When I finished this book I didn’t quite know what to think of it, and to be honest, I’m still unsure even now.
The Politician has elements which I really enjoyed and felt drawn to, and yet there were one or two niggles that I couldn’t shake off.
Set in the UK and Thailand, the book follows political high flyer Sarah Thompson as she sets her sights on becoming the next Prime Minister. There seems little in the way to stall Sarah’s lofty ambitions, until she bumps into (quite literally) her new assistant – Kendra. Instantaneous attraction is felt on both sides, the only problem is as far as Sarah’s political family both at work and at home are concerned, she’s a straight, happily married women, and a mother to teenage twins.
This plot point is the first aspect I liked about the book and found to be executed well throughout.; it’s great to see different relationships and family dynamics represented. In Sarah and Mark’s marriage we get to see a couple in an open relationship, who communicate and support each other, not just for the benefit of their kids, but because in their own ways they love each other despite Sarah’s true sexuality. Nothing is hidden from each other, they simply conduct themselves in the manner that they feel is best for their family, whilst acknowledging that their family dynamic is fast approaching a moment of change.
Based on the above I could understand why Sarah might find someone instantly attractive on a sexual level, so her initial reaction to Kendra seemed to fit with her characters background. But, I did struggle with how quick the pacing goes from sexual attraction to full on love. Without the deeper connection I did find it difficult to buy into the emotions and feelings of each character further along in the story even though their sexual chemistry was on point.
I wish the author had spent just a little more time at the beginning building or showing the characters’ journeys from attraction to love, and skipped out the second visit to Thailand. Whilst I did love the Thailand section of the story for its location and the author’s vision of an eco and conservation resort, the second visit felt too similar to the first, with its purpose within the plot seeming to be repeated but from a different perspective. I would have preferred the first visit to Thailand to have encompassed all of the emotional and mental journeys for both characters in one deeper scene, rather than splitting that aspect into two parts.
There are however some brilliant secondary characters throughout this story. I adored Mark, he’s so supportive and understanding, the epitome of the type of person you’d want by your side if you were living a closeted life for the sake of your career. I also really liked the twins who are complete opposites for the most part, in particular Abs who is depicted as the sort of teenager who is in-tune to what is happening in the world despite her young age. And then there’s James, he’s the poster boy of what I’d describe a typical politician to be; ambitious, loyal to the party line at any cost, and motivated solely by what he can gain for himself, whilst pretending he isn’t. I honestly wanted to smack him in the face at some points.
All in all, I’ll probably try reading this book again to see if I can better grasp the emotional connection between Sarah and Kendra, and i enjoyed The Politician enough to check out what Emma Nichols has to offer.
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