Book Review: Not the Plan by Gia De Cadenet

Posted February 4, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger, Uncategorized / 23 Comments

Not the Plan
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Gia De Cadenet
Publication Date February 7, 2023
Published by Random House Publishing Group
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / General, Fiction / Romance / Multicultural & Interracial
Pages: 320
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

An ambitious chief of staff risks her career and her heart when she falls hard for her new colleague in this steamy workplace romance from the author of Getting His Game Back.

“A sexy and sensitive love story set against a backdrop of political intrigue . . . I loved it!”—Ava Wilder, author of How to Fake It in Hollywood

After nearly a decade of experience in state politics, Isadora Maris is damn good at her job. Aggressive lobbyists and stonewalling senators are no match for her diplomacy and her unflappable commitment to her principles. If all goes according to her meticulous plan, she’ll soon be managing her boss’s successful campaign for U.S. representative and finally land her dream role: congressional aide in Washington, D.C., where she can really make a difference.

But Isadora’s cool professionalism is knocked off-kilter when she meets Karim Sarda. Karim is gorgeous and brilliant and seems to share many of her ideals. So why is he working for the California senate’s most detestable scumbag? Given their bosses’ fierce political rivalry, Isadora finds she can’t risk tarnishing her reputation by flirting with the enemy, and she’s been betrayed enough times to want to keep people at a distance. So she deems Karim off-limits—no matter how flustered she feels whenever he enters the room.

Karim knows that struggle all too well: Still processing the wounds from his failed marriage, he’s ready for a fresh start. But Karim can’t hide his attraction to Isadora’s commanding presence. Her strength is captivating, even as he recognizes something fragile beneath its surface.

When Karim and Isadora succumb to their undeniable chemistry, their initial desire blossoms into something more—something real. But if Karim’s boss takes control of the California senate, everything Isadora worked for could be destroyed. Will workplace politics shatter their chance at love?

Not the Plan by Gia De Cadenet is an enemies-to-lovers romance, with political rivals falling for each other. 

Story Recap:

Isadora Maris loves her job.  As the chief of staff for a California state senator, she’s on track to finally meet her life goal and go to Washington with him after he runs for congress.  Isadora has spent ten years in politics and loves the thrill of making new laws.  

When Isadora meets Karim Sarda she’s instantly attracted to him.  He’s handsome, smart, and sexy, but he also works for her boss’s political rival.  She knows that any relationship with Karim could derail her plans.  But, they keep getting thrown together, and their chemistry is off the charts.  

But, will the political battles of their bosses, destroy their happiness? 

My Thoughts: 

I enjoyed this political romance. The romance between Isadora and Karim was done well.  It was an enemies to lovers and it was done well.  I liked the premise of the story as political drama can easily cause personal drama between the main characters, however, it was a bit too much politics in this story for me.  But, the romance and the chemistry between the two main characters made up for the politics.  

I also appreciated the author highlighting the effects of verbal and emotional abuse on the main characters.  I thought it was done well, highlighting the effects of abuse without being too heavy-handed about it.  

Overall, I enjoyed this romance.  


I highly recommend Not the Plan to anyone who enjoys romance.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Gia De Cadenet

A native Floridian, Gia de Cadenet dreamed of living in France when she was a child. In 2006, she put her a promising career on hold for two years to get a master’s degree in Paris. But a few short weeks after arriving, she bumped into a red-headed Frenchman and her fate was sealed.

A decade later, she got serious about her second big dream: becoming a published author. Her first manuscript, Not The Plan, was showcased in the 2017 PitchWars mentorship program. It went on to become a finalist in both the Maggie Award for Excellence Contest of the Georgia Romance Writers Association, and the Elevation of Love Contest of the Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural chapter of the Romance Writers of America Association. A Twitter pitch contest in 2018 led to a contract with Transatlantic Literary Agency, and a two-book deal with Penguin Random House in 2020.

Have you read Not the Plan?

23 responses to “Book Review: Not the Plan by Gia De Cadenet

  1. Jdhshdhid THE POLITICAL ASPECT OF THE WHOLE BOOK SOUNDS SO SO COOL?? (I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you though) and also the entire premise sounds so unique?? I LOVE THE REVIEW

  2. I’m glad the romance was fun. Not sure I can read anything with any kind of politics in it right now, though. I’m tired of all things political.