Running Mate is my first non-MC romance by Katie Ashley. This is one of my most reliable authors for a strong romance and storyline and she definitely did not disappoint in this political romance.
I personally am a sucker for an "arranged" romance type of story. I love two characters who are thrown together because of some like age old blood debt or in a Cinderella fashion for money. So when I saw that Addison was going to agree to be Barrett's fiance for political reasons, I was all in. I'm still not sure why but Barrett was a triflin manwhore. He was obsessed with banging chicks in creative locations. To be honest, when the book starts out, his obsession with sex and constant references to it made him seem a bit immature. On the other hand, Addison is a serious character who has her ish together and is a true believer in Barrett's Dad who is running for president. Addison is working as a staffer on the campaign and even though the million bucks she's offered to pose as Barrett's fiance is tempting, she also kinda does it for the greater good because she wants to see Barrett's Dad win.
The thing that I really like about this book is that Barrett and Addison instantly clash. Even though they are both hot and they both notice the hotness right away, they don't immediately hook up. In fact they can barely get along. Barrett does not know how to deal with a woman who does not fall down at his feet. Addison does not know how to deal with a man who has developed very limited skills for dealing with women outside of the bedroom. Even when Barrett is trying to be nice, he comes across as sexist and kinda clueless because he hasn't done more with women than get them naked.
Barrett and Addison are stuck together on the campaign trail. As time goes on both realize that they don't want their fake relationship to end. For Barrett, a period of forced celibacy is just what he needed to see that there really is more to life than sex and maybe a relationship is the "more" that he needs. For Addison, I don't know about Addison. She just needs to figure out that all men are not her ex. And that brings me to one of my two 'not quite 5 star issues.' Addison's little drama at the end of the book did not make me happy. I know every good romance needs a conflict to resolve but Addison's self inflicted drama at the conclusion of this book just made no sense to me. The only other issue I had with this book was the lack of sex. OMG, I need the hot stuff to get me through the day and it was like 75% in before we get anything other than the Hero banging someone other than Addison (no cheating, it was pre-relationship). Beyond those two issues, this is a great contemporary romance that you should give a try.
**ARC provided by TRSoR Promotions**
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