Kimani, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-335-99881-1
Contemporary Romance, 2019
Wow, that’s a nice set of grater on the cover. Forget cheese, I can probably grate diamonds on those abs.
Sheryl Lister’s Sweet Love is a typical Kimani romance: a hot guy and a hot lady meet, they embark on the dating game, they have sex, and then they decide to have a happily ending together, the end. We have secondary characters cheering them on too. The whole thing is formulaic, yes. This time around, the hero is Jabari Sutton, a former military man who is now a civilian – a wealthy one, folks, so don’t worry – and hence ready to settle down. Alisha Hunter is his sister-in-law’s good friend, and the two meet when they attend his niece’s birthday daughter. She is a divorcée with two kids, but Jabari isn’t worried about potential baby daddy issues. She’s the one for him!
Sweet Love works very well because from the get go, it already stands out by boasting a clean, enjoyable narrative that strikes the perfect balance between show and tell. There are no huge swathes of information dump, and when secondary characters show up, they are integrated well into the story instead of standing out like sore thumbs with “Buy my books!” advertisements pasted all over. From my review of other Kimani titles, you will know that one of my main complaints about this line is the constant over-prevalence of exposition replacing actual story telling. Here, though, everything flows beautifully. Conversations come off like things actual human beings would say, and Jabari’s conversations with his bros feel believably like things men would say, instead of things women hope men would say.
The romance is well paced. Nothing here feels like padding. Instead, I am treated with lovely, charming moments of those simple little things that make a courtship so much fun to read. The initial awkwardness, the pleasure of discovering that the other person is so much fun to be with, finding out that the other person has so much things to love that person for, and so forth – these are all here, portrayed in ways that feel real enough for me to relate, chuckle, and occasionally cringe to.
Simply put, while this one isn’t going to be breaking new grounds any time soon, it makes the story of two people falling in love a joyous thing to read and relate to. This is easily the author’s best effort to date.