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A Washington, D.C., reporter lucks into a taped confession of wrongdoing by a highly regarded senator, then falls in love with the senator's protÉgÉ--in a brisk (though highly predictable) urban romance and Cashdan's fiction debut. Cynthia Matthews, an attractive investigative journalist with a growing reputation as a scandalmonger, betrays her Iowa farm-gift roots when she hesitates to expose Iowa Senator Frederick Barker for selling favors to various special-interest groups. Because Barker's drunken confession erupts unexpectedly during an interview with Matthews on the personal toll he's suffered from the recent death of his wife, the young reporter--who coincidentally is mourning the death of her own father (who, not surprisingly, greatly resembles Barker)--takes pity on the politician and forgoes the rewards of this once-in-a-lifetime scoop. That same night coincidence #2 occurs when Matthews attends a party where she meets--and falls in love with--Barker's former protÉgÉ, attorney Jed Farber. The two initiate a thoroughly modern, mutually distrustful romance: Matthews suspects Farber of seducing her in order to control the potential Barker scandal, while Farber suspects Matthews of seeing other lovers on the side; then Farber suspects Matthews of using him to help break the Barker story, while Matthews decides that Farber is too chicken to make a commitment. As illegal aliens and Mafia-type ball-beating manufacturers periodically surface to provide fodder for the lovers' professional ambitions (and are soon as forgotten as yesterday's news), the lovers' wary courtship dance continues until all motivations are neatly cleared up, the bad guys are punished, and the unethical but lovable senator recovers sufficiently to offer these typically 80's lovebirds his gruff congratulations. An accurately drawn--if not particularly inspiring--contemporary D.C. atmosphere survives, despite an abundance of soap bubbles.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's