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I love a good fake boyfriend trope story and this one starts off interestingly enough with a virgin Senator who’s never had a boyfriend, or even one night stand, because he’s been grooming himself for politics since college.
Add an innocent encounter with a staffer sharing good news, and a picture taken secretly and shared with commentary that makes it seem like it was an illicit encounter, and you have the beginning of a potentially humorous and passionate story.
For me though, it went off the rails pretty shortly thereafter when the first suggestion of response to the picture is for them to claim they’re both gay (which no one except the Senator’s chief of staff knew he really is gay) and are engaged to be married.
I mean, I’m sorry – what?
I’ll be honest, the execution of the premise requires the complete suspension of disbelief, which I did at that point, but I never really fully recovered. At that point it was just John Solo’s narration that kept me going. Solo captures the characters well with their individual character voices, and his pacing and tone are on point.
Even though it was sweet, and it is sweet, and was somewhat enjoyable, made more so by John Solo’s narration, it wasn’t great enough to make this saccharine offering in the Dreamspun Desires series hit my sweet spot.
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I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
Having listened to several of the audiobooks from the Dreamspun Desires line, I found The Senator’s Secret to have a heavier storyline than most. This is likely due to the political aspect of the book as it lends itself well to a more complex and believable plot than the others I’ve listened to – and that’s not meant as an insult to the other books in the line as I have yet to be disappointed by a single one. While the romance between Sam and Gary is sweet and progresses as expected, it’s the dirty tricks and sabotage attempts by the senator’s opponent that adds the depth to their story as it gives Sam the opportunity to address some very important social issues regarding homosexuality.
It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately for Senator Samuel Dalton, dirty political tricks can turn the snapshot of a perfectly innocent hug into a well-aimed torpedo intended to sink his political career. As his staff scrambles for a way to turn the tide in their favor, his friend and close advisor convinces him to take advantage of the situation and “come out” as a gay man – assuming that the man he was photographed with is willing to pose as his fiancé. And thus begins Sam’s coming out and the fake engagement between him and Gary. As expected, the two men discover that they have much in common as they get to know one another and the initial spark of attraction grows along the way. So even though they were thrown together quickly, the relationship that develops between the men does so gradually. I should mention that one of the characters is a virgin and that forces the other to take it slow because he doesn’t want push his partner faster than he’s ready to go – I’d apologize for the pronoun confusion, but as I don’t want to say who the virgin is, it is what it is. When Sam and Gary finally consummate their relationship… well let’s just say that the chemistry between the two is pretty dang hot and I listened to that chapter twice. Even knowing that I was guaranteed a happy ending with The Senator’s Secret, I was still surprised by just how that played out and found the ending to be absolutely lovely.
Normally, this is the point in my review I would discuss specific scenes or themes that I enjoyed and why. However, those scenes are what gives The Senator’s Secret that unexpected punch and I want potential readers to enjoy them as they encounter them in the story. I again applaud John Solo’s narrative talents. At no point during the audiobook did I get confused as to which character was speaking and I found his performance to be extremely enjoyable. I look forward to more entertaining titles from the Dreamspun Desires line, enjoying more of Wells’ writing talents, and listening to more of Solo’s narrative performances.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful