Enemies Of The State hit the spot for me nicely, but it’s not without its drawbacks. It’s a really good “forbidden-love” type romance in which the President happens to fall for his Secret Service bodyguard. There’s plot, there’s danger and plenty of feels along the way as they fumble their way through being together and not getting caught until of course, circumstances dictate that they reveal their love to the world.
For the feelings it evoked in me alone it probably would have been a 5-star book. This was an amazing comfort read for someone just so sick of toxic politics. A President I can like and admire? Count me in. A Secret Service agent dedicated to his job but also so lonely and a little bit vulnerable? A great recipe. I curled up all weekend with it and ignored the real world.
And that’s the thing… For this book, you *do* need to suspend your disbelief just a tad. From the two gallivanting around like lovesick puppies to their absolute lack of discretion as more and more people find out about them (and are all magically cool about it), there was just something that stopped this from feeling entirely real. Jack seems a little too good, honest and sweet for the world of politics. His setup, with the deceased wife, is a little too convenient. And the gay-for-you was a little sigh-worthy, as yet another hero proclaims “I’m not gay/bi, I’m just in love with you and you happen to be a man but hey our desires conveniently gel with our feelings!” which I’ve always found weird and off-putting. It’s not that I need every hero with a previous female partner to immediately acknowledge their bisexuality and start waving the flag around, but a little awkward self-exploration would be cool and would probably help bolster the realism factor a bit in a book that’s pushing the boundaries of believability.
Despite these drawbacks, I do want to read the next book and see where it goes. I did find the characters likable and I did enjoy the political intrigue and action mixed with the “oh but we mustn’t!” romance and sex. What can I say, I’m a sucker for forbidden love.