TITLE: Meet you in the Middle
AUTHOR:: Devon Daniels
GENRE: Contemporary romance, politics
PUBLICATION DATE: February 2, 2021
TROPES: Enemies to lovers, office romance, opposites attract
NARRATOR: Brittany Pressley
Can two people from opposing political parties overcome their differences for the sake of love? Meet you in the middle by Devon Daniels is a poignant and hilarious story about not judging someone based on a single aspect of their identity and, instead, getting to know them as a whole.
There’s just one thing standing between liberal Senate staffer Kate Adams and passage of the landmark legislation she’s been fighting for all year: Ben Mackenzie, intimidating gatekeeper for one of DC’s most powerful conservative senators. After Kate and Ben lock horns in a meet-not-so-cute, they vow to take each other down–by any means necessary.
Their ensuing power struggle gives new meaning to the term office politics: prank mail, spying, bets gone awry–nothing’s off limits in their battle of wills. She thinks he’s arrogant (and doesn’t deserve those gorgeous green eyes). He thinks she’s too quick to judge (and irresistibly distracting). But as their endless game of one-upmanship becomes Kate’s favorite part of the day, she starts to wonder if her feelings for Ben are closer to attraction than animosity…and maybe their sparring is flirting. When Kate realizes there’s more to Ben than meets the eye, she’s forced to confront her biggest fear: In her sworn enemy, she may have found her perfect match.
Despite their opposing views, the characters are more compatible than they realize. Had they met under different circumstances, it wouldn’t have been an enemies-to-lovers or opposites-attract trope. But then it wouldn’t have been as entertaining.
The male MC stole the show. He was easygoing, intelligent, and super sweet. His cockiness was endearing, and he never came off as arrogant. I liked that he pushed Kate to be more open-minded and challenged her outside of her comfort zone. There were a few instances when he came off as a bit more creepy than adorable, but this did not detract from his character.
The female MC was harder to like. She came off as judgmental and tried to fit everyone into a box, often defining persons based on their political affiliations. This was understandable as it is an opposites attract trope, but her inner monologues became repetitive and a bit frustrating.
Despite being someone who aligns with the Democrats, my favorite parts of the book were when Ben (a republican) was trying to get Kate (a democrat) to see a perspective outside her own. If you are not open to opposing political views, this might rub you the wrong way. But I enjoyed getting to know another perspective.
The conflict was predictable, but the resolution and grand gesture had me smiling and pumping my fists in the air, screaming, “finally!”.
How Ben handled the conflict with grace makes you love him even more. And despite Kate being a bit annoying initially, she does redeem herself towards the end.
The dialogues are one of the strong points of this book, and their witty banter had me laughing out loud so many times. However, Kate’s inner monologues were sometimes melodramatic and came off a bit YA (young adult).
I’m not someone who gravitates toward political books because of the heavy jargon, and you can always sense the hidden agenda of the author to convert you to a particular side. But Daniels did a fantastic job of opening up the mind of her readers to humanizing persons outside of their affiliations.
I am glad I listened to this one as an audiobook. Brittany Pressley did a fantastic job with Kate. Especially the Southern accent that Kate breaks into when she’s stressed. The narrator for Ben, sadly, is different from the voice I had in mind for him.
Meet you in the middle by Devon Daniels is excellent for fans of The Hating Game and Olivia Pope. Regardless of your political views, this enemies-to-lovers office romance will leave you with a huge smile on your face.
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