cover image Not the Plan

Not the Plan

Gia de Cadenet. Dell, $17 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-35664-7

Love is on the ballot in the California state senate in this masterful interracial workplace romance from de Cadenet (Getting His Game Back). Isadora Maris, the chief of staff to California Senate Majority Leader Etcheverri, is determined to get her boss to Washington, D.C., but braving turbulent political waters while maintaining her strained relationship with her domineering and disdainful mother is no easy feat. Things get even more complicated when Karim Sarda signs on as temporary aide to Isadora’s boss’s archnemesis. Though, as Isadora’s friends point out, “you would have to be in a coma not to find [Karim] attractive,” fraternizing at work is discouraged and their feuding bosses would surely disapprove. So if they want to be together, they’ll have to be discreet. Isadora has self-esteem issues from years of dealing with her overbearing mother while Karim is recovering from his ex-wife’s abuse, and their secret trysts offer more than just steamy sex as they share their vulnerabilities, confront mental health issues, and deal with the political antics of Karim’s shady boss. The chemistry is off the charts and the affection between the couple feels real and entirely earned. This is a winner. Agent: Léonicka Valcius, Transatlantic. (Feb.)