Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86392-1
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Sydney Chase and Bryce Monroe are now related by marriage of the characters in a loosely related story, which only intensifies the heat between them when he decides to force a kiss on her shortly after the story opens. Such manly male behavior just makes me sigh wistfully at the nearest fire extinguisher, I tell you. She’s a criminal profiler whose expertise is so awesome, or so various secondary characters would declare to her, and thus, me.
“Syd,” he began, wearing a huge, fatherly grin, “I’m so proud of your level of expertise in this case. By figuring out the perps weaknesses, we were able to use them against him to bring that sucker down. You’re the best criminal profiler this organization has.”
That, by the way, epitomizes the problem with the conversations in this story. One, these people tend to announce things rather than to say things naturally. Two, they say things that don’t really say anything, like the example above. She’s just doing what she’s hired to do… so she’s the best in the whole organization? I know in romance novels we tend to set the bar very low for the heroine, so much so that she deserves a PhD if the author allows her to take three deep breaths without experiencing a self-inflicted life-threatening crisis, but come on now. Three, these very same people that talk about nothing in particular often exaggerates the awesomeness of this nothing they are talking about.
Megan Chase-Monroe took a deep breath. “I just spoke to Syd. She passed out at work from exhaustion and dehydration. She said she’s fine, but I’m worried sick. Goodness, I wish I was there, but Steven and I just landed in Hilton Head for Valentine’s weekend.”
Four, the author tends to include details that end up being mere clutter. In the example above, she could have this Megan Chase-Monroe creature say that she had to have sex with her husband in a hotel suite instead of catering to a sick sister – priorities, people – but no, she has to drop that she’d be having sex in Hilton Head because it’s Valentine’s Day, she’s married to this guy, so buy her book, people. Hilton Head is never mentioned again in this story, so it’s just the author adding in details when it doesn’t matter, and getting stingy with details when it would have mattered.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Chase. I’m Dr Chase.”
Five… well, let’s look at the above example. The doctor introduces himself again, after the author spent the previous long paragraph describing this doctor and mentioning the doctor’s name twice in that paragraph. (That paragraph is long, so no, I’m not typing it out.) So, that line is useless. It’s clutter. The author tends to waste many words on things that she has already expounded and described just a little earlier.
I can go on some more, but I think we’ve reached overkill point by now. What else is there? Oh yes, the story. It’s a simple one. Our awesome and overly talented heroine is forced to take to her bed because she has all kinds of health problems stemming from her workaholic nature – see, ladies, having a career is harmful, go make babies instead – so the hero moves in and hovers over her. Family members and sequel baits are so happy because they can’t wait to see those two shag and keep everything further in the family. Sydney and Bryce spend a lot of time detailing irrelevant stuff like what they want to eat for lunch and what they intend to do in the next forty minutes, and then they have sex and decide that they are in love. Buy the next book, thanks.
Oh, and all that initial build up about how great Sydney is at her job and how wonderful Bryce is at his DA job? These two spend the entire book acting like they have all the free time in the world to play like kids squabbling and killing time until the author has met her word count. These two could have been anything else – bee keepers, the clean-up crew at the neighborhood abattoir, et cetera – and the story wouldn’t make much of a difference. Many details in this story – job, background history, lunch, dinner – are forced down my throat but so few of them are actually relevant in the long run.
So, my question is simple. How on earth did this very amateurish mishmash of stilted conversations and paper-thin characterization get okay’ed for publication without being put through some brutal editing rounds? Wait, maybe this is the result of those editing rounds… now, that’s a terrifying thought. At any rate, Journey to Seduction is barely readable due to all these problems, so how it ends up foisted on the unsuspecting public is going to be one of those mysteries.