Book Review, Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Opposites Attract, Political, Romance

Across the Aisle by Stephanie Vance


Tough as nails DC lobbyist Dallas McGrath can’t believe she’s being ordered to reach a legislative compromise with the opposition. And not just with anyone…with the most arrogant, obnoxious lobbyist in DC, Grant Pierce. He always finds a way to get under her skin, and it usually starts with that kissable mouth of his turning up into an annoying smirk. Well, this is one negotiation she plans to win at any cost.

Career lobbyist Grant Pierce knows he shouldn’t enjoy ruffling the feathers of the opposition this much, but he can’t help it. Almost no one leaves him without a witty comeback—except Dallas McGrath. Maybe it’s her sharp mind, or maybe it’s the sexy way she bulldozes his every argument. Either way, he’s got the perfect plan to put her off her game. He suggests they negotiate at baseball games, jazz clubs, and nap studios—but even he’s not prepared for what happens next…

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I’ll begin by saying that I hate politics and I hesitated to pick this book up, but I’m a romantic at heart and I believe everyone deserves a happy ending, even two lobbyists with opposing views. Ms. Vance does a great job of taking two opposites and placing them in a very uncompromising situation. A DC playboy and a rich Southern debutante are in for a very bumpy ride to happiness.

Grant Pierce is as smooth and charming as they come when getting what he wants, but unfortunately, his wiles do not work on the resistant Ms. Dallas McGrath. When they are forced to reach a legislative compromise which is a longshot at best, their unexpected attraction has them making surprising deals that lead to mutual respect and misunderstandings. 

Grant and Dallas are passionate about their work and each other. It’s fun to get to know the people under the unlikeable and predictable stereotypical personas. Dallas’s dad is a complete control freak and unloving selfish dick who loves to manipulate his daughter to the point of her giving up her love of art to become a lawyer and lobbyist. It’s Dallas’s grandfather who gave her compassion in her life which makes her more human. Grant’s upbringing in Portland, Oregon, by two “hippy-type” parents gives him an interesting yet unexpected background as a DC lobbyist and charming playboy. It’s an opposites attract trope that seems to be heading down a bad road, but the protagonists’ humanity shines through as they open up about their personal passions and make some thoughtful sacrifices in the name of love.

If you aren’t a fan of American politics, you may want to reach for something else, but you may learn a lot about the nation’s capital in a personal and interesting light. The romance is uncertain at first, but the attraction and characters grow as they realize their personal needs and professional needs are destined to change.

Thank you to Ms. Vance for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.



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Washington Post bestseller Stephanie Vance earned her MFA from Western Colorado University, and writes both non-fiction and fiction. Her fiction work focuses on romantic comedy and humorous speculative fiction. Stephanie’s romantic comedy novel Across the Aisle will be released in early 2022 from Entangled Publishing. As a thirty+ year veteran of the DC political scene, she’s brought a true “DC-insider” perspective to the world of political romance.

Stephanie’s speculative short fiction has been published in a variety of outlets, including Bark Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways, and the anthologies One Star Reviews of the Afterlife and Enter the Apocalypse. Her non-fiction book The Influence Game was on the Washington Post bestseller list. An extensive traveler and avid scuba diver, Stephanie has visited six continents and dived everywhere from Iceland to the Great Barrier Reef. She attended college on a music scholarship (flute) and holds 3 master’s degrees—which she’s pretty sure equals a Ph.D. She lives with her husband in Washington, DC.

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