Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86433-1
Contemporary Romance, 2016
Now, picture this: Gianna Martelli is a very successful author, and one day, she received a fan mail from a stranger from across the sea (she’s in Tuscany, the other fellow is in New Orleans). Her twin sister Carina decided that this perfect stranger would be absolutely perfect to mash groins with her sister, so she posed as Gianna and wrote back, basically encouraging him to develop an affection for Gianna. So, when this story opens, the man, Donovan Boudreaux, decides to move to Tuscany, to both accept a teaching gig and to show off his moves to Gianna.
In an ideal world, Tuscan Heat would be a lovely thriller perfect for Lifetime or whatever TV station that churns out “woman in danger” movies on a regular basis these days, with a twist ending where, after Gianna manages to shove Donovan off a window right down to his death – he ends up getting impaled on a vineyard pole, perhaps – she then takes a pair of scissors and stabs her obnoxious, smug, and intrusive sister in the head with them.
Of course, we can’t have that. Donovan is part of the super wealthy, super successful, super talented, and super hot Boudreaux clan, while the Martellis are super hot, super gorgeous, super talented and super wealthy (they own a super, super vineyard empire in Tuscany), so their union is like Donald Trump… well, maybe not Donald Trump, perhaps Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel coming together for a romance of the millennium that would cement a heartwarming coming together of two continents. Or something. Nothing really happens here other than two rich and wealthy beautiful people frollicking under the sun, well, except for that woman who wants to bite a piece of Donovan too and gets furious when he tells her that he prefers Gianna instead.
Also, I will always be irked that Carina is allowed to be this horrible, horrible meddler without having to be held accountable for her stupid stunts.
There is nothing particularly awful here, but at the same time, there is nothing particularly memorable either. It’s all about these privileged people rusticating away in bliss. Not that there is anything wrong with that – I’d be doing the same if I were in their shoes, and I’d also throw a big party too – it just doesn’t make for interesting reading, you know? A good story usually has some conflict or some issue for the main couple to overcome in order to keep readers at the edge of the seat now and then, but here, it’s just bliss and fun and sun all the way, with very little to stir things up. So yes, I’m okay with this, but don’t ask me anything about this one a few days from now. I doubt I will remember much about it.