Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86426-3
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Now, I’m all for creative people using their preferred media to channel their inner demons. It makes the resulting works imbued with fresh and raw passions that can resonate with me. Without the creator’s passion and feelings infusing a creative work, the result could be a painted-by-numbers affair instead. However, for me, all this has to be done in a way that also allows me to empathize with and relate to the creator. I found Taylor Swift’s 1989 to be forgettable pop dribble, for example, but when Ryan Adams covered it while his head was in a dark place following his divorce, the same songs became cathartic masterpieces. Oh, to put it simply, don’t be petty. Seriously, pettiness is one of the worst feelings an author can pour into his or her story – it makes both the story and the author come off as unsympathetic.
The heroine of Seduced by the Hero, Dionne Fontaine, opens the story insulting an employee, mocking the employee’s “Dolly Parton-like cleavage” to the reader, and accuses the woman – who is close to tears – that the woman is using her sex appeal to get ahead in life. Now, every story of Pamela Yaye invariably leaves me thinking that the poor dear has a lot of issues to work out when it comes to women who are thinner and more beautiful and have bigger breasts than her, but never from the first page like this one. Now, I have long stopped feeling such insecurities since I left high school and college, and I’m at peace with how I look like, so I am not on Team Dionne here. If anything, our heroine comes off like a massive bad word for a vagina right from the start, and that’s… something.
Dionne is acting like she has hemorrhoids and period cramps all at once because of ex issues and the fact that her BFFs are all landing hot wealthy men and she is like, men suck, love is all lie, and damn it, all her friends are having sex and being happy while she’s stuck right here berating women for daring to be hot and sexy. It’s not that she is a fat cow, mind you. As the hero Immanuel Morretti describes her:
Every hair was in place, and her milk-white coat and black pantsuit made her look glamorous. He found it hard to believe that she was thirty-five years old. She had the youth and vitality of a college-aged woman and the taut, toned shape to match.
Therefore, the author is being inconsistent here. Other hot, big-breasted, and sexy women are to mocked and called various synonyms for prostitute, especially if they dare to flirt with guys who pay attention to them, but it’s perfectly fine for the heroine to be hot, big-breasted and sexy and I’m to cheer her on when she sleeps with guys who pay attention to her. Where’s the consistency here? This is why I said earlier, authors shouldn’t come off as petty in their stories – this story feels very petty in a “Nobody can be as perfect as me… I am a goddess and YOU ARE ALL WHORES!” way and it’s off-putting to read. Worse, Dionne spends the bulk of the story acting like she has also developed constipation on top of her hemorrhoids and never-ending PMS, so this is an unpleasant kind of pettiness.
Oh yes, the story. Imhotep pursues Dionne and she eventually lets the plane go down on her landing strip, but ah, our hero is actually paid to discover her secrets so that her ex can have leverage over her.
If you are thinking right now – okay, he will spend time wining and shagging her, and then she will learn of his arrangement with her ex close to the ending, and since he’s rich and loaded and whatever, she will forgive him, and because this time it’s the hero deceiving the heroine, he doesn’t have to resign from his job and run away in tears like a heroine in his position will do – you are absolutely right. Seduced by the Hero plays out exactly like every other story with such a plot, right down to the timing of the revelation and the characters’ predictable reactions. The only things “extra” here are the liberal amounts of money spent by the hero to poke the secrets out of the heroine, the heroine behaving like the crab she would have gotten were this real life and she screwed a male slut that went around as much as Imhotep, and lots of unnecessary pettiness directed at hot and beautiful women who aren’t the heroine and her BFFs.
I’d be almost as petty as Dionne here if I were to say that this is another typical story by this author, and I’d hate to stoop that low, so I’ll just invite everyone to read this one and form their own opinion. Note that I am also making it clear that I’m not be held accountable for any personal injuries experienced by those people in the process. I mean, it’s not like I’m forcing them to do this, after all!
Oh yes, if anyone manages to locate the hero mentioned in the title anywhere in this story, please let me know.