Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86483-6
Contemporary Romance, 2016
Davia Sands and Kale Asante know one another by reputation – they have never met, until they both are informed that they have inherited an old movie theater in Mullins, Iowa. Being a woman in a romance novel, Davia is of course all “It’s left to me by my late aunt whom I barely had any contact with when she was alive, so of course the place means the world to me and I will never sell!” as heaven forbid we break the stereotype even a little bit for once, while Kale is a man and hence he is allowed to want to make more money without being pilloried by angry romance readers as a ho bag. So, the stage is set for these two…
No, not to compete or have conflicts, as that would make the story interesting.
No, not to run around solving mysteries of dead bodies, because we can’t have people getting too excited while reading this book.
And that’s the problem with Silver Screen Romance. Unlike what the title may suggest, there is no movie being filmed in this story, and no, there isn’t even a sex tape. The story moves at a solid, brisk pace and the characters have some decent chemistry here, but the author doesn’t seem to know what to do with her characters after dropping them in Mullins. So these people go around talking to people about things, when they are not going through a rote kind of romance that doesn’t have much going for it in terms of conflict or anything else.
There is a potential for the story to be interesting, mind you. The history of the theater is a poignant one, as one of the previous owners were ostracized to the end of his life for testifying against his fellow white folks for a hate crime against the black folks in the neighborhood. I find myself thinking that it’d be great if there is a journal somewhere, or maybe we don’t know the man’s fate, and the main characters work to discover what happened to that fellow. Perhaps this could have been an interracial romance, with one of the hero or the heroine descending from the poor man’s family while the other person descending from the family of one of those the man stood up for, and they both work together to figure out the history of the theater and perhaps inspire readers with some heartfelt message about how we can all live in harmony despite our differences.
Instead, the author focuses on boring small town antics of boring people in the present day, when the main characters are not
There are many things the author could have done with Silver Screen Romance, but sadly, she chooses the option that serves up one of the most boring possible results. It’s alright, but oh, what it could have been.