This isn’t Michael Picetti’s first presidential election cycle. He wants to win, but he’s too burned out to be a true believer. These days, he doesn’t feel much at all, except when a conversation on the plane to Iowa ignites a spark he thought was gone. Desire.
Lydia Reales has just landed her dream job. She has to impress the campaign manager and win this election, and she doesn’t have time to flirt with a strange man on a plane or in a hotel bar, especially not when he’s the enemy.
Michael and Lydia should have nothing in common. They shouldn’t even talk. They should absolutely not start a reckless secret affair that threatens their careers and reputations. But as the campaign rages on, they’ll question everything they should do in politics—and in love.
Previously released as Party Lines
- How long is The One You Hate? 80,000 words, or on the shorter end of single-title length.
- What’s the heat level? It’s sensual but not erotic.
- Are there any content notes? On-page sex and alcohol use; profanity; references to racial discrimination in the workplace; on-page racist microaggressions; extensive political discussion. In the epilogue, two of the three couples have children; the third is happily (and permanently) child-free.
- What inspired you to write the book? In The One You Want, we met Parker and learned that he’d had two college roommates. When Liam became the male main character in book 2, I knew that Michael would be the MMC of book 3. I also knew from the start that it would be campaign-set and cross-party. The Pinterest page with inspiration images and selections from the playlist is here.
- What was the writing process like? I have never written a book where the drafting was harder. I have also never worked harder during my edits. But I love the final product. I started writing the book in December 2013 and finished it in June 2014. It was originally published in 2015. I got my rights back from my publisher in January 2022, and I republished the book the next month.
- Can it standalone? Yes. While it’s the third book in the series, there’s no information that you need from books 1 and 2.
- I don’t like politics. Should I still read the book? I answered this question re: the first book in the series in depth here. Michael’s a Democrat, and Lydia’s a Republican: that’s at the core of the book. To me, politics are a metaphor for differences in the personality and experience of the characters. The books aren’t liberal or conservative; they reflect my own weird mix of cynicism and idealism and are about, at some level, the political development of my fellow Millennials. You could read and enjoy the series thinking of all the political details as fantasy. But I realize that American politics are deeply charged and frequently unpleasant and your mileage may vary.
- How different is The One You Hate from Party Lines? I made far more changes to this book than to books 1 and 2, specifically to Lydia’s arc. Without being too detailed, I’ll just say that in the revision, Lydia leaves her party.
- I’d like to review the book. Awesome! I hope you love it, but if you don’t, I support your right to review it honestly however and wherever you want. Reviews are for readers not writers. While bad reviews are unpleasant, I’ll live and I won’t harass you about it. Promise.