Back when I first joined Kindle Unlimited over the summer, I decided to try Stephanie Bond’s Kill the Competition, which based on the hundreds of reviews on amazon, I thought would be a really quick, light read and while it is that, it is not in any way a romance novel. A quickie in a sauna and an extremely tepid one night stand with the hero do not a romance novel make.
Belinda does something in the finance realm–what I’m not quite sure. All we know is that she’s working on some hellacious project for her bitch of a boss when she discovers some discrepancies, which said bitch boss decides to cover up and convinces Belinda to do the same.
On the morning of the meeting where they are to sign the papers, Belinda and her carpool friends get into a minor fender bender with a cop, our “hero.” They exchange insurance information and go their separate ways. Not long after the accident, Belinda meets Julian, a radio announcer whose voice she’s been in love with since she first moved to Atlanta. For a large portion of the book, Belinda and Julian carry on an affair and the entire time this is going on I kept returning to the book’s page on amazon to make sure that I’d read the description right. I was convinced that I must have read it wrong. Surely the hero must be Julian? Why else is Belinda engaging in questionable sauna behavior with him? Of course, I hadn’t read it wrong any of the dozen times I went to check it out.
At this point, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue reading or if I should delete the book off of my Kindle. It wasn’t as if I was invested in it at all–I didn’t particularly care for Belinda and there weren’t enough interactions between her and Wade, the hero, to make me want to root for them. Each time, I went to shelve the book, I would decide to go just one page more until I got to the point where Belinda finds her boss’s dead body in the trunk of the car. I figured that maybe we would finally get some actual interaction between Belinda and Wade (Bade? Belade? Welinda?) and we did, although still not enough to convince me they were meant to be together.
I did end up reading until the end of the book, but only to find out who the killer was. Unfortunately, the reveal was so anti-climactic that it wasn’t even worth it.
My biggest problem with Kill the Competition wasn’t the overuse of yilk, which I’m fairly sure is not a real world(actually, this reminded me of the character in Hot Fuzz, who kept saying “narp” and “yarp” instead of yes and no–that character was, at least, suffering from some form of mental retardation whereas Belinda was just suffering from a case of malus scriptoritis) or even the boring killer. No, my biggest problem is that the narrative is told solely in Belinda’s point of view. We have no idea what Wade was thinking, so not only do we not see the two of them together, we never see his side of the relationship at all. Plus, there really wasn’t any chemistry between the two characters when they were together. In the end, I just did not buy them as couple material.
2 Stars for keeping me engaged enough to keep reading, but not enough to make me want to read this author ever again.
P.S. Amazon lists the publication date as October 27, 2011, but as I was reading there were a lot of clues telling me that this was not in fact the case (i.e. Belinda not having a cell phone despite being a fairly successful business person) and eventually, I googled the title and found out that it was actually published in 2003 (which made it slightly more likely that Belinda would not have a cell phone–but only slightly). Honestly, the book had a much “older” feel to it and I would have sworn that it was actually written in the early 1990’s if not for the sporadic mention of things like cell phones and the internet.