Review: The Candidate by Lis Wiehl

The Candidate
by Lis Wiehl


Copyright: 2016

Pages: 328

Read: Oct. 1 – Oct. 5, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Review copy from publicist.
Blurb: Mike Ortiz is a dynamic war hero favored to win the White House. Standing by his side is his glamorous and adoring wife, Celeste. But something about this seemingly perfect couple troubles Erica. Is Celeste really who she seems? And most importantly, what really happened in that squalid Al-Qaeda prison where Mike Ortiz spent nine months?

But more than the nation’s future is at stake. Erica’s relentless search for the truth puts the life of her preteen daughter Jenny in danger, even as Erica’s own dark past threatens to overtake her.

In her latest Newsmakers thriller, New York Times bestselling author and Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl weaves a taut and chilling story. The Candidate is packed with political intrigue and media manipulation as the lust for power turns deadly indeed.

Review: What a book! I knew going into this one that it was the second in a series and I hadn’t read the first one (something I’m sometimes reluctant to do), but I also felt like it would be interesting to read something dealing with a Presidential election alongside our own Presidential race. And what a great decision I made by accepting this one for review!

This book grabbed me from the beginning and kept my attention throughout the book. I know at one point Erica goes to Baghdad to see what Mike Ortiz really went through firsthand. Can I just say that I read those few chapters practically holding my breath the entire time? I didn’t know if something terrible would happen to Erica in such a dangerous location and I couldn’t get through those scenes fast enough. I wanted Erica to be back on safe ground (which is a big fat HA! if you read the rest of the book…). Anyway, those few scenes in Baghdad are very suspenseful and I still shiver a little bit thinking about them.

I really liked Erica’s character. There were some times that I wanted to shake her because she ignored some pretty obvious things that a reporter (or anyone for that matter) should have been more inquisitive about. But at the same time I understand that she was just trying to keep an open mind. I liked that she was portrayed as a woman juggling career and parenthood. This is such a real thing for so many women (myself somewhat included – I don’t have a big time career, but I do work outside the home and it’s very tough at times) and it was good to see it on the page in the way it was portrayed.

I was a little bummed that I hadn’t read the first book in this series, because the first book is mentioned multiple times and it was tough to not know what had happened in that first book – although we got enough background to not be completely lost – it still left me curious. But I can say overall that while it didn’t really affect this book too much, it would have been nice to have a little more background on Erica and who she is.

So overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a great read with a plot line that is very plausible and believable.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


September 2016 Books

Another great month of reading for me! I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to read what I want when I want to! It’s really made all the difference in the world in terms of how much I’m reading as well as how much I’m enjoying reading again!🙂

Worst Fears Realized the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane private-vegas kisscut Daddy's Gone a Hunting

Review: Daddy’s Gone a Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark

Daddy’s Gone a Hunting
by Mary Higgins Clark


Daddy's Gone a Hunting
Copyright: 2013

Pages: 385

Read: Sept. 25-28, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased new

Blurb: What was Kate Connelly – a tall, glamorous CPA – doing in her family’s antique furniture museum when it exploded into flames in the middle of the night? Why was Gus, a disgruntled retired employee, with her? Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in a coma, cable to explain the tragedy’s mysterious link to a decades-old missing person case. Nor to warn her sister what could happen next. In this dazzling and suspenseful mystery, Mary Higgins Clark presents readers with a fascinating cast of characters – one of whom may just be a ruthless killer…

Review: I picked this one up knowing that when I bought it a couple of years ago I had actually set it aside after not immediately being drawn in. But I usually love Mary Higgins Clark and decided it was time to give it another shot. I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s a very good book.

However, it’s not perfect. There are numerous grammatical errors throughout the book – sometimes entire words are completely missing! I found that somewhat disappointing. I also had the ending pegged with about 150 pages to go – so I would say that it was somewhat predictable as well.

So while probably not the best Mary Higgins Clark novel out there, I still enjoyed it. Ms. Clark is definitely the queen of mystery! Her books are just good, enjoyable reads. Definitely recommended.

Review: Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Kiss cut
by Karin Slaughter


Kisscut.jpgCopyright: 2002

Pages: 420

Read: Sept. 17-23, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Bought at used book store


: Sara Linton, pediatrician and medical examiner in Heartsdale, Georgia, knows only too well the horrors that can hide behind closed doors in a small community. But when a Saturday night argument between teenagers at the local skating rink leads to death – and a subsequent autopsy reveals evidence of ritualistic self-mutilation and long-teem abuse – she realizes that true evil is closer than she imagined. Aided by her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, and Detective Lena Adams, still traumatized by her brush with a maniac, Sara’s investigation is frustrated at every turn by the cold silence of the family and friends of the slain girl. But the truth cannot be hidden forever, as Sara inexorably peels back the many layers of an inhuman outrage that goes far beyond mere murder. For an ominous cloud has settled over the young daughters and sons of Heartsdale – and those who would protect them must act quickly before all innocence here is devoured.

Review: So I picked this one up at my last trip to the used book store and I was glad to have found it. I had been wanting to dive back into Sara Linton’s world – since I last read the first book, Blindsighted, way back in 2013 – oops!

