Candidate by Tracy Ewens

Candidate: A Love Story (Book Two)

Katherine Galloway is two years divorced and still living out of boxes. Between her brothers (cops that work with her ex) and her mother’s constant reminders that her clock is ticking, Kate is trying to hold it all together. But the truth is, she’s eating Toaster Strudel for dinner, and living and breathing her PR career. When it comes to public relations, there’s nothing she can’t handle . . . or at least that’s what she thinks.

Grady Malendar, the only son of United States Senator Patrick Malendar, has a reputation as a playboy who likes to have a little too much fun. The senator is running for re-election and needs Grady’s help with the youth vote. But what they want is a new and improved, headline-free Grady, so they hire a PR firm. Grady is willing to participate in the dog and pony show to help his father win, but there are some things about Grady’s life he wants to keep hidden. Especially from his snoopy new PR “babysitter,” Kate Galloway.

Somewhere between campaign stops and fundraisers, Kate and Grady discover that neither of them are what they appear to be on the surface. Tensions between them grow until there is no denying they are falling in love behind the scenes of a façade they both need to keep in place. Will scandal, old wounds, and secrets tear them apart, or will Kate and Grady realize, despite appearances, they are both candidates for love?

Well,  this sweet little number caught me by surprise. It’s a refreshing read in a land full of angsty sweaty billionaires with mommy issues or rock stars with mommy issues or bikers with mommy… well, you see where I’m going with this, to read a story that actually BUILDS a relationship that makes sense.  And a slow burn love story at that! No one was professing love two chapters in or hopping into someone’s bed within moments of meeting. There wasn’t obsessive borderline stalking behavior. The writing was smart, dialogue witty, and just the right length. It wasn’t bogged down in exposition or subtext, Fun when it could be, sobering when it needed to be, and realistic in its story and interpretations of love.

ARC courtesty of Netgalley

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