Strap on your vibrators, girls. Unless you can conjure up a real life Brady Maxwell, you will need it.
College sophomore Liz Dougherty has wanted to be a journalist since she exited the womb. Now working for her school’s newspaper, she heads with her editor to a press conference thrown by the state’s wunderkind senator, Liz knows she has an opportunity to make her mark. What she doesn’t know is just how successful that mark will be.
Brady Maxwell is one of those “to the manor born” kind of men. He’s in his late twenties, the son of a senator, and has been groomed to settle for nothing less than success. Sure, he’s a state senator now. But next year? A senator representing North Carolina. Ten years down the road? Why not President of the United States?
What Brady doesn’t count on is Liz Dougherty. He spots her at the press conference largely because she’s clearly from his college newspaper, so he throws her a favor and lets her ask a question. But that question … it isn’t a snowball from a college girl. It’s tough and demanding. It asks him to explain himself.
Its source intrigues him.
Also intrigued – and impressed – is Hayden Lane, Liz’s editor. Sure, he knows she’s talented, but he wasn’t expecting her to ask such an insightful question. Hayden’s interest takes a detour from professional to personal.
As for Brady Maxwell … oh, he’s interested all right. He arranges to spend a few moments chatting with Liz, and he wants more. Not necessarily more chit chat, though. To quote Elvis, Brady is looking for a little less conversation, a little more action, please.
And there is ACTION. Oh, Brady. Brady, Brady.
The thing about good old Brady, though, is that he’s driven. He WILL BE a U.S. Senator, and he is quite up front with that. He tells Liz, straight out, that he will choose the campaign over her, and she likely will be hurt in the process. But that’s okay with her. Any time with Brady is time well spent. And time spent secretively.
As their romance progresses, Liz finds herself completely at Brady’s mercy (sometimes quite pleasurably, if you know what I mean … wink wink). This is at odds with how she prefers to conduct her life, but it’s what must be done in order to be with him. She finds herself wondering if it’s worth it; yes, they share combustible passion, but they can’t hold hands in public. They can’t go to dinner together or tour monuments or do anything outside of their hiding places.
She can, however, do those things with Hayden.
When you love someone, how much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice? What becomes your greater priority: your needs or your lover’s?
These are difficult questions under the best of circumstances, but compounded by secrecy and passion and the threat of publicity, the questions become incrementally harder.
The characters are interesting, if not occasionally annoying (Liz’s best friend is a caricature straight out of Central Casting, as is Brady’s campaign manager). The sexy times are yummalicious. Brady Maxwell can rock that headboard, girls. He attacks sex like it’s a political opponent, and he is determined to win. No wonder Liz is addicted to him.
As much as I enjoyed this book – let’s just say that I enjoyed it so much that I want to scream at K. A. Linde for the cliffhanger ending – there were a couple of things that bothered me. Yes, the best friend is uninventive. But there is the matter of Liz’s age. It isn’t that she’s younger than Brady – only about seven years separates them – but it’s that she is able to drink. For a girl dependent on a scholarship that demands exemplary behavior, I found it strange that she, a college sophomore, had such ready access to booze. Unless she red shirted her first year on the paper, she should be about twenty, not twenty-one. Why the underage drinking? I know it’s part of the college experience for many, but Liz doesn’t seem like the type to risk the scholarship.
Sometimes I find myself obsessed with details like that, obsessed to the point of distraction. This is one of those times.
Still, though, it’s a fun book. I can’t wait for its sequel, and I pray this is not going to be a trilogy. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GUTENBERG, NO MORE TRILOGIES!!!
And please, K. A. Linde, let’s get that sequel published, tout de suite.