Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335-21689-2
Contemporary Romance, 2018
If you have ever wondered about the brands and labels favored by billionaire bachelors, Niobia Bryant has a whole list ready in Tempting the Billionaire. No, really: everything Chance Castillo uses has a brand name attached to it, and the author goes also into great detail about the color, cut, size, taste, shape… everything. Reading this book is like being forced to take note of all the ads in those tedious “luxury lifestyle” magazines I typically find in hair salons in my part of the world. The first thirteen pages of this one alone is a litany of how Chance is living it up while he repetitively assures me that he is so loaded, there is nothing he can’t do or buy anymore in this world.
Hey, great for him, and if the author was living the billionaire life vicariously through her hero, well, good for her too. But given that all the brands and cuts and what not add nothing to the story other than to make Chance look like a tedious self-aggrandizing blowhard in love with showing off how wealthy he is, I get bored of all this nonsense fast. What is left, sadly, isn’t particularly interesting.
Chance was recently left standing at the altar but his attorney now ex-fiancée, so he decides to hire another attorney to sue that woman for half the expenses he’d paid for their very, very, very, very expensive wedding. And he decides to sleep with this new attorney, Ngozi Johns, because he clearly has a pattern when it comes to his women. Ngozi is a widow still mourning her late hubby, but come on, which woman is going to hold on to a dead guy when here comes Mr Moneybags who spends his dough like life is a perpetual Black Friday sale? Oh right, a romance heroine. Whatever.
That is basically the story, and it’s an uneventful story devoid of any interesting conflict or anything else. I suppose you can argue that this is like real life, as come on, no sane woman is going to put up a fight when it comes to shacking up with a billionaire. The whole thing would be a boring story as it’s basically “Okay!” and then, let’s rejoice as we spend, baby. Still, surely a romance novel that charges $6.50 for a peek could do better. The author adds in some boring, done-to-death daddy drama for Chance later in the story, but come on, he’s a billionaire and I know practically every single brand and label he favors. He can dab at his tears with his thousand-dollar bills; I’d save my sympathy for someone else less fortunate, thanks.
The author also pads her story with extraneous details that leave me scratching my head. Do I need to know that Ngozi’s mom maintains her “size eight body” via a vegan diet, for example? It’s not like that will be a pivotal point plot, as the woman isn’t going to choke on a carrot anytime soon. That and all the other necessary details, together with all the name droppings of brands, labels, and even the artists of the main characters’ favorite playlists all suggest that Tempting the Billionaire is actually a tedious commercial marathon masquerading as a romance novel.