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Mary Whitney blames Laura Ingalls Wilder and Margaret Mitchell for her obsession with romance novels. At an early age, Mary fell in love with the Little House series and its dreamy hero, Almanzo Wilder, who only wanted Laura to be Laura. Like many women, Mary later graduated to the ultimate, tall and dark bad boy, Rhett Butler, who loved Scarlett despite her flaws.
Mary has lived around the U.S., and after a first career in the non-profit world and politics, she's settled in Northern California with her husband and daughters. She spends her days writing characters she hopes somehow capture the romance of Rhett and Scarlett and Almanzo and Laura. She's a firm believer in what Rhett says to Scarlett: "You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.
Initially I was drawn to the story because I was once a DC wonk and now live in Colorado -- similarities end there, however. Too bad for me!
Anne is a bright, surprisingly mature + level-headed twenty-two year-old college student who is spending her senior year interning for her state's junior senator, Stephen. Stephen is thirty-two and assumed his Democrat late father's seat upon his passing. He's kept it all in the family as his older sisters are also his closest political / media advisers, and his mother still pretty much rules that roost. Stephen is young, good looking, and enjoys his dalliances, although the author doesn't get graphic about these. But he also longs for some of the simpler times he had in Colorado, of hiking and camping and being in that beautiful nature.
So when he meets all the new interns he finds himself drawn to Anne who hails from a mountain town and is an outdoorswoman. He knows he can't pursue anything with her but he wants to. Anne is also attracted to Stephen but knows she shouldn't be, and I really responded to Anne's surprisingly mature thoughts in this regard. So many of the people I know Anne's age wouldn't be so circumspect. I love reading about smart women and Anne was definitely one, plus she's young. Needless to say they do eventually figure out a way to date and it's charming how quickly and how strongly their feelings develop.
Their sex life is touched on a bit -- the author is never graphic but some scenes are more descriptive than others. In general I think that stuff is fun to read so no quibbles from me; what did bother me was that the first time Anne and Stephen were going to actually have sex, there was a lovely big build-up and then ... it was the next morning.Read more ›
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I have to preface this review by saying I'm a political scientist. So, for better or worse, politics (without exaggeration) is my life. Therefore, when I was given a chance by Whitney and her publisher to read an ARC of A Political Affair, I was not only honored, but also super excited to delve in. I've been familiar with Whitney's work for several years now, and I can say, without a doubt, no one melds romance and politics the way she does. It's an art, and Whitney is extremely gifted. She gives us distinct and solid characters, complex and controversial contexts, and intricate relationships. Whitney nests all these things in a very realistic setting; so much so, that I could wake up tomorrow morning and conceivably find myself in this world she's created. I enthusiastically give A Political Affair 4 stars.
We begin with Stephen McEvoy, U.S. Democratic Senator from Colorado and member of an American political dynasty, akin to the Kennedys. He's in the midst of reelection season against a Republican contender who, despite the strength of the McEvoy name, poses a threat. Enter Anne Norwood, the black sheep of her moderately conservative family, who earns an internship with Senator McEvoy's office. What begins as a casual office friendship grows, as Stephen and Anne discover they have more than their politics in common. How will they negotiate a budding romance in the midst of a political campaign, where any hint of a scandal could potentially damage them both?
A few comments:
Before I even discuss my favorite things about the characters and plot, I must express my love for Whitney's use of Washington DC as a setting. I've spent a good deal of time in DC, and she writes so accurately about the city.Read more ›
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I was very lucky to have received an early copy of A Political Affair via ARC.
Living in Australia I'm not very knowledgeable with the American political world but Whitney has such a gift with words she made it easy to follow and the mixing of politics and romance was a real turn on.
The Senator had me swooning from the very beginning, he's charismatic, smart, good looking and he's my perfect man!
Senator McEvoy loves his family, after Stephen's father dies he steps into the Senator role. Stephen's trying to be the upstanding politician his father was well known for. Stephen also likes his women and he's a well known ladies man, well that all changes once he meets the beautiful Anne Norwood.
Anne has everything that Stephen would love to find in his perfect woman, she's smart, loves the outdoors, is passionate about the environment and she can hold his attention were no other woman has been able to do. The only catch is that Anne is his intern so it's a big no no for any kind of relationship.
The chemistry between them is hard to ignore, as much as they both try they keep finding themselves drawn to each other.
I found myself falling in love with all the characters. The McEvoy's are passionate and will do anything to protect each other. Stephen's mother Lillian is one smart woman and she's not to be messed with, loved her! Patty and Megan, Stephen's sisters work for him and they don't hold back in letting him know what's on their mind, especially Patty. The Senator has his family in his ear reminding him that it will be political suicide for him to pursue Anne, but the attraction is just to great to ignore...Read more ›
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