Campaign Widows

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

A timely, fun, and sexy read. As a current Washington DC resident, this was a page turner and a page turning read.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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There’s a common saying that Washington, D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people, and if you’ve ever seen a coterie of pretty young staffers orbiting around a fat wrinkled white man that folks call “Mr. Speaker,” that’s only half of it. The Hollywood part comes in when players are more concerned with the game they’re playing than with the people whose lives are affected by the laws that are passed or blocked on Capitol Hill.
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This was a fun look at what happens during campaign season for the candidates, their staff, and their family/significant others. I had never really thought about it before, but so many people's lives are effected by this. This book was eye opening in some ways, but so much fun to read. I was rooting for Cady and loved the way that all of the "widows" supported each other. Definitely a light, easy read for summer.

Thank you to Graydon House and NetGalley for a copy of this ebook. This did not influence my review in any way.
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I really liked this- I read it in one day and basically one sitting. I was a PoliSci major and once had dreams of being a Campaign Manager so this book was right in my wheelhouse to begin with. I really ended up enjoying it not just for the subject matter, though, but for the well-written characters (especially the women) and the engrossing plot. I would definitely read more from the author and would love to hear from these characters again!
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**I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an Honest Review**
**And because it's an ARC my feedback could be different from the feedback for the final publication**

Thank you Netgalley and HARLEQUIN-Graydon House Books (U.S. & Canada) for letting me review this book!!

Before Thoughts:
This will be one of those books that'll be part of me trying to expand my genres to give them all a fair chance. I haven't read many adult books or women's fiction or chick-lit books. But I want to see how I end up liking this one. 

Read on: 06/22/18
To be Published on: 05/22/18

So the story is basically this: You have all these wives or soon-to-be wives who happen to have relationships with men who are running for presidency. 

There are 27 candidates running one of them being a female rapper who rapped about the amendments and the constitution which landed her as a scoop for the journalists especially when she entered the race for office. 

So the wives of the candidates want to dip their toes into political gossip and into their hard work behind the campaigns. But also they make friendships in an inner circle/group in D.C. while they're at it. 

The main character with a dream job as the senior producer at a local morning talk show in DC. She is about to be engaged to Jackson who happens to be part of the campaigning that is going on for presidency. She has a brunette hair and a bob cut. 

She used to be a speech-writer and now she's trying to get the scoop on Haze running for presidency among other scoops for the presidential campaigns for her blog. She has twins, she's married to Ted, her best friend (especially in the world of journalism) is Jay, and she doesn't particularly like her house sometimes. 

He's a magazine editor and Reagan's best friend. They've known each other since Georgetown college. He has a loving boyfriend/husband named Sky. Works for Helena. 

A women of age 53 and she works as a campaign manager or better yet she's the political party planner. She takes her career very seriously. 

Married to a candidate running for office, and a mother of four. She does interviews to help her husband in the race for office. She may become a first-lady soon. 

Final Thoughts:
I really liked the idea this book tried to present mostly because I'm fine with chick flicks for the most part and I had never read chick-lit before.

I liked that it tried to show women in strong positions and tried to have the readers see the characters reach close enough to break the glass ceiling. 

I didn't like having to read some of the long excruciating details for some of the chapters since I felt they could've been summed up in a few sentences to really move the story along more. 

But if this got an adaptation maybe I would enjoy it even more because the camera would help show the details while our ladies give their bits to the story. Like this would be good to adapt and release during an election year in the US. 

Recommends to:
If you like Chick-lit/Chick Flicks you will likely find this book very enjoyable and you'll find that it really clicks with your genre.

Hope you enjoyed my Review!! Thanks for Reading!! ^_^
And go catch that good book!! ^_^
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I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Campaign Widows combines politics with comedy and I found it quite enjoyable. This book revolves around the spouses involved in the upcoming election and everything that goes on behind the scenes with just enough humor I found myself laughing more than I thought I would. Definitely worth giving a read.
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I received an advanced reader copy of Campaign Widows in exchange for an honest review. I had very high expectations for Campaign Widows because I’m a political nerd and a huge West Wing Fan. The book also sells itself as the West Wing meets Sex and the City, so I was pumped.  I hate to say it but this book did not live up to my expectations and I’m not sure. 

What It’s About: The book focuses on several significant others of those on the campaign trail. Cady Davenport, a news anchor, moves to DC to be with her fiancé Jackson just as he is about to head out onto the campaign trail. Jay is an entertainment editor, with a boyfriend, Skye, who just got the break of a lifetime when he begins following the campaign trail of a rock-star turned politician. Reagan is a former speechwriter now stay-at-home mom with twins and a husband on the campaign trail. Madison is the wife of the front-runner for one party, except she doesn’t want him to win. Birdie is an event planner that always throws the most fabulous party, but is also on a break with her husband.  The book follows these characters from the primaries to the general election, as they struggle with being outsiders to the campaign process while their loved ones are away. 

