has been done to death already. But in Guarding His Heart, it’s such a daring and shocking thing to do, thus dating this book to go back as far as, say, 1988.
The photographer is Jasmine Hook, and despite the two of them getting off on a slightly wrong foot, he’s hot, she’s hot, and look, he has kids already. I know, an American basketball player with brat baggage – didn’t see that one coming. To Kevin’s credit, though, there is no baby mama drama, and he’s on good terms with his ex. The actual drama comes from him and her both having trust issues that make it hard for them to want to commit to a relationship, but first, this guy is getting his book next, so fam, you all better go pre-order that book now. Oh look, the heroine’s friend that exists only to obsess about the traffic between the heroine’s legs? I think every book in the Kimani must have at least one of those these days or the editor will be sad.
And… that’s it, really. Guarding His Heart is not a bad read, as unlike some other books in the Kimani line which are just advertisements for the next book in the series, the author makes an effort to deliver an actual story here to make it worth the reader’s money. However, almost everything here is a piece of cliché, the notable exception being the hero having little ex and baby mama drama here, and as a result there isn’t really much to say about the story. It’s a well-written rehash of mostly everything that has been done and will be done.
Sure, this one is technically an okay read, but in my heart of hearts, it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm for something this familiar and predictable. The lack of detail in the setting only makes it even more forgettable. Read it or not – sadly, it doesn’t really matter. This book is here… and now it’s gone.