The First Affair: A Novel

The First Affair: A Novel

by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
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The First Affair: A Novel by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus

The #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries return with “a convincing portrait of a damaged young woman whose head is turned by the attentions of a dashing and powerful political figure.…An utterly absorbing page-turner” (Booklist).

I was twenty-two years old only three weeks out of college.
I thought my whole life was beginning...then he kissed me.

Jamie McAlister has resigned herself to the fact that in this job market, her painfully expensive degree might only get her a position at Starbucks, when she suddenly lands a prestigious internship at the White House. Although she doesn’t hit it off with the other interns—who come from so much money that ten weeks without a paycheck doesn’t faze them—she is eager to work hard and make the best of the opportunity while it lasts.

An unexpected encounter late one evening with the charismatic President Gregory Rutland seems like just a fleeting flirtation, but when he orchestrates clandestine meetings and late-night phone calls, their relationship quickly escalates. Jamie knows what she is doing is wrong: he’s married, he has kids, he’s the President. Yet each time she tries to extricate herself, Greg pulls her back in.

With the conflicted desires of the most powerful man in the world driving her to her breaking point, Jamie can’t help but divulge intimate details to those closest to her. But she must have confided in the wrong person, because she soon finds herself, and everyone she cares about, facing calculated public destruction at the hands of Greg’s political enemies, and—perhaps no matter how much he cares about her—at the hands of Greg himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451643435
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 06/24/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,265,185
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus are the New York Times bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries, Citizen Girl, Dedication, Nanny Returns, and their young adult novels, The Real Real and Over You. They work together in New York City. For more information visit


New York, New York

Place of Birth:

McLaughlin: Elmira, New York; Kraus: New York, New York


B.A., Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU (McLaughlin, 1996; Kraus, 1995)

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The First Affair: A Novel 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MyHeartHeartsBooks More than 1 year ago
At first when this was describe to me, it was described as a novel for people who loved the show Scandal. I think that association and recommendation is absolutely misleading, The First Affair is more like the President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky fiasco.  After graduating and not immediately securing a job in the current job market, to avoid working at a job that will make her wear a name tag (think food or retail), Jamie secures an internship at the White House. Although it's not her dream scenario she hopes that it will boost her resume. After an accidental encounter  they beginning an affair. It's all rules and control, and affects Jamie personally and professionally in ways she never thought about.  I ultimately understand Jamie as a character, but her naivety is mind blowing. I understand Washington D.C. and the political world was not her end goal, but her naiveté is so aggravating. She's playing with the pros not her local city council.  There were times that I had to remind myself that it wasn't a real story, because for a person who supposedly didn't want to get caught, she was making so many mistakes and is absolutely too trusting. Her naiveté makes me question the time line of the novel. I just don't understand how a modern, technological savvy woman from Generation Y wouldn't understand the risks and consequences of getting involved with the policitian, especially POTUS. I know she has feelings and such, but at the same time I would've thought she would've had a back up plan in case anything went wrong. If this story takes places before the Clinton/Lewinsky debacle or is what happened instead of, I can understand, but if not, I just don't understand this character especially after so many politicians are getting caught misbehaving.  The strongest aspects of this novel, is the two subplots. They both help flush out Jamie as a character and at the same time are brilliant plot devices. One has to do with Jamie's past relationship and how that has effect her and her decision making, and the other revolves around Jamie's place within her family, which also helps the reader understand Jamie and understand why she makes some of the decisions that she makes.  Throughout this whole process I feel like I'm waiting for Jamie to grow up. When she does at the end, I can't help but applaud her. It's like there's this revelation and something just clicks and that moment is the heart of the novel.  ARC Provided by Publisher. 
RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
If you haven't met an Erica McAlister in your life, then you should consider yourself a lucky bastard. You can whistle a lovely tune, as you march down to The White House, roll around on the eagle's wings in the Oval Office, and then high-five the Secret Service--the guys with the earpieces and dark sunglasses--before your hands are slapped in cuffs, and you spend the next several years of your life contemplating your own stupidity in a maximum security prison somewhere in the middle of Kansas. This friend Erica has enough problems to cause a psychiatrist to start pounding whiskey faster than he can fill the glasses in the middle of her agreed upon appointment time. She's a princess, a queen, and the entire court rolled into one; she's the main attraction; she's been coddled and worshipped since she was in diapers; this is her universe and everyone else merely gets to play in the sandbox; and she tells you her issues just so you can tell her how great she is and maximizing her sympathy points like stock tips. But by the end of THE FIRST AFFAIR, she'd somewhat redeemed herself. Not to the point that she and I could have coffee together, but to the point that I didn't need to wipe her existence from my brain via a metal probe and possibly a soldiering iron. Jamie McAlister, her younger sister, isn't without her own issues. Being completely starved for attention, to the point that she would have adopted a pet tarantula if he would just give her a hug, she devoted her time and resources to a completely unattainable man, simply because he had given her a look and possibly melted her thong in the process. She has stars in her eyes and not much else. The President of the United States (POTUS) may have made googly eyes at her, but she began to view her life as some sort of fairy tale, where she was Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, all rolled into one big happy family. If naiveté were a full-contact sport, she'd have the shoulder pads and uniform and helmet, and she'd be poised for the ensuing kickoff. But, instead, of rooting for her, I felt sorry for her, and the massive number of ensuing missteps that somehow completely enclosed her life. Instead of being a likeable character, she had turned into the princess. Brooke, Betsy, James, Greg, Lena, Peter, Paul, and Rachelle all lost my sympathy at some point during the novel, or never had it at all, and I sat back and waited for the hammer to drop on their lives. When it did, I took some sort of sick pleasure in their ensuing half-existence. None of this is to say this is a bad novel. It was light and airy and breezy like a bag of popcorn, and it filled me up about as well as cotton candy. I received this book for free through NetGalley. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
One would think that to be a young intern at the White House, one would have to have strong allies, an impressive resume, intelligence, common sense, personal integrity and standards, luck, and be mature enough to conduct oneself appropriately in the scrutinizing eyes of the public, or at least not get caught. The First Affair proves that the "human" element can cancel out all the rest! In what reads like the Clinton/Lewinsky debacle, authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus plunge us deep into the mind of Jamie, a new intern who has gotten a prized position at the White House and manages to find herself in the arms of one of the world's most powerful men, the President. Of course, it all unravels because Jamie apparently has not heard the phrase, "Loose lips sink ships." I failed completely to connect to Jamie, her maturity level, selfishness and neediness failed to gain much support from me. She did come from a dysfunctional family, but this does not excuse or explain her actions. The character of the president was too weak to be believed, he was flat. The subplots are what held my interest, filled with the intrigue and hidden agendas of Jamie's "friends," there is definitely a dog-eat-dog feel to this book, but as far as happy endings or even a satisfying ending? I didn't feel it. An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for my honest review.