I bought Holiday Kisses by Gwynne Forster because I felt I should widen my horizons and read more African-American romance. It was probably not the best choice, as, although the book contained several elements I usually like, on the whole it disappointed.
Kisha Moran is a dentist who moved to Baltimore several months ago. One day, an extremely attractive man comes to her dental office who is in severe pain. She gives him a root canal treatment – was there ever anything as unromantic? –, and the next day phones him to ask how he is. He brushes her off, however, and she determines to forget about him.
Craig Jackson is the news anchor for a local TV network. Due to his gorgeous looks and his public position, lots of women pursue him, and therefore he is wary of Kisha, although he is attracted to her, too. Quite by accident they meet again when Kisha is invited to appear on his show to talk about some charity work she does. This time Craig asks her out on a date, and a relationship ensues. It is a problematic one, as Craig guards his privacy to the point of paranoia, and Kisha finds it very difficult to deal with him blowing hot and cold in turns.
What I liked about this book: These are people with jobs that are important to them. In a romance. And they, especially Craig, are not wonderful people or terribly tortured people, but folks with a problem that was unusual in a romance, and which I thought interesting to read about.
What I didn’t like about this book: There is far, far too much told instead of shown. Sometimes it is both shown and then explained. Explicitly. And the characters hold speeches for each other. So the narrative got repetitive, and ultimately boring. Due to Craig’s issues, every move in the relationship except Kisha’s first call is his. He says he’ll phone, she waits for his phone call no matter how long he takes. She tells him quite clearly when she’s fed up with his behavior, but she never makes an active step in his direction. This 1950ish passivity bothered me after a while. And lastly, Kisha and Craig were too goody-two-shoes for my taste. Both are very successful and do a lot of charity work to return something to the African-American community. Very commendable, but this might have been counter-weighed with at least one bad habit.
I will be on the lookout for other African-American romances, but they won’t be Gwynne Forster’s. Ultimately Holiday Kisses was just too much of a snoozer.