When her husband dumps her, leaving her to raise three kids by herself, hairstylist Samantha Monroe does whatever is necessary. One night, during the monthly rant session of a group of friends, an inebriated Sam states that to help her kids, she would become a kept woman. To political operative Kara DeMarinis, those words trigger an idea. Kara's client Jack Tolliver wants to run for the U.S. Senate, but the playboy has a big image problem. Getting engaged to a hardworking, divorced mother of three will be just the ticket to smooth out that image.

Sam surprises herself by deciding to accept the unconventional gig to negotiate security for her kids' futures. Unused to children, Jack nearly panics at the start of the charade, but Sam's humor and sexy appeal keep him grounded. The major problem is TV reporter Christy Schoen, who has a huge axe to grind with Jack. If there's any dirt to be found, she's going to find it.

These political shenanigans are both sexy and funny. Donovan takes the marriage-of-convenience plot and gives it a fun update that will leave readers grinning. Despite the book's unorthodox scenario, these characters are filled with genuine warmth and charm. (Jul., 372 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith