Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
What does it mean to be a strong, independent woman in a world dominated by males? How does said woman show vulnerability without losing her presence in that world? These questions are the essence of Victoria Blue’s newest book, Misadventures at City Hall. It’s an important message in a #metoo world, and it strives to show that strength and vulnerability can exist together.
Skye is the assistant to the city manager who aspires to a long political career. With her current plan, she has plans to run for city manager, then city council, then mayor, and political positions beyond. Her plan becomes complicated when Los Angeles City Hall is gutted by scandal. Her aim becomes muddled as she is uncertain about her next step. Kyle Armstrong is a special advisor to the Grand Jury for Los Angeles. One night, Kyle and Skye connect in a bar. They know each other from law school at UCLA, and Skye is not a fan of Kyle’s. She believes him to be arrogant and too self-assured. Unfortunately, she is attracted to him physically, complicating her interactions with him as it is clear that he desires Skye.
With the encouragement of a colleague, Skye decides to run for city council, a step beyond the first step of her “plan.” Following that encouragement, Skye enters the race. What she soon finds out is Kyle has entered the race too. Their chemistry and his persistence in pursuing her begin to complicate her campaign. Trying to avoid Kyle while wanting him physically leads her to make decisions that threaten her future. Will Skye fulfill her goals? Will she be able to stand against the men of this political realm? Can she be vulnerable with Kyle and still sustain her strength? These are the complicated questions of Blue’s story.
As a woman who struggles with showing vulnerability as a way to remain strong, Skye’s struggles resonated with me. Blue’s depiction of Skye hit all of my emotional triggers about vulnerability. As Skye self-sabotages her relationship with Kyle throughout the story, I felt her pain and frustration. Blue makes it palpable and real for her reader that, at one moment, you want to reach through the book and hit Skye upside the head, and the next moment, you want to pull her into a hug because you understand her pain. That is Blue’s strength in this story.
Even more, when we first meet Kyle, we believe he is a player, a man who cannot be trusted with Skye. What we find out very quickly is Kyle’s strength of character allows Skye to be vulnerable. Blue shows us that trusting someone is made easier when love is sacrificial. Kyle could have easily been a misogynist. He’s arrogant and self-serving at first. As the story progresses, however, he sees Skye’s struggles, and he makes changes to become the man she needs in order to be more vulnerable. He becomes an exemplification of the “woke” modern male.
Together, these two are romance dynamite. Their chemistry in and out of the bedroom is felt off the page. They clearly complement each other, reminding the reader that we don’t have to find the “perfect” fit on the page. Instead, our perfect fit might be someone we least expect.
I love the Misadventures stories because they offer simple stories with big messages. Victoria Blue’s Misadventures at City Hall is seemingly uncomplicated, but there is more to her romance. Showing our own vulnerability, acceptance, and opening our eyes to each other’s vulnerabilities makes us better people. Blue illustrates for us the power of love when we let go of our fears and allow ourselves to find safety in the arms of another.
In love and romance,