Publication date: March 11th, 2014.
Format: Kindle, 445 pages
Synopsis: Liz Dougherty has no idea a single question is about to change her life.
Her first big reporting assignment for her North Carolina college newspaper has her covering a state senator’s impromptu press conference. Brady Maxwell may have everything it takes to be a politician—a winning pedigree, devastating good looks, a body made to wear suits—but his politics rub Liz the wrong way. When Liz’s hard-hitting question catches the upstart senator off-guard, it impresses Hayden Lane, Liz’s editor who feels she’s headed for a promising career as a reporter.
But Liz is also headed into a secret romance with Brady that could destroy both their ambitions. Though he’s a bachelor, potential voters might frown on Brady cozying up to a reporter. And Liz isn’t sure sneaking around is enough for her—especially when things between her and Hayden might be less platonic than she thought.
Sleek, sexy, and smart, Off the Record ventures into a high-stakes campaign and an even higher-stakes affair to answer the question: When politics and love collide, can there ever be a winner?
My review: Firstly can I just state that I am not politically minded in the slightest. I don’t understand politics, I never have done and probably never will do, and I also don’t care to learn. My opinion on politics is that a bunch of suit wearing blokes with sticks up their backsides rule our government while sitting there drinking Earl Grey and laughing at us poor Brits but I digress.
Secondly, not only is it politics in general I don’t understand, I don’t understand a lot about American politics, American colleges, American college newspapers and a lot of America in general. So please forgive any mistakes I may make.
Thirdly, although I liked this book, it has to join the growing list of books where there is little to no build up to a relationship and/or love.
Onto my review: Before reading this one, I sat and read the reviews given by other people and I thought “yea, this is something I could read and enjoy.” That wasn’t a lie, I could read it and I did enjoy it. For a first time reading a political romance it was pretty good.
We follow Liz – a college newspaper ‘reporter’ – as she attends her first ever big conference with Hayden Lane (Lane to his friends). Senator Brady Maxwell the Third (seriously? Three of them?) is the speaker at this conference, Liz gets to ask him a question after she pretty much drools over his appearance – I’ll have dark, brooding and masculine for the top answer here folks!
After the conference, they go to a celebratory party and there’s tension between Hayden, Liz and a really popular (no, legendary) reporter that went to their college the year before – apparently Hayden and this girl had been in a relationship that year and typically as these things go – another girl is encroaching on her territory like another Alpha Lion – and according to this other girl, not even a ‘challenge’.
After getting hit on by someone she is repulsed by (numerous times I might add, just give up dude), she gets sent a drink from a stranger. She refuses (good girl) but then when the waiter comes back a second time, she takes it and goes to the VIP area after being asked to – my first instinct is to go “oh hell no! She did not!” but she did. Turns out the mysterious stranger offering her a drink is none other than dark and brooding himself – Senator Brady Maxwell.
He propositions her and like a normal person she refuses at first. There isn’t a whole lot of romance in the book despite its classification; I probably wouldn’t even call it smut to be fair – the sex is brief, the romance is dead plus he’s an arse.
“I’ll be up-front with you. I might hurt you. You’re going in knowing that. I’m choosing the campaign. I’m choosing Congress, because it’s what I want and what I believe in. Nothing, no one is getting in the way of me and the House of Representatives.”
Sorry what? I’d run a mile if someone I expected to get in a relationship with said that to me, I’d happily tell them to jog on. But that’s just me.
Liz doesn’t. She accepts that Brady cares more about the Congress than her; she accepts that she is having a sordid, illicit and secret affair with a politician and she accepts that no one can know about them in the slightest. That’s not a relationship girl, that’s him getting what he wants from you namely sex. At least until they get found out – dun dun dun – Brady declares his love for Liz but not to her face and he never does; she overhears him while she’s eavesdropping on his conversation with his Press Secretary and Lawyer. They barely see each other after that incident and he throws himself into the congressional race.
So halfway through Liz goes to D.C and visits Hayden at his internship, they kiss. It all very romantic but that’s a love-triangle just waiting to happen and happen it does.
Brady – who by the way, has been attending events with a random woman every time – gets jealous when he finds out that Liz went to D.C to visit her friend (didn’t know it was a guy? Well did he ask?) At the end, when Brady wins the seat he’s been after, Liz decides to leave him because it’s either he leaves the Congress and resents her or he stays at Congress and resents her basically.
Overall, I found Off the Record to be a well written piece of prose, I enjoyed most aspects of it and the bits I didn’t enjoy all that much are not massively important in the grand scheme of things but still a romance of this nature can’t be all good can it?
Despite my criticisms I did enjoy Off the Record (Record #1) and I am currently reading the next installment where the love-triangle goes off to the other side.
My rating: 4 stars