The last person Claire Gray wants to see in her parents' Steelport, PA, home is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Zane Griffin. Just weeks before, Zane had ended their budding relationship when he became frustrated by Claire's unwillingness to sleep with him. After being patient for 25 dates, Zane had reached the end of his rope. Figuring she had seen the last of Zane, Claire is more than a little astonished to discover him calmly explaining to her senate candidate father that he is in town to cover the election.

Although he would never admit it, Zane is desperate to see Claire once again. Ending their relationship has not ended his fascination with her. So here he is, trying to dream up a rational reason to cover a local election, when fate tosses him a bone.

Someone is threatening Congressman Clayton Gray. The threats are severe enough that Clayton agrees to hire security. Unfortunately for his daughter Ronnie Gray, the man Clayton chooses is Joe Janicki, Ronnie's mortal enemy. Ever since their disastrous and highly embarrassing prom date, Ronnie has hated Joe's guts. Now she discovers that Joe was so drunk that night, he remembers nothing of her humiliation. With these two oil-and-water couples in the vicinity, the sparks are destined to fly.

The campaign between Senator Talbot Sawyer and Congressman Clayton Gray continues to get more vicious and bitter. Attempted sabotage runs rampant, but are the dirty tricks getting dangerous? Claire and Zane wind up discovering a hidden truth about Claire's birth that could blow the lid off the entire campaign.

Dirty politics, wit and humor make this fast-paced novel a page-turning winner! (Dec., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith