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The Phoenix Campaign (Grace Colton #2) by Heidi Joy Tretheway

The Phoenix Campaign (Grace Colton #2) by Heidi Joy Tretheway

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Ambition. Lust. Sacrifice. Politics just got a whole lot sexier.

Grace Colton’s life is a blur—security, appearances, and a desperately fast ramp-up to Election Day. Political consultant Jared Rankin is pulling the strings to win the White House with the Conover-Colton ticket.

But the fragile relationship Grace and Jared forged could be ruined by secrets traded for political leverage. She’s hiding her new relationship with Jared from the public, and concealing a deeper secret from everyone.

When Grace reveals the explosive truth to her running mate, squeaky-clean Senator Conover must confront his own haunted past. Grace’s future—and their campaign—could be ruined by the lies meant to protect what they love most.

Peek behind the curtain and under the covers in this sexy political drama that exposes the true cost of ambition, lust and sacrifice.

The Phoenix Campaign is an erotic romance set in the world of presidential election politics. Recommended for mature readers due to sharp dialogue, wickedly hot sex, and a few delicious taboos. This full-length novel is second in a series but can be read as a standalone.

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My Review
The Phoenix Campaign is a solid follow-up to The Phoenix Candidate. With the Conover-Colton campaign well underway, Grace’s secret could not only destroy her relationship with Jared, but could undermine the campaign itself. Keeping secrets drives a wedge between Grace and Jared, and Jared brings in Sasha, a ball-busting campaign manager, to take over with Grace so he can focus on Shep. Things go from bad to worse when tragedy strikes her office. And when Shep’s own secret is revealed, things go from truly awful to nearly insurmountable.

The romance threads through this story, the same as the first book in the series, but now that Jared has declared his love for Grace, their conflicts arise from secrets, half-truths, and lies. Once again, the strength of the book lies in the politics rather than the romance. Not that the romance isn’t well done, its just that romance is pretty formulaic, but the political aspects of this story are incredibly well done, it’s like an episode of The West Wing, Scandal, and The Good Wife all rolled up into one.

World Building
Once again, the political world building is incredible. The scandals, the intrigue, the backstabbing, they’re all so juicy and believable. Campaign events, debate prep, everything you think you know about presidential campaigns is here, with lots of steamy sex, because it’s D.C. after all.

Plot
The main plot is still the romance between Grace and Jared, but it’s almost a neck-and-neck race to see if the political plot will overtake the lead. There’s so much undermining both plot points, with some of the same things affecting both, the author just keeps piling it on. But the campaign is by far the strongest, most unique aspect of the story. That said, it probably wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without the romance, so I’d say these two plots are as co-dependent as a vampire and the human he loves.

Delicious subplots involve Grace’s chief-of-staff, Trey, as well as Shep’s big secret, which I never saw coming, although I did figure out the second half of the secret once the first part was revealed.

Characters
The characters are still complex and believable. There wasn’t quite as much character development this time around, but Grace still has a good arc, and Jared has his own arc that’s super-compressed.

Ending
I liked the ending. It wasn’t the jaw-dropping conclusion we got in the first book, but it wraps up the main story lines, leaving open just enough for the third and final book in the series.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About The Phoenix Campaign
1. The Politics. I’m still a political junkie, so the political bits were savored like the last bite of a key lime cheesecake.

2. Mama Bea. What’s not to love about Trey’s mom? She’s a spitfire with a heart of gold.

3. Jared. He loves deeply, even though he doesn’t always know how to express it. But the way he quietly pulls strings behind the scenes to orchestrate what he wants for Grace is really sweet, even if a little (okay maybe a lot) controlling.

4. Shep Conover. If he was running for president, he’d get my vote right now!

5. Sasha. She grew on me slowly, the same as she did Grace, but by the end, I adored her. She is exactly what Grace needs. Once this series is over, I’d love to see her in another series, or heck, even on The Good Wife. She could give Eli Gold a run for his money!

Bottom Line
The Phoenix Campaign is equal parts romance and political intrigue and 100% pure fun.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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About the Book
Title: The Phoenix Campaign
Series: Grace Colton #2
Author: Heidi Joy Tretheway
Publisher: Jasper Ridge Press
Release Date: April 20, 2015
Pages: 228
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Author Heidi Jo Tretheway

Author Heidi Jo Tretheway

About the Author
Heidi Joy is a sucker for campfires, craft cocktails, and steamy romance in books and real life. She sings along with musicals (badly), craves French carbs, and buys plane tickets the way some women buy shoes.

Her first career as a journalist took Heidi behind the scenes with politicians, rock stars, chefs, and detectives, all of whom inspire her stories. Heidi Joy is currently working on her eighth book from her home in Portland, Oregon. She adores hearing from readers at author.heidi@gmail.com.

Where to Find Heidi Joy Tretheway
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Newsletter

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