Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86342-6
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Diana Greer, our wedding planner heroine, doesn’t like our hero Scott Thomas much. They knew one another from their college days, when he was the top dog Mr Popularity and she felt that he was arrogant and off-putting. Today, his company is trying to get her to move out of her shop so that he can have the whole area to himself for whatever grand project he has in mind. Well, she would not give him the satisfaction! However, when she signs up for an online dating website and he turns out to be her most compatible match, the two of them are flabbergasted. Either the online matchmaking system has its algorithm all screwed up, or maybe they are more compatible than they initially expected.
Yes, you can compare this story to that movie You’ve Got Mail. The story references this as well – both of them hold the DVDs of that movie to identify one another during their first date. Unlike the movie, however, Diana is on a level playing field with Scott. It’s not like that movie where he is basically an ass that has the upper hand all the time and she gets him as a consolation prize for being useless and annoying from start to end. The result is a story that is simple, sweet, and almost faultless.
The characters have great and unforced chemistry. Both characters fall within the “gorgeous and awesome” category that readers of Kimani romances would be familiar with, but the author makes every familiar aspect of her characters feel like a natural part of their overall package. The characters show a nice balance of angst and humor. I also like how the secondary characters show up and play their roles here, complementing the main characters nicely, without trying so hard to sell me upcoming books in the series, and the pacing the solid without any flagging momentum. The author is a seasoned pro, and it shows in this story.
There are two things about this book that can be annoying, though. One, the love scenes are peppered with melodramatic prose that is especially jarring when I compare the purple tinge of these scenes to the more natural-seeming tone of the rest of the story.
Together they headed for oblivion, for the climax that came like a crashing wave. The roar started low, then stepped up one stair at a time until reached the zenith of intensity, until it was impossible to do anything other than explode.
Really, girl? And how did we go from waves to stairs?
Also, the author resorts to some melodramatic plot development toward the end to force the characters, especially the heroine, into some much-needed epiphany. This isn’t anything major, but, like the love scene thing, the melodramatic aspect of this plot development feels out of place compared to the low-key spontaneous vibe of the rest of the story. It’s also like the author reaching out into her story and basically forcing the characters to do something – I can see the author’s hand in the story, so to speak, and this jars me out of the story.
Anyway, His Love Match is still a very entertaining love story, all things considered, and it’s worth a look as far as I’m concerned. The issues I pointed out are easy to live with, and the love story delivers everything that matters.