What I loved: The main characters are really, really excellent. I loved all of them and their struggles. I cheered for them to succeed. I thought they were funny and likeable, plus the close friendship that these characters share does resemble the friendship in Sex and the City. 

What I didn’t like so much: This book pitches itself as the West Wing meets Sex and the City, but there is no real West Wing element other than it being set in DC and some discussion of politics. I didn’t feel the hope or love of country that the West Wing makes me feel, so I was disappointed. The book doesn’t follow the politics at all and so it often feels like there’s not a huge plot (again, I was expecting some campaign stuff). My advanced readers copy had terrible grammar so I think this played a role in my distaste so I think if you read the real copy, it may be less frustrating to read. 

Who Will Like It: If you like Sex & the City and close friendships, you’ll enjoy this book. This book really focuses on the character’s friendships and connections to each other. 

General Summary: A book that focuses on the lives of those left behind by the campaign and a story of strong friendship.
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Despite the political climate we are in today, the year 2018, this book embodies what we can strive for. Strong women, genuine beliefs, colorful characters, and loud voices. I genuinely enjoyed this book cause it can make a person dream, laugh and even reflect. Yes, there are laughs, fashion, fighting and drama but this book had a unique spark to it. Thank you again Harlequin Books for the free copy.
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3.5 stars This book follows the lives of Cady Davenport and a group of unlikely friends who she meets whens he moves to D.C. to be with her long distance boyfriend. All of the group bond together due to being "campaign widows" while their significant others are out on the campaign trail in various capacities.

The author does a good job of providing a peek inside the D.C. scene without being "political." Readers on both sides of the aisle will fin the book enjoyable.  

My only criticism is that there were A LOT of additional characters to keep up with besides the core group and that sometimes got a little confusing.
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4.5 Red White & Blue Stars!

I was really impressed with this novel from Aimee Agresti - to write a political themed novel in today's tumultuous climate and write a book focused around election season that appeals to all readers regardless of affiliation and manages to make the key players all likable is quite a feat. Told from various perspectives of women all connected to the presidential election in various ways was fresh and interesting and kept me hooked the entire time. Highly recommend!
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Every four years, presidential candidates and their staffers travel the country searching for funding and votes.  Campaign Widows follows five people who have been left behind by their partners as they work for electoral victory.  But don't kid yourself - these "widows" have lives of their own.  There is Cady, a newcomer to DC who is producing a show that is sagging in the ratings, Reagan, a speechwriter who is now doing freelance work as the recent mother to two twin girls, Birdie, a media mogul and DC taste-maker, Madison, whose husband Hank is in the running to be president, and Jay, whose partner Sky who got quickly upgraded from the "culture" section of the Queue (think Huffpost) to "politics" due to a staffing shortage.  The book covers each of these dynamic characters as they live their own lives and effect the election in their own ways - with or without their partners' support.

This book is the perfect summer beach read, which is to say that its a light, fluffy read that would be great for any vacation (no beach necessary).  The premise and setting were unique - I've not read a ton of women's fiction that is politically centered or even set in DC, and that really added to the title's value for me.   All of the characters were well drawn and interesting in their own way.  Often, when I read a book with multiple POVs, I find myself more invested in certain stories and then race through the chapters I don't much care for, but that was not the case here.  Everyone was likable and engaging.

I wanted more political satire than I got.  While there definitely was some satire (Hank is a Trump stand-in, for example), and some dream scenarios (a three person dead heat race), I wanted more.  Everyone's arcs were tied up a little too neatly for my taste, and it also made the book feel a bit less realistic.

Overall, I would recommend this read to anyone who enjoys the genre and likes happy and easy reads.  It reminded me of Crazy Rich Asians in tone and style, so if you liked that book, give this one a try!  I hope it gets made into a TV show or movie, because it'd be excellent in either of those formats if the drama and comedy were both amped up a bit.  If you are looking for a light summer read, look no farther.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Graydon House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Thank you so much to Netgalley and Graydon House Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

I was very excited about this book and it did not disappoint. The political campaigns were interesting to follow and the characters were fun and smart.

The book covers the storylines of Cady, Birdie, Jay, Reagan, and Madison. Each character is incredibly well developed and enjoyable to learn about. They also each have a significant other that plays a role in a presidential election, which makes them "campaign widows".  Cady was my favorite character as I found her the most relatable, however, I did enjoy Birdie fabulous lifestyle.

I enjoyed this book so much and it definitely made me laugh. I also appreciated the fact that the author portrayed the sometimes less than glamorous side of running for office and it was refreshing to read the perspective of those who are involved in campaigns because their significant other is and how that effects them.

