Review of ’46’ by Lynn Ames
This book got my attention starting with the title and cover but I wasn’t completely sold on until I read the acknowledgments. I could not resist the author’s idea of ‘after this extraordinary time of divisiveness (…) my job [is] to shine light in the darkness, to give readers hope. 46 is my love letter to all of you’. A liberal politician? Yes, please. A woman? Yes, indeed. A lesbian US President?! Absolutely sold.
In November 2020, Emma McMasters is elected the 46th president of the United States, the first woman, and a lesbian. She has a challenging future in front of her, rebuilding the country from the disaster of the previous administration and establishing a liberal agenda. Palmer Estes is the highest-ranking female officer in the US Army who dedicated her whole life to her military career and to defend her country. When they meet during a hostage crisis, an undeniable attraction is born but love and politics aren’t usually compatible…
There are two things that really surprised me about this book. One is the level of detail and thorough research involved in the descriptions of settings, administrative procedures, governmental agencies, military operations, etc. The other is the fact that it is very well written. This shouldn’t surprise me at all, as Lynn Ames is a seasoned author but somehow she flew under my radar. I read and liked ‘All that lies within’ but missed everything else, an omission that I plan to rectify soon.
If you are looking for a book with behind the scenes politics, a bit of action and power struggle but with a feel-good, positive (idealistic) message, ’46’ is for you. I absolutely loved all the ceremonial, governmental and administrative details, but I majored in Political Science so, it might be a bit too much for someone who’s not interested in this subject. Beyond that, the idea of a lesbian US president is something that any lesfic reader can easily approve and Emma McMasters is a great, larger than life character.
Even though the balance between politics and the main characters’ relationship will satisfy romance readers, for me, their chemistry is a bit lacking and the overall romantic plot feels a bit rushed. In my opinion, the romantic arc needed more passion, better intimate scenes, and a more gradual build of their relationship. In that case, it would have been an easy 5-star rating for me. Having said that, ’46’ is a very entertaining and enjoyable politics novel with a hopeful message that is so much needed in these current times. I wish that I could see a lesbian US President in my lifetime. In the meantime, we have lesbian fiction to keep on dreaming. 4.5 stars.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.