Author: Annie Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 26, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary M/M romance
Page Count: 260
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Amid the tumult of the Iowa Democratic primary, young but brilliant speechwriter Tom McAlindon meets Nathan Harris, the deputy campaign manager for an opposing candidate. Their acquaintance is strictly professional until an impetuous kiss on a cold winter night leads them into a secret romance. As their feelings deepen, both men struggle with the complications of keeping the relationship separate from their jobs and the inner workings of the campaigns.
But in the nation’s most high-stakes political game, no secret is truly safe. When an observer realizes their connection, Tom and Nate discover that striving for the best of both worlds has a much higher cost than they bargained for… and that love can’t survive while Nate is hiding the truth from Tom.
Veteran political advisor Nathan Harris is a deputy campaign manager for the Bill Wagner campaign, while political newcomer Tom McAlindon is a speechwriter for Erin Michaels – both candidates for the Democratic Party nomination. Nate and Tom briefly meet at the Iowa caucus, and after a chance meeting at the Atlanta airport, neither man can forget the other. They soon become lovers, keeping their relationship private by using burner cells and spending quiet weekends away from the public. But when their secret is discovered, can their fledgling relationship survive?
Nate and Tom are attracted to each other, but their sexual chemistry doesn’t really leap off the page. Their first love scene fades to black, while several other scenes are lightly described and there is some awkward phrasing as well, i.e. He paused long enough to whisper, “This is my favorite,” before continuing his oral tour of that area. I gave the book a heat level of 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3.
For a romance in the political arena during the primary season leading up to a hotly contested race, I felt the pacing of the story was slow. The author “tells” quite a bit, rather than allowing her characters to “show” and there is a lot of detail about the political process as well as other tangents, and tere are several frustrating instances of miscommunication between Nate and Tom, as well as unwillingness to deal with problems or issues which needlessly slow down the flow of the story.
- Neither Nate or Tom seem to realize just how devastating it could be for either campaign if their relationship becomes known. Any inkling of collusion between the two candidate’s staff could harm their chances, as well as hurt the entire party, but when Nate is fired, he seems unwilling to grasp the seriousness, and later on in the book, Tom also discounts that this could be the reason that Nate stepped back from their relationship. I found this very implausible.
While the ending is a HEA, Nate and Tom don’t resolve their issues until around 98% of the book, and the ending felt rushed.