First off, let me assure my readers I will not be reviewing a different romance novel each time. However, I could not allow this one to get away without writing something about it.

Ladies First by Liberty Adams

Apparently politics have become so pervasive they are now infiltrating the romance genre. That is right, I am talking about “Ladies First!”

“Ladies First” is written by Liberty Adams, (a definitely real name). It is the first novel in the “MAGA-hat romance series,” which currently consists of three books.

Ricki is a self-described “fourth-wave feminist” and …Democrat…? She says she is a Democrat, but the ideals that she (incorrectly) espouses are Communist/Socialist. She is also about to graduate with her master’s degree in gender studies.

Ricki attends a Trump rally with the intent of writing a scathing blog post about all the horrible people she meets. For some reason her blog is named Petra’s Parlance which just… that’s an objectively horrible name.

At the rally, however, Ricki discovers most people here are really super great and happy. Everyone is too cool, too nice and too diverse. The guy at the gun booth won’t sell her an assault rifle, and she finds a dude wearing a Democrats for Trump shirt who tells her Democrats are hurting the country and Trump is saving his family.

“He’s taking care of the country, us, the little guy, like no other president, ever. So, yes, I voted for him,” the random Democrat tells Ricki.

The people Ricki usually hangs out with (Democrats and feminists) are total garbage humans who hate God, the police and veterans.

“Veterans were certainly not people she and the Sisterhood openly celebrated. In fact, more than a few of them showed an open contempt that shocked even Ricki.”

Ricki’s friends are also full of rage all the time, as is she. Sounds exhausting. Ricki uses her heavy makeup and spray dyed hair to express her constant rage.

After the rally, some “anti-fascists” show up and start a riot. Enter Mike, a Trump supporter and business owner that Ricki compares to her father a disturbing amount of times.

Mike rescues Ricki from the “punks” and scolds her for the danger she has put herself in. “Do you know what we just escaped from? They get paid to do this. They’ll keep coming. All you are to them is something not bloody enough,” Mike warns Ricki.

While I do applaud the effort to insert the whole “paid protestors” idea into the story, I do not understand why being paid would make these groups more violent. Work smarter, not harder, guys.

Mike de-programs Ricki from the cult of feminist rage and convinces her that all her crazy beliefs are wrong. She publicly renounces her feminism and leftist tendencies on her blog, and invokes the rage of “the leftist mob.” They show up at her apartment, and she knows they are armed and want to hurt her.

She calls Mike, who saves Ricki from the angry mob a second time. Ricki professes her love for him and promises she has changed her ways. Mike is unmoved until he hears she is about to go get a tattoo.

“He came out of his chair. He couldn’t let her do that. ‘What? I don’t like tattoos on women.’”

Mike then rushes to the tattoo parlor and talks Ricki out of it in a scene oddly reminiscent of running through the airport at the end of a romantic comedy.

“‘It’s permanent,’ he said. ‘It scars. It’s disrespectful to the perfect body that God gave you.’”

Ricki decides that OK, she will delay the appointment and she and Mike can “talk about” her getting a tattoo later. (I suspect this conversation will not happen.) They kiss and head to a diner for a meal. The end.

Beyond the weird politics of this book, it is just not well written.

One big issue for me was the timeline. A 76-page book should be able to keep its timeline straight.

At the start of the story, Ricki is attending a Trump victory rally shortly after his inauguration. By the end of the rally it is suddenly almost the 2020 election. That was the longest political rally ever!

There are also some strange commentaries on women and their body choices expressing “feminine rage.” I used to dye my hair crazy colors, and it was never an expression of rage. I know plenty of Trump supporters with dyed hair and tattoos, too.

Finally, of course, there are the descriptions of political ideations. The idea feminists cannot date — I was not aware of that rule — and Democrats hate God and veterans, for example. In real life some veterans are even Democrats themselves!

The ultimate question about this book, though, is who it was written for. On the surface it appears to be for hard-core Trump supporters. However, the book itself reads like satire so far inside its own joke it circles back around to serious. The existence of two sequels would suggest it is, in fact, serious.

“Ladies First” was much less fun than “Kissing The Coronavirus.” While the book was entertaining, it was also infuriating.

Rating: One out of ten copies of “The Babysitters Club.”

Christine Simmonds is the Assistant Editor of The Courier-Gazette. She is a former English teacher who loves books. Email book ideas to: csimmonds@villagesoup.com.

Related Headlines