Cover Image: Not the Plan

Not the Plan

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Member Reviews

Mixed feelings but ultimately a 4-star read for me!

There were some things I definitely didn’t love about this book. Some of the romance made me cringe (lots of gasping, too many “gorgeous” and “beautiful”, and there was just some unintentional cheese). I also felt so strangely detached from the characters. There was so much background, where normally I would feel close to them, but by the end of the book I still didn’t feel like I was really in their heads.

Also—and this may have just been me not reading closely enough—the timeline was confusing. It felt like a few weeks, which made the relationship arc feel truncated and awkward. But I think the book actually takes place over a few months.

On the other hand, this book did a lot of things right. The workplace dynamics were fantastic! I haven’t read a romance set amid politics since RWRB, and I loved the tension and detail here. I also thought the author’s representation of mental health were handled with care. And the dual POV was very nicely done. Not too much overlap but enough that we could really understand both POVs in each situation.

I debated back and forth 3 stars vs. 4, but at the end of the day this book made me laugh and I enjoyed the read. Would recommend to fans of lighter romance looking for a quick, heartfelt read.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

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Thanks to Netgalley and Random House this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

There was a lot of enjoyable parts of this story for me: the intrigue and chess match of politics (which made me long to rewatch The West Wing), I loved the multiracial couple and a dive into Isadora’s and Karim’s drive and ambition.

The touch on mental illness was refreshing as it seems like real life mental issues are not often addressed. The emotional abuse, gaslighting, and trauma from exposure to Isa’s overbearing mother and Karim’s abusive ex-wife added a lot of depth into why the two have such trust issues.

The intimate scenes were a little too erotic for the tone of the rest of the book. They felt rushed and disconnected from emotional depth along with the progress of the story and seemed out of place at parts. I feel like the story could have benefited from cut to black scenes instead.

Overall: An engaging political multi-racial romance that can keep your interest and keep you rooting for the “good guys.”

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Not the Plan is a passionate love story that centers around a political rivalry, featuring forbidden love and electrifying chemistry this is well worth picking up for the romance.

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While working for rival state senators, Isadora and Karim develop an irresistible attraction. Will they keep their distance, or risk creating a public scandal?

This is an emotional romance that deals deftly with mental health issues. Karim's ex-wife and Isadora's mother both have borderline personality disorder, leaving Karim and Isadora struggling with a sense of inadequacy and distrust. The "forbidden love" aspect of their relationship isn't developed as much as the scheming between their rival bosses.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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Gia De Cadenet has given us another novel that has such amazing mental health and illness representation, it’s amazing how realistic these characters feel to me. Isadora and Karim have both experienced emotional abuse from loved ones and they find a common bond with one another. I loved how supportive they were of each other and the healing that happened in this story through love and understanding.

The political storyline in this novel was realistic and definitely shows us the darker side of political rivalries and blackmail that happens behind the scenes. At times, this part of the storyline dragged and I found myself losing interest until things picked up the last 20% or so of the novel. The author definitely brought the steam in this novel and there were no closed doors in sight! As good as the steam was, the use of nicknames by our main couple was a bit much. I did a kindle book search and the use of “beautiful” by Karim occurred 70 times and it was very noticeable and felt cringey to me. The relationship felt a bit rushed at times and I wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be. The epilogue was cute but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as I loved the author’s debut.

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4 stars for this workplace, insta-love, opposites attract romance set in the world of politics!

I thoroughly enjoyed "Not the Plan" by Gia De Cadenet! I loooooved the instant chemistry between Isadora and Karim. From the moment we meet them in an airplane, we know we're in for one pining treat. Both Isadora and Karim have some deep-seated traumas they need to work on getting over. Neither one of them want to get involved, but when they are thrust into each other's daily lives working for each other's political rivals, it's obvious from the start that there is something more than lust between them. Karim is an honest, cinnamon roll of a man, too good for the big bad world of politics. Isadora is single-minded in her focus. She is driven when it comes to her work goals. They both throw a wrench in one another's plans...but it's one steaming hot wrench!

This book is sexy, smart, and interesting. The characters are wonderfully written, and the spice is top-notch. The political aspect will lose a lot of readers because of the world we live in, but I absolutely loved it and thought it added a lot of stakes to the story. The novel also revolves around some pretty complex issues such as divorce, mental spousal abuse, gaslighting, political corruption, anxiety, and CPTSD. I think these topics are broached in a tactful manner while also not shying away from how horrible they are to deal with and live with. My one issue is with the antagonist of the book. What a cartoonish villain! I know a lot of politicians are both cunning and not that smart, but this villain takes it to another level. This is a relatively quick read because of how invested I got in Isadora and Karim's blossoming love story!

Thank you to NetGalley, Gia De Cadenet, and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Dell for providing me with an ARC copy of this book! All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for my review.

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I'll start off by saying that I went into this book with really high hopes. I loved the meet cute at the beginning of the story and Isa and Karim were adorable together. However, the political terminology that was consistent throughout the book really dragged it down for me and became super boring as it almost overtook the romance. I also was slightly uncomfortable reading about his marriage throughout the book, as he was not divorced throughout most of the book lol. I think more on their developing character arcs would've been appreciated and would've satisfied me more while reading.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I thought this book was cute . Some bits were a tad too cheesy for me, but overall it was cute. I read the first novel in this series and I enjoyed the first one. I loved isadoras character . Karim was super
Sweet but sometimes he became
A tad too intense at times .

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A steamy workplace romance set in the political world as both MCs navigate working together as their interest and relationship ramp up.

