Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86370-9
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Nicodemus Drake is convinced that he has the position of mayor in Paradise Cove in the bag. A lawyer, Nico wants to be the governor of California, and this victory would be a great start in the right direction. Oh, wait a minute. When the story opens, he has just found out that “Mo Slater”, one of his opponents that he initially dismissed, is actually Monique Slater. He knew her back when they were in college and she trounced him badly in a national debate competition. Oh well, he can beat her. The people will never vote for an outsider like her over the local golden boy. Right?
I’m not sure why Secret Silver Nights is called such, as this story is all about two people running for the same seat, while the title and the cover give me the impression that this story is about movie stars or something. But this is just a taste of what is to come: the author appears to have no idea what her strengths are when it comes to this story.
Nico and Monique have some amazing chemistry here. They appear to be equally matched in terms of wit and arrogance, although I’m still not sure how Monique’s “I’ll keep my identity a secret until the last minute” tactics is going to bag her a win. Won’t that put her behind her opponents when it comes to having the time to win over the electorate? Also, the author has Monique being this rather pathetic “I have been having a crush on him for years, and I have no decent social life as a result, while he has no problems shagging any woman that even looks his way” creature, but to give Ms Day credit, this crush doesn’t turn Monique into a stammering idiot that allows Nico to have the upper hand over her. Instead, Monique is very fun sparring with Nico.
However, the story soon shifts away from this chemistry to become another stale story. Oh, in comes some lame suspense story that places Monique in danger! She has to mother some sulky teen brat from the streets! Oh, and Nico’s jealous and crazy ex-girlfriend shows up too. I have nothing against female villains, as I’ve mentioned in the past, but my goodness, if I have a dollar for every lazily-written one-dimensional evil bitch caricature that shows up in a Kimani story, I would be able to pay for my wedding to Hugh Jackman and still have spare for a luxurious honeymoon circling the Caribbean islands. Do the authors in this line get a bonus for every crazy bitch they write into their stories, or what?
At any rate, by the time Secret Silver Nights lumbers into the second half, it has become another standard story with an uninteresting villains-on-the-loose story that puts the best thing about this story – the chemistry and the sparring between our hero and heroine – to the backseat. This is a shame, as the book could have been so much better if it had been just about two people who can’t decide whether they want to kiss or strangle the other person.
Oh well, I guess there is always the next book.