Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373–86515-4
Contemporary Romance, 2017
There is some lovely scenery on the cover of Shirley Hailstock’s Love in Logan Beach, but for some reason the cover artist thought it would be great to splatter some big ugly letters all over it. I know, that fellow probably has to crank out sixteen covers a day, but still, come on. The cover is representative of the story, come to think of it. There are some nice moments, but there are some distracting problems that make it hard to appreciate those moments.
The set-up, especially, is going to be a make or break moment for readers, because if you’re anything like me, you will think heroine Rosanna Turner an idiot. You see, she worked her way up to becoming the assistant manager at Bach’s, the department store in Logan Beach. Prior to this story, a terrible storm destroyed most of Logan Beach. The town is rebuilding ever since, but the owners of Bach’s chose to sell their business to Thorn’s, and the new owners proceeded to finish rebuilding and renovating the store in order to transform it into another Thorn’s outlet.
Rosanna quit her job because of this acquisition, because she was confident that she would be let go as she was part of the “old” regime. Yes, she just walked away. Mind you, she needs a job badly, but she spends the time since then holed up in her apartment and feeling sorry for herself. Oh, Bach’s is no longer her home! The owners sold out! Life sucks! Boo-hoo-hoo! What is this? If she needs money that badly, I’d think she’d stay hired until she was fired – at least she could negotiate some severance to tide her over while she looked for a new job, at least. But no, our idiot gerbil just walked away.
She then proceeds to ignores the calls and texts of David Thorn, one of the designated romance heroes from the family who is charged to rebuild and manage the Logan Beach outlet. He’s looking for her, in order to reinstate her as assistant manager as per the request of the previous owners (whom, apparently, forgot to communicate with Rosanna about this, I’d assume). Finally he knocks at her door, offers her a job, and she acts like she has no other choice but to say yes, because has she told you that she really needs a job?
If you can wade through the first dozen or so pages of this book and have not been put off completely by the heroine’s idiocy, then you may find a very basic and very typical Kimani story. I’m sure you know the drill by now. They like one another, but oh, they have all kinds of reasons not to start humping at the table right away. After they finally have sex, some very basic suspense thingy pops up. The villains are some random “Uh… who the hell are these fools again?” nobodies whose removal will not affect the sequel value of the story at all, and then it’s a wrap.
Rosanna’s brainpower improves once she begins working again at Thorn’s, but the author has this annoying tendency to keep reminding me of how smart, spirited, and amazing the heroine is. Look, I can read, and what I read is a heroine whose personality seems to change depending on the way the plot twists and turns. David is a standard wealthy, hot bloke in charge of a family business dude – you meet one, you’ve met them all. Still, these two talk when they have to and there are no painful communication breakdown or evil ho drama, so there’s that. It’s not a terrible read once the first few dozen pages or so are out of the way, although the love scenes can be hilariously overwrought and I love how the investigation of the suspense thing leads to a dramatic revelation: the mystery of the inconsistent invoices and improper bookkeeping can be traced back to the accounting department. I certainly never see that one coming!
Love in Logan Beach is a perfectly acceptable read, if you don’t mind encountering the same basic standard Kimani formula one more time, but it is also eminently forgettable.