K.C. Wells - The Senator's Secret
Release Date: September 1 2016
Length: 220 pages
When his Republican opponent outs him with a photo in a Facebook post, Senator Samuel Dalton doesnít have many options open to him. It doesn't matter that the photo was totally innocent. He has no choice but to come clean...until his staff suggest putting a spin on it that leaves Sam reeling.
Sure, he'd end up with a lot of sympathy, not to mention the possibility of more voters from the LGBT community, but it still seems a pretty drastic solution.
Now all they have to do is persuade Gary, the other man in the photo, to play along. It sounds so easy - convince the constituents of North Carolina that he and Sam are engaged.
No big deal, except for the fact that they've only just met...
“This really burns me, you know?” Becky piped up as she came through the door, iPad in her hand. “Does that Pastor Hartsell think he can just go around, making up sh*t like this?” She glared at Curtis. “He can’t go around telling everyone Sam is gay when we know he’s not!”
Curtis’s eyes flickered in Sam’s direction before he spoke. “Only, Hartsell didn’t say that, did he?” he chided Becky gently.
Josh snorted. “Yeah, he was real careful about how that post was worded. ‘What is the nature of the relationship…?’ And the part asking folks what that photo said to them? Inspired. His supporters come up with all the sh*t he wouldn’t dare say. And of course, he doesn’t comment on any of it.” He scowled. “He doesn’t need to; they went ahead and said it all for him. He gets to sit back and read it, while we’re the ones doing the weeping.” Josh stuck out his chin. “So let’s get this statement out. He won’t be so cocky when we’re suing his ass for libel and defamation of character.”
“You sure we want to go that route?” Curtis said quietly.
Sam fired him a look, but Curtis was avoiding his gaze.
“Of course he does,” Becky interjected, her eyes flashing. “Sam can’t just sit here and let that… man hint that he’s… well, it’s just….” She narrowed her eyes. “You know what would cook his goose? If we announced that Sam was gay, and that he and this Gary were secretly engaged. That’d make Hartsell look like a nasty piece of work, outing Sam like that and making him look all sleazy, when they were keeping it quiet so as not to detract from the campaign.” She gave Curtis an evil grin. “Yeah, they’d look all wholesome—a sweet, cute gay couple heading for marriage, and there’s him, trying to make the whole situation seem sordid.”
There was a stunned silence.
Sam was the first to react. “This is not the plot from a Will & Grace episode, all right?” His head was still reeling from her suggestion.
“Wait a minute, wait a minute!” Josh straightened in his chair, his eyes shining. “You might have something there.”
Two heads swiveled in his direction, and from three mouths came the same word simultaneously: “What?”
Josh was nodding, his cheeks flushed. “This might work to our advantage.”
“Excuse me?” Sam was having a hard time dealing with this.
“Oh, come on,” Josh said with a cheeky grin. “Coming out is fashionable these days. Everybody’s doing it—actors, athletes, singers…. Since the SCOTUS decision last year, coming out is the new black.” He waggled his eyebrows. “It’d bring you a whole heap of new supporters, Sam.”
Becky was on the edge of her seat. “Yeah. Let everyone see them as a committed couple, putting their relationship on hold until after the election. They’ve not been hiding it, exactly—they just want the focus to be on politics.”
“But—” The turn in the discussion left Sam gaping in amazement.
Josh waved a hand to hush him. “Yeah,” he said, nodding excitedly. “I like that. We do a press conference, break the story, get public opinion on our side, sympathy for the way Hartsell has portrayed their relationship—”
Becky and Josh ignored Sam, lost in their own little world. “Oh my God!” Becky put her hand to her chest. “Can you imagine? The wedding? It would be so beautiful!”
“Wedding? What wed—”
“We’d have lots of photos taken of the happy couple, showing their life together. We could start up a Twitter account where they send cute little tweets to each other.” Josh grinned. “Move over, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Elton John and David Furnish, Ellen and Portia—they could become the gay couple of the decade.”
“Okay, that’s enough!” Sam growled. When his staff jumped and turned to face him, he pointed to the outer door of his office. “You two,” he said, indicating Josh and Becky, “out, now.”
Becky gave him a startled glance before lurching to her feet and scooting out of the room, Josh following her with a perplexed expression.
Sam closed the door behind them and faced his chief of staff. “What. The. F*ck, Curtis?” He glared at his friend, his heart pounding, head aching.
Curtis regarded him calmly. “What have I been telling you?”
Sam stared at him, mouth open. “You… you’re not actually considering their harebrained scheme, are you?”
He shrugged. “Why not?”
Everything I’ve read up to this point by this author has been edgy, sexy and very much on the naughty side of things. The Senator’s Secret? Nothing at all like anything I’ve read by KC Wells before…but that’s not a bad thing—not a bad thing at all. Reason? I still got the excellent writing and storytelling I’ve come to expect from this author, this time with a story that’s sweet, funny and with a really great group of characters that kept me smiling quite a bit as I read it.
Samuel Dalton-our senator-is actually a genuine good guy, actually listening to his constituents and fighting for the things they want. He’s built his political career while putting aside any kind of personal life-meaning love life-and keeping himself firmly in the closet. Gary is one of his campaign workers, and after an unfortunate photo with him gives Sam’s opponent an opening to question Sam’s sexuality-in the public arena in a conservative state-things are set in motion that have Sam and Gary winding up engaged and Sam out of the closet. To be honest, the situation did feel a bit contrived and corny—but that aside, everything else about Sam and Gary’s relationship? Absolutely wonderful!
I liked how they took things slowly-at least it felt that way from the way the story is written-and how Gary was very aware of Sam’s inexperience and he kept that in mind as their relationship evolved. Things between them went from friends to sweet, and finally near the end to more…but this story is more about relationship development and Sam exploring his now openly out status with Gary than anything else. It’s nothing like I’d expect from this author, and I really, really loved it!
As for the supporting characters, my favorite by a huge margin is Sam’s mother. You only have to check Sam’s bedroom night table drawer in his parent’s house to know why (there’s my tease for this review). Sam’s best friend and chief of staff, Curtis, is also a great character and very supportive of him as well.
The Senator’s Secret left me smiling and feeling happy when I was done, and with the exception of the reasoning behind creating the engagement, everything about this story was simply delightful. 4.5 stars, and I do highly recommend this story fans of M/M romance. I’d still put this at 18+ for adult language and a bit of M/M sexual content.
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings-writing about men in love was even hotter...
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it...it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer...and longer...
K.C. loves to hear from readers.