Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86471-3
Contemporary Romance, 2016
Boy, that is some amateurish Photoshop work on that cover. Did they try to cut cost by asking someone’s high school kid to come do the cover? Or maybe the cover is an ironic attempt at recreating bad green screen effects of low-budget movies? Oh, and is Nicki Night a single person or is it a pseudonym for a few people, because the person behind this one seems like a different person that wrote the previous Nicki Night book?
Alana Thomas – a lawyer, because her job is the sole distinguishing factor as the rest of her is strictly cliché – and Drew Barrington – motorcycle racer, because his job is the only thing that differentiates him from all those generic Kimani heroes out there – reconnect again when he returns to their small town. She’s been dumped by text message shortly before she meets Drew, so she’s all no, no, no even as her hormones are all yes, yes, yes. Drew, on his part, is shocked that a woman doesn’t bend over and spread her legs wide just because he happens to exhale some carbon dioxide in her direction. And… that’s it. Oh, and some ho bag tries to steal Drew away, because we know it ain’t never true love until the author demonstrates that every woman is 100% pure ho… except for the heroine and the women that pose no competition for the hero’s overused pee-pee, naturally.
Really now, Riding into Love is such a cookie cutter Kimani story that I wonder whether the author wrote this one while ticking off a checklist. I can’t think of any reason as to why one should read this one and not, say, the dozens or so of similarly themed and structured stories populated by similar lead characters and assorted cheerleader-cum-sequel bait secondary characters.
The author’s writing style doesn’t make things better, because unlike the jovial nature of the narrative in the previous book, the tone of this book is wretchedly dry. It’s all she says this, she does this, he says this, he thinks that… everything is told, never shown, so much so that this one is as dry as being stranded in the Atacama Desert with nothing to do but to watch paint on a wall dry. The characters are already cookie cutter boring, so the author does herself no favors by writing stuff in a manner like this:
In the room, there was a fresh bottle of wine chilling on the round table. A new note told her to dress comfortably, bring a light sweater and wear the flats. Alana giggled as she put her bags away and changed. She was back downstairs in twenty minutes, filled with a wondrous sense of anticipation. She knew it was time to see Drew and now she couldn’t wait. When Harry took her hand and led her into the car, she felt as if she were going to prom all over again.
Isn’t that the most riveting thing you have ever read? Why is that woman giggling? Did she drink that wine in the twenty minutes she was giggling in that room? Why did Drew send wine over when he wanted her out of that room? Well, it doesn’t matter – details are irrelevant when the author is writing like she has to catch a plane in the next fifteen minutes. And the best part is: the entire book is written in this manner.
At the end of the day, as the characters ride off into the sunset, it’s the reader who is left feeling high and dry.