Review: The Short Forever by Stuart Woods

The Short Forever
by Stuart Woods

The Short Forever

Copyright: 2002

Pages: 349

Read: April 1-4, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Hired by an odd client previously unknown to him, Stone arrives in London on a mission he thinks he understands, but doesn’t. Soon he finds himself not only out of his territory, but out of his depth as well. Stone is baffled by the behavior of both his quarry and his client, and his life is further complicated by two, possibly three, murders and the affectionate attentions of two former lovers. When the intelligence services of several countries become involved, he can only hang on for a wild ride and hope for a note-too-bumpy landing.


Review: The Stone Barrington series …. let’s be honest here … these are no literary feats in any way, shape or form. They’re fun and easy reads. Once you get past Stone’s outrageous behavior and lifestyle, they’re just plain fun. It’s definitely escapism at its finest.

This particular installment (the 8th in case any one cares to know) has Stone way out of his element. It didn’t feel like a normal Stone Barrington novel, either. He wasn’t necessarily hunting down a murderer. He was more trying to put together a very convoluted plot in my mind. I still am not quite sure as to what the purpose of the entire book was. But it was good fun anyway.

So while this one will probably not be very memorable as I continue on with the hundred other books in this series, it’s a quick and easy read that I enjoyed.

Review: L.A. Dead by Stuart Woods

L.A. Dead
by Stuart Woods

L.A. Dead

Copyright: 2000

Pages: 406

Read: Oct. 13 – Oct. 16, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 
Blurb: Trouble finds stone smack in the middle of a romantic Mediterranean holiday. His trip to Venice – with the fiery Mafia princess Dolce – is cut short by a frantic phone call from half a world away. A celebrity murder has Los Angeles in an uproar and mysteriously threatens a former flame, Arrington Calder. And once he arrives there, amid Hollywood’s sun and sin, he must plumb the depths of film society to find the killer – before a court trial rips away his last chance at a life he once desperately wanted…


Review: This is the 6th in the Stone Barrington series. And as usual, it was a quick, easy read. These are pretty mindless. Yet relatively interesting. Stuart Woods is quickly becoming another go-to author for me when I need something fast. I still can’t believe some of the trouble Stone finds himself in when it comes to women. It’s just like one big soap opera. But it’s also something that I look forward to finding out more as I continue on with this series.

So while these aren’t going to win any great literary awards, if you’re looking for something fun and quick to sate your appetite for a murder mystery, these will probably fit the bill. I’d for sure recommend this series and this book.

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.

Review: Swimming to Catalina by Stuart Woods

Swimming to Catalina
by Stuart Woods

Swimming to Catalina

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 391

Read: May 24 – 27, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Stone Barrington thought he’d heard the last of former girlfriend Arrington after she’d left him to marry Vance Calder, Hollywood’s hottest star. The last thing Stone expected was a desperate call from Calder. Arrington has vanished, and her new fiancé wants Stone to come to L.A. and find her.

In a town where the sharks drive Bentleys and no one can be trusted, Stone soon discovers he’s drowning in a sea of empty clues that take him from Bel Air to Malibu to Rodeo Drive. Running out of time and leads, he needs to keep his head above water and find Arrington fast, or end up swimming with the fishes himself.


Review: This is the 4th in the Stone Barrington series. I’m not entirely sure why I keep coming back to these books, but I do. You see, Stone’s character irritates me. It seems to me he does nothing but jump into bed with every woman who crosses his path (two in this book alone…). I just don’t like that trait. I will say, though, that this particular installment didn’t have nearly as much sex as the previous book, Dead in the Water. This book dialed it back a notch and left me wanting to actually continue on with this series.

I personally felt like the storyline of this book was especially good. I found it much more interesting than the first three books. It was a fast paced book that I read in a few days’ time. I think what keeps drawing me to this series is really that they’re just fun, fast reads.

Overall, not a bad book and I look forward to continuing on with this series after this one.

2014.29 REVIEW – Dirt by Stuart Woods

Dirt
by Stuart Woods

Copyright: 1996
Pages: 417
Rating: 3/5
Read: June 16-18, 2014
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 29
Format:  Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Stone Barrington #2

DirtBlurb: Feared and loathed for her poison pen and ice-queen persona, gossip columnist Amanda Dart has made her share of enemies. Then the tables are turned. An anonymous gossipmonger is faxing Amanda’s personal and private peccadilloes to anyone who can read. Desperate to save her reputation, she enlists the help of New York lawyer and private investigator Stone Barrington to learn the identity of the faxer. And everyone in the world of tabloid journalism becomes a suspect.

But the faxes don’t stop. In fact, they get worse. And Stone winds up with more leads than one man can handle, until Amanda takes matters dangerously into her own hands and turns the world of gossip on its head. As the circle of suspects shrinks, Stone discovers that even the most respected members of the social scene will stop at nothing – even homicide – to clear their sullied names, in this mesmerizing tale of betrayal, murder, and tabloid terror.


