Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-37386484-3
Romantic Suspense, 2017
Now, books in the Kimani line are not generally known for their heat factor. In fact, I’m not sure what that line is about these days, to be honest, as way too many of the recent releases are basically tropes, tropes, tropes all regurgitated in the same way, just change the main characters’ names and occupations. So, you can imagine my shock when I come to the first love scene in Terra Little’s Road to Temptation and nearly have a heart attack. Oh my goodness, is it even legal for a book in the Kimani line to be this explicit? Raunchy? Wait, I don’t really care for the answer, just that this book exists and… I’ll stop now before I really come off like a pervert who needs more social contact with the outside world. You can stop laughing at me now, thanks, and don’t lie and say that you aren’t even a little interested by the sexy times in this book.
Anyway, a caveat – the author is very find of appending adjectives to the hero Broderick Cannon’s randy winkie. Now, to be honest, I don’t really care about what a man’s pee-pee can do apart from… you know, that. So, a pee-pee that is always throbbing, tingling, whatever only makes me wonder whether poor Broderick has a damaged nerve or two down there that warrants a visit to a specialist. Still, it is in fine working order, and I suppose that’s what counts the most at the end of the day. If he ain’t dead yet, that boy has better work that thing, ooh baby.
Oh yes, the plot. This one is a bit surreal on paper. Twin sisters Elise and Olivia Carrington are two hotshots that run some kind of private investigation agency that also does some crazy cool crap on the side, like helping women in need “disappear” and start a new life. Elise, our heroine, is the more deliberate and cool-headed one, while Olivia is the more impulsive and adventurous sister. However, they both have distinct personalities apart from “this twin” and “that twin who will get her story next”, which is great.
Elise is asked by Olivia to handle a case – she’s the best person to do this as the client is Olivia’s ex and, hence, it will be awkward if Olivia takes it up. That man, a powerful up-and-coming politician, is missing a daughter, and he wants the Carrington sisters to help track down that young lady. Meanwhile, Broderick, our hero, is some cool hot crap dude too, as he is part of some hot crap agency that does covert things, and he also goes abroad every Wednesday to kill people upon the request of the US government. That missing young lady is his goddaughter, and he wants in on the case. So Elise and Broderick have to spend quite a lot of time together, side by side… upside down… doggy style… er, where was I?
This story takes a while to get into, because of the over the top nature of every character here – everyone’s a top cat in cool – and it is only when the author name drops How to Get Away with Murder that a light bulb goes off in my mind. No wonder these people all talk in so many long sentences, and all these agencies and entities that do secretive things – the author is trying to do a Shonda Rhimes on everyone. The long sentences will be spoken in lightning speed, everyone postures and glowers artfully, and there is always room for one-liners and sexy times even as the plot becomes more and more over the top. The Carringtons are like Olivia Pope’s students-in-training while Broderick is probably affiliated with some B613 wannabe.
But yeah, it is hard to take the plot and the characters’ backgrounds seriously, but the whole thing is very entertaining on the whole. I especially like how Elise doesn’t act like sex with a hot guy is the end of the world, and that these two play on the sheets like two equally randy people instead of one person being made to have sex with the other person due to plot necessity. Elise, despite being the “I don’t do flings because I’m so sensible like that!” type on paper, turns out to be a very likable and even relatable heroine, and… really, the sexy times. This is probably the hottest Kimani book I’ve read in a long time and perhaps even the hottest mainstream stuff outside the erotic romance market too.
My only issue here is the last few chapters, when Broderick turns into a lawful stupid dolt who needs to have his hypocrisy pointed out by Olivia. Worse, he then proceeds to do a complete turnaround after that scene, which makes him seem more like an inconsistent dog who’d probably sell state secrets in return for hot romance heroine honey. Also, I’m disappointed that Elise just gives up after she thinks that there is no chance that they will be together – it is Olivia who has to step in and confront Broderick about the conflict between him and her twin sister. If the hero had been less of a dolt and the heroine showed a little more fire to keep the romance alive, Road to Temptation would be a clear winner, cheesy plot and all.
As it is, I’m certainly a happy customer. Hey, I’m easy. Give me the hot stuff and I’d be extra generous with the oogies.