Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86470-6
Contemporary Romance, 2016
The synopsis at the back cover is not entirely wrong, but it can leave reader a bit confused at first. You see, it describes heroine Morgan Gray as a sports agent, but she is actually an attorney. She only becomes a sports agent a bit later when hero Omar Drummond decides to hire her to replace his crooked agent. I’m personally not sure as to how qualified Morgan is to be a sports agent since she has no experience and I’m not sure whether she has a strong background in negotiating sports contracts and such. Yes, she likes muscle cars and plays football with the boys, but still.
Anyway, that’s basically the plot of Places in My Heart. For the most part, it is about Omar really wanting to get his hands into Morgan’s briefcase, while Morgan gives a lot of talk about how oh, she doesn’t want to be unprofessional, oh, conflict of interest, oh, oh, oh. In other words, it’s all just lip service from our sweetheart as she does what he wants of her anyway.
It’s a shame that this story doesn’t have much going for it in terms of compelling story lines, because the characters are, for once, not the usual stock archetypes. Omar is not some playboy with women issues – he’s in fact, a very nice guy who’s really into charities and advocacy. Morgan comes across as very capable, and she’s certainly no pushover even when confronted by mean and aggressive men much bigger than she is. I like these two… or at least, I like the concept of these two characters. They are smart, likable, and they should be good together.
Unfortunately for them, they are trapped in a story that is most all about mundane scenes of them going from point A to point B, meeting and talking to cheerleading secondary characters along the way, and for the most part, nothing interesting happens here. The whole thing feels very by the numbers, and worse, the villain is such a cartoon character that I’m surprised that it took Omar so long to realize that he’s been bamboozled by Snidely Whiplash’s slower brother. Because this story is so bland, any chemistry between Morgan and Omar feels muted. Or maybe it’s just because I’m yawning a bit too often while turning the pages to be moved by these two people.
Anyway, Places in My Heart has two not-so-clichéd characters who are, how sad for them, stuck in a story that tries so hard to feel as clichéd and predictable as can be. Those poor dears deserve much better from the author.