Book Jacket

 

rank 814
word count 11342
date submitted 24.03.2012
date updated 13.04.2013
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
classification: moderate
incomplete

Primary Season

Claire Lyman

Louisa hates Aaron. She really hates him. Or at least it would be simpler if she did.

 

There's a job to do. There's a cause to promote. There's an election to - well, not win, exactly, but at least kill yourself taking part in. There's no time for distractions. There's no time for forbidden love.

 
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Jannypeacock wrote 750 days ago

Hi Claire,

Ok; as you know I’m not a huge lover of politics, but the writing in this is top- notch. God lord woman, can you not stick in just a few mistakes to make the rest of us feel a bit better? lol

I really liked your opening scene. Louisa has a strong personality and I just wanted to give her a good shake and force her to face up to her crush on Aaron (although Mr perfect like that is bound to grate on anyone’s nerves lol). I love the denial aspect you’ve developed here. It lots of scope for emotion to build as the story develops.

I have quite a few friends who still pine the West Wing so I think you could have locked on to a good niche market with your style, Claire. A series of these political based stories could do very well.

Janny xx

Maud Fitch wrote 741 days ago

Love your attention-grabbing, realistic dialogue, Claire. You have achieved a great sense of place, instantly likeable characters and a storyline which rings true. I've worked in the campaign office of a politician and, believe me, you have exposed and analysed both the public and private aspects with great finesse. Keep up that sparkling writing style because I'm looking forward to Louisa taking some big risks, politically and emotionally. I know she can do it!
Best wishes,
Maud.

scully223 wrote 740 days ago

Claire,

I really enjoyed the first 6 chapters; they left me wanting more! The characters are compelling (although I foresee myself wanting to strangle both of them at times) and relatable. The dialogue is quick, witty and forceful. Looking forward to reading more.

KBecks

Kathy K G wrote 344 days ago

This started out as a fun read and then turned into something a little more serious. And I liked that just as much as I like your writing style. You write great snappy dialogue, your pacing is good, your characters are also very good; Aaron is just too charming for his own good and Louisa is almost a little too stubborn and judgmental for hers. I liked that you tackled the idea that a person does not have to move in lockstep on every issue to be a part of a movement. My one nit pick is the use of the word flatmate. Sounds more European than American. I'd swap it out for roommate.

I've read through Chapter Six and enjoyed it very much. High stars from me!

Kathy

Steve Hawgood wrote 354 days ago

Claire - the promised read. As before I've no literary training nor ever published so feel free to deal with these comments as you wish.

I'll start by saying I'm not a great lover of quotations at the start of a book. I often see them as trying to add something to a book that should stand on its own merit.

Chapter 1 - I remembered you could write well, particularly for the romance chick/lit genre and you still can. It's not my obvious read but I've read the odd one before and, if its good, even finished a few. This is striaght on, no holds, barred chick lit, female view of us men. The slightly annoying habits, the confusion between that and then the attraction that niggles away. Loads of little extras came through for me, with the way I see women viewing the world. Her focus on DC politics and back to that final contradiction where she shows concern for a guy she previously said she didnt like. Strong opening Chapter.

Good dialogue supporting a simple scene with characters developing nicely. For me it meets the ingredients for this genre.

Chapter 2 - continues neatly enough from Chapter 1 with the build of the friendship/relationship between them. You've then chosen to lead us into that most serious of US debates Rowe versus Wade. You then slip to a story build with the backdrop of her own position in DC. You show particularly well how shallow it is, with the constant pretence and the battle between well motivated an intelligent people over issues they cannot agree upon. It's a life many only see from a distance and you write it well. You lay out for the unitiated the starting arguments between democrats and republicans through to wack jobs - it's well written all of it. But as I read this Chapter I was getting a sense of something - will keep reading for now.

Chapter 3 - and its a continuation of the first two with them now at dinner. Again you portray those little differences between men and women really well; the male need to lick his fingers, the interplay as she discovers his past with a daughter, then pushing for him to open emotionally. I do feel you get that balance right. It's a nice build on two more mature people dating and struggling to find a connect behind their personal lives.

Chapter 4 - excellent. That teasing between two women, with one knowing the other was not being honest earlier. You've a simple dialogue that works. This is a quick run through her thoughts again touching on the themse of religion and abortion that I presume must come up again later.

Claire as before I've no question about your ability to write. Your scenes work and the dialogue is excellent. Both main characters and Janelle are developing at the right pace and we're even starting to empathise with Louisa.

