Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Doctor David Hammond holds the bible as his husband Grayson Alexander is sworn in as the first openly gay Vice President of the United States. Three hours later, the newly sworn in President is killed by an assassin’s bullet, making Gray the first gay President. Thrust into his new role, Grayson throws himself into being the most powerful man in the free world. David is also thrown for a loop as he is now thrown into a spotlight he would rather not be. As a professor of medicine and practicing physician at Georgetown University, he much prefers the world of academia and healing people than his new role as First Gentleman. This is especially the case as Gray works long hours trying to set up his new government on the spur of the moment instead of the two months that most new presidents get. This puts a strain on their relationship.
When a health crisis needs Grayson’s attention, he calls his husband into the Situation Room for his candid advice and expertise. David decides to help out the situation by providing onsite medical assistance to prevent a possible outbreak from spreading into the United States. Despite taking all precautions necessary to protect him from the disease, Grayson goes along with his chief of staff to force a mandatory 21-day quarantine on David. David, knowing that the quarantine is not necessary, is livid. When Grayson forgets about an important milestone that occurs while David is locked away, the relationship reaches a breaking point. Will the First Couple survive to make it to the end of Grayson’s term?
The first thing I would like to comment on is that I enjoyed the last part of the book. (spoiler). I just wish that Grayson had acted more like this than like the asshole he is portrayed in the first half of the book. Yes, we know the job of President is a difficult one and being thrust into the position unexpectedly like Grayson was is especially tough. But to ignore your partner for the better part of three months is going to extremes. And while I liked that David gave Gray time to adjust to the new situation, he also comes off as a bit stubborn when he completely ignores his role as First Spouse.
What was missing from the book for me was the political ramifications of not only having the first gay president but also that of a sudden change of the presidency. It was mentioned that Gray was more liberal than his running mate and had the opposing party leading congress. How did this play out in the first few months that made Gray work those long hours? How did David and Gray keep their separation from the ever-present 24-hour news cycle? If these issues were addressed I believe it would have added some depth to these characters and this novel.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read but had potential to be more.
The cover art by L. C. Chase shows David and Grayson in business suits in the top half of the cover with the White House in the bottom half. It’s an appropriate cover for the book.
ebook, 220 pages
Published January 29th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1623803896 (ISBN13: 9781623803896)