Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86451-5
Contemporary Romance, 2016
I’m going to be honest with you – I have no idea how to give a synopsis of this story. Of course, Provocative Attraction has a fundamental, recognizable premise. Viva Hail and Rook Lourdess are not only two of the worst romance lead character names I’ve ever come across in a while, they were also lovers, until Viva had the opportunity to be star in an actual movie rather than commercials, and Rook gives her the ultimatum: it’s either getting a job that gives her more time to give him all the TLC he is entitled to, or she can get lost. So off she goes. That was then. Today, they are back together.
That’s basically the bare premise. If you ask me, for example, why she would want to go back to him, I can only shake my head and say I have no idea. This story has practically all his and her family members and friends wanting them to get back together. Why? I mean, those two broke up, for heaven’s sake, so what makes them think that those two are somehow itching to start swapping saliva despite not having seen one another for years? Well, these people just know, because the author wants to beat the reader in the head a few times before slapping the reader hard a few more times with the fact that Viva and Rook are destined to be true loves forever. And ever.
What I get a lot in this story is the pseudo-new age gobbledygook babbling that the author tends to sprinkle liberally into her stories. I’m not against this, mind you, as sometimes the author gets the whole thing just right and the story ends up being a whimsical kind of love story. Here, however, there is no spark or passion. The author spends the entire book telling me that Viva and Rook are in love, instead of showing me. Secondary characters show up just to egg the main characters on, telling them – and me – that they are meant to be together forever. There is no discernible motivation or emotion in these people’s actions. They are all too busy insisting that I believe them when they say – repeatedly – that Viva and Rook are meant to be.
Also, the author spends a lot of time painting the life in Hollywood as a horrible cesspit. As you can imagine, Viva laments that being an actress has somehow tainted her purity and made her less worthy of love or something. While the author tries to keep the whole blame game balanced – Rook never insists that he’s right in wanting Viva to get some “undemanding job” so that she can spend all her time getting him off – her insistence that Viva has somehow made the wrong decision in being an actress nonetheless puts her solidly in the wrong. So yes, Rook is right. She should have quit acting all those years ago to become his dutiful and docile girlfriend.
At any rate, Provocative Attraction is all babble, babble, babble, but I don’t see any believable romance or passion. Just so many boring twits trying to sound more profound than they actually are.