Title: Inside the Beltway
Author: Ellen Holiday
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Senator Davis Hudson, Kurt Lamb
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Senator Davis Hudson has a silver tongue that has so far kept the stress off those lesser political organs, the heart and the brain. But he’s just made a political speech that will transform him from a Senate back-bencher to a public figure and presidential contender—whether he’s ready or not—and suddenly he wants his words and actions to mean something. It’s a crucial time in his political career, and Davis needs all the publicity he can get. He just doesn’t expect the highlight of his first CNN interview to be the conversation he has with makeup artist Kurt Lamb.
Kurt is smart, politically savvy, and uninterested in being part of a congressional sex scandal, which is why he tolerates being Davis’s dirty little secret. Despite the poor timing, Davis falls for him hard.
But Kurt isn’t the only skeleton in Davis’s closet. Davis’s ex-wife isn’t happy that he’s pursuing the presidency now, after all her years of hard work, and he has at least one more enemy on the Hill. Between them, they have all the tools they need to ruin a presidential candidate—and maybe his shot at happiness too.
I normally shy away from any book that has to do with politics. I’m a little wary of heroes that are politicians in general, but once I read the blurb to Inside the Beltway by Ellen Holiday, I admit I was more than a little intrigued, so I decided to give it a shot. I’m very glad I did because between the fast-paced storyline and interesting characters I became immediately fascinated with the story and read it in one setting.
Senator Davis Hudson loves being in politics and for a politician, he lives a pretty low-key life. After making a blunt and somewhat controversial statement at a Senate hearing, he’s suddenly thrown into the spotlight. Before he knows it, both his peers and the general public are hoping he’ll add his name to the ballot for President of the United States. Although, this is more than Davis has ever hoped for, he’s decided to take his time at making that decision. He’s not sure if he’s quite ready for it, so he chooses to not rush into any decisions and just go with the flow.
Right before one of his television interviews he meets the likeable and sexy make-up artist, Kurt, and Davis feels a quick attraction and kinship with him that he’s never felt before. Although Davis was married in the past, it was all for show, and he’s deliberately pushed aside his attraction to other men. But there is something interesting and intriguing about Kurt, and soon Davis finds himself becoming more and more attracted to him. To make matters more interesting, Kurt is also drawn to the Senator, and even though they become fast-friends, it becomes harder to fight the attraction they have between them.
As Davis’s political star continues to rise, both men fall into a hidden affair. Davis knows if the public finds out about his relationship with Kurt, there’s a good chance his political career will be over. Lucky for him, Kurt understands this, but it’s becoming harder for both of them to keep their feelings for each other hidden from those who are his political enemies and from the American public. When someone from his past becomes determined to sabotage his political career for good, both Davis and Kurt are faced with the difficult decision of what to do.
I loved this book! Davis is rare politician because up to his affair with Kurt, he really didn’t have anything to hide. He’s honest, has integrity and has sacrificed a lot to serve his country. Not only did I think he was an interesting character, I liked him as a person. He’s easy to root for and hoped that he’d not only be politically successful, but have happiness in his personal life as well.
Kurt was also a really amazing character. There’s definitely more to him than meets the eye, and he was very well matched for Davis. Although, Kurt’s willing to be Davis’s dirty little secret, he finds himself aching to be with Davis without all the cloak and dagger secrecy they are forced to use to be together. But Kurt’s still willing to put Davis’s happiness above his own, even though he realizes that at any time the love they find in each other’s arms could come to an end.
Another thing I liked about both men was: they are both strong characters. Neither Davis nor Kurt is a pushover, and I really appreciated how they really fought for what they believed in. Both of them are honorable people, who selflessly put others before themselves. I also appreciated the slow and steady buildup between the two men and rejoiced at their determination to be together.
Inside the Beltway is full of romance, intrigue and enough of a strong plot to keep the pickiest of readers well satisfied. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Holiday and it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading more from her. Highly Recommended!
Reviewed By: Gabbi