This book is gruesome. It’s difficult to read. The subject it deals with is excruciatingly painful to read – especially as a mother. And interestingly enough, I wasn’t turned off by that. I probably should have been, and I have to admit, I was more than a little shocked in some spots throughout the book, but really I enjoyed this one. Karin Slaughter, while I’ve only read a few of her books, is starting to become a real favorite of mine!

I really like Sara’s character. And I can’t wait to see what happens between her and Jeffrey. The one character in this installment that irritated me to no end was Lena. I get that she went through a lot in the first book, but honestly – she really needs to learn to cope with what she went through. She needs help, badly. I can only hope that she finds herself the help she needs, or else I’m going to go crazy every time I read her name on the page.

So yeah, if you can deal with a really touchy and difficult subject matter, I’d definitely recommend this book to you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to get to read the third in the series! (hopefully it won’t be 3 years before I pick that one up…)

Review: Private Vegas by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Private Vegas
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Private Vegas.jpg

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 361

Read: Sept. 14-17, 2016

Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Grandmother

Blurb: Seedy and glamorous, seductive and outrageous, Las Vegas attracts people of all kinds – especially those with a secret to hide, or a life to escape. It’s the perfect place for Lester Olsen’s one-of-a-kind business. He treats gorgeous young women to five-star restaurants, lavish shows, and limo rides – and then he teaches them how to kill.

Private’s Jack Morgan has been hired to hunt down two men on a gleeful murder spree. Jack thinks there could be nothing more dangerous than two criminals with an insatiable hunger for violence. But when their paths of destruction lead Jack to Vegas, he’s drawn deep into the heart of a murder ring more ruthless than anything he could have imagined, masterminded by a diabolical genius.

Review: I won’t lie, I’m a sucker for a James Patterson book. They’re fast, easy, enjoyable reads. I can usually knock one out in a few days. And for the most part, I really like them.

This one though … well, I was disappointed. Reading through the blurb as I typed it out, I realized that it’s very misleading to what is actually in this book. The actually setting is more accurately Los Angeles. The Las Vegas/Lester Olsen storyline mentioned above is maybe 50 pages total in the entire book.

The actual blurb should have read more like this: Jack Morgan’s best friend is on trial for a brutal battery against his ex-girlfriend; he faces 10 years in prison if convicted. At the same time, someone has blown up Jack’s Lamborghini as well as other expensive cars in the area. Oh and there’s some foreign diplomats assaulting women and getting away with it because of their diplomatic immunity (the two I am assuming mentioned above as being “on a gleeful murder spree.” And oh yeah – there’s a crazy guy in Las Vegas training women to kill their obscenely rich elderly husbands.

I don’t know who wrote the actual blurb on the back of the book – but they sure didn’t read the book. What’s sad is that this book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what it was billed as and to me that made it very aggravating. I was expecting Private Vegas – I got Private Los Angeles.

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman


Copyright: 2013

Pages: 178

Read: Sept. 10-13, 2016

Rating: 2/5

Source: Purchased at library book sale

Blurb: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie – magical, comforting, wise beyond her years – promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Review: I picked this one up a couple of years ago at the library book sale. I had heard a lot of good things about Neil Gaiman and was curious. I picked this one up now because I needed something quick to read, and at 178 pages I figured this one would fit that bill perfectly.

And it was a quick, easy read. I just didn’t care for the overall storyline. I am not a huge fan of fantasy as a general rule, so I think that affected my overall feelings on this one. It just didn’t work for me personally, but Mr. Gaiman is definitely a gifted storyteller.

Review: Worst Fears Realized by Stuart Woods

Worst Fears Realized
by Stuart Woods

Worst Fears Realized

Copyright: 1999

Pages: 402

Read: Sept. 5-8, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

Blurb: Not a man to dwell on the past, Stone Barrington has no choice but to rattle old skeletons when the people closest to him start dying, and he has little to go on but the suspicion that the killer may be someone he once knew. The trip down memory lane isn’t all bad though, for it reunites Stone with his ex-partner, Dino Bacchetti – now head of detectives in the nineteenth precinct.

Trying to find a brilliant killer in a sea of old faces is difficult enough without Stone’s former love, Arrington, now Mrs. Vance Calder, resurfacing, too – especially when she sets off her own fireworks coming nose to nose with his latest flame, a Mafia princess as beautiful as she is dangerous.

Caught on a thrill ride of a case that tests him as non has ever done before, Stone races to find a twisted madman with a taste for blood vengeance, with only a prayer to find him before Stone’s worst fears are realized.

Review:  This is the 5th book in the Stone Barrington series (only a million more to go, ha!) and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found it to be fast paced, exciting and enjoyable. It was interesting to see Stone work the case, always seemingly behind the eight ball, so to speak. It was a really good book.

My one and only complaint with Stone’s character has always been his womanizing. And I will say, it was toned down a little bit in this installment. But it still bothers me that we’re 5 books into this series and he’s slept with more women than I can count. But that’s just a personal pet peeve…

So yeah, overall, a good installment in a series that I am enjoying so far. I look forward to reading this next one.