Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Series: Record #1
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Liz Dougherty has no idea a single question is about to change her life.
Her first big reporting assignment for her North Carolina college newspaper has her covering a state senator’s impromptu press conference. Brady Maxwell may have everything it takes to be a politician—a winning pedigree, devastating good looks, a body made to wear suits—but his politics rub Liz the wrong way. When Liz’s hard-hitting question catches the upstart senator off-guard, it impresses Hayden Lane, Liz’s editor who feels she’s headed for a promising career as a reporter.
But Liz is also headed into a secret romance with Brady that could destroy both their ambitions. Though he’s a bachelor, potential voters might frown on Brady cozying up to a reporter. And Liz isn’t sure sneaking around is enough for her—especially when things between her and Hayden might be less platonic than she thought.
Sleek, sexy, and smart, Off the Record ventures into a high-stakes campaign and an even higher-stakes affair to answer the question: When politics and love collide, can there ever be a winner?
You know I probably can't even count the amount of times I've wished for a character to be real(not going to lie, most of these characters are book boyfriends). In this case, man do I wish I could just get my hands on Liz and give her a good bitch slap. Just knock the condescending asshole out of her.
Well, I guess you guys can tell how this review is going to go. No doubt it will be long and rant filled..
I totally picked Off the Record up because of how much Sarah was fangirling over it. Now, no worries, Sarah knows there's no hard feelings for her essentially making me suffer through Liz and Brady. I forgave her and will overlook this; just this once.
Going in I figured this "relationship" might be on the more messy side. It's an affair. That comes with lies and secrets. But I just didn't think it would come with its own brand of stupid. These two morons aren't even all that discreet. It's like they're begging to be caught. Their relationship doesn't even make sense. What I'm getting from the initial meeting is that Brady finds Liz's brand of hating on his political stance attractive? Or really it's Brady wanting something he shouldn't have and Liz being naive enough to think having sex with him is a good idea. Their continuing relationship is far from hot. There is no chemistry; it is two wet blankets trying to touch each other in a way that doesn't make me yawn. No success. But romance wasn't even my least favourite part. It was everything else that fails so epically.
Liz you condescending shrew. Every fucking page she said or thought something that was judgmental, rude, hypocritical, thoughtless and bitchy. Sparkling and delightful isn't she? Liz is a doormat, She's naive enough to think that by Brady wanting to hide their relationship he's protecting her. Uh, nope. He's protecting his reputation. And in his world you're the forbidden fruit. Once that changes you can be assured you will be run over.
Brady turned out to be like the stereotypical politician; rich and slimy. Every bone in his body is selfish. Every word out of his mouth is cringe inducing. He's a walking contradiction. Like the time he tells Liz that he loves the fact that she will write about whatever she wants to, but than proceeds to get super mad that she didn't use his suggestion for her article. Be careful, your attractive personality is showing through, Brady.
The writing wasn't the most terrible. But it certainly wasn't anything special. When you hate the characters everything is just going to be absurd. It definitely was for me. What really came across is the repetitiveness. And as you can guess it was just as inane as everything else. Like the fact that when someone is using their cell phone it's their smart phone. It's 2014; what the hell else are they using? My favourite was the stupidity behind this line:
"She had actually taken the time to blow her blond hair out into a messy beach wave."
I should have taken count of amount of times that line was used. Or the fact that Liz would follow up that with saying how she didn't want to take the time to straighten her hair. But she just took the time to blow out her hair? *bangs head on wall*
My biggest issue was how the females Liz comes across were portrayed. We meet Brady, or any male and they're immediately described in the most attractive way possible. Where as the females are described in a negative light. Like her best friend is curvy, wears too much make-up and provocative clothes. Nice Liz. Why couldn't she be described as being comfortable in her body and liking to accentuate that with make-up and clothes? Because that would go against Liz's morals. She automatically compares herself to every female she comes in contact with. I don't know if that's to cover up her insecurities with but what it is doing is taking feminism down a notch. There's body shaming and jealousy at every turn. In fact Liz does not have one healthy female friendship. The one with her best friend is shaky at best. And any other female Liz just figures is out to get her in one or another. In fact, let me just leave you with this inspiring paragraph;
"The buzz in the room died down as Heather Ferrington walked onto the stage. She was everything Liz remembered her to be- unbelievably gorgeous, with long blond hair, a tall, slim build, and a fresh gray skirt suit. She could have been a model, and Liz wondered what had made her become a press secretary instead. Did she see that Brady was going somewhere and jump onboard as soon as she could? Had she done more to get to this position?" pg. 105
Can we also take a minute to rage on one of my most hated scenes in romance books. The "don't worry about a condom I'm on the pill" bit. Ahhh!! 75% of the time this happens after sleeping together once or twice. You don't know this person. You don't know their sexual history and even if you do this doesn't negate any possibility of STD's. Of course the guy isn't going to say anything because at this point most of them are thinking with their dick. But girl, how can you be so stupid. There are worse things than unplanned pregnancies. And just so we're clear, the pill doesn't prevent that either. Yes, it's awkward to talk about being clean, but if you plan on being sexually active with this person for the foreseeable future and you want to forgo condoms than fucking be smart about it. I actually really appreciate when those talks are thrown into the relationship. Makes it realistic and I can believe more in the couples longevity.
Obviously this book and I did not see eye to eye in any way. I have no respect for these types of characters and what they stand for. The most depressing bit though; I bought the whole trilogy.