“I will always be with you…”
Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard hasn’t had an easy year. After losing her husband, she is raising two small children alone while trying to navigate the tricky and sometimes shallow halls on Capitol Hill. A string of nasty speeches has her scrambling to apologize to any number of candidates, including newly elected Republican Jack McIntyre. Falling in love again is the last thing on her mind.
Jack McIntyre might have a reputation as a playboy, but he has his sights set solely on his new colleague. Can he break through Caroline’s grief and capture her heart?
Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop, Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate contemporary romance, and undying love.
For readers 18+. Ends in a cliffhanger. The first part in a six book saga.
Subgenres: political, dystopia
Themes: friends to lovers, widowed
This is a book series I was totally unaware of until this month’s Quirky Blind Date with a Book. And I’m unbelievably glad I was part of it, because this is a highly original premise, and a pleasure to read.
“We take our relationships, our spouses, our partners for granted until one day, poof, it’s all over. Maybe we’d all be a little better off if we lived each day as if it might be the last.”
I felt somewhat overwhelmed when I first delved in, because my knowledge of the American political system is not great; but once I got used to the jargon and past the infodump found in the first few pages, I really managed to get into this.
Told mainly in the romantic past but bracketed with moments of intrigue and suspense set in the present, this book was structurally very interesting – removing the importance of the outcome of the relationship simply from the prologue, instead we are encouraged to become deeply invested in the development of the relationship; despite its angst, it becomes in some respects much less superficial. We can sit back and enjoy the ride and the conversation.
“You make me want to be a better human being. And I hope you’re willing to give me the chance to be the man I know you need me to be.”
Pace-wise, this is a slow-burner. Highly character-driven, we learn an unbelievable amount about the complexities of the many characters (and there were a lot of them – London’s biggest strength is her complex character-building skill), with the vast majority of the plot unfolding through conversation, yet never venturing into boredom.
My main complaint? The sex scenes were of the ‘fade to black’ variety, despite the hints at kink and general dirtiness. This was a huge shame to me because I like living out the climax and culmination of the slower relationship development. There was a lot of scope for this delving into eroticism, and I was left disappointed.
“Don’t judge my reading preferences. My Kindle is full of highly enjoyable, unequivocally filthy smut.”
Deep, slow and original, this first instalment succeeds in building an intriguingly teasing plotline while allowing us to fully know and invest ourselves in the characters and relationships (despite a disappointing lack of eroticism).