Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Candidate: A Love Story (Book 2) by Tracy Ewens

Publisher: Self pub
Pub. Date: June 23, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: E-ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars

If only life were as simple as choosing between Toaster Strudel and Fruit Loops.

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 fa├žade 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?

"She was hiding, and she was dangerously close to being found."

The Candidate wasn't anything like I expected. I guess I've been reading too many 'alpha male' type books, that I just expected it would be that type of book. It wasn't anything like that. This is a true, classic love story; one that slowly burns into something more. The leads...oh, they were perfect; they balanced each other out very well. Never did I feel like there was a dull moment and there were a few times I couldn't help but sigh like one of those triplets from Beauty and the Beast. 

I really needed this. I needed a story where there were no games played, just pure and simple wanting. Two adults that are attractive to each other but can't be together due to one being the professional and the other the client. But rules were meant to be broken, right? I had way too much fun reading about these two characters. Way too much!

"You need me, Kate, and God, over the last couple of months I've needed you."

Kate, single and never again ready to mingle, works for the PR firm that will be footing the Senator of California and his notoriously bad-boy son, Grady. Six long months Kate will need to be right there beside Grady, making sure he acts right in order for his father to gain votes. Easier said than done. Things start changing when Kate starts seeing Grady in a different light - there's more to him than meets the eye. 
"Neither of them was the most likely candidate for love."

She's been divorced for a couple of years due to a wandering husband. It's left her...broken; she puts the world and everyone in it at arms length. Work is her life - the only love she needs. 

“I think you want to be found. I think beneath all this, this pencil skirt, tightrope-walking, you’re probably breathtaking. I’m guessing you’re brilliant when you’re flustered and spinning out of control.”

Grady...he's so sweet but what I love most was how big of a smart-ass he was. You can never go wrong with a funny guy - bonus points when he's good-looking!  The senator's son is not what Kate expected in the least. So many times throughout the book, she's 'assumed' things about him that couldn't be more wrong. It was a tad bit judgmental; even if he did show the world what they 'wanted' to see. Which wasn't very good stuff. 

"Here's what you don't understand, I can't stop this, won't leave, and whether you know it or not, you can't either."

I had a strong connection when it came to Kate. Like her, my husband also cheated on me. It devastated me and absolutely broke me. You never truly get over it... Sure you forgive him and sure you might 'forget' over time, but it's still there in the back of your mind always. It sucks and what sucks even worse is the knowledge that in that point in time, you weren't worth not being cheated on. Here's a direct quote from the book...I couldn't have said it better myself.

"Something happens to a woman when her husband is unfaithful. Songs and poems are written about heartbreak and betrayal, but they only serve to flower up the ugly truth. The young girl, the one inside every grown woman, the one dancing around in her mother’s shoes, she dies. The wide-eyed innocent who looked up at the man she loved and professed her devotion, she leaves and the woman is never the same. Even when she heals, kicks out the bitterness and the pain, she is changed. Some will say she becomes more of a woman, stronger, but Kate simply lost herself, her whole self."
Overall, I was so surprised on how much I enjoyed and loved reading this book. I need to go back and read the first book though even though I kind of already know what happens. These are standalones but I think reading them in order is a must because stuff from the previous book may spoil things for you. Just my two cents.
"Love me back, all the way. I'm worth it, I promise."

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy the book!!

About the Author:
Tracy Ewens writes contemporary romance and shares a beautiful piece of the desert with her husband and three children in New River, Arizona.

She is a recovered theatre major that also blogs at from the laundry room.

Taste - A Love Story is her fourth novel, and the third in her A Love Story series.

Tracy is a horrible cook, wishes she could speak Italian, and bakes a mean snickerdoodle.

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