By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Time Period: Current
Publisher/Date: Avon Books
Sensuality Rating: R
Male Lead: Mat Jorik
Female Lead: Cornelia "Nealy" Case
Nealy Case, widow of the President, is tired of living in a fish bowl. Her father wants her to take on the First Lady duties for the current President, her husband's replacement. After six and a half months she makes her escape right out the front door of the White House in disguise.
Nealy runs into Mat Jorik and "his kids" in Pennsylvania after her car is stolen with all her money and clothes. Mat's ex-wife is dead and named him as father of her two children, both of whom were born years after Mat divorced her.
Mat is a journalist and thinks the pregnant woman he offered a ride to in exchange for babysitting is very familiar. Nealy learns many things about the "real world" while with Mat, Lacy (15), and Button (8 months). Mat is taking the girls to their maternal grandmother in Iowa and they really don't want to go.
In the meantime, the FBI and Nealy's father are looking for Nealy and the nation is also on the look out. Mat gets more curious about his passenger and finally realizes eho she is at about the same time he falls in love with her.
Nealy knows from the beginning her freedom is going to be short-lived and she wants to take advantage of every minute away from Washington D.C. She gets a taste of parenthood that makes her want to keep the girls forever and their so-called Dad.
Both Mat and Nealy have so much to overcome in their personal lives and find soul mates in each other.
I found the idea of a First Lady hiding in plaind sight hard to swallow, especially when she meets up with a journalist. The way Mat deals with the girls is hard to take sometimes and Nealy's naivete is endearing at times but irritating too. I usually love Phillip's books, but this one was a little harder to enjoy.