Emily Benton has won the office of president but as she waits to assume that office, her closest adviser, Kate Rosen, is plagued with doubts. As a Christian, Kate owes her allegiance to a higher power. When a scandal brings the president to the brink of disaster, Kate must weigh the bonds of loyalty and duty, ambition and submission, and find a path that leads to the greater glory of God.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series as I had originally read it during the 2008 election and had been swept up in political fever. Now that I live up in the DC metro area, It's totally surrounding me 24/7. I also really enjoy reading books set in this area as it's always fun to see places I've been to or recognize. This book continues where the first book left off, with Emily winning the election and is now the first female president of the United States. As I said about the first book, I was really glad to see a book about a female president where she became president by winning the election and not because she was Vice President and the former president died or resigned. In this book, as the White House Chief of Staff, Kate is put in a position where she has to be the public mouth, eyes and ears for Emily. This puts her in a compromising place because she doesn't agree with everything Emily does, yet since this is her best friend and her boss, she must do what she is told.
I am not really sure though why Kate keeps agreeing to stay with Emily. From the beginning of the series, it is obvious that the two differ on almost everything politically, emotionally and value wise. I know they have been best friends for a long time, but even so the relationship feels like Emily has been using Kate for a very long time. It gets more and more obvious in this book that Emily doesn't really care about Kate and is more interested in gaining grounds for own personal gain. This is at the expense of even Kate's family members who have trusted Emily their entire lives. It just makes Kate seem like a pushover or a doormat in that she lets Emily get away with whatever she wants or that she is completely clueless to her friend's true nature. I think the biggest issue in the book is that it appears to be difficult to be a Christian AND be a successful politician at the same time. While it is possible to be both, one needs to be cutthroat and have to do some dishonest things in order to get ahead and be at the top. Since I'm not in politics, I can't say whether or not this is true, but sometimes I wonder if this really is the case in real life.
Overall I did really like this book. I didn't feel it to be very preachy even though Kate makes it clear that she's a Christian throughout the book. The story ends on a cliffhanger so there better be another book in the series or else I will be very disappointed! Again, this is another great political suspense novel and one that I really enjoyed reading. I really cannot wait to read the next book in the series, hopefully I won't have to wait til the next election to do so!
Red, White and Blue by Laura Hayden is published by Tyndale (2009)
This review copy was provided by the publisher