Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86248-1
Contemporary Romance, 2012
Rochelle Alers has written so many books like Sweet Southern Nights, I won’t be surprised if someone told me she wrote this while asleep. The formula is so obvious by now, it’s actually quite an entertaining diversion to play spot-the-formulaic-stuff.
As usual, we have the Hot Guy, Dr Levi Eaton, who is no different from other Hot Guys in that he’s loaded, has a successful career although he doesn’t actually do much working here, and he is a player with women lining all the way down the next three blocks to have a go at him. The only distinguishing traits he has are that he is a doctor and he has some issues about finding the right woman that can deal with his long hours at work.
The Hot Heroine is Angela Chase, whose greatest secret is that she is a romance author. She is attracted to Levi, and because every romance author lives vicariously through her stories, she is soon writing amazing love stories even as her relationship with Levi deepens. Soon, she’s on her way up! Hot sex with a hot rich man – the secret to a romance author’s success! Alas, she has some trust issues, so she has to hesitate a bit or this story will be done in less than 100 pages. Oh, he’s hot, rich, and since he’s a doctor, she won’t have to see much of him if he’s annoying – what’s there to hesitate about? But a heroine will have to do the necessary to keep the pages coming, of course.
We need a silly excuse to get the characters together, so Angela’s brother asks Levi to take Angela as the date to a wedding. The wedding is needed, so that there will be chapters after chapters of Levi and Angela bumping into characters from books past and future in the Eaton family series – this is, of course, the opportunity for Ms Alers to bore, er, sell me how these Hot Guys and Hot Heroines are so hot, hot, hot and I should buy their books so that my life will be so much better just by reading their stories.
All these characters popping by to tell me about their lives before vanishing also serve to pad up the book by about another 150 pages. See? Who says conflict is needed in a romance novel? That is so 1980’s. Today, it’s all about filling the pages with secondary characters screaming at me to buy their books. I’ve already bought this book, so it’s only sensible that the author takes the opportunity to tell me to buy her other books. Authors need new shoes and a new swimming pool too, after all, and we readers should support them in their time of need.
The best thing I can say about this book is that, well, at least it’s readable in the sense that the narrative is clean. But there is no conflict, nothing, just boring day-by-day blow-by-blow descriptions of daily mundane interactions, conversations that add nothing to the plot (and plot… what plot?), descriptions of clothes, hairstyles, regurgitation of how some secondary characters that found love in previous books, scenery chewing by secondary characters whose books have yet to be written… This book is like a reality TV show with some really boring and one-dimensional characters that don’t fight, don’t argue, don’t get drunk, don’t do anything interesting to make the show worth watching.