Review: Bedmates by Nichole Chase (American Royalty #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

Bedmates is the first novel in the new American Royalty new adult (NA) series from bestselling author Nichole Chase. This also happens to be my first read by the author, and it took on a slightly more mature tone than I was expecting, which I most certainly am not complaining about. The American royalty here are the main characters, First Daughter and college student Madeline McGuire and Vice Presidential Son and Marine veteran Jake Simmon. At twenty-one, Maddie has spent the past six years in the spotlight, something she shuns whenever she can. When she's arrested for trying to free dogs that were scheduled to be euthanized, she knows that it poses a potentially embarrassing for her father to have to deal with. So, she agrees to community service by helping to build homes for deserving war veterans. The one kink in the plan is that she'll have to partner up with Jake, who has returned from his deployment with a prosthesis. They've never quite liked each other, but being around one another for extended periods of time gives them the opportunity to get to know each other better. Soon, friendship isn't the only thing that they want, but when Jake's demons torment him, will Maddie be able to stand by her man for the long haul, even when he begins to push her away and when others start to interfere and try to drive them both apart?

I'm a political junkie, so I quite appreciated the backdrop of politics here. This is also the first time that I've read a story that had the children of the two highest officials in the United States government falling for one another, so it was something that caught my interest the minute I read the synopsis. Maddie is at that age where she acts before she actually thinks about the consequences--as was the case when we first meet her in the story--but she's a good girl at heart, putting the needs of others--whether human or otherwise--first. It was really easy to like her and she was the perfect partner for someone like Jake. She was a carer, and Jake certainly needed someone who understood what it was like to be in the kind of spotlight they were in. I'm not sure of Jake's exact age, although Maddie does mention that he's a couple of years older than him, but I'm thinking he's more of in his mid- than his early twenties. The man had experienced a great deal of loss and he also had a lot of pressure on him coming from his demanding mother. My heart couldn't help but go out to both him and Maddie because it couldn't be easy being them.

Maddie and Jake were backed by a great supporting cast of characters, specifically their respective families, who provided their own share of angst. I must say, however, that Puz was my favorite. The guy was a scene-stealer, and I'm not just saying that because I happen to love dogs. He was more than just a decorative addition to the story, having brought such light and meaning to Jake's life. Who says dogs don't enrich people's lives? I already liked Jake, but his moments with Puz stole my heart. Yes, even more so than his moments with Maddie. Sorry! Well, not really. But this was such an overall good read, one that was much more than I was expecting it to be, and I admit that opinion of mine was based on what I had read about the author's Suddenly series, which did sound "younger", if you get what I mean. Speaking of that series, I'm guessing that the royal characters that appear at a state dinner here are from Suddenly Royal, so I'll be adding that book to my never-ending to-be-read list. You don't, however, need any background from that novel to enjoy Bedmates, which was a good start to this new NA series. Four stars. ♥

Date Read: 05 October 2016

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