Liberal girl meets Republican boy working the hill, sparks fly, and that’s a Happily Ever After, right? Well, not when you’ve got the extreme partisanship of today–and that’s where our March pick comes in.
Meet You in the Middle by Devon Daniels is a charming debut into the rom-com world–complete with cross political romances and DC hijinks and jokes, but of course, when liberals heard about it, they attacked the book without reading it. Their main critique? The idea that anyone could ever love a Republican? Seriously?
I’m not going to recap all of those reviews for you–just trust me they’re ridiculous–but what I am hear to tell you is that as a politically-adjacent person living in Washington, D.C, and the leader of a book club for politically minded young women, I found this book adorable and a perfect little rom-com read. I laughed, I swooned, I craved Union Pub. It did exactly what it set out to do.
Let’s talk about why we chose this book though–and what you’re about to dive into–shall we?
Kate Adams is a legislative assistant for a Democratic congresswoman and loves what she does. She’s been working on a childcare bill for her boss for months, and schedules a meeting with the legislative director of a powerful Republican congressman in an attempt to get him on board. Well that meeting quickly goes off the rails, because in walks Ben McKenzie–late no less–and they immediately spar over the inevitable death of this bill, their assumptions about each other, and politics in general. Kate goes back to her office to vent to a coworker, Ben overhears her calling him an inbred hick, and a nice little office war is launched.
There’s inter-office prank mail, jokes made to one another, but somewhere along the way, a little bit of a tense friendship forms, and suddenly, Kate realizes that maybe she likes Ben more than she’s letting on…but could it ever work? Dating a coworker–no less, a coworker on the other side of the aisle? She’s skeptical, but Ben is persistent…
First off, this book felt very DC to me–from mentions of specific locations to a get together at Union Pub to all the political talk, plus a key part of the book is the White House Correspondents Dinner. Who wouldn’t love that? Even if you’ve never worked on the Hill, if you’ve been around politics at all you’ll appreciate the humor in this book and it’s attention to detail in key moments.
And then, there’s the romance! This book is not an HEA from day 1–you have to work from it. It’s more like enemies to friends to enemies to lovers to friends who love each other, and it’s a really enjoyable ride. Kate is pretty likeable, but she’s also stubborn and a little biased, and though we only get Ben’s perspective in the epilogue, he is almost too good to be true. But that’s the fun in this–it’s just a book! But it’s a fun, fun read and maybe can give a lot of us hope for cross-aisle romances, because they are super prevalent in DC, whether the rest of the world realizes it or not..
We can’t wait to hear what you think about this month’s book! Be sure to follow us on social media and join the FFL Book Club on Facebook to discuss this book and the other books we’re all reading in our spare time.
Get your copy of Meet You In The Middle here.
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