Instead of eating ramen and meeting frat guys like most college freshmen, Peyton Arthur is on the campaign trail. Traveling with her mother, the Democratic pick for vice president, she’s ordering room service, sneaking glances at cute campaign intern Dylan and deflecting interview questions about the tragic loss of her father. But when a reporter questions her paternity, her world goes into a tailspin.
Dylan left Yale and joined the campaign to make a difference, not keep tabs on some girl. But with the paternity scandal blowing up and Peyton asking questions, he’s been tasked to watch her every move. As he gets to know the real Peyton, he finds it harder and harder to keep a professional distance.
When the media demands a story, Peyton and Dylan give them one—a fake relationship. As they work together to investigate the rumors about her real father and Peyton gets closer to learning the truth, she’s also getting closer to Dylan. And suddenly, it’s not just her past on the line anymore. It’s her heart.
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A Review by Pages Abound
A LITTLE ROMANCE AND MYSTERY WHILE ON THE POLITICAL TRAIL
“Remember how you told me that in politics we need to make the story our own? Make it something positive?” I close the gap between us, my body pressing against his. He stiffens, but only at first, then his breaths grow deep.
Ne nods. “Yeah.”
“This is me making my own story.”
Too often the public eye is a spiteful place that spins stories and gossip in order to sell ideas or destroy others. Red Blooded took a behind-the-scenes look at the political world from the perspective of a young, eighteen-year-old Peyton Arthur who is on the campaign trail with her mother, the democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States. As the political world often works, the media found a story they had to spin with little regard about the hurt it could cause.
While interviewing Peyton about the campaign and the recent loss of her father, a reporter questioned Peyton’s paternity, leaving a lingering question in her mind and prompting her to research the validity of the story. Worried about the political fallout that could potentially arise from the media’s story, Dylan, a Yale university student who is working on the campaign, is charged with monitoring and supporting Peyton. His goal—keep Peyton out of trouble, something she makes very difficult. As media begins to suspect there may be something to the story based on Peyton’s actions, Peyton and Dylan look for a way to turn the attention of the media to another news worthy story—they pose as a couple. However, sometimes it is difficult to keep the personal and the professional lines separate. And sometimes lies are the only means to protect.
Caitlin Sinead built a sweet story about a young couple coming into their own—learning how to navigate a cruel situation in order to build a genuine relationship. It was a slow and steady build—something I found not only refreshing, but also very appropriate given that both were working on the campaign and their young ages. The way the story weaved the personal side of campaigning into a story that blended mystery and romance within a political world that was well written and fluid in its story line.
Although not all the characters had the depth I would have preferred, Peyton was someone people could identify with. She had flaws, but proved to be someone of strength and character. She did not want to simply be a “Yes Man.” She had a voice and looked for opportunities to share her convictions whether they fit the campaign stance or not. Peyton was resilient and independent. And Dylan… He was a gentleman—a young man who showed great respect and dedication to his peers and the job He was a man who saw the truth about Peyton, saw her inner strength and gifts, and built her up regardless of the stories that surrounded her.
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About Caitlin Sinead
Caitlin Sinead is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. and her debut novel, Heartsick, is available now from Carina Press. Her writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.