While there are male characters in this book, I did appreciate how many strong female characters were represented. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Campaign Widows. I think it will make a great summer read and I would recommend it to my friends and family.
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Campaign Widows is a fast paced, funny, drama filled look into the lives of the significant others left behind when their partners hit the campain trail.  Behind the success or failure of a candidate, the loved ones at home supporting them and keeping normal life on track experience their own success and failures and bond in a way only they can.  With cheating partners, new friendship bonds, a surprise pregnancy, and even a fire baton twirling First Lady candidate, the entertainment in this book doesn't ever stop.  

Ms Agresti's writing is timed perfectly throughout the novel.  Each chapter had more drama than the previous one, keeping the reader interested and flipping those pages.   The characters are real and relatable, even if they do rub elbows with the rich and famous at every event.  If you are a fan of the West Wing or Scandal on TV, you will love this book.

I received an advanced reader copy for my honest review.
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A breezy try-to-guess-it-really-is novel about a group of women-and men- involved with a Presidential campaign.  If there's a fault to this novel it's that there are too many characters.  There's also virtually no back story on anyone, which works only because again- there are so many characters. Although Cady is ostensibly the star of this group, Madison is perhaps the most intriguing (if least realistic).   There are some nice DC details (even if I could not figure out where Reagan was living that she could walk the twins where she did) and a few good snickers.   If only all campaigns moved as quickly as this one!  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  A good beach read.
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I didn't realize that our political system requires so much behind the scenes action. I enjoyed the descriptions of the parties, the clothing, and the back stories of how all these characters ended up as part of the campaign.  This is a light read with many interconnected characters and plots. I did find myself becoming confused as the transitions were made between characters. I'd get hooked into a plot line, settle in for the duration and then moved into another story more frequently than I liked. I can see this as a summer beach read suggestion on many lists.
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This is a story of A Girl Who Judged A Book By It's Cover. I was browsing Netgalley and voting on book covers and saw a beautiful red, white and blue book that caught my eye. Once I read the synopsis, I was sold.

Goodreads blurb: Sex and the City meets The West Wing in this dishy, whip-smart, and timely novel that follows a cast of unlikely friends who must cope with the ups and downs of their careers and relationships while their significant others are off on the campaign trail during a hotly contested presidential election season. Cady Davenport is living the American dream. At least she’s supposed to be. She’s in a new city, with a new job and even a new fiancé. But when her husband-to-be hits the road for the upcoming presidential election, Cady realizes she’s on her own—and that her dream life might not be all she’d imagined. Until she finds herself thrust straight into the heart of the most influential inner circle in Washington, DC: the campaign widows. As friends, they’re an unlikely group—a fabulous Georgetown doyenne; a speechwriter turned mommy blogger; an artsy website editor; and a First Lady Hopeful who’s not convinced she wants the job. But they share one undeniable bond: their spouses are all out on the trail during a hotly contested election season. Cady is unsure of her place in their illustrious group, but with the pressures of the unprecedented election mounting, the widows’ worlds keep turning—faster than ever—as they hold down the fort while running companies, raising babies, racking up page views and even reinventing themselves. And their friendship might be just what Cady needs to find the strength to pursue her own happiness.

Now, I know absolutely nothing about the campaign process. Politics aren't really my "thing" so I was a little skeptical about that part of the premise BUT the Widows' "undeniable bond" sounded promising. I love love LOVE a book about female friendships and unlikely bonds, so obviously this was an enjoyable read for me! Politics were present, but only adding to the story by impacting the characters. There was never anything supporting or bashing any particular party.

Mainly told from Cady's perspective, the author provides excellent character development of the other 4 widows. The point of view switches between the 5 characters but I didn't find it hard at all to keep up. I liked seeing how the election campaign and life in DC was different for each one of them but they were still able to bond and support each other through their struggles. The characters in this book were so realistic and genuine that I felt like I could hop on a plane and go have drinks with them after work. I could definitely see this book being made into a TV show (AHEM, REESE...AHEM!) so I've picked the actor/actress that I think goes best with each character.

First, Birdie..what a spitfire! I loved this woman and her boss bitch attitude, not to mention her insane fundraising/party planning talents. You WANT Birdie on your side.

Reagan is a stay-at-home-mom who keeps her sanity by writing an advice column for a newspaper. Her husband is usually out of town for work so she has her hands full with young hell-raising twin girls. Reagan has a hilarious attitude towards parenting..instead of complaining about wild kids, she knows they will grow to be strong-minded, independent women.

Madison is a true Southern Belle. She's kind-hearted, sweet and caring, and you just know she'd do anything for her friends. She's got sass, smarts and independence and isn't sure she wants to be the future FLOTUS. She's working on that ;)

Then we have Jay, whose reporter boyfriend has just become the personal reporter for one of the presidential candidates. Jay is easy-going but will also stand up for what and who he believes in.

