Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86512-3
Contemporary Romance, 2017
No, In the Market for Love is not about prostitution or marriages of convenience. It’s a fairly typical story, although in this instance, “fairly typical” means that the author has utilized a story line that isn’t about a jilted woman running off to a tropical paradise or a heroine working in her daddy’s company sleeping with the hot guy her daddy has brought onboard. On the list of must-do plots of this imprint, this story line probably ranks a distant eighth or ninth after the previously mentioned two plot lines, the heroine and the hero hooking up at the wedding day of a couple from a previous book, teenage lovers broken up by some skank only for the heroine to pop out a brat on her own, and a few more.
This one sees our ER nurse heroine Vivian Moore actually moaning in delirious drooling at the sight of our hero Alonso Wright when he steps into the Tender Hearts Memorial Hospital. Perhaps it’s all the death and despair surrounding our overworked heroine that makes her squeeze her thighs double hard when a prime beef shows up at the door. Alonso, alas, is that wretched real estate developer guy that is buying up all the properties into neighborhood and you know how romance novel heroines can be when it comes to capitalism, progress, and development. Fortunately, Alonso ain’t giving up until his bulldozer is ramming down the foundation of Vivian’s house, and we also have two secondary authorial self-inserts to cheer these two on: an old dude who actually goes, “Ta-hee-hee” (complete with italics) at regular intervals to make me want to ta-hee-hee someone’s arse and, of course, the heroine’s colleague and BFF who gets unnaturally invested in wanting the heroine to put out right there and then to the hot guy, and gets bizarrely offended when Vivian doesn’t just ditch her job to spend the rest of life getting motorboated in bed.
So yes, this is one of those familiar storylines that populate the stories in the Kimani imprint. Still, things won’t be bad if this story was fun to read. Alas, it isn’t. This story is very contrived. Every time the characters seem to falter, the self-inserts I’ve mentioned above will show to impart sage advice or urge the hero or the heroine to go ahead, put out, it’d be fun. Conversations feel stilted and there is something very awkwardly self conscious about the whole thing. Reading this book, I can very well imagine the author’s presence within the pages, pulling the strings of the character-puppets a little too obviously. Sure, every fiction author does this, but in the case of this book, much of it feels staged, artificial.
Joy Avery may be a new author in this line, but she already has a number of self-published titles to her name, so she can’t use inexperience as an excuse. Who knows what happened while this book was being written, but whatever it was, the result is me never being able to lose myself into the story. Given that the story isn’t anything interesting, there is nothing here to compel me to overlook the contrived nature of the story. Instead, I’d recommend that you pass on this one and wait for a better written variation of the story line to hit the stores within the next few months. Unless you really need something to read, that is.