Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86401-0
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Natalie Stallion, international supermodel and workaholic, finally comes home to Utah in My Stallion Heart, a part of a series revolving the ever-expanding Stallion family. Her mother passed away recently, and now the entire clan is coming together to settle their matriarch’s estate. Also joining the family is Tinjin Braddy, a shoe designer who just left Jimmy Choo to start his own company. He and Natalie first bump into one another when they meet at the airport, and sparks fly. How nice when they learn that his sister is married to a Stallion, so he’d be seeing more of Natalie in this story.
That’s basically the story of My Stallion Heart. No dead bodies, no jealous ex-girlfriend bitches, not much fireworks – the biggest conflict is actually not that big, involving Tinjin and his rival in the shoe business. There isn’t much internal conflict either, as this story is all about the slow burn process of falling in love. Slow burn is not necessarily a bad thing – in this case, the characters are intelligent, likable people without weird contrived hang-ups and the author manages to make the entire story very readable and engaging despite the lack of memorable conflict. Most of the romantic moments feel genuine, and this is one book that can be easily enjoyed and digested in a single setting.
While there is a good reason for the entire clan to show up here, however, the first half or so of the book can be a slow and awkward read at many instances due to the constant introduction of other family members and the exposition of their back stories and lives. I’ve said it before – if there are going to many secondary characters hogging the pages of this book, they have better be memorable. Here, however, the Stallions are all uniformly happy, gorgeous, and perfect, so all their scenes are very similar – they are so happily married, popping out brats left and right, and oh, they really are so happy now – hence, repetitive after a while. Whenever the story moves to those people, any momentum building up to the point dissipates right away.
At the end of the day, though, My Stallion Heart is a decent read. It’s sweet, romantic, pleasant. Just watch out for the scene-hogging moments, especially if you are new to the series.