Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335-21674-8
Contemporary Romance, 2018
Melissa Conwell – works with kiddies, et cetera – returns to Sheridan Falls for her cousin’s wedding, and because that cousin is marrying into the town gold star family the Burkes, our heroine soon finds herself catching up with soccer star Aaron Burke again. She once thought they were in love, and she even gave her virginity to him… until she learned that while she was planning a life for them together by following him to college, he was planning to ditch her before he left.
Oh, I’m not supposed to give Aaron the evil eye. You see, his sister had the insulting timing to drown a few years earlier, and the hurt caused Aaron to realize that he must never love again so he must dump Melissa before she hurt him like his sister did… or something like that. See? A bitch’s fault. Later, Aaron married Melissa’s high school nemesis, but don’t hate him. That woman was a harlot incarnate, blah blah blah, so yes, another bitch’s fault. There are so many bitches in this world out to hurt a poor brother like that, and sadly, not enough romance novels to demonize all of them.
Undeniable Attraction is more appropriately called Undeniable Obsession. Melissa never has a chance to make up her own mind. Despite being a bridezilla, her cousin still manages to find time to obsess over throwing Melissa back with Aaron, and everyone else is cut from the same crazy cloth. Meanwhile, our hero’s sense of entitlement to a woman’s honeypot is even bigger than his erection. He’s shocked that Melissa isn’t throwing herself at him, and decides that he’s going to roger her into being all crazy about him like she used to, especially now that he is single and is looking for a honeypot to stick his digits into.
Once Melissa decides to put out to him and then tells him that she doesn’t want any relationship with him, he decides that what she wants is “not acceptable” and pursues her all the way to her place. Oh, did I say “pursue”? I mean “stalk”. Our hero spies on her, to the point that she can’t even go into a pharmacy with him jumping up behind her and going, “Aha! Pregnant! Pregnant!” He looks her up online and wonders whether she is cheating on him when he sees pictures of her with other men. Such behavior, coupled to his huge sense of entitlement about getting into the pants of the woman he has his eye on, makes this hero more creepy than sexy. Worse, his family is loaded and well connected socially, so should this relationship turn sour, Melissa is going to find herself embroiled in some potentially ugly legal mess, especially when her own family as well as his act like she must put out to him or else.
In the end, the heroine has no choice in the matter. On top of the people around her all but making her sit on the hero’s pee-pee and the hero aggressively declaring that her every effort to make her own decision about their relationship to be “unacceptable”, Melissa also discovers that she is knocked up.
In the end, Undeniable Attraction isn’t a romance as much as it is a chillingly sobering reminder to all of us to never, ever sleep with crazy, no matter how hot that lunatic may be.