Friday, September 18, 2009

Feature Review: "Campaign For Seduction," By Ann Christopher

By Tracy Montoya, RBTB Contributing Editor

I still remember the day I found out Maria Shriver had resigned from her NBC news anchor position. The reason: her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger had just become California’s governor, and the network felt she could no longer maintain her objectivity.

Now I wasn’t a frothing-at-the-mouth Maria Shriver fangirl back then, but when I saw Shriver’s reaction to being forced out, I knew she’d been blindsided by the fact that her husband’s career choices were going to steal her own dreams away. As a working mom with dreams of my own, long have I carried Maria Shriver’s bitterness in my heart.

Which brings me to Ann Christopher’s latest release, "Campaign for Seduction". (No, really, it does). The conflict in this compelling, achingly romantic story is basically Maria Shriver’s, if she’d been aware back in 2003 that she had a choice to make.

Senator John Warner has everything a good presidential candidate should—presidential looks, presidential charisma, and presidential smarts. Problem is, he’s naturally recalcitrant with the press, and he’s been trailing in the polls because of it. On the suggestion of his campaign advisor, he agrees to give popular news correspondent Liza Wilson special access to his campaign to boost his image.

But is it really luck, or does the widowed Senator have a thing for the tough-as-nails reporter?

It takes a special kind of person to be the US president, and you’d better believe that that person is going to have a lot of alpha qualities. Which makes John Warner both believable as a potential candidate and smoking hot. It isn’t too long before he turns his legendary charisma to the task of making Liza his First Lady.

But if Liza gives in, she’ll lose everything. She’s in line to be the next nightly news anchor for a major network, and her coverage of the primary could make or break that dream for her. She’s also been burned—badly—in the past, and she knows that no man is worth sacrificing her career and her dreams.

Ultimately, the tension between John and Liza becomes overpowering, and they outrun the cameras and spend a very steamy night together. (Did I mention that the senator is really, really alpha)? But the only way their relationship can last is if he gives up his shot at the presidency or she gives up the chance to make one more crack in the glass ceiling by accepting the anchor position.

I won’t tell you which one makes the sacrifice, but let me just say that the depth of their relationship made me feel a little better for Maria Shriver.

Combine the well-researched, behind-the-scenes look at a presidential campaign with the scorching-hot chemistry between the main characters, and you have one of my favorite romances of the year.

Buy the book.

Have you ever sacrificed something important to you for love, and are you glad you did? And am I the only one who is a news junkie nerd, or are there others out there?
***
NEXT WEEK!!! Back to School Week 2: Scholars on Romance ! Check it out MWF with special guests from the world of romance scholarship -- and a new romance academy in the grand old tradition.

28 comments:

Stacy~ said...

Great post Tracy! I think it's interesting when you have two people in a committed relationship and one of them must give up something important to them. How do you choose? (I would think it's the woman who does more often than not). But giving up something may also mean gaining something equally as important. Could be a different career, or becoming a parent.

No, I can't say that I've made any sacrifices for love. Makes me wonder if I would be able to. But I won't worry about it now *g*

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Becke Davis said...

Hi Tracy - great post! I'm a news junkie news, too -- definitely!

I've read several of Ann Christopher's books, and I really like the way she writes. Ann is in my local RWA chapter, and I've met her a few times -- most recently at an Author Appreciation Day book signing at the West Chester (Cincinnati) Barnes & Noble.

That particular branch is managed by Linda Keller, by the way, who is a huge supporter of romance. If any of you live in Cincinnati/Dayton/Northern Kentucky and are looking for the best selection of romance books and magazines, that's the place to look.

Ann - I want to thank for the cool black bag with your name on it, that you gave me when I bought one or two of your books at that event. I use the bag all the time!

Becke Davis said...

"news junkie news." *sigh*

Should be "new junkie nerd." Starting the day with word blindness is not a good sign.

Becke Davis said...

Forgot to say, you definitely sold me on it -- the "really, really alpha" phrase made me open a new tab so I could order it.

Now I'm going to go make myself some coffee -- I think I need it.

debbie haupt said...

Good morning everyone, Hi Tracy. Great article. I am not a news junkie nerd, never watch it but I can't help but hear it as my husband watches every news program known to man.
Luckily I've never had to sacrifice anything important for love, but I would in a heartbeat if it meant making a difference in my loved ones life.

Princess Bumblebee said...

Hey, Bellas! Great post, Tracy!

I have, fortunately, never had to sacrifice anything for love but if I did, I would hope I could do so gladly, hehe.
News junkie? not really. There's so much bad news out there I don't care to that often. It just breaks my heart some of the things I see.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Great post! I really enjoyed this novel. Ann did a wonderful job building the characters and showing how much they had to lose and gain... The scenes where the heroine had to deal with her dad and his Alzheimer's Disease were so gripping! I agree with you folks should buy the book... :-)

As for giving something up for love the only thing I can think of is my single-girl-do-whatever-I-want-without-thinking-about -others status. LOL.

And I'm not a news junkie per se... I am a re-mixed news junkie though. I like the folks that take the news and make it funny like the Weekend Update on SNL or the Daily Show. I of course have to keep up with the real news to appreciate the remixes... But I need both.

Playground Monitor said...

Great review! I love the conflict in this book because it just sounds so... well... conflicted! I think women usually do take the hit in a relationship and give it up for love. Most times they get a family in return, and family is priceless. But the initial loss is still there.

I'm not a news junkie. I read blurbs on various sites and sometimes never get beyond the headlines.

