Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86502-4
Contemporary Romance, 2017
In the past, I thought I knew what I would expect when I open a book by Yahrah St John: plots that don’t make sense, asshole heroes, and plenty of shaming of women that aren’t the heroine – the last includes anything from single or married women, beautiful or ugly ones, slutty or not-so-slutty ones… basically, anyone who isn’t the heroine, her BFFs, or women related to the hero, and all the hero’s flaws are attributed to these women. Imagine my surprise when Miami after Hours sheds much of the nonsense that made those books as fun to read as catching syphilis. Sadly, this means that this one is just boring rather than painful.
Angela Trainor is an ambitious real estate agent who idolizes Daniel Cobb, the young millionaire real estate wunderkind who is fat both in the wallet and the crotch of his well-pressed designer slacks. He thinks that she is hot, sexy, capable, chi-chi and what not, but he has been hurt before so oh, oh, never their genitalia shall meet… well, at least until they do. Then it’s oh oh oh, let’s just find some teeny-weeny excuse to just keep wringing their hands. And that’s basically the story. No, really – I also wish I’m joking, but that’s basically what this story is.
It is as long as it is – and it isn’t very long at all, actually – because for some reason, the author opts to dwell on the day to day antics of these people and their BFFs. So, Daniel takes Angela around as he does his sell-real-estate thing every day, and instead of coming up with interesting things (finding some dead bodies stuffed in a fireplace, perhaps), the author instead makes these scenes repetitive and mundane. It’s always about how Daniel is constantly impressed by how poised Angela is when confronted by a stream of lechers and sexists (apparently, real estate is full to bursting with Harvey Weinstein-types), how capable she is, and of course, how smoking hot she is. The last will always be followed by descriptions of how hard that thing is and how he’d love to rip off his clothes and go all Hulk on Angela but oh, oh, oh, the angst of having been heartbroken before.
Perhaps once these two have sex things will be more interesting… but no, the repetitive hand-wringing continues even as they continue to do their monotonous, mundane day-by-day “Come see hot people sell real estate, have lunch, and admire how amazing one another is!” stuff, only this time sex is added to the agenda. I am bored. Even that final conflict is boring: Angela loses her head over the assumption that Daniel may have had girlfriends before in the past (a man that hot and rich without a few exes in the past… come on, she can’t be that dumb surely), and even Daniel calls this whole nonsense a communication breakdown. Therefore, even when the story is this close to coming to an end, the author refuses to make things even a little interesting.
On the bright side, while there are some of the author’s usual old tricks (all the married women in the hero’s club immediately hate Angela because a single woman in the club will surely tempt the millionaire dudes there into straying – as if these men can’t cheat with other women elsewhere), there is no overwhelming toxic stupidity or misogyny stinking up the joint here. So this is a nice thing. For a book by any other author, this would be a two-oogie read due to how dull it is, but for a book by Yahrah St John, I’m tossing in an extra oogie because, as dull and dry as Miami after Hours may be, I’d take being bored over clutching my head and groaning in pain any day.