Set "in the very near future" this plot felt so very real as it focuses on situations that are very similar to things that are currently happening worldwide. Now ordinarily I'd be running a mile if you tried to get me to read something like this, I read to escape the real world, but the blurb drew me in so I decided to give it a go.
Jack is the newly elected US President and Ethan is head of his security detail, rules forbid Ethan to fraternise with his protectee but watching Jack struggle to cope with the loneliness of life in the White House, he slowly relaxes the rules and they build a friendship. There is no insta-love here, Ethan is gay and makes no secret of it but Jack is 'straight' and a widower whose wife was killed in Iraq. Ethan knows he is falling in love with Jack and stands to lose everything but is powerless to stop it and Jack is in blissful ignorance until one night when everything comes to a head. What I liked about this book is that we are shown the struggles both men go through, it's not just a case of oh, we're in love and a happy dance off into the sunset. Both men really struggle with the implications of a relationship between them and the impact it will have on their lives. That said, I thought they were very lackadaisical about hiding their secret affair.
Now, to the plot, as I mentioned previously it mirrors current world events, terrorist attacks, wars in the middle east, tension between Russia and America, world summit meetings. Each chapter starts with a news release keeping us up to date with current world events and the politics Jack is struggling with at the time. I would hesitate to classify this as a romance, it's more a political thriller with a romance woven through the story.
So why 4 stars not 5? Although it was necessary to explain the plot and what was happening the beginning of the book was very slow. That said, the author has 2 more books planned for this series that I will definitely be reading.
Tal Bauer is a debut author and in my opinion "one to watch".
*ARC received from Nine Star Press in exchange for an honest review