I really enjoyed both of the MCs in this book independent of each other. Karim and Isadora are both wonderfully complex characters who are working through the process of healing from their own difficult pasts. There was so much depth, heart, and vulnerability that it was impossible not to root for them.

The pacing was definitely a little slow, but in a good way. Gia de Cadenet took the time to really develop the characters and set the scene before getting into the romance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for providing an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Isadora and Karim are hotshot political something or others on opposing sides- but their chemistry is undeniable and they are so supportive of one another as they navigate their personal struggles. I loved how this book acknowledged that men experience trauma too, and they need support just as much as women.

I couldn’t get down with all the political ins and outs (it went into a LOT of detail) and it was longer than it needed to be, but their super sweet dynamic and magnetic chemistry helped balance things out. Overall, this was sweet but it wasn’t especially riveting.

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This is an entertaining easy read, page turner, witty banter, romance, great characters and a plot that held me captive and turning page after page with a great plot. Isadora is good at her job of being the chief of staff to her boss who is working on becoming the next U.S. representative. She wants to be her boss’s congressional aide in Washington. Karim is the brother of Khalil who we met in “Getting Her Game Back”. Karim is a gorgeous sexy alpha male he and Isadore are pretty much doing the same things; except that they are working on rival teams. The two share many of the same ideas. Even though the two are very much attracted to each other Isadora has no intentions of letting Karim stand in the way of what she has worked so hard to become. These two are great, I love their camaraderie, attraction and chemistry towards each other.

Can Isadora and Karim continue to work in harmony with their bosses being rivals, will Isadora’s boss win his bid for U.S. representative with Isadora being his congressional aide in Washington, is there an HEA in store for Isadora and Karim?

I received an ARC via NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Dell Romance and I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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I think this one just isn't for me unfortunately. The chemistry and connection felt a bit forced to me. My biggest Issue though was the subplot of the warring politician
bosses that caused the story to drag quite a bit.

Read if you like:
•workplace romance
•forced proximity
•meet cutes
• steamy/Hallmark
• politics

Thank you Ballantine for my ARC!!

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I guess, I need to confront the fact that reading politics in books is not my thing unless they are completely fictional. This just felt too reat. And I didn't care enough about the romance for it to be a redeeming quality.
Overall, if you like reading politics then this would be a good read for you. If you liked Red, White, and Royal Blue, this might also be a read for you.

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Not The Plan is just that not a plan that Isadora had in her future. She was on track to keep growing in her political career. But while on a flight she met Karim who equally did not think he was ready after leaving an abusive marriage. These two had a connect from the get go. Both were in the political party world: Isadora is the chief of staff for a progressing senator. Karim is the the legislative director for senator who is rivals with Isadora's senator also this senator is very shady! After the flight Isadora thought she would never see Karim again and same did Karim. It was quiet a surprise when Karim walked into Isadora's office. Isadora tried to push the connection away but did not work so well. The spice these two had was far more powerful. These two were meant to be together. But being in rival parties Isadora was not sure how they could make it work.

Thank you so much NetGalley for letting me read this book!

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I'm new to the political rom-com realm, but I was drawn to the book based on the cover and plot. Like most meet-cutes, this is a story of a budding workplace romance. Two rivals, Isadora and Kareem, start playing on "separate teams" but could not deny the attraction between one another. The story deals with sensitive topics, including mental health, but does so in such a meaningful way. I definitely recommend it!

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Not the Plan by Gia deCadent was another hit! I feel in love with deCadent's writing and relationships when I read the arc for Getting His Game Back last year so I just about lost my mind when I saw she wrote another book!!

Certainly NOT a closed door romance
🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️
Political "Rivals"
Workplace Romance

Not the Plan was full of passion, drama, friendship, trust, lust and not being afraid to show your vulnerabilities when you think you've found your person.

While you do not need to read Getting His Game Back to understand the story (1) it was beyond amazing honestly 5++ stars (2) gives background to MMC family (3) just READ IT ALREADY

TW: toxic parent, discussions of mental illness and spousal abuse

Thank you to the moon and back to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC 😍

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I enjoyed Khalil and Vanessa from the first book - this second book is with Khalil's brother Karim. It started with a fun meet cute with two people that didn't have time for a relationship.
As we were thrust into the world of state politics. And there were definitely rivals even on the same side of the aisle.

Karim and Isadora worked for opposing Senators who were coined the Montagues and the Capulets. She has been there for years and has her eye set on Washington and he has just arrived.

Loved their secret forbidden relationship. Some ish goes down near the end of the book that doesn't look good for one side and it calls into question their trust in each other.

There was some mental health issues for both of them with controlling family or exes, cw.

Thank you ballantine and netgalley for the e-ARC for the honest and voluntary review.

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Steam, badass woman, politics??? SIGN ME UP! this was my kind of story from beginning to end. I absolutely loved the heroine and I want to be her when I grow up. The tension, the steam, everything was perfect.

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a nice political romance with interesting main characters

this is a love story of two incredibly smart workaholics; one awkward and the other flirty

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While I enjoy reading books with diverse characters, this one fell a little flat for me for a couple of reasons. I didn't feel invested or connected with Karim and Isa, there was a lack of chemistry that I look for when it comes to romance. The spicy scenes was a little awkward. The romance didnt have depth. Another issue I had was that the book was trying too hard and had too much going on that I felt distracted which may be the reason why I couldn't connect.. I am not sure if books that is set in the politic world is one for me. I had a really hard time getting through this one.

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