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.
Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Principatum Publishing
Shel: Dissident is a romantic suspense novel that features two political 'enemies' (for lack of a better word) who become friends and then lovers. The novel starts off with this very cryptic prologue and then weaves the present day narrative --a dystopic America + paranoia and suspicion+ a very badly beat up patient and her concerned docs--with a narrative that starts four years earlier. It's the narrative of the past that gives us the story of Jack and Caroline and all of their political leanings, political aspirations, and political friends. Court: I was so nervous when I found out these two were politicians because well...being honest politics isn't always the most...captivating subject. But...it is very clear early on with the prologue, with the way that Cecilia writes, and how much depth we get with our characters that this series, and this first book will be anything but boring. The ride is wild from page 1!
Shel: In the Jack and Caroline narrative we see an America that looks very much like the one we live in. We see several politicians who seem to authentically care about their constituents and doing the right thing and we also get a taste of some of the politicians who are dirty and corrupt and power hungry. It's these power hungry politicians who concern me and I have a feeling they are the root of the evil that appears to be the cause of the actions in the prologue. Court: This is where I'll keep going back to the depth of the plot that we receive that has me riveted...there is a lot going on in this world. And with each scene and understanding we gain of our main characters, we also get the flip side...down the road...that their struggles have immensely changed. We know where they are at the beginning...and we know where they are some time down the road, but the journey is seriously a "I have to know what happens next, right now!" type of journey. I really enjoyed this book!
Shel: A few things I noted during my reading:
I think the first few chapters require your attention because you're meeting several characters at once and trying to figure out how they all are connected. Once you're familiar with them, it's really not complicated but there are quite a few characters in the beginning. Court: Right. I think this is good, because I didn't have too much trouble, and I'm always the one that has too much trouble with things like that!
Shel: I thought the writing was smart--lots of allusions to baseball, musicals, philosophers, politics and so much more. You don't have to get the references to 'get' the plot or the characters but it's fun when you do! Cecilia London uses a lot of quick and funny banter which was an interesting foil to the paranoia and suspense of the 'hospital' narrative. Court: I liked it too, because their conversations brought us more knowledge about them the characters, and it brought them much more down to our level as them the politicians. Finding out the type of people they really are is going to help us a long the way I think...and the type of woman that Caroline is, and mother...I really, really, really like her and am rooting for her so hard!
Shel: I wouldn't characterize this as a 'quick' read; it's not laborious by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes I found that I had to process the information and so it took me a few days to finish this, for those of you in a time crunch. Court: I agree with this also. It must be absorbed, and digested. It is a marathon, not a sprint, in a delightful way...especially since we know from the get go there will be six parts before this saga ends...so it is aptly named, but I think that the plot, pacing, characters and writing are so divine...I'll sit with these people as long as it takes!
Shel: Anyway, book one left me grabbing for the next book and I have been warned that it's INTENSE. If you're looking for a romantic suspense series, I'd definitely suggest this one. Court: I am thick in the middle of it now! And...I am scared! Scared to death by the tweets I saw flying when Shelley was reading it! BUT...she assures me that it is worth the struggle...and struggle it is for Caroline. Can't wait to get back to it!