But I wanted something more and am not sure what. So far it's been a confused date between two people both involved in politics. I think when you(Louisa) indicated it was a shallow life in DC I started to switch off a little and wanted something extra. From there my view was a little more disspassionate in my read, wanting something to happen - perhaps a one night affair and her pregnant, or some sort of threat? You may have that later but I wanted a little more spark earlier if that makes sense.

The quality of the writing is very good though and each scene works. I found it an easy read and It may well be I'm not suited for the genre as the storyline seems to be matching others Ive read. Best. Steve.

Twistedbiscuits wrote 359 days ago

I'm 3 chapters in.
Congratulations, you made politics a lot less boring!
It was very clever how you brought up the idea that there's not a black and white, either, that you can be for one idea without supporting the whole package. Also impressed with the way you explained just enough so that I wasn't confused by American politics, without going into so much tiresome detail.
I have to say I'm not a fan of romance, but Louisa and Aaron are compelling characters and even though I find romance frustrating (because what does it matter about religion, if you want to be with a person?) I am curious as to how they get on.

Edit - It was hilarious how annoying she found Aaron!

Janet/Helen wrote 364 days ago

Primary Season Chapters 2 to 6

Right - I take back what I said about the MC here. Through these five chapters I've actually started to like her and feel there's a vulnerability which I missed in chapter 1. Very clear. well paced writing with no errors that I could see. Not normally my genre at all, but I could remain interested in this story.
Upped to 6 stars and onto my watchlist. Janet

Janet/Helen
The Stranger In My Life

Cherry G. wrote 373 days ago

Read Chapters 1, 2 and 3
You mentioned your book on Janet's thread, so I couldn't resist a read.
Ah, now I get the book cover...being a Brit I didn't immediately associate donkeys with Democrats and thought I might be in for the politics of donkey racing! But apart from my initial confusion, I understood the rest of the US political terms (there's always a lot of news and comment about the US Primaries and although I'm not 100% sure how it works, I get the basic gist. I'm sure most Brits do.)
You have a strong main character who is bright, funny and likeable, but also vulnerable. I could really feel her annoyance with Aaron. Well developed. The dialogue was exceptionally well done, very polished and enjoyable to read. It felt convincing and amusing.
At the end of chapter 1, I was wondering why Louisa didn't feel she was a 100% Democrat...was she a Republican spy or something?! In chapter 2 her Christian views were clarified. I liked the way she was reluctant to admit to them but knew she had to, despite embarrassment and perhaps disapproval. She felt vulnerable then, yet seemed stronger at the same time. Aaron's considerate reaction was a surprise. There's more to him than I initially thought.
In Chapter 3 it was the time for Aaron's revelation. This complicates their relationship even further. They are getting on well and falling in love, but it's clear things will not run smoothly for them.
High star rating for this and a spell on my shelf when I have a spare place.
Cherry
The Girl from Ithaca

Janet/Helen wrote 375 days ago

Primary Season. Chapter 1.

Chick lit and politics. Not genres which would normally attract me, but I promised to have a look at this. I actually like the first chapter. The main character - I do feel like giving her a good slap, but that means I've already been drawn in to the story and I may well get to like her as I read on. Good, clear, error free writing so far. I'm genuinely unable to read any more this morning and am away from my computer until next Wednesday, but chapter 1 has provided me with enough to say I will continue reading next week and leave some fuller comments then. Five stars for what I've seen so far. Janet

Janet/Helen
The Stranger In My Life

StephenMc wrote 380 days ago

Claire,

You story is pretty frenetic which is strangely in keeping with your caffeine fuelled main character. It does sometimes get swamped with background or her thoughts and could perhaps use some more dialogue to present the narrative a bit clearer.
I read the first and second chapters and at times was unsure of where was now. I wasn't sure if I was in the office with the jiggling leg or back at the flat talking about the office or several months perviously at the photocopier.
As a West Wing fan I recognise some of your themes and terminology but not sure if they need further elaboration for general readership, when this gets to ed's desk I am sure they will advise on that call.

But that said I enjoyed the mad pace of it all and wish you luck on this merry adventure

regards
Stephen

France wrote 388 days ago

Encouraging to see a new book by Claire Lynam!

Lisa Lawton wrote 406 days ago

Hello, Clair,

I'm not a politics person myself, but I have to concur with what others have said, that the writing is quite professional. Your characters are well-polished and their dialogue is actually real, clever and witty, and not stunted or forced in any way.
Sorry I can't add anything constructive, Clair, but that has to be a good thing I suppose.

