olitically correct lovers If you've been shocked shocked! by the scandalous political conduct of late, be assured that politicians have been misbehaving since our nation was founded.

Susan Wiggs casts her writers' eye back the to the gilded age of late 19th century Washington to create a charming tale of what can happen when love and politics are jumbled. In Wiggs' Halfway to Heaven, U.S. Rep. Jamie Calhoun isn't above using a romantic connection to Senator Franklin Cabot's daughter to advance his agenda. For erstwhile amateur astronomer Abigail Cabot, the idea that she is being pursued by a roguish Southern congressman causes both excitement and alarm. After all, her heart belongs to dashing Lieutenant Boyd Butler III. She's willing to reveal her own deep love for the lieutenant in letters, but the letters she pens are on her sister Helena's behalf.

When daddy is a powerful senator who wants both his daughters married off, and one of those daughters is a plainspoken woman with the soul of a poet, no mere congressman can resist.

Wiggs' writing shimmers as brightly as Venus on the evening horizon. Her flair for crafting intelligent characters and the sheer joy of the verbal sparring between them makes for a delightful story you'll want to devour at once. But savor it, because from the first page, you, too, will be Halfway to Heaven.

Sandy Huseby writes and reviews from her homes in Fargo, North Dakota and lakeside in northern Minnesota.

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