Texas Love Song
by AlTonya Washington, contemporary (2012)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86265-8


Now, I know practically every Kimani book is part of a series nowadays, but do take note that Texas Love Song is part of the Lone Star Seduction series in every sense of that phrase. The plot here will carry on to the next book, so you will have to invest time and money in that next book if you want some closure here.

And contrary to what the title of the book and series may lead you to think, this one isn't about the sexy - it's more about the suspense. Yes, this book - this series - is the last of a dying breed in the Kimani line as it's romantic suspense.

Okay, in this one, we meet the Melendez family. The patriarch Danilo Melendez started and still oversees the running of the big and successful Machine Melendez, which deals with spare parts and equipment. There are many stories about how Danilo was involved in all kinds of shady activities to build the company to where it is today. Setha, Danilo's daughter, isn't sure that she believes that. She oversees the Melendez Corporate Charities, which help propagate the image of the company of that of a benevolent organization that cares of the poor and what not.

Our hero Khouri Ross works for the Ross Review, which, as one of the other characters in this book puts it, is pretty much the mouthpiece of Machine Melendez. They get together to work on an ad campaign, but their chemistry is spiced up by murders of the employees of Machine Melendez. Who is killing these people, and why?

The murders form the basis of the suspense plot, but it's an odd one in the sense that, for the most part, that is a bewildering disconnect between the romance and the suspense. Setha wants to investigate these murders, but she spends more time cooking and making merry with Ross. And Ross doesn't seem too bothered by these murders as well. You'd think that someone is stealing their underwear from the laundry line instead of bodies falling dead from the urgency they display in their "investigation". Even when Setha believes that she is being stalked by a dangerous person, her reaction is a basically a "Whatever!" kind of shrug as she doesn't tell anyone, not even the cops, of this. As for the romance, it feels rushed, as Setha and Khouri go from first base to hundred very quickly.

In the end, I don't get Texas Love Song. The author spends a lot of time building up the suspense plot here, but the characters don't seem to be in it at all, so it's hard for me to take the murders seriously. Because the author spent time on the suspense, even at the expense of the romance, the romance doesn't do it either. So what exactly is this book supposed to be? It's not a good romance, it's an unfinished suspense that will only be concluded in the next book, and so, there's neither good suspense nor romance here to keep the jollies coming. So what the heck is it?

Rating: 59


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