Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86510-9
Contemporary Romance, 2017
Adah Palmer-Mitchell is a heroine stuck in a plot out of the soap opera in the 1980s: since she was in college, her parents had made it clear that she will marry Bennett Randal, a marriage that would unite the beauty product and cosmetics companies of the two families. I personally don’t understand why it has to be marriage and not just some benign merging of companies done via contracts and such, but I suppose the author just needs a conflict for the story to exist. Sure, there is probably no legally binding way for the parents to push the marriage to happen, but Adah has some kind of weird guilt over being alive while her sister died when they were kids, which allows her parents to manipulate and guilt trip her into doing whatever they want her to do.
When the story opens, Adah takes off to a tropical island resort in Aruba and ends up being pursued by Kingsley Diallo, even as her mother shows up there too to make sure that she doesn’t do anything shocking that will threaten her impending marriage. Our heroine wants some time to think about what she wants in life, but her hormones are telling her that Kingsley is the best thing any woman can ever want. But is he, really?
Of course he is. Kingsley is actually the CEO of a multibillion-dollar business, which we can all see is a step up from the heir of a struggling beauty product company, but remember, this is a romance novel and we are not supposed to say that out loud. No, Kingsley is Ada’s true love, and all those bags of money are just her rewards for finding true love. Everyone wins – she, her sweetheart, and her parents. Therefore, there is really no issue or drama in The Pleasure of His Company, as every reader will immediately know that the hero is the better option at the end of the day, and Adah’s mother won’t be stupid as to disagree to the marriage. Yes, Adah’s mother is all accepting of Kingsley and even tells her daughter to be happy, and while under any circumstances I’d be happy that we have something different from the typical “I hate my mother, she is a pushy hag!” relationships Kimani heroines tend to have with their mothers, I wonder whether she will be as cheerful if Kingsley is, say, a beach bum instead of Mr Bags of Money.
While there is hardly any decent conflict in this story, though, there is plenty of sexual tension between Adah and Kingsley – provided one can overlook his constant calling her of “Doe Eyes” and, occasionally, “little one” (eek). Lindsay Evans had been quite restrained in her last few books, but here, she brings up the heat again and mm-hmm, it’s all good. In fact, I’d say that, without the sexy times, this story would be a far less memorable read.
So, in the end, I’d say read this one more for the spicy moments, as the premise is such that the hero’s wealth negates any conflict that can stand in the way of the hero and the heroine having a happily ever after together. Still, the characters are likable, their chemistry is smoking, and there is enough character development to sell me the romance. I’d say it’s been a pleasure, all things considered.