Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335-21680-9
Contemporary Romance, 2018
Tanya Carrington will tell everyone that Miguel Astacio nearly destroyed her and ruined her life ten years ago when they were in senior year of college. That or he had destroyed and ruined her back then, depending on which page one happens to be reading while she is in her many, many moods. What had he done, you wonder? Did he knock her up and then left town? Gave her a few STDs? Put a video of her making out with a cow on YouTube and shared it on her church’s Facebook?
No, he turned her down when she wanted to get horny. Hence, he had DESTROYED her. Left her in pieces. She then married a guy who turned out to be secretly gay all along, and he and his boyfriend laughed at her and sneered that she would fail in her business. And Miguel is partially at fault too, because she married some guy when her heart was still his, and hence, he had DESTROYED her. RUINED her life.
If you can buy this premise, you’ll be happier reading Path to Passion than I ever could. Both the hero and the heroine go over and over about how he DESTROYED and RUINED her life ten years ago, and I can only wonder whether the author realizes how rape-y her story can come off as. Men are apparently not allowed to turn down a woman who wants sexy time with them, or else they will be crushing the woman’s ability to resemble a human being for the next decade.
Mind you, the evil gay ex-hubby and his equally evil gay husband are right: Tanya does fail in business, as she currently needs a dire infusion of cash to keep her nightclub afloat, and her brother sends an SOS to his BFF, who turns out to be, of course, Miguel. Mind you, our heroine spends more time flailing about how she was DESTROYED by Miguel’s refusal to slam that pee-pee in her ten years ago than coming up with some decent business plan to save her nightclub, so I can imagine how she went under that first time. Again, I don’t think this is the author’s intention. She obviously wants me to sympathize with the whole “men are evil if they turn you down after you tell them you want to have sex with them” school of thought and give Miguel the side eye. Unfortunately for her and this story, I’m not completely off my rocker yet so no, I don’t buy any of that.
If Tanya is an epic fail as a human being, Miguel is just a little better. He comes off as a conceited jackass whose little head is bigger than his brain, thanks to him saying things that could only be pulled off if the author can adopt a playful, cheeky tone in her narrative. Unfortunately, the tone is wooden and flat, with far more exposition dumping than showing, and hence, what might have been mischievous humor ends up being instead misfires by a tone-deaf author.
Indeed, this story is hilariously tone-deaf. The author has Miguel wailing, for example, that he is expected by his father to clean up his act. He then tells me that he has inherited a huge trust fund, but he’d rather work for a living than to play all his life. The next sentence that follows this has him going a complete 180 and complaining that he’d rather party, party, party. So which is which? And since when is the hero being a trust fund baby who is set for life, complaining that he has to do a little work for once in his life, is supposed to elicit sympathy from me? How does that work? Much of the rest of the story is like this: the author seems to have no clue that she’s being inconsistent or her characters come off as terrible human beings when she’s going for the opposite effect.
My favorite part of this story is how Tanya, after working hard to go all slim and sexy for Miguel, laments that she is unable to understand why she doesn’t get that Mighty Miguel Salami when he’d dated, and I quote:
… Amelia Watson and Sara Bloom, both of whom weren’t just overweight, but obese.
Considering how easy fat women on social media these days will take offense at anything and everything, I hope for the author’s sake that this book stays under the radar of those women!
Path to Passion is a complete misfire from start to finish, from its ridiculously overwrought premise to the main characters acting all unlikable and mentally deficient, without the author giving any impression that she knows that things aren’t working at all. It’s worth a look if you are looking for something to laugh at, but for everyone else, they are perhaps going to be happier reading something else.