MINI REVIEW: The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead

It’s a mini review! I’m clearing out my review queue of all the books I can’t seem to convince myself to finish, for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean these are negative reviews, it simply means that something isn’t compelling me to keep reading at the moment. Maybe I’ll go back to them another day, maybe I won’t!

DNF Details:

How far did I get? Two and a half hours into the audiobook.

Why did I stop? The couple had BARELY interacted. There’s a quick scene of them meeting in the bar, then a bunch of political talk and logistics of coordinating the fake dating. The heroine talks to everyone BUT the hero in the two and a half hours I listened to, and it just became clear that the book and I weren’t vibing. Definitely heavy on the political stuff, which is fine if there is also a compelling romance. And there wasn’t in the portion I read. The final straw for me was when the heroine talked to another character and mentioned that she probably wasn’t thinking clearly since she hadn’t had sex in a few months, and the other character basically gasped and said “do you need me to call someone and fix this dire situation immediately?” I don’t know, small stuff started getting on my nerves because there wasn’t a whole lot of good stuff to hook me in.

Was I enjoying it initially? Kind of? I listened to the audiobook, and I wasn’t super sold on the narrator. She voices the hero as well, and he’s got an unusual accent, so that made it more difficult to connect to. Not that he spoke all that much in the portion I read, lol. But I liked the premise and I liked the writing style for the most part, so it definitely could’ve won me over with more of a romantic hook in the beginning.

Would I finish this? Ehh, I don’t think so? I did initially wonder if I gave up too soon, but I went over to Goodreads and spoiled the story for myself, and I think I made the right decision. Sounds like they barely interact for 150-200 pages, which is not something that interests me. I also got a spoiler for something that happens in the back half, and I think that would’ve just irritated me. So I think there’s a possibility that it hits its stride somewhere along the way, but it’s clearly not going to be a 5-star read for me.

Who would I recommend this to? Liberals who are interested in politics? Honestly, the political aspect is going to tick off anyone who doesn’t agree with the author’s perspective. She didn’t say anything I disagreed with in the portion I read (unless I was zoned out for it, lol), but it’s a big enough part of the story that I’m sure that it will irritate some readers. Fans of women’s fiction or women’s fiction crossovers are more likely to connect with this, given the fact that the romance is not always at the forefront. So it will probably only appeal to a limited group of readers.



A laugh-out-loud rom-com about learning to embrace living outside your comfort zone.

As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek—in bed!—she decides she needs to change. And what better way to kick-start her new more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand?

Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Audacious and filterless, Logan is Alexis’s opposite—and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm. In their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly—and shockingly—flees.

Alexis is bewildered until suddenly pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. Turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot candidate challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious scandal is poised to sink his career—and jeopardize Alexis’s job—until a solution is proposed: he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?


About the Author:

Ashley Winstead is an academic turned novelist with a Ph.D. in contemporary American literature. She lives in Houston with her husband, two cats, and beloved wine fridge. You can find her at

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