Presidential – Lola Keeley

Rating: 3 out of 5.
I found this easy to read and somewhat charming, but it didn’t quite hit the spot for me. There were some aspects I really enjoyed and things I was missing. It’s about a three and a half stars for me.

After spotting Lex’s updated review of this I decided to watch The American President for the first time (before reading the book). I’m a big Sorkin fan (the scripts anyway) so whilst I was reading I just couldn’t help drawing the direct comparisons. I’ll be honest, I’ve never read much fan fiction, so in general I found the similarities amusing. Despite this though it limited any major connection I could have with the narrative.

I really enjoyed the only other Keeley I’ve had a chance to read and much like Slammed I found Presidential to be well written, it was just missing some things for me. I wanted and needed more politics in the book. I’m a big fan of a series by another author with a female president and an age gap romance, so I think this probably coloured my impressions of this book too.

About three quarters of the way through the book I realised I didn’t really connect with Emily, I sympathised with some of her experiences but was missing the thing the necessary connection with an MC that for me makes books five stars. Connie on the other hand I really enjoyed spending time with, despite that lack of in depth politics. I also appreciated the family connections in the book – both MCs relationships with Connie’s son Zack and Emily’s relationship with her sister Sutton.

The epilogue did leave me smiling.

All in all I would recommend this and I’m sure there are many people out there that will love this book. I’m glad I read it, it’s just not an auto add to the reread pile, which I had great hopes it would be.

I received an e-ARC directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Domestic Policy – J.A. Armstrong

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I have been resolute in my desire to not read any pandemic related books over these last few months. I have been reading to get away from the realities of everyday life at present, so when one of the series’ I enjoy the most was added to with a book that takes place during a pandemic I was reluctant to read, however, if I could pick characters I’d want to be real and to be in my life, two of them would be Jameson Reid and Alex Toles – both of whom appear in this book, so I broke my rule and picked up the book (metaphorically of course, I downloaded it through KU) and I’m glad I did.

The pandemic is dealt with really well – it’s discussed in terms of a novel virus and is focussed on in terms of the lives of the MCs and their families and the difficult decisions it saddles the fictional president, Candace, with. It isn’t sensationalised, in fact it’s dealt with quite sensitively. I love how Armstrong writes politics and all of their intricacies and the pandemic storyline allows this to flourish.

The pacing of the book is good, and I enjoyed the focus on the relationships in the book, something I always enjoy about Armstrong’s writing in this series, even when these relationships aren’t what we thought they were.

All in all it’s a good book that carries on the series well, progresses the characters and pretty much closes the first year of the family being in the White House. I’m looking forward to the next instalment, and hoping there might be another Alex & Cassidy book in the near future too.