Series: Record #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: March 11th 2014
Genres: New Adult
Also by this author: Avoiding Commitment, Avoiding Responsibility
I received this book for free from Montlake Romance in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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?
It hurts to write this and after reading other reviews I might be in the minority but Off the Record left me underwhelmed.
Liz Dougherty, a journalist major at UNC, gets her first stab at reporting when she attends the political press conference of state Senator Brady Maxwell. There with her editor-in-chief and current crush, Hayden, Liz is determined to finally prove her worth as a reporter to Hayden and herself. When Brady selects Liz during the Q&A part of the press conference, Liz makes quite the impression when she throws Brady a hard hitting question that throws him off guard.
But Liz’s question not only impresses Hayden, but Brady as well. Brady then pursues Liz despite the harm a relationship could cause to his career as well as Liz’s credibility as a reporter and the two of them decide to carry out a secret relationship. But the reality of their relationship leaves Liz constantly questioning Brady’s motivations for secrecy and her own hang-ups with being his mistress.
My biggest problems with Off the Record has to do with the characters and the lack of depth in Brady and Liz’s relationship.
Liz has no personality. I could not connect with her character and nor could I feel sympathy for her when it came to her feelings towards Brady. For someone that is so determined to be a serious reporter she seemed more than willing to throw away her credibility in order to prove that she was Brady’s woman. Plus every male in a 5 foot radius wanted her. Brady, Hayden, some random guy at the bar, etc. Really?
I also couldn’t connect with Brady. I love men in power but I didn’t find him that charming. Well, maybe I did when he first pursued Liz, but after I couldn’t understand why Liz was so willing to ruin her reputation to be with him. He was cold and indifferent unless he was trying to get into Liz’s pants.
And the two of them together? Boring. I hate to say it but there was no depth between them. Liz and Brady basically just get together to have sex and that magically transforms into love. How or why I don’t know. I didn’t feel anything between them but their own lust for one another. Especially when Brady showed almost NO emotion towards Liz until the very end of the book.
The only character I actually found charming was Hayden. He and Liz had a relationship that wasn’t focused in the bedroom. There was actual development between them personally and professionally. If I was Liz, I would have dropped Brady in favor of Hayden who actually made her a priority in his life.
On top of all that there is are a few secondary characters brought into this book that I cannot help but feel are reincarnated from the Avoiding series. For example, Liz’s best friend, Victoria, reminds me of Chyna 2.0, the book smart version. As well as Clay, who reminds me of John.
I wish I could have loved this. I really really do. K.A. Linde is a great writer and she definitely knows her stuff when it comes to the political portion of this book but I found myself getting bored and skimming the pages.
I hope this is one of those “everyone loved but me” books and that I haven’t turned any one off on what is a very promising series, but I just could not connect with these characters or this story.