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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book.
I always like Susan Phillips, but reviews for this one made me skeptical. I'm glad I ignored because it was hard to put down. The characters were so dimensional and there were so many humorous, heartwarming and romantic scenes that I wanted to keep reading until I was through. A definite keeper for me.
Published on June 18 2003 by goldencz

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3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 *s A little light on romance, but a nice story
Not so much a romance as an homage to family (the non-traditional variety) and to those decent folks willing to subject themselves to the scrutiny and ugliness that can accompany a life in politics.
First Lady Cornelia "Nealy" Case is burned out. She's been in the public eye all her life first as the daughter of the Vice President (now the party chairman) and most...
Published on Sept. 23 2003 by baltimore0502


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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable!, March 25 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
This is another very good book by SEP. I loved all the characters (even the special agents) and I really liked the road trip set up. The only thing that bugged me was that Mat did not tell Nealy that she had left her keys in the car. What kind of jerk wouldn't tell someone that!? And he knew there was a disreputable looking man nearby. I had a much more difficult time than Nealy of forgiving Mat for that.
SEP does a wonderful job of developing and showing the growth of both Mat and Lucy. I especially loved the way she took Lucy from being snotty and rebellious to loving and mature. Well done! The only problem I had was with the character of Nealy. In the book she goes from total burn out to ready to jump back into politics with both feet. That's a good set up but I never really saw the change going on in her. So at the end it was difficult to understand why she would want to go back and get even more involved.I mean, is there really such a thing as a politician who doesn't enjoy the power and fame involved? Because those seem to be the only compensations (along with financial secuity) to a life almost devoid of privacy.
I am a complete sucker for happy endings so of course I LOVED the ending. Thank you Ms. Phillips!
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3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 *s A little light on romance, but a nice story, Sept. 23 2003
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This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
Not so much a romance as an homage to family (the non-traditional variety) and to those decent folks willing to subject themselves to the scrutiny and ugliness that can accompany a life in politics.
First Lady Cornelia "Nealy" Case is burned out. She's been in the public eye all her life first as the daughter of the Vice President (now the party chairman) and most recently as First Lady. But the death of her President husband presents her with her first thoughts of freedom - until the new President, a widower, asks her to stay on and act as his First Lady. She very reluctantly agrees, but after six miserable months she plots her escape!
Journalist Mat Jorik is in career crisis. He's looking to regain his journalistic integrity after an ill-advised foray into tabloid TV. All he needs is that Big Story that will put him back on top again. But in the meantime, he's got other, bigger problems. He's become responsible for the two daughters of his ex-wife who has recently died. The last thing he wants is to care for two kids that aren't even his (especially after practically raising his six younger sisters!), and so he packs them into a Winnebago and embarks on a trip from Pennsylvania to their grandmother's in Iowa.
These unlikely travelers meet up at a truck stop when Nealy's car and money are stolen. Nealy, disguised as a pregnant woman down on her luck, is not recognized and Mat offers to let her travel with them if she will take care of the children and she agrees. And so begins this strange odyssey of a man who doesn't want a family, a woman who's getting her first taste of a normal life and two kids who desperately need a family. My heart went out to fourteen-year-old Lucy, sullen and cynical on the outside yet vulnerable and hopeful on the inside, she's desperate to get Mat and Nealy together so that she and her baby sister are not separated and put into foster care. As the days pass they begin to bond, but will Mat's reluctance for family life mean the girls' future is in jeopardy? And what happens when Nealy's true identity becomes known, not to mention when she discovers Mat is not the steelworker she assumes he is - that he's that sworn enemy of anyone in political life, a journalist? Is Nealy his Big Story? Would he betray her and all they shared to re-establish his journalism career?
