Author: Charles Sheehan-Miles
Series: Rachel's Peril #1
Published by Self-Published
Release Date December 21, 2013
More Info: Goodreads
Andrea Thompson is smart, assertive and beautiful. She’s also desperately lonely. Raised in Europe by her grandmother, she struggles knowing neither of her parents wanted her, and she has no idea why.
When Andrea receives an urgent call from her older sister Carrie, she agrees to fly to the United States to help. Carrie’s newborn daughter Rachel needs a bone marrow transplant.
What Andrea doesn’t know is that her return to the United States will launch a chain of events that will uncover secrets hidden for decades. Secrets which will rock the Thompson family and ignite a political firestorm.
Secrets that some will kill to protect.
**My full review will follow on Christmas Day as part of the blog tour, but for now, here are my unadulterated raw feelings on reading this masterpiece. **
Let me start off my saying that I had the PRIVILEGE of being a BETA reader for this novel. And what a privilege it was! To witness a story unfolding almost from conception is an experience like none other and one I will always cherish. My little book loving heart is happy.
I’ve been a fan of Charles since reading Just Remember to Breathe back in April. I read one, then the next one, then the next one, then the waiting game. Itching for any mere morsel from the Thompson Family. You see, you don’t merely read the Thompson family’s stories, you LIVE them. You experience them. You pack up all your belongings and move in with them. I read almost a book a day, and for a story to stick with me this many months later is rare. Not only rare but the sign of a phenomenally talented author who weaves tales with such layers and intricacies. There is a depth that comes with his stories that rocks you to your core. He is one of my go-to authors because like a fine wine, his books simply keep getting better. There are no fillers, no dull moments, never a time where you wish the book would just be over already. You are taken on a journey and left searching your soul for answers to questions you never knew you had. His books make you think, they are filled with angst, soul-shattering heartbreak, and endings that while not typical, perfect nonetheless (no matter how much grief we give him for The Last Hour). Charles writes with a purpose, and end-goal, and any tidbit of information you find, you can be certain it’s there for a reason.
Girl of Lies is a slight departure from what readers will be used to with his other Thompson Sisters books. Have no fear though. He writes so flawlessly that you won’t even mind the slight disappearance of romance. While there are still romantic undertones, this is largely a suspense novel. The perfect mingling of John Grisham and Melissa Brown, Girl of Lies dives into action within the first few pages. You are literally flying by the seat of your pants the entire journey. Truth after truth, lie after lie, perilous danger, deception, murder, fear, revelations; these are all things you have to look forward to. You may think you know the Thompson family, but we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface!
Unlike his previous books, this new spin-off trilogy will be a continual story. You have been forewarned; go into this book expecting a major cliffhanger. I welcomed it! This is a book that crosses genres, and will be loved and enjoyed by many. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. For all the revelations that will be uncovered in this book, I imagine there will be many more to come. We have only just begun this journey my friends…… I cannot wait to see what unfolds next!
5 resounding, heart-pounding, action-packed, web of lies stars!
Prologue – Andrea
Andrea Thompson shivered as Javier’s hands slid up the back of her shirt, his fingers curled, raising goose bumps and sensation as they ran down her spine. She gasped a little as his lips touched her neck, the stubble rough against her neck.
“Te quiero,” he said as her back arched, pressing her chest against him. I want you.
“No,” she replied. “Abuelita expects me home.”
He sighed, lifting his head. His eyes were dark, too dark, easy to get lost in. “You know you’re the only girl I want, ever.”
She put her lips to his ear and said, “You say that because your verga is hard and I’m in the car with you. You want every girl you see, Javier. Take me home.”
He smiled, his full lips curving up a little more on the right side, and said, “Sí, Andrea.”
One second later, she felt the buzzing of her phone in her pocket, and then the ringtone that represented her sisters.
He sighed, and broke away from her, his smile wistful. She returned the smile as she dug in her jacket pocket for her phone. As Javier started the car, she got the phone out. Mierda! She wasn’t in time.
“Which one of your sisters is it?”
“Carrie,” she said as she unlocked the phone. “She lives in Washington, DC.”
As Andrea dialed the phone, she counted the hours back. It was close to ten pm in Calella, so that would make it about four in the afternoon in Washington. She hadn’t expected to hear from Carrie. Truthfully, she hadn’t expected to hear from any of her sisters. Julia, the oldest of her sisters at thirty-two years old, was the only one who called her regularly.
“Hello?” Carrie’s voice. A little breathy.
“Carrie? It’s Andrea.”
“Andrea! Thank you so much for calling back so quickly! Your number didn’t show up on my phone.”
Andrea shrugged. International calls could be weird sometimes. “How are you? How’s the baby?”
