First Lady - Susan Elizabeth Phillips I just love a good SEP story. And I LOVE when Anna Fields narrates it. I'm still so sad she passed away. She was SO GOOD at narrating and really brought the characters to life.

What a fun story. I can only imagine that First Ladies and others in the public eye have wished to just disappear for a while. Nealy had good reason -- she'd been in the spotlight since she was a kid, and while her husband, the previous President, passed away, the single new President needed someone to fulfill the First Lady duties, so they cajoled Neely into continuing on. She agrees, but as time goes on, she comes up with this great idea to escape for a while. I have to admit, she was quite resourceful and creative. :-)

At the same time, an attorney for Mat's ex-wife, Sandi, is trying to saddle Mat with her two children, neither of which are his, but Sandi gave them both his last name. Lucy (the 14-year-old) has a letter from her grandmother in Iowa, talking about the girls (Lucy and the baby Button) coming to live with her there. So Mat piles them all into Sandi's old yellow Winnebago for a road trip to Iowa.

Soon after Nealy's escape, she comes across Mat and the girls. Her car has been stolen, and they strike up a deal that Neely will deal with the girls so Mat doesn't have to, and he'll give her a ride to Iowa. She has changed her appearance, so nobody realizes she's the First Lady, and as such, they just treat her like a regular person, instead of the official she's always been. And she revels in it. Between being treated like a regular person and having normal, every day things happen (like visiting a convenience store having an impromptu picnic), Nealy is living the life she's always dreamed of. But of course, she can't stay hidden forever, though she falls in love with Mat as well as the girls over the course of her adventure.

It was so much fun listening to Nealy have normal interactions with people, arguments with Mat and Lucy, getting closer to Button and realizing she doesn't kill babies (what a horrible thing to feel!). I knew eventually there would be an HEA, but both Nealy and Mat were so stubborn. It took a while to get there. But it was wonderful when it happened.

I guess I read these out order, but I'm going back to #3 in the series now, lol.