A very enjoyable story with characters you will care about. However, as with other reviewers I do have a couple of issues. Given how much she enjoyed her freedom, Nealy's choice to go back to life in the public eye (and subjecting the girls to it) seemed odd. And I would have like to have seen more romance between Mat and Nealy, though their close proximity to the girls made intimacy difficult. The kids (Lucy in particular) were almost more interesting than the adults and the epilogue was a little too cute and idealistic. A flawed but still enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing and amusing story, Sept. 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
I was pleased by this romance story. It was the first I read by this author. The widowed First Lady (Nealy), who continues to serve as the First Lady for the man who takes over for her dead husband, decides to escape the White House for an adventure. She ends up traveling across several states with a grouchy ex-journalist (Mat), a bratty teenager and a baby (the teen's little sister). I liked how the author switched perspective occasionally, so that in addition to getting the story from Nealy, you'd get it from the teen sometimes, sometimes from Mat. She switched to sounding like a teen or an adult male very well. I liked how she gave Mat a whole group of little sisters to explain his fear of commitment (he felt he'd had enough female influence in his life after raising his sisters). That was at least a unique explanation. There was just enough realism in the background (with the Secret Service agents, Nealy calling real-life First Ladies to check in, etc.) to make this story believable, as long as you read in the spirit of fun. The ending was fanciful, but enjoyable. I hope that we do see a female leader like Nealy someday. I wouldn't mind going on to read more by this author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some good stuff, Aug. 2 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
I was pretty surprised with this book. After reading the synopsis online, i was a little skeptic. After all, we're talking about the first lady running away and the people she's with don't figure it out? that's kinda stupid. But i'm an avid reader of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and she was the reason i expanded my reading to other authors of contemporary romance, so i gave it a chance.
I actually liked it better than i thought i would. Don't get me wrong, it's not her best work like Heaven, Texas or It Had to be You. But it was good.
The characters were somewhat realistic and there were references to her looking like the first lady. I was able to understand why she wanted to leave the white house and i felt sorry for her. So all in all, it was a good read, kinda disappointing in the end,but good none the less. If your a susan elizabeth phillips fan than i would read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book., June 18 2003
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
I always like Susan Phillips, but reviews for this one made me skeptical. I'm glad I ignored because it was hard to put down. The characters were so dimensional and there were so many humorous, heartwarming and romantic scenes that I wanted to keep reading until I was through. A definite keeper for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I re-read the book ... and still find it a very good one, May 26 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
I have it re-read in one day - not because it's boring and that I have to glance through it - but because the story is fascinating and the characters so lovable (especially the Baby Demon and the Teenage Terrorist) that I can't stop reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just loved it!, May 14 2003
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
This book finds a dad for a baby & for a teenager with a bleak past & even bleaker future; it finds a family for a man that thinks he wants to live alone; & it finds a warm, loving, fun family for a woman that has only known a cold, politically correct family (& life in general). The first couple of chapters I just thought it sounded really sad & serious; the rest of the first half I laughed over & over; then it went from heart-wrenching, to heart-melting, back to heart-wrenching (with laughs thrown in thoughout it at the oddest moments). I started it one afternoon, had to quit for a few hours, then read til my eyes hurt, & got back up the next morning & just HAD to know how it all worked out! (Bad, bad girl Jojo! lol)
SEP has done an excellent job of making feelings just jump off the pages. There are a multitude of characters that added so many special parts to the story. I can't recommend it enough to those that enjoy a warm, funny, heart-wrenching, courageous romance with a really sexy hero & a strong, intelligent heroine, & great sense of family. This is the reason I love SEP's writing.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I wish there was a No star, Jan. 19 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
I had the hardest time finishing this book. I just couldn't get into the characters. It was not a fast read at all. I picked it up because I thought it would be a good story and while there was a plot to it it just didn't grab my attention.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, if a little far-fetched., Nov. 14 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
The characters were very interesting, Nealy and Mat were wonderful, as were the kids, especially the teenage girl. The ending was very sweet.
The political part of this book is not believable, simply because it will probably never happen. I was very proud of the way Mat handled Nealy's fame, however. What a great guy he was!
Not quite as much romance as others I've read, but this is definitely a book worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I had a delightful day, even re reading it, June 30 2002
This review is from: First Lady (Mass Market Paperback)
I did like it the first time, read it last summer.
Then I bought it recently and was very pleased to read it again.
Why tell what is is about ? Relationship. Difficulties of being poor, and being on the top too. How important warm and determination is. But all that is only underlying. It is a really delightful read.
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