Review: Off the Record by K.A. Linde


Off the Record (Record #1) by K.A. Linde
Montlake Romance (March 11, 2014)

Rating: B+
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Liz Dougherty – College Reporter, Good Girl
Hero: Brady Maxwell – State Senator, Charming Bad Boy 





Forbidden love story between a politician and a college reporter written by K.A. Linde – it was a no brainer had to read it! And who knew a Senator could be so sexy. Brady Maxwell is delicious!

Liz Dougherty dreams of being a big-time reporter one day. She is an upcoming junior at UNC, works at the newspaper, and finally getting her first shot at being a reporter while at a political press conference for NC’s state Senator Brady Maxwell. She’s there with her editor Hayden Lane, who she’s had a crush on for two years. While at the press conference, Liz gets a chance to prove her worth during the Q&A when the Senator selects her to ask him a question. The last thing she expected was to stump the Senator with her question and make such a big impression that he pursues Liz and asks her for a no-strings-attach relationship that will be kept a secret and completely on his terms.

"This is almost whatever you want it to be. It's not public. It's not in the news. It's not a point the campaign can use against me. It's a woman and a man taking what they can in a world where it's not feasible for us to be together. I'm not promising you much, but I'm only asking for discretion. Everything else you give me is up to you." – Brady

Now Liz is a smart girl and she doesn’t even know if she likes Brady or if it was infatuation, but there is something about Brady that completely disarms her. She knows she shouldn’t see him and that it isn’t professional for her future career in journalism but she is allured by his sexiness and charm, finding it hard to say no to his proposition.

“He had this pull on her, and their connection was like nothing she had ever experienced before. I might be wrong, but she wanted this to happen.”

State Senator Brady Maxwell III surprises everyone by announcing at the press conference he’s running for Congress. He’s gorgeous, ambitious, driven, and has been groomed for politics his whole life. At 27, he’s quite young to be running for The House of Rep, which is why image is everything to him. What he didn’t expect is to be thrown a curveball when a sexy and smart reporter asks him a question he was completely unprepared for and be drawn to her. Even though Brady has no time for relationships and knows sleeping with a reporter (who disagrees with him, mind you!) could destroy his career, he’s wants Liz in his bed. And the secret, forbidden affair begins.

As their affair continues, secrets and lies start to pile on top of each other. It becomes more and more difficult for Liz to remain in the shadow of Brady’s life as her feelings grow stronger. She’s not sure if she can continue to be his secret girlfriend anymore. She wants more from Brady, even though he made it clear from the beginning his career comes first. She’s torn. She wants the charismatic man who consumes her thoughts, exhilarates her, and helps her grow as a person. But what happens when things become extremely serious between?

“They were slipping away from their arrangement. The more he let her in, the more she craved from him.”

Brady and Liz are definitely hot and steamy together. The physical chemistry between them was intense. But because this story is told from Liz’s POV, it was hard to get a read on what Brady was feeling. He wanted her physically – that much was obvious, but he kept his feelings under wraps, never making declarations of love, or making any promises of the future. But then there were times when I would get a hint of Brady’s emotions when his campaign mask would come off. He was a different man – laid back, caring, fun-loving man who let Liz see inside his heart. And I knew deep down he wanted more with Liz when he started bending his own rules to be with her. Which is when the emotional connection snapped into place and the relationship becomes more real and very intense.

I must admit I had many moments of frustration with the main characters. I didn’t always like the choices they made. I know image is everything in the political world but it saddened me and even pissed me off when Brady kept Liz at arm’s length and their relationship a secret. Liz could’ve always said no to him, but she didn’t, and it made her look like Brady’s door mat at times. But this is K.A. Linde and that's how she rolls. She makes you feel frustrated and heartbroken over the bad choices her character’s make. She makes you want to slap them silly yet, at the same time, she makes you root for her characters the entire way.

These two have a long way to go before they get their happy ending. Does that mean there is a cliffhanger? Not really, but there is no resolution for this couple either. This is a trilogy. I mentioned Hayden above, who Liz has had a long-term crush on – does this mean there is a love triangle? Sort of… but not really. I despise love triangles sometimes but considering this isn’t a full fledge triangle it didn’t bother me. But Hayden does play an important role in the story.

In true K.A. Linde fashion we have a forbidden love story, a love triangle, drama, and angst. Though I say that, this story is very different from her Avoiding series. I love the Avoiding series, despite the fact that I… ahem… didn’t read the last book for personal reasons. That didn’t keep me from wanting to read this book. In fact, I inhaled this book I enjoyed it so much. It was thought-provoking, sexy, frustrating, heartbreaking and enthralling. I’m looking forward to continuing this story with On the Record. I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface with this couple and the next book will have a lot more emotional depth between Brady and Liz.


Comments moderated on posts older than 8 days.