In Parties in Congress (Bold Strokes Books), Lambda Award winning author Colette Moody introduces Bijal Rao, a political researcher. Rao works for a little known Republican mayor who is running against the incumbent, Congresswoman Colleen O’Bannon, for the House of Representatives seat in Virginia.

During a chance meeting with a beautiful woman in an elevator, Rao brags that she’s in the building to spy on O’Bannon, only to realize too late that the woman she’s flirting with is O’Bannon. The two women continue to meet as the attraction between them deepens. They agree, however, that it would be unseemly, if not unethical, for them to actually date, considering they’re on opposites side in a political race.

As the election nears, Rao’s candidate makes a series of comic blunders that adversely affect her campaign. O’Bannon, on the other hand, seemingly can do no wrong. Rao wrestles with her conscience and Republicanism as she tries to decide whether to stay with a doomed campaignor cut and run.

In this outing, Moody gives us two attractive, intelligent, and witty characters to love. The banter between them will have you smiling and, at times, laughing out loud right up to the last page. However, the same can’t be said about the less finely drawn secondary characters. For instance, Rao’s roommate, Fran, can be annoying as she lectures Rao on not getting involved with O’Bannon while she herself is being promiscuous.

At times, Moody becomes preachy and slows her story down by having O’Bannon lecturing the reader on party politics, social issues, and Congressional ethics.

If nothing else, the reader will begin to understand the complexities of politics in the US and the importance of becoming engaged in the political process. The reader will also get a fun, fast read that will keep you turning pages long after you should have turned off the lights.

Parties in Congress
by Colette Moody
Bold Strokes Books
Paperback, 9781602822023, 264pp
February 2010



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