Title: The Senator’s Secret
Author: K.C. Wells
Narrator: John Solo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspun Desires
Run Time: 6 hours and 11 minutes
At a Glance: John Solo’s narration really helps the strangers-to-married trope here. In lesser hands, this story could have been just another in a series of ordinary stories.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Politics, puppy dogs, and passion, oh my!
When his Republican opponent outs him with a photo in a Facebook post, Senator Samuel Dalton doesn’t have many options open to him. It doesn’t matter that the photo is totally innocent. He has no choice but to come clean… until his staff suggest putting a spin on it that leaves Sam reeling.
Sure, he’ll end up with a lot of sympathy, not to mention the possibility of more voters from the LGBT community, but it still seems a pretty drastic solution.
Now all they have to do is persuade Gary, the other man in the photo, to play along. It sounds so easy: convince the constituents of North Carolina that he and Sam are engaged.
No big deal, except for the fact that they’ve only just met….
Review: State Senator Sam Dalton lives so deeply in the closet that, at nearly thirty, he has never even had a first kiss. Gary is out, on his way to becoming a veterinarian, and working the phones at Sam’s campaign office. One afternoon they both find themselves outside of campaign headquarters, sharing an illicit cigarette and a hug when Gary announces he’s been accepted into a vet program at a really good school.
Enter a right wing opponent who has taken photos and runs an op-ed claiming a sexual relationship between the unmarried senator and the young man. Sam’s close friends and campaign manager know he’s gay but in the closet, and come up with a marriage scheme meant to give Sam a cover and the chance to come out on his own terms. The problem would be convincing Gary to enter into a sham engagement and marriage for at least two years.
Gary surprisingly goes along with the plan and moves in with Sam. Along the way, actual sparks fly. Both deny their feelings until they meet Sam’s parents, where they have to pretend to be ready to marry and not practical strangers who have only just met.
In between all of this, there’s Dinky, a delinquent Great Dane, who steals both their hearts and needs rescuing as much as the pair of would-be boyfriends. Something of a matchmaker himself, Dinky and his plight help to convince Sam and Gary not to waste the chance at something real, and to go for it.
John Solo’s narration really helps the strangers-to-married trope here. In lesser hands, this story could have been just another in a series of ordinary stories. Solo gives a great performance and gives each of the characters their own voice. The narration makes the story complete, with accents and interest in giving each voice its own life. Those who listen to audiobooks regularly will appreciate Solo’s way-above-average work. The words are clear, the action is paced properly, and the sex scenes, when they come, are handled deftly and with the proper amounts of both excitement and apprehension, as one of the main characters is truly a virgin in all ways.
The voice work here lets the listener experience all of the parts of the story in the best way possible. I highly recommend this book for both story and narration, and for the completeness of the story. While the HEA could go on forever, it really is a nice, tidy ending. I always enjoy a complete story, no matter how long or short the book is. This story and this narration make for one neat package.
You can buy The Senator’s Secret here: