Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86333-4
Contemporary Romance, 2013
Now that Zuri Day has concluded her series on the Drakes in New Orleans, it’s time to introduce… the Drakes of Northern California! Isn’t that something that Brenda Jackson would do? But I guess there are many reasons why Brenda Jackson is rolling in money, and Ms Day must be hoping that popping out sequel baits in various regions of the USA is one of those reasons.
Solid Gold Seduction is the first book in this new series, and it introduces this particular branch of the Drakes who are already loaded when they recently found gold on their land. No, I don’t hate them at all, no indeed. Warren Drake, our hero, moves to North California to take over the management of Paradise Cove, the ranch turned gold mine. He soon locked horns with his hot neighbor, tomboy rancher Charli Reed, over fencing issues that prevent her cows from drinking at their usual watering spot. The inevitable happens, while a villain looms in the background to threaten Charli with his big smelly gun.
This is a pretty solid read. After an awkward start where the main characters indulge in frequently stilted-sounding conversations, the author finds a comfortable groove for the rest of the story. The characters are okay, the pacing is okay, the plot is okay, the secondary characters are okay without being too intrusive.
That’s the problem of this story as well – it’s okay, and that’s basically it. Before I sit down and write this review, I have to quickly reread this book because it’s not memorable. Its lack of memorability is due to the overwhelming familiarity of the characters and the plot developments. The plot is a standard Western contemporary romance affair that I have read many times before, and the characters are stock Kimani types that I have come across many times before as well. For a while, I thought the author would switch things up a bit with the identities of the bad guys, but alas, even that peters out into a familiar denouement.
Reading Solid Gold Seduction is like wearing a pair of comfortable old socks. That’s nothing wrong with that, but at the same time, it’s not like there is a shortage of new socks in the market. By making this story a faithful rehash of many familiar tropes, the author is actually making a strong case for people to pick up other books that may be more interesting than this one.