Review Tour and Giveaway: Running Mate: Katie Ashley

by - Friday, March 03, 2017

Running Mate
Katie Ashley

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Release Date March 1, 2017


The name’s Barrett Callahan. Yeah, that Barrett Callahan—the one the press dubbed “Bare” after those naked sexting pictures surfaced. At twenty-five, I was armed with an MBA from Harvard, an executive position at my father’s Fortune 500 company, a penthouse, and a different piece of delectable eye candy in my bed every weekend. I had a life most men dreamed of. But then my father decided to run for president, and my playboy lifestyle became a liability to his campaign that was built on family values. My “makeover” comes in the form of a fake fiancée who I don't even get to choose--one who is an uptight, choirgirl acting priss but also sexy-as-hell. 


My latest relationship had gone down in flames, and I was drowning in a sea of student loans when in true Godfather status, James Callahan made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Seven figures for seven months on the campaign trail pretending to be the adoring fiancée of his son, Barrett. As soon as he won the election, our engagement would be dissolved amicably for the press, I was free to ride off into the sunset a million dollars richer, and because of the NDA, no one would be the wiser. Sure, I’d never met the guy, but I’d been a theater nerd in high school. I could pull off any role from Lady Macbeth to Maria Von Trapp. But that was before I met my fake fiancé—the infuriating, self-absorbed, egotistical, drop-dead-sexy King of the Manwhores.

The race will be a fight to the death finish, and that’s not even the actual campaign.

Addison Monroe just got an unexpected proposition from her boss, who is also a Senator trying to secure a presidential nomination. He needs her to help clean up his son's image. And to do that he and his advisers think it will take drastic pretend to be engaged for the remainder of the campaign kind of drastic. It seems like a manageable deal--a little make-believe, a pay out, some social media attention, but ultimately helping out the Senator she believes in.

But then she meets Barrett Callahan...also dubbed "Bare" for some explicit pics that once got leaked online. Her first impression of him is far from favorable. She sees him as not only a womanizing manwhore, but also an egocentric, cocky, unfiltered neanderthal. Their banter is far from friendly and leans more toward antagonistic. They taunt, tease, and provoke. But they've got a job to do and a fairy tale love story to fake.

It drives Barrett even more crazy that he cannot seem to charm her and that she seems to be repulsed by him. That is new for a man who is used to being fawned over and pursued. She is independent and does not want to rely on anyone for help. She puts up resistance for most things Barrett suggests. But as they spend more time together on the campaign trail, they begin to start seeing more good points than bad points in each other and even develop a friendship. But they also have a simmering attraction and underlying feelings that they have been afraid to admit even to themselves.

But what happens when lines get blurry or crossed? How much is fake and how much is real?

I liked seeing the softer side of Barrett's personality and feelings slowly evolve throughout. He has his own insecurities and vulnerability under that cocky facade. He has a real protective streak and a good heart. He is also a man of decision who knows what he wants and says what is on his mind. He challenges her and pushes her out of her comfort zone often. And she is a good match for him by pushing back at him and keeping him on his toes. But she can also be tough and stubborn, and her trust issues plague her. She can get stuck in her own head, and sometimes talks herself right out of things. So they both have a lot to learn about what they truly want and need. But they are living their lives at a stressful pace, in tight spaces, with the media watching. So there is no room for error or excessive drama. But part of the problem of living in the spotlight among wealth and excess, it is sometimes hard to see what is illusion and what is real.

Does Barrett have the capacity to truly change? Will their pasts keep her from believing he even has potential to?

It comes down to either fighting fears or fighting for love. What will it be?

I liked the side characters of Ty, Evan, Bernie, The Senator, and his wife. I was thrilled to see a few old friends in a cameo. The campaign caravan was a fun backdrop and I enjoyed going along with them during the experience. This was humorous, but also emotional. passionate, and heartfelt. It had enough tension, drama, and angst to make it interesting, but it was not overdone. And in these times where politics are volatile, it makes me wish that a candidate like James Callahan and his family truly existed.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Barrett Callahan has a reputation that is clouding his father’s presidential campaign. He finds himself the subject of an image cleanup in the form of a fake fiance. He doesn’t get to pick the woman, and has to pretend to love her while keeping himself out of the press and out of trouble.

Addison Monroe has worked hard to earn her position on the Callahan campaign. But her boss has a proposition she didn’t see coming, though the payoff would help her tremendously: act as the fiancee of notorious playboy Barrett. Sounds easy enough, especially with the big payday at the end of the campaign, but that was before she had met the overly confident, egotistical man.

These two have preconceived notions of who and what the other will be, and the realities couldn’t be further from the truth. Once they start to get to know the other, the sparks begin to fly. But they have to deal with each other for months without break, so resist the attraction that continues to grow between them.

Both characters were a lot of fun. Bennett is very confident in himself, though there is a vulnerability he begins to show to Addison. He is used to getting his way and being the boss, which rankles Addison’s own confidence. Addison is used to working hard and making her own decisions, so there is some conflict as they learn which buttons they can push and which are deal breakers.

There were times I felt like pieces of the story moved faster than I would have liked, but a lot of that was due to the fact that I was just plain enjoying it. When Barrett falls, he falls fast and hard, and the pacing of the book matched his fall. 

This was a fun, lighthearted look into politics, welcome at a time when real politics are so dividing. I enjoyed the break from reality to follow the campaign trail with these two, as Addison klutzes her way through her first few appearances, and Bennett learns how to support without stepping on her toes.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Katie Ashley 
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.Katie Ashley is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her daughter, Olivia, and her two very spoiled dogs. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo. 

With a BA in English, a BS in Secondary English Education, and a Masters in Adolescent English Education, she spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012

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