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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
What’s it like to be FLOTUS? Would you want to be the First Lady of the US? If you think that would be an amazing position for a woman to hold, read Presidential Advantage by Jessica James before you say “yes” to marrying a charismatic and handsome Vice President, especially if you’re a beautiful, unpretentious country girl at heart who cares about people and animals. Elizabeth Vaughan doesn’t get much time to decide whether to take the big step into marriage when the President of the US suddenly passes away and her fiance becomes President overnight. In fact, that decision, along with when and where the wedding will take place, even what she will wear, is made for her by the Vice President’s staff. Then, in less than 48 hours, Elizabeth begins to realize that from her wedding day forward, what she wants to think, wear and say, and how she will behave, even who she spends time with is no longer up to her. Her resentment at being little more than a fixture mutates into slow-burning anger. When she refuses to play ball with all the demands being made of her and decides to do what she thinks is right for the people her husband has been elected to serve, her actions incite those paid to keep her in check. She has attributes, like her caring disposition, that warm the hearts of the voters. That quality is useful to her incumbent President husband and his handlers to secure votes in the upcoming election. But otherwise, she is a threat. What do you do with a threat? Eliminate it of course.
Jessica James’ Presidential Advantage is an engrossing read. Characters, particularly that of Elizabeth, are well-developed. Readers, especially women, will relate to Elizabeth. We come away very much more aware of what it might be like to be a Melania Trump. I, for one, don’t envy her if her life is like Elizabeth’s. James also provides a fascinating look at the interior and grounds of the White House for those of us who will never get to see any of it. But the best part of the novel has to be the refreshing plot: not only is the concept intriguing but the plot takes turns you don’t expect and keeps you riveted until the very last word. With the US 2020 election coming up very soon, Presidential Advantage is timely too. Treat yourself: wonderful writing from an author who deserves the acclaim she is getting for her novels.