Marilyn

Vanessa Kelly said...

This novel sounds amazing, Tracy, and I love that you began by comparing it to the Maria/Arnie situation. That must have been so difficult for her - coming from such an uber-successful family, and she managed to carve out a career that was totally different. Then having to give it up. It's hard not to wonder about the state of their marriage. Fortunately, Arnie sounds like a pretty nice guy who loves his wife.

I love books where the stakes are this high. It's on my list.

As for news junkie nerd - not so much, anymore. I read two papers a day, but I can't take the constant flow of stimulation from the 24 hour news cycle. It drives me a little crazy.

Tracy Montoya said...

Thanks, Stacy! I think you're right--women DO often end up giving things up more often. I gave up one career trajectory for another when I married my Naval officer husband, but fortunately, it all worked out for the better in the end!

Tracy Montoya said...

Becke, I like Ann's books, too. I loved that she could be my inaugural Kimani!

Tracy Montoya said...

Princess, I totally understand. I glom a bunch of different magazines, newspapers, and e-zines, but sometimes it gets to me and I just have to go on a news blackout.

Tracy Montoya said...

Becke, we must never get together and talk books. We'd probably bankrupt ourselves buying things the other person recommended. : )

Tracy Montoya said...

Debbie, I think that's what makes it worth it when you're in that position--if you really love someone, it's often not that big of a sacrifice.

Tracy Montoya said...

Gwyneth, I loved those scenes, too. I couldn't figure out how to mention the Alzheimer's subplot in my limited word count, so I'm glad you did!

And I LOVE the Daily Show, SNL, etc. I missed the Thursday night SNL program yesterday--so bummed!

Tracy Montoya said...

Marilyn, like I said to Stacy, I think you're so right! A lot of that is probably because we tend to be the primary caretakers in the family, too.

And I don't blame you for not being a news junkie. I did have to stop reading my local paper except on weekends, because I couldn't stomach that I lived near all the bad news in it!

Tracy Montoya said...

Vanessa, I think I had a hard time with Maria Shriver's dilemma because Arnold's not all that attractive to me, although he does indeed seem like a nice guy. : D

I think you'll enjoy the book--I loved it!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buona Sera, Bellas! Thanks, Tracy, for this marvy feature. You make me want to read the book all over again! I love the angle you took, the 'art imitates life' comparison. It's hard not to sacrifice in relationships, though more often it's compromise. We've moved a couple times for my husband's job, and he travels quite a bit. But his job is part of what lets us have food, shelter, etc, and is part of our being a family. Someone said before our last move," why don't you just live in MN and let him work in IL?" And I was, like, 'cause we're a family, and it's better when we're together." It helps that I work remotely. But still, I want our kids to be w/both of us if possible, and we're lucky that it works out. I know some families aren't that fortunate and have to be apart so they can function/make ends meet, etc. Of course, there are times when I'm not exactly sad to see MPG hit the road, but don't tell him I said that...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Tracy, I was a total news junky for years, NPR, TV news, Sunday morning shows, newspapers, Boston Globe, etc. Then 9/11 happened and the world got crazy and I couldn't take it anymore. I ended up turning to romance. Now, people will say, 'hey, did you hear about..." and I'm like, "no." I just bury my head in the sand. There's very little I come above ground for now, but I make sure I don't pretend to know about issues I've got no info about. I kinda miss the 'informed' days, however.

amy kennedy said...

Tracy, great post! And I lurve Ann Christopher. This book sounds so good -- you had me at "alpha, alpha."

Was that me Michelle, who said that? I was just being selfish, sorry. But I do feel I sacrifice a little every day. That sounds whiney and I don't mean it that way, but when you are a wife and mother and daughter etc. you don't always get to do what you want. But, I also wouldn't have it any other way.

Usually.

I'm with Gwyneth and Michelle -- I love my Daily Show. And like Michelle, I, too used to watch so much news -- sososo much, now I can't take it, I start to feel all hinky if it's on, and, yeah, Princess, it breaks my heart too. I'll read the Sunday paper and that's it.

Becke Davis said...

Tracy - I can easily bankrupt myself on books. Debbie can vouch for that -- she's seen pictures of my Dangerous TBR Pile. I've never been known to leave a bookstore empty-handed.

Tracy Montoya said...

Michelle, you've almost described my life there, too! And yes, sacrifices are usually compromises, and often, something even better comes out in the end. I don't blame you for not being a news junkie. I kind of have to be, for my day job, but sometimes it does get to be a little much.

Tracy Montoya said...

Amy, I don't think it's selfish to admit that you have to sacrifice sometimes! I think the key, like you implied, is to make something even better out of what you end up with!

Tracy Montoya said...

Becke, we obviously have the same disease. I'd suggest we form a support group, but I don't want to change!

Becke Davis said...

Tracy, my habit was manageable until I discovered historicals. It was bad enough when I was hooked on romantic suspense, contemporary and paranormals. Now it's just ridiculous. I'm with you on the support group. We can make ourselves umbrella drinks, sit on the beach and READ!

amy kennedy said...

Me too! Me too!

Tracy Montoya said...

Best support group ever.

Caroline Linden said...

I loved this book!!! The scene where...uh...(trying not to spoil it) one of them had made the choice between personal happiness or professional ambition, and something happened that made it look like the WRONG choice, was just heartbreaking. But then I loved the ending--Ann Christopher manages to make those alpha men so sweet, like Mallomars: dark and hard on the outside, but gooey and delicious on the inside.

(I hope she forgives me for calling her men Mallomars...)