Lisa. x

Andrea Taylor wrote 454 days ago

Being an English girl from the 'sticks,' this is not my usual territory, but you took me right there. Capitol Hill. This is seriously well written, the dialogue (English spelling) is superb, we all know she adores him even while he annoys her...yet it is never pushed in our faces, we are left to see it ourselves. The thing I dislike the most is being told the obvious and you are the master of the art of subtlety. Cannot fault this!
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair

Harry.I.Cunningham wrote 490 days ago

I really liked what I've read so far Claire (the opening two chapter.) I think what makes this stand out is the way: it's cynical tone and the way in which it is written is what makes it stand out so much. The idea that someone's job is to sit on twitter all day hyping up the election campaign is darkly funny and wonderful. You cannot help but feel sorry for that woman! I honestly don't know what to suggest other than to keep writing, you've clearly got the knack of writing fluently and I will probably come back and finish this at some point. Publishing is a fickle and stupidly long game but one day I'm sure this book will find the agent and publisher it deserves.

AriesAirhead wrote 570 days ago

Claire,

Wonderful writing! I loved the banter between Louisa and Aaron in the beginning and was somewhat disappointed that they started a "relationship" so soon. But then CH.6 came with disappointment of a different kind: that their brief romance had ended already. I see much more banter in the future along with soul searching from Louisa.

You certainly know how to pull a reader in, and I loved the tidbit about the Old Post Office (you would think everyone knew that was the best place to see the city). Can't wait till you upload more!

~Aries
The Life You Leave Behind

elsanovel wrote 573 days ago

Your story drew me in from the first page. The dialogue, the character development all have been done brilliantly. An outstanding piece of writing about a very serious issue
Well done!

SallyXB wrote 615 days ago

Hi Claire,

I really like the premise of this, and it is well written. The dialogue flows really well. For me, I felt it didn't really 'get started' until mid way through chapter two, when the abortion issue is raised. Suddenly I wanted to find out more about the situation and the compromises that had been made. That's just my view of course! I've starred this and look forward to seeing you progress.

Cheers
Sally

mikewriter wrote 659 days ago

Transatlantic Flight Test

Hi Claire,

You are a confident writer who doesn’t indulge in unnecessary prose and you draw your characters very clearly. I like that. It makes for a comfortable read and nothing jars in the writing. Louisa’s POV is also tight as a drum, so whatever the reader’s gender, race, colour or creed they can walk in her shoes. I’m a big fan of that, as it’s something many authors find hard to accomplish.

The relationship between Louisa and Aaron is very sensitively developed. Friendship and love often develop out of initial conflict and it takes a keen eye and a delicate touch to describe that transition; the small things that turn the wheel.

There are a number of things that should legislate against me being attracted your book. I am a man. As a Brit, I have no great knowledge or particular interest in American politics. I’m not drawn to contemporary fiction with religious themes. It’s a testament to your writing style that none of these factors hindered me in my enjoyment of your book.

Did you get me to LA? Well, clearly 6 chapters wouldn’t do that, but had there been more I would have continued reading.

My shelf is full but I’ll keep you on my watchlist and decorate it with ample stars in the meantime.

Keep writing.

Mike
(Milk and More)

GCleare wrote 663 days ago

I love your writing Claire. It's intelligent and witty. This is a fun read and it's interesting to see you've woven your love of politics into a lighter romance. I would buy them both! High stars and shelved. ~Gail SECRETS WE KEEP

RTC wrote 667 days ago

Hi Claire,

I've just checked our your novel 'Primary season' and gave it a great rating. It's very well written! Great job. I'm sure I will be back to delve in a bit further when I have a bit more time. Whenever you have a chance to return the favor on 'Undaunted' that would be great.

Thanks!
Rachelle

SuzanneJefferies wrote 693 days ago

Entertaining and well-written. I look forward to reading more.

Lacydeane wrote 696 days ago

This was a very enjoyable story. I liked your characters and how they related to each other. I liked how you let us into her head so we know how she really feels. You are a very good writer. The story flowed well. Great job!! Lacy

DaisyFitz wrote 701 days ago

Why did this get knocked out of Mayhem? Seriously.

