Stevie Palmer’s spent enough time as a public defender to know the damage caused by mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases, which is why she’s testifying about them to a Senate Judiciary Committee. Stevie takes her chance at effecting a real legislative change when she asks Senator Meredith Mitchell to talk more about the issue. Her coffee suggestion turns into an enjoyable dinner and, later, an invitation for Stevie to be Meredith’s date to Washington DC’s hottest wedding of the year.
Everyone’s talking about Senator Mitchell as a frontrunner for the Democrats in the next presidential election, thanks to her record in championing causes that resonate with the public. Meredith doesn’t feel like she’s ready to run this time around, but the choice is taken from her hands when her own personal choice for candidate is knocked out of the race by a scandal.
A presidential race isn’t the most romantic way to build a connection, but Meredith and Stevie’s feelings grow faster than either of them could anticipate or control. Can their blossoming relationship survive the pressure cooker of the political game?
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Meredith and Stevie are my new favourite couple that Taite’s written (I’m so sorry Parker and Morgan!). They’re brilliant, funny, and the chemistry between them is out of control. I was totally invested in their relationship, even while I was side-eying Meredith during their crisis moment.
Characters from Courtship and A More Perfect Union also appear in this book as part of the supporting cast. I haven’t read Courtship, but that didn’t stop me from understanding anything that was going on.
The Writing Style
Pursuit of Happiness is paced well with great relationship development, an interesting story, and characters I totally enjoyed reading about.
I’m a big fan of Paige McKinney’s narration, so I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed her performance for this one. She differentiated the characters well, kept things moving along so that I found myself sneaking more listening time, and brought all the right feels at the right moments.
Meredith and Stevie! I love them so much!
I saw the crisis coming and was mad that I couldn’t stop it.
If you like contemporary romances set in the world of politics, you have to pick this one up. It’s fun and sexy and just an all around great read.
Excerpt from Pursuit of Happiness by Carsen Taite
“What are you doing Saturday night?”
[Meredith] heard the pause and rushed to fill the silence. “I’m sorry. I hate when people ask me questions like that. My mother does it and it’s always a trap because if we say nothing then she’s ready to pounce, and by then it’s too late to come up with an excuse for why we can’t attend whatever boring benefit she has planned.”
“It’s okay. I’m going to be brave and say I don’t have any plans, but I’m holding my breath that you’re not about to ask me to repay you by attending some fancy benefit where everyone is dressed in tuxes and gowns and there’s a silent auction where we’re all supposed to bid on a trip to Bali to save the children.”
“Well,” Meredith drew out the word. “I can promise no one will ask you for money, but the fancy outfits, they might be happening.”
“I’m a little intrigued.”
“It’s a wedding. The brides put me down for a plus-one, and now they’re hassling me about paying for the extra meal. You’d be saving me.”
Meredith waited for Stevie to figure it out, and it didn’t take long. The newspapers had been featuring the story for weeks.
“Wait a minute. You’re going to Justice Riley and Julia Scott’s wedding?” Stevie laughed. “Of course you are. It’s the event of the season or so the Post says.”
“I didn’t peg you for a social section reader.”
“I’m not, but our secretary is up to date on all things having to do with Beltway gossip, and she makes a habit of keeping me informed.”
“Then you understand how important it is for the brides not to have an empty seat. Such a travesty might make the front page and doom their wedded bliss.”
“Well, if I’d truly be doing you a favor.”
“You would. I promise.” Meredith hesitated for a second. “It’s a tiny bit formal.”
“You think? Hell, those two are the closest thing to gay royalty we get around here. I’m surprised they’d let you bring just anyone.”
“I won’t be bringing just anyone. I’ll be bringing you. That is, if you accept.” Meredith resisted tacking on a “say yes.” She’d lobbed the ball firmly into Stevie’s court now and it was up to her to play ball. Two seconds that felt like ten ticked by before she had her answer.
“I’d love to.”
Meredith grinned, surprised at how much she wanted Stevie to say yes and how relieved she was when she did. Maybe this wedding would be fun after all.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635550443
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: Paige McKinney
- Carsen Taite Online
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