Wisdom – a Political Romance
Wisdom is the third book by Jesse J. Thoma set in the same universe as her previous books (#1 Serenity, and #2 Courage). Usually, I advise reading them in order but these books can also be read as standalone. I like Jesse J. Thoma’s writing style and the topic of drug addiction and health problems she addresses is interesting and still an actual problem all over the world.
This is a story about a black woman who wants to make a difference in politics and improve the life of the community and Reggie, a handsome butch, who struggles to get out from her father’s shadow and find a way to live her own life and to finally chase her dream job.
Reggie Northrup, a correction officer, has a heavy burden to carry as she is always associated with her father, a convicted felon and former politician. As a result, she can’t stand politicians. When she is called into the governor’s community design team to make improvements regarding tackling substance abuse and mental health issues, she meets Sophia.
Sophie Lamont a Black woman and politician at heart is always expected to be a top performer, privately and professionally, or at least her parents think so. But is that even possible? As the youngest State Representative, Sophie must first find her own way. She also has to find out, sometimes the hard way, who is a friend and who is a foe. She has been warned not to be associated with a member of the Northrup family but Sophie can’t stand being told who she should and shouldn’t be seen with. But, should she jeopardize her career for someone who hates politicians? Or could Sophie be the politician who can convince Reggie that not everyone is like her father? Should they both risk their hearts as their attraction grows stronger?
I liked how Sophie and Reggie’s relationship develops. From their first chance encounter, the two flirt for all they’re worth, only to realize later that they probably shouldn’t even like each other at all. That makes it a slow-burn romance. It may be too slow for some readers, but I loved that they get the obstacles out of the way before they really get involved. Also, the discussions and arguments they had within the design team as well as in private conversations were absorbing as well as how they dealt with their own prejudices and fears. I also love their sense of humor.
In this book, the readers can catch up with some old acquaintances from the previous novels like Kit, Frankie, and Zookeeper. All important characters for the story, along with Sophie’s brother and Reggie’s best friend Ava. All the conversations, especially the ones with Zookeeper, a drug dealer with a soft heart for her friends, were interesting, insightful, and entertaining.
The design team and the meetings and discussions associated with them take up a large place in the story. Drug use, addiction, and in this context safety and health are perennial issues that every major of any city has to deal with. Obviously, this is an important topic for the author, and she writes it very well. All in all, this was an entertaining political story.
Thanks to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC for an honest review.