Silence. Just long enough that Andrea sat up straight in her seat, her eyebrows scrunching together, and then she said, “Carrie? What’s going on? How’s the baby?”
Andrea felt a shiver down her spine at the sound of a sniffle from Carrie. Carrie, the foundation of her family, the daughter who’d always taken care of all of them. Carrie, who lost her husband to murder and tragedy less than a year ago.
“Andrea… I need help. Rachel needs help.”
“Anything,” Andrea said without thinking.
“Can you come? To Washington?”
Andrea swallowed. “I have school….”
“Andrea. Rachel is very sick… she needs a bone marrow transplant. And I’m not a close enough match. I just … will you come get tested? Please?”
Little Rachel. Of course Andrea had seen pictures. A beautiful, tiny baby. Carrie and Ray’s daughter, who would never know her father.
Carrie couldn’t take any more pain.
“Of course I’ll come.”
Andrea shivered at the sound of a sob on the other line. She looked up and met Javier’s eyes. He raised his eyebrows, and she mouthed the words llévame a casa. Take me home.
Javier nodded and put the car in gear. A moment later, he was driving through the narrow streets of Calella. “I’m going home now, Carrie. I’ll talk with Abuelitaand get a flight home right away, okay? I promise.” As she spoke the words, she couldn’t help but see in her mind how much of a mess her sister had been eight months ago. Everything had been a disaster. Her husband Ray in the hospital alongside their sister Sarah, both of them badly injured in a car accident that turned out to be intentional.
Murder. That’s what it had been. Ray, her brother-in-law who she barely knew, had been brutally murdered. And now his daughter was sick.
Andrea sighed. She would figure out something for school. Right now she needed to make arrangements to get back to the United States.
Javier turned the car onto Carrer Diputatio, the tiny one lane street two blocks from the beach. Her grandmother, Abuelita, had her flat here, a third floor apartment above the don Panini snack bar. The snack bar was still open when Javier pulled the car to a stop in front of it, and patrons were crowded into the open restaurant and spilling out onto the sidewalk. A car came to a stop behind Javier’s and immediately began honking its horn.
“You’re going away?” he asked.
She signed. Then nodded. “I have to go to the United States.”
“You’ll be careful?”
She thought the question seemed odd. Of course she’d be careful. “I’ll be back soon. My niece needs a bone marrow transplant. I’m probably not even a match. But I have to go to my sister.”
The car behind them honked its horn again. The street was too narrow for it to go around without driving up onto the sidewalk in front of the Gaviota bar. Right now the Gaviota had twenty or more people standing around on the sidewalk in front of it.
“I have to go,” she said.
“Te amo,” he said softly.
Andrea shivered, even though she knew he didn’t mean it. Because… what if he did? She leaned forward and kissed him goodbye. “Despedida,” she said. Farewell. Then she slipped out of the car, shutting the door behind her.
The car behind Javier had laid on the horn now, letting it continuously sound. She gave the drive a scornful look, slapped her left bicep with her right hand and raising her left fist in an obscene gesture. Then she turned, slapped the card reader with her key, and slipped into her grandmother’s apartment building.
While Rachel’s Peril is the first book in a new trilogy, I would highly recommend reading these books beforehand to familiarize yourself with the characters. Not to mention, these are phenomenal books!
Book One – A Song for Julia
Everyone should have something to rebel against.
Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.
Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father’s career and dominating her family’s life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she’s haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.
When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.
Book One.Five – Falling Stars
Crank Wilson and Julia Thompson love each other madly. But after Crank’s huge mistake during the summer, on the road with Crank’s rock band Morbid Obesity, they aren’t getting along.
Sean Wilson and Carrie Thompson are the seventeen year old younger siblings of Julia and Crank. Carrie is on her way to New York to start college at Columbia University and Sean is on his way home to Boston. For the next five days, they’re stuck in a car. Along the way, they’ll contend with screaming matches, giant spiders and a 240-pound pissed off Marine.
And the whole way, Crank will be faced with one question. After he screwed up so badly, is there any way he can win Julia back?
Book Two – Just Remember To Breathe
Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.
Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.
When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.
Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.
The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.
Book Three – The Last Hour
Twenty-seven year old Carrie Thompson-Sherman has the life she always wanted: her PhD, a prestigious fellowship, and an amazing husband.
Her life begins to unravel as a jealous colleague puts her fellowship in jeopardy and a haunting secret Ray Sherman carried home from Afghanistan comes to light.
Hounded by a federal investigation and the ensuing media feeding frenzy, Carrie and Ray desperately lean on each other, until a disastrous accident puts both Ray and her sister’s lives at risk.
In the last hour, Carrie and Ray will each find themselves faced with a choice.
A choice that will change everything.