Cady is the new-comer to this group of unlikely friends. She is new to DC, moving from NYC to be closer to her boyfriend. She has given up a lot for their relationship and it's wonderful to watch her come into her own and grow as a woman.

Overall, I really enjoyed Campaign Widows and would give it 4.5 stars! It was fun and fluffy and made me happy. I looked forward to reading it and would definitely recommend it for a book to read after something heavy! You can pre-order here and it's out on shelves tomorrow!

From her website: Aimee Agresti is a novelist and entertainment journalist. A former staff writer for Us Weekly, she penned the magazine’s coffee-table book Inside Hollywood. Her work has also appeared in People, Premiere, DC magazine, Capitol File, the Washington Post, Washingtonian, the Washington City Paper, Boston magazine, Women’s Health and the New York Observer. Aimee has made countless TV and radio appearances, dishing about celebrities on the likes of Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, E!, The Insider, Extra, VH1, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and HLN. The author of The Gilded Wings trilogy for young adults, she graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and lives with her husband and two sons in the Washington, DC, area.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Graydon House Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reading :)
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Campaign Widows is an entertaining and occasionally pointed book about a group of friends left alone in D.C. while their significant others are on the presidential campaign trail in one capacity or another. The book is very funny, timely, and includes a fantastic cast of characters. I'll list the key players:

Cady: New to D.C., recently engaged, and works on a struggling fluff TV news show. Her fiancee is a political advisor to a candidate and their relationship seems a bit rocky.

Birdie: Renowned event planner and major player in DC society with a soft spot for scrappy women in difficult situations. Dealing with some marital problems that have been brewing for years.

Reagan: Mom of toddler twins who gave up her dream speech-writing job to become a parent and write an advice column on the side. With a husband working on a campaign, she often feels like a single parent. She's whip smart, but often feels overlooked because of her new role. I loved her and related to her in a lot of ways. 

Jay: Lifestyle reporter who helps launch his secret boyfriend into a growing career following a female rapper-turned-presidential candidate on the campaign trail. He wants to propose, but worries that the campaign is pulling them apart.

Madison: Spunky wife of a presidential hopeful who surprisingly, doesn't want him to win! She is hilarious and covers her outrageous antics with a gracious southern smile. 

That should give you some insight into what you are in store for, but this is a very fun book about friendship, love, politics, identity, and what it means to have a healthy relationship. I really enjoyed it a lot and loved the strong feminist messages woven throughout.

*****Spoiler Warning*****

I also really appreciated the fact that Reagan and her husband ultimately work things out. It could have gone another way with Reagan having an affair and I'm SO glad that isn't the direction it took because that would have felt cheap. I thought the relationships in general were handled with the respect they deserved, which was great to see. I definitely recommend this book if the premise interests you. I received an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I have never read a novel from Aimee Agresti, but I really loved her writing. This book was amazing, and thank you to the publisher for giving me the eARC in exchange for an honest review. I love how the description claims it is Sex and the City meets The West Wing because that was quite fitting! It was very fun and featured really likeable characters, but also featured a lot of political gossip and drama. I really loved this one!
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Loved this - a fast-paced, fun read with engaging characters.  The only element I did not enjoy was the chapter titles - they took me out of the story.
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I really enjoyed this book, and think the comparison to a cross between Sex and the City and West Wing is accurate. I like that the "campaign widows" become friends, and I enjoyed the variety of careers and roles in the campaign cycle each character had. I also have a deep love for Washington D.C., so I loved the setting of the book and could easily picture the scenes being described. 

I first heard this book recommended by Annie B. Jones on either her Instagram stories or the podcast for her bookstore and knew right away that I needed to read this. I was not disappointed!

This fictionalized version of the 2016 election cycle felt endearing and humorous and tame compared to the way that election actually played out. Even the outrageous characterizations and claims made by candidates felt small by comparison! There were however some similarities that made it feel a little too close to how things actually played out. 

I loved that some of the characters felt based on real people, and others just felt like friends I've known or acquaintances I have that live and work in the beltway. Cady is endearing and I want to be her friend. Birdie is a force to reckoned with. Reagan felt like so many of my friends and I loved her sharp sense of humor; add to that her role of speechwriter and she had the job I thought I wanted in college! Jay was willing to fight for what he believed in at work and Madison came across as a sincere and true friend, someone who unconventional, would make an amazing first lady, even if she didn't want the job. These characters were one of my favorite ensembles I've read about recently, and I genuinely enjoyed all of them!

If you enjoy books about friendship, complicated relationships, and that read like a great scripted show on HBO or the CW, then this is the book for you. Yes, politics is it's own character, but while it is the backdrop for this book, it isn't divisive or distracting.
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