Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86519-2
Contemporary Romance, 2017
The heroine’s name is Michael Jane, but let’s call her MJ like everyone does. That’s MJ in a so-not Spider-Man way, of course. She’s a marketing guru, and this is important because it will be the biggest distinguishing factor between MJ and every other heroine in this line who’s in real estate, playing at being an executive in Daddy’s company, and so forth. She’s a bit soured on players at the moment because one guy she has a crush on told her that he doesn’t crush her back, if you know what I mean, only after using her affections to get into her client list. Of course, she using his ideas to make her company more stellar is different: she’s so not using him like she claims he is using her, because… uh… let’s move on.
So, this guy wants to hold a first-ever jazz festival in Atlanta, and MJ knows that if she gets it done, it’d send her up there with the big boys and girls. However, this means she also has to rope in former marine Jamal Carver to be in charge of security. She also has a crush on Jamal – good lord, how many men does she have a crush on, anyway? – but because he’s a player and she’s been “used” by a player before, she’s not tapping that. Well, unless he shows her his faucet, all dripping and ready to go, and she’s like ooh, she has to go, oh na-na-na… Jamal is determined to show her that he’s ready to settle down with her, but whether she believes him, that is the million dollar question here.
And that’s basically what The Heat between Us is all about. I wish I can say that, like the title suggests, this is a steamy story with chemistry and sexual tension all over the wazoo, but unfortunately, what I get is a mundane day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of these people having lunch, meeting with business folks or their BFFs, listen to these BFFs assure them that they are so meant for one another, having dinner (right down to what they are eating), what they decide to wear for so-and-so, and of course, having sex with all the passion of furniture on an IKEA assembly line. I am bored, sigh.
On the bright side, this is an easy to read and digest story, although that’s probably because it’s like those unflavored crackers – you eat it, it goes down, and nobody dies. Also, this story is free from the more annoying tropes like hag mothers and ex-girlfriends or jealous bitches from hell. Also, Michael does seem somewhat competent at her job from what little I see of her working here. But there is a noticeable lack of conflict here, as things just happen, day by day, as if this is a very boring reality TV show featuring rich, beautiful people doing mundane things. Sure, they have dinner, how exciting – look, I’m having dinner too, and it’s chicken, yum yum yum OH MY GOD WILL SOMEBODY JUST KILL SOMEBODY ELSE AND MAKE THIS STORY INTERESTING, THANKS.
The Heat between Us… oh, how I wish.