Conservative Affairs by Riley Scott

Conservative Affairs by Riley Scott is a down and dirty look of politics in the South. A conservative female mayor in Oklahoma City better be red through and through, this is the reddest state in the union after all.

Jo Carson is the daughter of a preacher. Not just any preacher either. Jo’s dad is the pastor for a mega-church, one that has a large number of parishioners as well as clout in the political arena. Therefore Jo stays deep in the closet. She knows that even on toe out, means she will be disowned by her family. After college Jo takes a job as a speech writer for Mayor Madeline Stratton. She knows between her job and her family there is no room for any personal slip-ups.

Mayor Stratton is in a terrible marriage, one she should have never gotten into in the first place. Her political goals trumped her heart’s desires, and now she must live a life she doesn’t really enjoy. Her husband has come to despise her, and will only speak to her in public settings. She knows he sleeps with other women, she just hopes he’s being discreet. All hell breaks loose when her husband gets caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar by the local news station. This scandal forces Madeline and Jo into a close proximity and closets doors a burst wide open.

I like some aspects of this book, the writing is well done and I enjoyed reading about the crazy political arena and how issues are handled. What I did not enjoy was the POV’s. Every character gets one, and it got to be too much. I wanted more of a focus on Madeline and Jo, but I was constantly pulled back out of that focus by a sub-character and their inconsequential opinions and feelings. I also had a hard time with the timing. These characters fall into lust then love in basically the time span of a long weekend. Now, I see this time and time again in romance novels, and it works in some cases. What was difficult to me is both women were deep in the closest, one by career and marriage, the other by family. You’re not going to just go tell the world (by world, I mean Channel 11 news in OKC) for a 1.5 day love affair. That was a tad unrealistic to me.

Overall Riley Scott is a very good writer, who created an interesting story with likable characters. This was not my favorite book, but I would definitely pick up another book by this author.

3 out of 5 stars

Conservative Affairs
by Riley Scott

Anyone But You by K.G. MacGregor

I picked up six books this weekend off of Bella Books Christmas sale. Anyone But You by K.G. MacGregor was one of them. I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to get around to reading this one, it has good reviews, I’m so glad I finally did.

The book covers one of America’s biggest issues, the use of fossil fuels, and in this particular case, oil. K.G MacGregor in my opinion did a good job of telling both sides of the story. This is not a political propaganda book. MacGregor does a fantastic job of outlining the issues, and letting each side tell the story. Wait, I thought this is a romance? Well yes, it’s that too.

Cathryn Mack is the PR Director for Nations Oil. She is a 44 year old, smart, sexy, established woman who has to claw her way to the top. The oil business is a good ol’ boys club, and Cathryn has had to work hard to stay on top. She is one step away from executive level, and she has put in 22 years with Nations Oil to get to the point. Cathryn now finds herself headed Duluth, Minnesota to deal with an oil pipeline that has just busted and is spilling into a local lake.

Stacie Pilardi, the other protagonist in the story, heads up a an environmental activist group called CLEAN. Stacie has made her life’s work holding big businesses accountable for the messes they make in regards to the environment. Stacie grew up wealthy, and she has put her wealth to good use. She uses smart, ethical tactics to let the general public know of the problems that have been created when we don’t protect Mother Earth.

These two ladies should be adversaries, not lovers, right. Well a chance meeting on a dating site, leads them right to each other. Both ladies meet and have several hookups, before the truth of what they do for a living gets brought to the table. By this time they are already developing feelings for one another. You’ve been sleeping with your biggest rival, yikes!

What I liked about this book is each of two leading ladies didn’t buckle to the other one’s political beliefs, like grownups they were able see past this hurdle. They respectfully held their ground on agreeing to disagree. The romance is nice and sweet, and they each have mutual respect for one another in spades. I thought overall it as an interesting read, but if I had one gripe the chemistry between the two characters was a little weak to me. They do jump into bed early into the book, and it works for the story, but personally I like the buildup. Overall, a nice well written book.

3.75 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Bella Books
Anyone But You
by KG MacGregor
Amazon Link:
Anyone But You - eBook

The Red Files by Lee Winter

Whoa, wow, awesome! These are some of the adjectives that may fly out of your mouth as you finish The Red Files by Lee Winter. What an amazing book. Ms. Winter did everything right with this one. The mystery is multi-layered, the characters are fascinating and tenacious. Oh yeah, the romance is pretty damn good too! To say I was blown away would be an understatement.

Lauren King is a journalist for the LA Centennial. She writes about the celebrities glittering the screens of Hollywood, and what parties the who’s-who are attending. She has zero desire to do this type of frivolous reporting. Lauren is an ambitious investigative reporter who is chomping at the bit to get the go ahead to report real news. Lauren is smart, thoughtful and fearless.

Catherine Ayers is a blue blooded, ex-Washington bureau chief. She has been abused by the good-ol boy club that runs politics. She was forced out of DC by a political maneuver that took her career and all her supposed friends. Ayers is now being forced to suffer out her the remainder of her contract by being the Centennial’s gossip page reporter. Catherine is vicious, cold and has a tongue that will slash her foes to threads. She is also extraordinarily intelligent, honest and at the perfect moments, she is tender.

Catherine and Lauren are like oil and water. These two get extreme pleasure out of making the other one squirm. It is delightful! They treat each other as arch rivals. Both of these women are being held back career wise, so they use the other as their scratching post. Claws out! Their banter is legendary, quick wit that is not only humorous, but also very smart. There were times the barbs they threw at each other caused me to wince, but every time they redeemed themselves.

The meat of the book is a much-layered mystery involving a start-up corporation and with a big brother complex. I won’t go to any details, I definitely do not want to ruin this for any would-be readers. The story is so good! This is fast paced novel, by a great storyteller. The book is the perfect length, I never felt like we were rushing to wrap it up and put a bow on it. This book is solid gold.

5 out of 5 stars

The Red Files
by Lee Winter