Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335=21697-7
Contemporary Romance, 2018
The first chapter of Carolyn Hector’s Her Mistletoe Bachelor is an advertisement for a couple from one of the previous books in the Once Upon a Tiara series. Is this where I become a heartless hag and say, “Dead series, thank you – next!?” Come on, I’m sure there are ways to let readers know that there are other books related to this one instead of wasting precious real estate to beat me in the head with the fact. Who cares about the background details of these secondary characters if they have no major purpose in the plot? And then these authors will take the crappy bad habits they cultivated while toiling under this line into their post-Kimani books, shudder.
Anyway, this one is another one of those billionaire bros nail a hot chick story. Donovan Ravens has trust issues because of a recent breakup with a cheating ho. It’s all the ho’s fault – him refusing to commit or even call his girlfriends “girlfriends” – he prefers the more respectable term “flavor of the month” – has nothing to do with his relationship messes, of course. He decides to go on a break to some small hotel and hooks up with school teacher British Carres, who’s all feminist and what not. Speaking of which, this one can be a bit bizarre in that on one side we have British going yay, girls can do anything and wear anything, and if you disagree, you are a sexist, while on the other side, we still have the usual shaming and dragging the mud of any beautiful woman that dares to provide even a little competition to our heroine. Which is which, or are we going down the sex-negative feminism route here? Romance novels can sometimes be confusing, I tell you.
Anyway, that’s basically the story. She has her students with her and they want to use Donovan as a prop in a contest of sorts, and blah blah blah, but this is just another formulaic Kimani story at a fundamental level. The dialogues are okay, the chemistry is decent, but everything feels cookie cutter here. The feminism angle may make this one more memorable if there had been some consistency in its application. As it is, the whole thing feels insincere, especially when after all the rah-rah about sisters doing it for themselves, it’s still at the end of the day a story that holds up the double standards that it claims to be against.
Her Mistletoe Bachelor is a decent kind of meh. And isn’t the cover one of the least Christmas-y thing ever? I guess everyone on Planet Kimani stop giving a damn anymore and just wants to be off in the next space shuttle to somewhere else fast.