Kimani, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-335-99880-4
Contemporary Romance, 2019
Susan Dewhurst won about fifteen million dollars (after tax) in a lottery, and as a result, she had to flee the country and generally starred in her own sad sack ballad over the last few years as “Marcia Atherton”. You know, guys never have problems running their hands through huge piles of money, but in romance novels, put a wad of cash in a heroine’s hands and she will lose it all in five minutes because she’s a gullible dingbat. Give Susan more than ten dollars and she’s now twirling around like wind chimes in a tornado.
Yes, romance heroines can never be trusted to handle money alright. They’re more likely to trip over a piggy bank and break a jaw than to turn a profit running a lemonade stand in a place full of thirsty people.
Anyway, this is the story of how Susan decides to get herself employed as an amateur photographer and the hot boss André Thorn’s radar immediately goes off and sends out a shag-o-s signal over his little head. Oh please, this isn’t some sexual harassment thing – the guy is hot! Us ladies are supposed to enjoy every second of his pawing and sigh in rapture when he accuses us of being a harlot of a liar.
Like most Kimani romances of the modern age, this one has little conflict, just a cast of characters talking among one another in a few select locations like a soap opera. Occasionally tongues meet and the clothes finally fall off, but this one plays out like a by-the-numbers romance in this line that it was as if the editor had given Shirley Hailstock instructions to just fill in the paint as indicated by the numbers on the artwork.
In this case, this non-happening is a problem because the main drama between Susan and André hinges on a past encounter that are either recounted in the form of exposition dump dialogues or having happened off-screen. As a result, I never get this sense of urgency, of wanting to see these two cardboard characters resolve their differences. These people are just going through the motions, and so am I, flipping through the pages with my mind half-drifting away out of boredom.
Love in New York therefore isn’t much of anything. I never get any sense of genuine emotion from the characters, and the romance is basically narration and conversations clumped together via boring characters that don’t seem to have anything fun to entertain me with.
Oh, and there’s that overarching theme of women just being terrible at owning money. Seriously, she is so unhappy… why? If the money is so bad, blow it all on drugs, sex, rock and roll, whatever. The fact that you can place fifteen million dollars in this woman’s bank account only to see her making herself out to be a victim is just… yikes. I bet you if the lottery winner had been a man, the author would have had him starting a rock star mercenary business with his seventeen hot former NBA-Navy SEAL band of brothers – buy all the books, people.