Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86452-2
Contemporary Romance, 2016
His Love Lesson is such a stark difference from Her Chance at Love that I wonder for a while whether these two books were written by the same person. The narrative here is far more bouncy compared to the monotonous style in the previous book.
Chey Rodgers is starting a new phase in her life. She has dumped her over-controlling and emotionally manipulative fiancé, gotten the obligatory new haircut, and is now in New York to finish her law undergrad degree. Before that, though, there is that meeting a hot man in Utah and sleeping with him when they are snowed in together. It turns out that Hunter Barrington, that man, is one of her professors, so oh, what to do. The conflict comes in the form of Hunter’s colleague, a woman who wants it bad from him, but alas, Hunter is not into sleeping with his colleagues. His students are totally okay, though, because Chey is the one. Or something like that.
There is nothing really wrong with this story. But the author puts in so many themes with unfortunate implications here that eventually put me off the story quite a bit.
Hunter is so hot that apparently women after women throw themselves at him. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally don’t think any man, no matter how hot he is, is worth keeping if it means having to deal with that kind of drama non-stop. Am I supposed to believe that women would stop coming on to him after the happy ending? He’s just too much of a high-maintenance guy if you ask me. Chey has already slept with him anyway, so it’s not like he’s any amazing mystique left to be uncovered in bed.
Now, the whole unfortunate implication thing begins when the author has Hunter thinking about this after he gets annoyed by a sticky woman whom he’s slept with and is now giving out signs that she wants to get together with him again. No, it’s not the same woman as the horny professor – it’s another woman, hence my earlier statement about how the baggage Hunter drags in with him isn’t worth the drama in my opinion.
Don’t waste too much time with women who aren’t well intentioned enough to bear your last name.
What is this “well intention”, exactly? It is never defined. Given that Hunter brushes off the women who come on strong to him – in the case of the sticky woman, he brushes her off after he’s inspected her private parts up close – and Chey spends a lot of time waffling and wringing her hands about sleeping with some guy who may tempt her into something that will break her heart (seriously, she’s already had him, so it’s not like there is any more suspense in that department), I can only conclude that “well intention” means sitting by the sidelines with the legs crossed, waiting for the man to decide that he loves you. This may not be the author’s intention, but that’s the implication I get, and it’s… unfortunate. Worse, the above statement was drilled to Hunter by another woman.
Chey starts out a fun heroine with the right kind of sass and spirit, so it’s heartbreaking to see her reduced into a neurotic twit. Given how women behave around him anyway, I wonder whether maybe Hunter is some kind of weird woo-woo dude with powers to make a woman dumb with his pee-pee. I mean, look at his name. It’s straight out of a paranormal romance. Anyway, it all boils back to this: the guy is not worth it.
On the bright side, the Horny Professor gets to keep some of her dignity – she is never reduced into a shrieking psychopath. But this is still a story about women making fools of themselves over a hero who can’t seem to avoid attracting the crazy, and yet I don’t see what the big deal about him is. It’s too easy for me to roll up my eyes to the whole “My man brings all the thirsty bitches to my yard, damn it!” plot. Well, if you do read His Love Lessons, I hope you dig it better than me. Or, at least, roll up your eyes less.