The First Affair by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

18775396Hey remember Monica Lewinsky? Ever wonder what it would have been like if that situation happened fifteen years later? Well, then, I’ve got a book for you.

The fictional president is clearly a mix of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, with the first lady being way more Laura Bush than either of those two men’s wives. Our “heroine” is disturbingly naive in a way that because really annoying by the end. Her family is a piece of work, with an in-denial alcoholic dad, an enabling mother and a sister who only looks out for herself. Even when you’re exasperated at her heart eyes at the President, you have to feel for her when her whole family wants to leave instead of watching the July 4th fireworks from the White House lawn.

This was by far the shortest book I’ve read all year and yet I struggled to get through it. The romance isn’t fanciful enough to get carried away by (like my favorite “secret prince” stories) and having lived through the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, I had no interest in reading about it again. The smugness at the end also seemed out of place, given how in the tank for the president Jamie was before the FBI got involved. Total miss.