Excerpt from Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Balance of Power

by Richard North Patterson

Balance of Power
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2003, 624 pages
    Jun 2004, 624 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"Sooner or later," Lara assured him, "you'll get Congress to pass a decent gun law."

Kerry raised his eyebrows, exchanging bitterness for an irony tinged with good-natured frustration. "Before or after we get married?"

Lara smiled, unfazed. "That I can't tell you. But certainly before I find a job."

This was another blind curve on the road to marriage. Though she was developing a degree of fatalism, the resignation of a would-be First Lady to the limitations of her new life, Lara had always been independent, beholden to no one for support or a sense of who she was. That Kerry understood this did not change what she would lose by marrying him--her own identity. Already she had been forced to take leave from NBC: the potential for conflicts of interest, or at least their appearance--that a powerful network might profit by employing the President's fiancee--also applied to any other segment of the media. A brief flirtation with the presidency of the Red Cross--based on her high profile as a television journalist and experience in war zones--had floundered on the fear that major donors might want something from President Kilcannon. Other jobs had similar problems, and the best ones, Lara acknowledged, would take away from her public duties and her private time with Kerry. "I'm sorry," she said at last. "I was being a brat. It may not seem so, but you're actually more important to me than running the Red Cross."

Though he knew this, or at least should, to Lara his expression betrayed a certain relief. "Then your fate is sealed, I'm afraid."

"I guess it is," she answered dryly. "I'm a fool for love."

Once more he drew her close. "The thing is," he continued, "I'm forty-three. Even if we started tomorrow, by the time our first son or daughter graduates from college I'll be on Social Security. If there's any left."

"Tell that to the Pope."

"Oh, I have. I even mentioned that Meg couldn't stand the thought of children." There was a different tone in his voice, Lara thought; hand gently touching her chin, he raised her face to his. "And, at last, he's heard me."

She felt a tingle of surprise. "The annulment?"

Kerry grinned. "Yes. That."

Astonished, Lara pulled back to look at him. "When?"


"Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was in Pittsburgh." There was new light in his eyes, and he spoke more softly. "This just seemed like a better time and place."

Knowing how much he wanted this, Lara felt the depth of her love for him. This moment was the last threshold, she knew, before she entered the hall of mirrors which was the Presidency, the omnipresent, often merciless scrutiny which could change lives and warp marriages until even the most private act assumed a public significance. Briefly, she thought of her abortion, felt the familiar stab of fear. Then she thought of Kerry, and imagined their children.

Excerpted from Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson Copyright© 2003 by Richard North Patterson. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.