Kimani, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-335-43303-9
Contemporary Romance, 2019
After reading so many of this author’s books, I am struck by how every story eventually devolves into evil exes and evil parents. Why doesn’t the author come up with a different angle, or is this something mandated by her editor? At the rate things are going, I think people can’t be blamed should they think that the author clearly has issues about parents and beautiful women that need to be exorcised via therapy or something.
Pleasure at Midnight has the evil mother. Our heroine Jennifer Harris – or Geneviève as she is known to millions of adoring fans – is a super-successful pop star who threatens to quit her latest concert tour due to exhaustion and stress. A fan managing to get to her and touch her rear end is the last straw – this “sexual assault” as she calls it is it. Her mother, Althea, is having none of it, however, and Roderick Drake, our entertainment attorney hero, is called in to knock some sense into her. He is on her side, of course, because it makes perfect sense for a lawyer to support and encourage the breaking a contract just because the heroine feels like it. He and she wine and dine while she scrambles around to hide their affair from her mother, and then, just as expected, the hero realizes that his reputation is on the line when Geneviève breaks the contract, so now he forces her to keep touring.
If the whole thing reeks of stupidity and assholes to you, well, it kind of is. Plot soundness has never been the author’s forte – don’t ask me what is – and here, we have the aforementioned lawyer thinking that it’s perfectly fine for the heroine to just walk away from contracts and such because of feels. He even thinks that Althea is a terrible person for pointing out that Geneviève’s reputation will be shredded by the tabloids for coming off like a spoiled brat. Of course, when his reputation is on the line, Geneviève better do as the contract says or no pee-pee for her. I would have rolled up my eyes if these things weren’t so depressingly commonplace in the author’s books.
What else? The author apparently forms her view of the entertainment industry solely by how the business is just too mean and cruel, full of haters. While I’m not disputing this assumption, the author presents this premise in a manner that has me thinking that she’s just making things up as she goes along. The author is more interested in showing me how terrible the industry is, and how the heroine finds happiness by walking away – conveniently enough, with someone who can still afford to give her the luxury lifestyle she is accustomed to – so this is another romance novel which tells me that career for a woman sucks, and it’s far better to marry a wealthy man so that he can care for you and pay for your bling-bling forever and ever.
Geneviève’s character arc is that she finally finds the courage to tell her mother to back off. It’s like following an adult who finally learns how to do basic things like walking without tripping – how inspiring! This adult woman apparently doesn’t know that she can consult a lawyer to fire her mother or sort out her contracts, or that she can manipulate the media to her advantage. No, our courageous heroine just spends the story crying, acting like a victim, and laying back to enjoy sexy times with the hero. I can’t ask for a more interesting heroine! Meanwhile, Robert… wait, what’s his name again? Roderick, oh yes – he’s another bland dude with ex issues who turns into a raging douche for conflict late in the story, only to be forgiven by the heroine in five seconds because she really, really, really loves him.
Seriously, I don’t even know why Roderick needs ex issues! The story could be busy enough as it is with the clichéd bitch hag crazy momma drama. The author and her ex-issues as well as evil parents drama, I tell you.
Pleasure at Midnight is another typically badly written and badly constructed Pamela Yaye story. I’m just glad I have finally caught up with all the author’s books in my pile of unread books. It felt like I’ve been trapped in the author’s stories for twenty years! Let’s move on to something better.