Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86386-0
Contemporary Romance, 2015
I swear, Kimani romances are starting to become the typical mainstream Bollywood movie type: the story may be set in an “exotic” place like Barbados, France, Italy, whatever, but the script remains the same.
In Bollywood movies, it’s a star-crossed romance with lots of melodramatic lip-syncing and hip-thrusting motions. In Kimani romances, the script starts to resemble that one typical story where the hero and the heroine meet, take their time to have sex and resist falling in love, oh look here comes the ex-factor or psycho jealous other woman drama, our couple make up, the end. Depending on how desperate or enterprising the author is, these familiar key elements are punctuated by one-dimensional sequel baits cheering the two to have sex while not-so-subtly advertising their presence in future books.
You know, the presence that is made every time an author creates those 8 sequel baits in a story and suddenly realizes that each of those characters who show up in 2 pages to coo to the heroine about how hot the hero is or to tell the hero how he’d like to tap the heroine’s booty (a popular plot device to have the hero go all “Oh no you don’t!” and have that sequel bait grin knowingly because oh ho, the hero has been caught) has their own stories that need to be told. That or there are millions of fans screaming for those characters to get their stories – readers that were apparently also beta readers, I’d imagine, considering how long it takes for a book to go from submission to actual publication – and the author just can’t say no to these imaginary, er, insistent loyal fans of hers.
But enough about Kimani books in general, let’s talk about this Kimani book. Lark Randolph is a successful fashion designer, but when the story opens, she discovers that her boyfriend, whom she’s convinced is that special someone, has a fiancée who’d like her to stay the hell away from the man. And then, her fabulous gay best friend and business associate starts screaming that her designs suck and tears at her creation in front of everyone else. She can’t tolerate such openly disrespectful act from that fellow, of course, so that guy gets the sack. Fortunately, another designer happens to want to be on board the Lark train, and even better, Dash Migilio is heterosexual. I suppose there are a few of those in the fashion industry; I’m more interested in knowing whether there are a few porn films in his past, what with him having a name like that.
Anyway, love blossoms while these two are in Italy. Dash likes monogamy, doesn’t like to share his woman, and he also doesn’t like to have women share his body around. Unfortunately, Lark is not in the mood for love. She’s done with men! Love doesn’t exist! She will not commit to a single type of pasta, she wants to sample every sauce, every flavor! Can Dash convince Lark that the two of them are meant to be together? Can anyone say these two’s names with a straight face?
Now, the plot of Season for Love is paper thin, made up of tedious little “No love, no love, NO LOVE!” antics from the heroine that no serious romance reader would ever take seriously. But – and I say this with love – I don’t read a story by Velvet Carter for breathless romantic tales of passionate epiphany and earth-shattering bonding of twin souls. I read her books for the hot sex scenes. So, normally, I would forgive the exclamation mark-infested, very cartoon-like over the top first third or so of the book and the tedious overplayed angst of the heroine. Normally. Season for Love isn’t normal, however, because the sex scenes are short and not at all sexy.
He gave a few more hard pushes and reached the pinnacle shortly after she did.
“Happy birthday, baby!”
Yes, thanks, now go suck on an egg.
What happened? Did someone sue the author for giving her cardiac arrest after the last book or so, therefore forcing Ms Carter to tone things down? Did the author get possessed by the spirit of some poor sod who spent his or her life writing instruction manuals for IKEA?
Without the hot sex, this book is just another tedious played-out story featuring the same played-out drama. If I can’t have both high plot or hot sex, I’d be happy to settle for at just one of those, but dang, Ms Carter is serving some cold tasteless porridge of a story here. I can read this same story and be annoyed by this same heroine in any random Kimani books out there, so come on, step up the game again, Ms Carter. Go hot or go home!