March 13, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Off the Record (Record #1)

Off the Record (Record #1), by K.A. Linde
Publish Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Liz Dougherty has no idea a single question is about to change her life.

Her first big reporting assignment for her North Carolina college newspaper has her covering a state senator’s impromptu press conference. Brady Maxwell may have everything it takes to be a politician—a winning pedigree, devastating good looks, a body made to wear suits—but his politics rub Liz the wrong way. When Liz’s hard-hitting question catches the upstart senator off-guard, it impresses Hayden Lane, Liz’s editor who feels she’s headed for a promising career as a reporter.

But Liz is also headed into a secret romance with Brady that could destroy both their ambitions. Though he’s a bachelor, potential voters might frown on Brady cozying up to a reporter. And Liz isn’t sure sneaking around is enough for her—especially when things between her and Hayden might be less platonic than she thought.

Sleek, sexy, and smart, Off the Record ventures into a high-stakes campaign and an even higher-stakes affair to answer the question: When politics and love collide, can there ever be a winner?

Oh my - this book stressed me out. Like, I looked like a crazy woman while grocery shopping, as I'm comparing jars of spaghetti sauce and muttering out loud, "What the eff? I can't believe you just did that. NO! STAAAAAP! Don't do it AGAIN!" THAT kind of stress. You know what I'm talking about. 

In Off the Record, Liz Dougherty enters into a hot and heavy relationship with a state senator running for congress. Problem is, she's a reporter, and those two things don't mix well. Can you say conflict of interest? Brady Maxwell has made it crystal clear that his career will always come first anyway. So, they keep their fling a secret - one that becomes harder and harder to keep as their feelings intensify. 

I had Off the Record on my TBR for months before I decided to spend my monthly Audible credit on it. You know I love audiobooks as much as I love new adult romance, so it seemed like a good idea. In theory, it was. The narrator for this book was perfect. The story takes place in North Carolina, which is where most of the characters originate from as well. It's easy to way overdo the deep southern twang, but Natalie Ross did a fantastic job of making it subtle. She was totally believable and just perfectly dramatic. 

The problem was, I had a really hard time taking breaks because I was so caught up in this story. I started making excuses to get in my car and drive somewhere, just so I could get in a few more minutes of listening time. "Babe! There's a great sale on yogurt at the store that I don't want to miss. I'm just going to run out and get a few containers. Be back in a half hour!" 

I have to tell you - Liz and Brady gave me angst. Like, angst on top of stress on top of frustration. Liz is a smart girl at the end of her sophomore year of college at the University of North Carolina. She has goals and a plan for her life. She has her sights set on Hayden, the editor of her college newspaper. And then Brady blows in and she starts doing crazy things, like sneaking around with him in hotels and having sex on Hayden's desk in the newspaper office. 

Part of me was all, "You go girl!" The other part of me wanted her to grow a spine and dig up some self-respect. I wanted her to tell Brady where to shove his secrets and lies. He expected her to be okay with this "arrangement" as he put it, when he negotiated the terms of their relationship over pancakes and coffee. He keeps Liz a secret. He gets to still go to events with other beautiful women on his arm. He doesn't have to be monogamous if he really doesn't want to. And, whenever he wants a booty call, Liz comes running. Sounds like Liz gets the short end of the stick, doesn't it? 

And yet, Brady is charming. K.A. Linde really knew what she was doing when she wrote Brady, because this guy really is a politician through and through. Despite the crap deal he throws at Liz, I found myself liking him. I know. It makes no sense. I could tell there was more to Brady Maxwell than what met the eye. And, he was passionate. My goodness, was he ever. The contrast between him and Hayden the Drip was insane. I get why Liz was with him, despite all the risks to her heart and her career. And, even though many times I wanted her to stand up for herself and tell Brady to take a walk, I also liked her with him. 

Off the Record is full of highs and lows. And that last chapter from Brady's POV? *fans self* It was really just what I needed to catapult me right into the second book. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger - I'll warn you. Not a crazy life-or-death situation kind of cliffy. But, one where everything between Liz and Brady is left hanging totally in the air. The writing was brilliant. The narration of the audio version was fantastic. Despite my frustrations, it was not a hard decision to buy book 2 before I was even done with this one and have it ready to go. 

1 comment:

LRAtRandom said...

Bahaha! I can totally picture you standing in the store and yelling at jars of spaghetti sauce!!