Review: This was the second book that I took with me on vacation. I didn’t know if I would get to it, but I was able to start it the morning we left and I read nearly all of it that day while on my flights home. 

As with the first book in this series, New York Dead, which I read just a little bit ago, this book was so readable. The pages just flew by.

However, it wasn’t perfect. I had a little bit of an issue with just how easily and quickly Stone jumped into bed with multiple women throughout the entire book. Most of it was completely unnecessary in my personal opinion.

I’ll definitely be continuing on with this series. So far I’m finding these books to be extremely easy reads and fun. I hope the series continues on this trend.

2014.26 REVIEW – Eyes on You by Kate White

Eyes on You
by Kate White

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 306
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: May 30 – June 5, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 26
Format:  Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: None

Eyes on YouBlurb: After losing her on-air job two years ago, the television host Robin Trainer has fought her way back and is now hotter than ever. With her new show climbing in the ratings and her first book a bestseller; she’s being dubbed a media double threat.

But things begin to go wrong. Small incidents at first: a nasty note left in her purse; her photo shredded. But the obnoxious quickly becomes threatening when the foundation used by her makeup artist burns Robin’s face. It wasn’t an accident – someone deliberately doctored the product.

An adversary with a dark agenda wants to hurt Robin, and the clues point to someone she works with every day. While she frantically tries to put the pieces together and unmask this hidden foe, it becomes terrifyingly clear that the person responsible isn’t going to stop until Robin loses everything that matters to her … including her life.


ReviewI received a copy of this book for free for review purposes in conjunction with a TLC Blog Tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I am ashamed to admit that I have never read a Kate White book before (although I do have The Sixes on my bookshelf). So I didn’t quite know what to expect of this author going into this book, but I did know that the description sounded really good and I was excited to read it.

Overall, I really liked this book. I kind of wish I had been able to take this one on my upcoming beach trip (but I had agreed to a review date prior to my vacation). I think this book would be a lot of fun to read while sitting by the ocean in a beach chair soaking up the sun!

I will happily admit that I had no idea who the bad guy was in this book until it was finally revealed. The twists and turns were a lot of fun. Robin’s sanity was questioned in my mind numerous times. I just had a lot of fun with this one. Sure, it could have been a little more complicated than it was, but I still really enjoyed it.

 

Highly recommended.


About the Author:

Kate WhiteKate White is recognized internationally as not only the veteran editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, the bestselling women’s magazine in the world, but also as the critically acclaimed author of both fiction and nonfiction books. Few high-profile editors have successfully balanced the rigors of overseeing a major magazine title with a thriving and independent writing career.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Find out more about Kate at her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

As always, I hope you will take the time to visit the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, June 3rd: Jen’s Book Thoughts
Wednesday, June 4th: The Year in Books
Thursday, June 5th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, June 9th: Tales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, June 10th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, June 11th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, June 12th: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Wednesday, June 18th: Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Thursday, June 19th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, June 24th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, June 25th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Thursday, June 26th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 30th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, July 2nd: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, July 7th: Always With a Book

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2014.25 REVIEW – The Kafka Society by Ron Felber

The Kafka Society
by Ron Felber

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 341
Rating: 3/5
Read: May 24 – May 29, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 25
Format:  Print
Source: Publicist
Series: Jack Madson #2

Blurb: After a night of clubbing, Jack has no memory of the past twenty-four hours. Who is the beautiful woman he discovers in his hotel room? How did a severed head get into the trunk of his Mustang convertible? Is he a murderer? Before he can answer these questions, Madson finds himself helping his former high school nemesis, Tom Dougherty – now chief the FBI’s East Coast Operations – get disentangled from a blackmail scheme. Nothing is quite what it seems. As his investigation progresses, Madson uncovers a criminal organization that specializes in the most monstrous of enterprises: global human trafficking, run from abandoned tunnels deep beneath the streets of New York City and directed by a coterie of intellectual thugs known as the Kafka Society. Once again, the reader follows Madson through a wealth of dangerous episodes and exotic pleasures before the exciting conclusion of this thrilling page-turner.


ReviewI received a copy of this book for free for review purposes, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I had read and reviewed the first Jack Madson book, A Man of Indeterminate Value, last year. So when I was pitched this book, I was interested simply because I wanted to see what else Jack could possibly get himself into!

Overall, I have to say, I still do not like Jack Madson’s character. I don’t like all the booze, pills, sex and just overall stupidity that he finds himself in. He brings most of his troubles upon himself and he just seems to “prepare” himself with more drugs. I was also a little turned off by all the sex in this book. I don’t mind sex in books as a general rule, but the descriptions were very graphic and at times it felt more like erotica than a crime thriller. Just not my cup of tea.

But all that said, I still kept reading the book! So obviously it wasn’t that bad. I really wanted to know what happened in the end. I wanted to know if Jack would figure it all out in time. And really, I liked the ending. It’s actually made me quite curious to see what Mr. Felber has planned next for Jack Madson.

So while I would say that this book has a few bad characteristics to it, overall, it’s a compelling read, and I will be on the lookout for the 3rd Jack Madson book.