Pitch - does the job. It does. It's short but effective.
Writing - pretty bloody slick. I'm not a massive fan of the 'He was jiggling... and it was irritating her...' opening, but I like that it's repeated later.
Characters - hmmm... I'm getting an image of her but it's one I'm making up. What does she look like? I like the 80s music and coffee habit. Him? I like that he's got dark hair - well I'm assuming he's got dark hair because of the Jewish line. That was nicely done. And that hook at the end... love that. Daughter, dying wife, elderly grandma?
The following are ridiculous nits you've every right to laugh at and ignore. But I think PS is lovely, interesting thoughtful and will be better for resolving some of these:
Cliches - take 10 demerits for using 'eye rolling' (It's officially illegal. It's impossible to do and only gets used in sloppily written chick lit books.) Take a further 20 demerits for using twice in CH1.
The Cheryl and the letter - or she remembered it instantly because it was hand-written and Louisa's just pointed that out to us.
She snorted, he snorted. Lot of snorting.
Oh, she's a virgin. Ace. Like it. Actually, I'm very intrigued where you're going to take a Christian, virgin and a sex god without it getting too Mills & Boon.
*sigh* Ch3. I'm grinning. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's not strung out, I'm glad they're already in love but it was a smidgen quick. I don't mean that it's in Ch3, or that it's so soon - it's literally over a paragraph or so - it threw me. There's quick-paced banter, the joke about seeing him in pain - but then we're told they're speaking softly, they're falling in love. Ta-da. It's a tiny crit because I'm still grinning. I love a good love story. Still don't know what she looks like. I'm guessing not skinny and blonde following one of her comments. Or have I missed it?
End Ch3, and End Ch4 - he bumps his forehead against hers. I'm going to say ouch next time.
CH5 - love, love, love the twitter plan.
CH6... oh.

Firstly, I think this is a lovely story. It's cute. It's got politics, it's well written, you can throw in great emotional debates about Christianity, sex, abortion. Have you finished it yet? It's not got the fluid beauty of Inevitable, but it feels definitely written by the same author. Also, have you finished it yet? I'm just wondering about pacing - it does seem to whizz along from hate, to love, to over. Maybe it's because I devoured it in no time.

Honestly, I think this is lovely, and I'm now going to see those judging decision to see why on earth they knocked it out of Mayhem. Nutters.

Cx

ps. Why are there yellow bits? Sloppy work, Ms Lyman. :)

revteapot wrote 713 days ago

Claire, I really enjoyed this.
I, too, thought the jump from thoroughly irritated by you, to, think you're the bees knees, was a bit fast, but it's well written. Your protagonists are plausible, dialogue sharp and setting interesting.
Notes:
nice opening quote.
Good hook at the end of chpt 1
chpt 2 - "And none of really have a clue about each other’s" missing us, I think. 
I like the child-at-Christmas analogy.
"The boring, boring mettings. " meetings.
chpt 3 "I mean,the idea. But I’m " missing space

Highly starred.

Lindsay
A Priest's Tale

EFLanders wrote 715 days ago

Hi Claire,

This is a well written, attention grabbing story but, if I'm honest, Louisa and Aaron's romance annoys me a bit. Although, it's obvious that Louisa is attracted to Aaron I can't for the life of me figure out why Aaron would be interested in her - why would he choose someone cranky & hyper critical over the other adoring fans in the office?

I also felt rushed from Louisa being convinced she hated him to believing herself in love with him. For me, his coming to her rescue on the abortion issue would be the event that led her to see him differently. Just overhearing a half conversation and being asked out on a date, doesn't seem enough to me.

I don't mean to come across as over critical because the story and setting are interesting and the characters are well rounded, it's just, as a reader, I felt the romance was rushed. I need to be given a hint as to why Aaron likes Louisa sooner & Louisa needs a more significant event to allow her to let her guard down. In my opinion, of course! It wouldn't be the first time, if I were wrong!

Lorna
Toward the Closing Door (of the pitch me thread)

writerchick11 wrote 719 days ago

An intelligent romance for the modern woman. I could not fault your writing structure, grammar, characterisation, dialogue, I really couldn't. I think the greatest skill a writer can have is have your characters talking authentically and not as robots and you succeeded with the former. As you know I have backed your book and look forward to seeing how the story pans out.
KC

Ellen Michelle wrote 735 days ago

Hey

I read part of your book and i have now come back to read more, its also well written

read swap ?

Ellen Michelle :)

scully223 wrote 740 days ago

Claire,

I really enjoyed the first 6 chapters; they left me wanting more! The characters are compelling (although I foresee myself wanting to strangle both of them at times) and relatable. The dialogue is quick, witty and forceful. Looking forward to reading more.

KBecks

Maud Fitch wrote 741 days ago

Love your attention-grabbing, realistic dialogue, Claire. You have achieved a great sense of place, instantly likeable characters and a storyline which rings true. I've worked in the campaign office of a politician and, believe me, you have exposed and analysed both the public and private aspects with great finesse. Keep up that sparkling writing style because I'm looking forward to Louisa taking some big risks, politically and emotionally. I know she can do it!
Best wishes,
Maud.

Clare B wrote 741 days ago

Brilliant writing well done! Intriguing read good luck.

