Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335-21662-5
Contemporary Romance, 2018
Lauren Emerson and Malcolm Gray once had a thing but alas, they broke up because she let her insecurities and naysayers convince her that they would never last and it would be better for the two of them if she dumped him. She blames herself for that break-up still years later, but hey, when a nutritionist job opens up at the Los Angeles Cobras – which will be the football team that Malcolm plays for – she gets her rear end seated down on that particular seat. So, the two characters now have some issues to work out before they can do that muah-muah thing again.
Oh wait, it’s not that easy. You see, Sheryl Lister’s Still Loving You is the fifth book of a series revolving around filthy rich hot guys and the women who love them, and it’s a typical example of a book in which the author just gives up on plotting a few chapters in and instead starts throwing sequel baits of past and future books at the reader’s face. Our hero and heroine jump from being surly at one another to suddenly announcing that they miss one another before getting down to business. In the meantime, these two will spend many, many pages visiting many people to talk about banal things.
He has so many family members to catch up with, and each scene of them usually starts with him rehashing his issues with Lauren – she’s hot, but he wants to stay away from her – before devolving into one of two things: if the secondary character doesn’t have a book out already, this twit will urge him to just boink her ASAP so that the character can quickly get his or her book out too; if the character is already boinked and wedded in a previous book, the hero will note how radiant, perfect, happy, blah blah blah that character is, often with the author throwing in that character’s back story even if that character will not show up anymore in the story after that scene. It’s the same with the heroine. She has come back to her hometown for this story, so there are friends and family members to catch up with too.
The romance, or what passes for it, is concentrated in the first and the last few chapters. Everything else is a very boring, interminable advertisement for past and future books – the next books are going to be about the Grays’ cousins in another part of the country, how exciting – so you’d have to really like reading about people meeting and talking about inconsequential stuff in order to enjoy this story. Even then, the question remains: do you want to pay $6.50 for what is essential a short, non-happening romance that is painfully stretched to full length in order for the author to flog her other books? Me, I’m starting to think that the Kimani line may as well be re-titled “Buyer’s Remorse” if the authors were going to stick to this painfully dull template for the bulk of the books in this line.