First Spouse of the United States
Acceptance and understanding are at the heart of this novel as we meet Rocky Chambers about to receive an award from the President of the United States. His family is present and then the President sends someone to ask that he comes to his private residence and meet his wife. But this President and Rocky seem to have some type of electric charge or chemistry and when alone the end of the first chapter will shock readers and leads us into learning about his early years.
Within the next part of the book we meet Rocky in High School and we learn about his friendship with another football star, Umberto who takes him on a collision course with love that ends tragic. Even though he has a girlfriend and so does his friend, for appearances only, they bond, spend time together so why was Umberto arrested and why does he commit suicide? Distraught, out of control and unable to understand and handle the loss of his lover and friend, Rocky isolates himself from his family, friends and school until something happens that changes more than his attitude but his family dynamics too. When his mother insists that he goes to school and he blurts out the truth about his relationship with Umberto, the end result is she wants nothing more to do with him and it’s his father who has to try and mend the ways but he leaves early for Annapolis and things get more intense on the way.
The road to being Captain in the Marines took many long and hard paths as Rocky made some close contacts, had different relationships with some of his superiors and then found himself in unusual positions at times when dealing with higher ups, men in his regime and getting the experience and training needed to become a fighter pilot. Some men seemed to take to him while others tried to give him a long and harder road until he came to the attention of someone who explained why he was going to receive the Medal of Honor after a mission created some fallout in the media, downed three Iraqis and two Russians who tried to take him down and the new President of the United States, President Tanner had a choice to back up his actions or take him down. As we complete his early years, military experience and fast forward to when he received the medal of honor and then someone changes it all. His grandfather, Rudolph Chambers insisted that he visited him before attending Annapolis letting him know that in due time or two years, he would be revisiting their discussion about Rocky taking over the multi-billion-dollar company he started. But, what he did not know is that he monitored his actions, his entire career, where he was deployed and the final revelation comes after he gets the medal, receives a letter that sets another course of action and ends a connection that he thought might continue as we meet Rocky at a different juncture of his career facing his grandfather who would determine the course he would take.
The author’s experience in the military field and in flying planes as a fighter pilot helps readers experience along with Rocky the dangers of becoming a pilot, the politics involved when looking for advancement and how the army, marines and others dealt with his sexual preferences
Many flashbacks to his high school years, his life, living large and having fun yet his bravery, heroism and more often get hidden as the first lady has her own agenda for him and it does not include her husband. Raised in a military family, the author spent ten years in the Marine Corps according to his biography and one of his first duty assignments it sates was at HMX-1, the Presidential Helicopter Squadron in Washington, D.C.
Rocky and Nick Jeffries had a relationship when he first started in Annapolis and even though they were apart somehow his grandfather knew about them and fostered their relationship. Nick wanted to enter politics and married Sheila who accepted Rocky as part of their family and marriage. Two children born and harsh realities are revealed, and things get tense before they cool off. As a Congressman he must be careful, and the public cannot know about his relationship with Rocky and yet someone did. Mrs. Tanner, the former first lady had Rocky under her thumb until the tables are turned later.
This book is about acceptance, tolerance, the right to choose your partner, freedom of choice, equality and unity but even more understanding and allowing love to be a part of your life no matter who your partner is.
As Sheila and Nick included Rocky as part of their lives and things heat up as Nick decides to run for Senator, he hires a transgender as his campaign manager which sets the press off in a frenzy but somehow they manage to work it out until Sheila has a stroke and things change. Will they out themselves? How will the public handle a Gay Senator and his partner? What about his children Brooke and Ricky? People are often ignorant, and some have their own ways of thinking and accepting something else and National Unity, does not always fit into their agendas or way of thinking
When Rocky takes control and Mrs. Tanner and the former President rally their support as his family has given them financial help for their library and other interests, someone decides to destroy it all and the result is tragic.
When Sheila passes and Nick and Rocky become a family, and more will the public embrace their union? Will extremists decide on their future and will the public embrace Nicky if he wins the election for President? The plot line draws many issues that candidates face today, whether it’s health care, education, political reforms and in this case the right to choose your partner and more. As Sheila’s final words are spoken in a letter and their hearts are bound together yet sadness and unhappiness prevail, Rocky and Nick must decide on their future, what is best for the children and the country.
Some endings are left open as we learn the outcome of the election. An ending that will shock readers and lead you to think there might be a sequel coming as story closes. What is the outcome and what is the fate of the First Spouse of the United States? Characters that are well defined and issues that are true to life as any campaign can have difficulties and issues that the press and public feel go against their thinking when the press fuels the public or the public does not have open minds and understanding for differences. Let’s hope the author continues with what happens next to both Nick and Rocky.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews