Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86430-0
Contemporary Romance, 2015
How cute, the guy on the cover is holding some mistletoe over his crotch. Not exactly subtle, is he?
In this one, Duke Rodriguez, a former baseball star turned one of the hottest news anchor on TV, does a blunder one fine day: while cracking jokes to his fellow news anchor on air, he ends up claiming that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. As a result, the network gets tons of complaints and advertisers threaten to pull out their holiday-themed ads if something is not done about Duke. As a result, Duke needs to do some damage control, and paying single mom Macy Cuomo, a family friend of his boss, to let him help out for a weekend during the Christmastime decorator business seems like the way to go.
Now, this is where I have to point out that your enjoyment of The Magic of Mistletoe will hinge on just how horrible you believe Duke’s “crime” – “outing” (as the author puts it) Santa as not real – is. If you think what he did is the crime of the century and he is up there with Ming the Conqueror and Darth Vader as villains of the year, then you’d probably understand why Macy gives him such a hard time. If you don’t see what the fuss is, then, like me, you’d think that Macy is insane and she’d end up being dragged to a loony bin soon, probably after they catch her lacing candy canes with arsenic to be given out to heathens that do not celebrate Christmas to her exacting standards.
Macy, upon meeting Duke, immediately accuses him of being a spoiled and pampered rich guy who thinks that he can say anything and get away with it. Seriously, from her tirade, you’d think he has just praised the virtues of Donald Trump as the future President of the United States. But the author then contradicts herself when she has Macy, just a few pages later, monologue about how she knows everything about Duke – from his rags to riches story to his endeavors and such – and how she has always respected him… until he “outed” Santa. This very act negates all the works of charity and personal achievements of his that she once admired, respected, and adored; he is now the worst human being ever.
Are you still with me? If you feel that Macy is overreacting, you are really not going to enjoy this story because Macy’s reaction is considered “right”, and the author has the secondary characters openly supporting Macy in her stance. And here I am thinking that her kids will really roll up their eyes at her once they learn that Santa really doesn’t exist and their mother is just being a delusional kumquat.
For the rest of the story, Macy treats Duke like dirt, constantly questioning his morals and accusing him of all kinds of unfounded scumbaggery – all because he claims that Santa doesn’t exist, causing Macy the “trauma” of having to console her eight-year old – while at the same time squeezing her thighs tightly together because she also wants to have sex with this Christmas-killing villain. She is the kind of heroine that is just begging to have people plant a Christmas tree on her front lawn and then set that tree of fire while singing the chorus of Red Peters’s You Ain’t Getting Shit for Christmas at the top of their voices.
I don’t know what Duke sees in her apart from her big breasts and thighs – her behavior is terrible. Then again, he lets his ex grip him by his testicles, making him do things that only sabotage his developing relationship with Macy, so maybe he likes being treated like crap by the women he wants to have sex with.
Yes, this is another story where the evil ex shows up to fill all that blank spaces in the story with contrived conflict. This ex is supposed to demonstrate how wanting her morals are, therefore showing me that Macy is a golden beacon of hope when it comes to feminine virtue. But come on, as crazy as the ex may be, she’s not that insane cow screeching about how a man is the cretin of the year because he goes on TV to say that Santa isn’t real.
The Magic of Mistletoe is founded on a premise in which the heroine overreacts to an insane degree to something that does not warrant even one-eighth of her exaggerated nonsense, and continues to behave like a grade A asshole-moron for the rest of the story without having to experience any accountability or epiphany for her actions. This story is like a cartoon featuring a shrill, annoying main character, but without any humor that would have made the whole thing palatable.