Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86321-1
Contemporary Romance, 2013
Styles of Seduction is the first book in the multi-author series Fashioned with Love, which is a “sequel series” to Laws of Love. Both series feature different branches of the Hamilton family. This time around, instead of a family of lawyers, we have a family of fashion people.
Kyle Hamilton is, naturally, the best of the best when it comes to fabulous couture, because heaven forbids a romance hero in the Kimani line to be anything but amazing. Naturally, he’s also rich and awesome, with women throwing themselves at him from twenty-story buildings. The usual. Zoe Sinclair once worked under him (not in that way – at least, not yet) but, while the chemistry was there (or so everyone else insists in this story), he is hesitant and she is somewhat hurt that he doesn’t do what every respectable Harlequin Presents hero would do and throw at least twenty shades of sexual harassment at her, so she left for a job at a rival company.
Today, she is the lead designer there, much to the consternation of the resident psycho bitch at that company. Every heroine needs a psycho bitch to dog her, after all. How else is she going to look good? Of course, she and Kyle are meant to be, so they keep bumping into each other. They talk, talk, talk, have sex in a “blink and you’ll miss it” manner, talk some more, and finally decide to get married. Some drama involving Kyle’s sister and some other stuff crop up, but these plot elements aren’t fully resolved here. It seems like they would be carried forward to the next book.
Well, this is a typical book by the author: the plot is very thin, the characters spend a lot of time talking about what they are doing and feeling, and the romance seems to happen in a vacuum devoid of believable chemistry. As if realizing this, the author has every other secondary character practically screaming into Kyle’s or Zoe’s ears that these two are meant to shag ASAP.
Kyle has communication issues, but I guess that is understandable. Without the sad faces caused by wrong assumptions galore, how else would the reader stay awake? He and Zoe spend all their waking hours obsessed with one another, although they are often so wrong about the other person that I wonder how these two could even agree on a shopping list without sulking and refusing to talk for the next two months.
Zoe also comes off as pretty dense. She is dating with, later sleeping with and agreeing to be the wife of the owner of his employer’s biggest competitor. And yet she is actually offended when the boss calls her on her number and demands to know what she is doing. The fact she doesn’t see what a massive conflict of interest she is getting herself into makes Zoe seem way too clueless for words. When the author makes this employer become the villain because he stands in the way of true love, I can’t help rolling up my eyes.
Oh, and the psycho bitch spends every scene she is in “trembling in anger”, making me think that the author needs to come up with at least two more different ways to describe her psycho bitches’ bouts of rabid mania.
Simply put, Styles of Seduction is a dry and boring story with random bursts of stupidity to break the monotony. The saddest thing about it is that these random bursts of stupidity end up being the primary source of entertainment in this story. Otherwise, I’d have slipped into some kind of boredom-induced stupor some time around the sixth chapter.