REVIEW: Kiss Me At Kwanzaa by L.L. Bucknor
Coworkers and cubicle mates, Ishmael “Ish” Cutter and Adan Flores might come from different backgrounds but they have a good number of things in common. The biggest one? They each have a secret crush on the other. This holiday season they are both single for the first time in thirteen months. No boyfriends or clingy ex issues – maybe it’s time for Adan to make his move? He formulates the perfect plan and invites Ish over for his family’s Kwanzaa feast…but will he have the courage to make the first move or will this holiday season be one to forget?
Dear Ms. Bucknor,
“Kiss Me at Kwanzaa” starts off great. Ish and Adan already have chemistry as they’ve been cubicle mates for a while and with no obstacles to seeing about a relationship, they’ve each (individually) decided now is the time to make a move and see if their sparks could turn into something. Adan invites Ish to his mixed and blended family celebration of (the first night of) Kwanzaa. Not knowing what to expect, Ish shows up with a cake and willingness to experience something new.
And this is where things slowed down. Adan has a mother, four siblings, an ex-step-father, a step-father, a kleptomaniac great-aunt, and a glowering great-uncle all of whom have to be introduced and interact. All of this is before the celebration even begins. As it’s Adan’s POV we have when the Kwanzaa explanations start and Adan is zoning out as he stares at daydreams about getting Ish alone, the average reader is going to learn precious little about the holiday. The story also ends with almost no romantic interactions between Adan and Ish but with plenty of promises that we don’t get to see.
It’s cute, the family is sweet (if overwhelming), the men seem to be headed towards starting a relationship but too little of that or the holiday is actually seen. C+