Clare "Be The Human Sunshine" :)

Melissa Writes wrote 748 days ago

Hi Claire,
I love your book. I was thoroughly entertained from the first paragraph. You have an authentic voice and I think you do really well with this. I wish you luck and have put you on my bookshelf.
Thanks,
Melissa,
Lessons in the Dark

Jannypeacock wrote 750 days ago

Hi Claire,

Ok; as you know I’m not a huge lover of politics, but the writing in this is top- notch. God lord woman, can you not stick in just a few mistakes to make the rest of us feel a bit better? lol

I really liked your opening scene. Louisa has a strong personality and I just wanted to give her a good shake and force her to face up to her crush on Aaron (although Mr perfect like that is bound to grate on anyone’s nerves lol). I love the denial aspect you’ve developed here. It lots of scope for emotion to build as the story develops.

I have quite a few friends who still pine the West Wing so I think you could have locked on to a good niche market with your style, Claire. A series of these political based stories could do very well.

Janny xx

FRAN MACILVEY wrote 750 days ago

Dear Claire

This is a lovely read. Your plot is so straightforward, and yet nothing here feels cliched. Which may be down to the honesty of your writing. You simply tell the truth. We all hate the way that men jig their legs up and down! Your characters are so well drawn and observed, but with not a trace of self consciousness. And your dialogue feels just right.

I am glad that you have a bit of controversy in here too. Roe v Wade is a brave subject to pick, but who said chick lit should only be about shoes and makeup?

Your writing is just about perfect, though just occasionally some of Louisa's inner musings could perhaps be shortened. A sentence less, is all. I am so pleased that your writing is so fluent and well presented. Thank you for making my reading such a joy.

All the best with this.

Fran Macilvey, "Trapped" xx

laurainwa wrote 752 days ago

I love books about politics, with intelligent discussions of controversial issues! Great job so far!

Kate M. wrote 753 days ago

Primary Season
Hi Claire, I read all six chapters uploaded and I love it. It’s just a fun, airy romance story, with the hint of melancholy you seem to really enjoy (and that infuriates me because it means your MC’s will surely not get together). I love the dialogue. It’s very real, with the starts and stops, and interruptions. Like I said with Inevitable, I love your style.
“And none of us have a clue about each other’s.” this line feels awkward. I know he just said lives and I know he’s referring to each other’s lives… maybe just say each other or add in each other’s lives (even though its repetitive). I had to read it more than once – so it jumped out at me.
He says “sex is a basic human right” but that struck me as being a weird sentence for lack of a better word. It’s not a “right” really, right implies some kind of governance. Maybe instinct? Impulse? Need?
I do think it’s strange that she’s a virgin. Call me cynical, but I don’t know if I buy that modern 30 year old virgins exist anymore. It’s almost too sweet.
“You mean a random bunch of cells?” His face clouded over… I had to read more than once. Because the speech is followed by “his”. It’s her speech – but I had to work it out. Maybe She regretted trying to score the point when his face clouded. So “she” comes first. Or move the His face to the next line.
“as people do when they are falling in love” I thought this line was too contrived. At this point, they just like each other, maybe seeing something different in each other. I like the speaking softly part though.
Is Luisa American or British? I missed that maybe? I thought she was American but lived in London for a time. She uses some dinstinctly British phrases. “Dodgy neighborhood” for example. I think Americans would say shady, or sketchy (although both of those are area specific too).
Her heart seemed to leap and sink at the same time; she hadn’t known that was possible….aww I love this line.
Overall – great start! Hmmmm will they get together? Highly starred...

Greenleaf wrote 756 days ago

Claire, this is really good. I've read the first two chapters and will be back to read more after I catch up on my readings. I love that there are already sparks between Louisa and Aaron. They're destined to fall in love (I think), but how they will get there is the big question. Definitely intriguing and well-written. I think you'll have a big hit with this book.

Highly starred!

Susan/Greenleaf (Chameleon)

nataliewilliams wrote 757 days ago

Read the first two chapters so far -- love the pace of it, so well written, especially the dialogue. I'm very curious to read more, though part of me hopes they don't get together!

Ruth2904 wrote 759 days ago

Love the opening paragraphs - lets you slip straight into the story with ease. At one point in chapter 2, I thought she would really soften towards him. Love the banter between her and Aaron. Am interested in how everything pans out. A lovely start to what is looking to be an interesting read. Backed and rated, of course.

Ruth2904
To Dream Again

scargirl wrote 759 days ago

These pitches really hit with a punch and are excellent. i am curious, so curious...
j
what every woman should know

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