Release Day Post & Reviews: Girl of Vengeance: Charles Sheehan-Miles

Girl of Vengeance 
Rachel's Peril #3
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A little more than a week ago, Andrea Thompson returned to the United States, unknowingly setting off a chain of events that put her entire family in jeopardy.  Not Andrea is desperately seeking answers. Who is her father? What happened to Adelina Thompson? Above all, what took place thirty years ago in Afghanistan that is now tearing her life apart?

In this final chapter of the Thompson Sisters saga, everything you’ve come to believe about the Thompson Sisters will be turned upside down.

Girl of Vengeance, the third and final installment in Rachel’s Peril, was a fantastic wrap up to the series as a whole. Political thrillers aren’t normally my thing. But because I had already fallen in love with the Thompson sisters, the natural flow in to this series was perfect. 

From start to finish, I loved this book and series. Yes, it was not heavy on romance (at all) but as a change of pace, this was exactly what I needed. I love that I can continue to follow the characters I love without having their relationships rehashed or nitpicked just to make a storyline work. 

There was so much going on as this book opened, with little lead up. I didn’t have a chance to re-read Girl of Rage, but was quickly reminded where that story left off and didn’t feel confused or lost because of it. 

While Rachel’s illness had taken a backseat in the previous books due to all the tension and threats, her health comes back into focus here. Even when it isn’t being directly discussed, that Rachel is present for more of the story and her condition is referenced, her treatment and possibilities for future procedures is at the back of the family’s thoughts. 

At times there was a bit of repetition about the details of the investigation, but each reiteration confirmed the truth of the events and connected a few more of the seemingly disconnected events until the complete pattern of events was clear. 

The characters were all enmeshed in the political and family drama, working to clear names, uncover the truth, and find reconciliation and retribution. Even as Richard’s glass house is shattering around him, he continues to manipulate and work the people around him, trying to find allies to help him out or shift the blame. 

I loved how this family works together to find safety, by pulling together and by staying away. Julia and Carrie in their own ways struggle to make sure everyone is safe and when they can’t control what is going on, the stress levels rise. Andrea continued to surprise me with her strength. As the major target of the threats, she faces the most direct danger and the way she handles that extra pressure, while looking out for her sisters, was amazing. I think she has grown into the strongest of the girls, despite being the youngest. 

While this was not a traditional genre that I review for the blog, the way this story developed out of The Thompson Sisters series make it a natural extension to pick up. And while I said earlier that there wasn’t any romance in the story, that’s not entirely true. The epilogue does contain details and hints about the family’s future, including a few romantic possibilities.

This was full of intrigue and suspense, loyalty and betrayal. I read it with few pauses over the course of a day and a half, because this is one story-ending I have been waiting for since Girl of Lies was published in December 2013. Yes, I who doesn’t like cliffhanger trilogies took a chance on this one, and though it was a wait to get each part of the story, it was worth the wait.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

In Girl of Vengeance we catch back up again with all of the Thompson sisters right back after the exciting conclusion of Girl of Rage. They are scattered in clusters and scrambling to make sense of how their lives have been torn apart and why people are out to destroy them. Some are on the run, some are getting answers, some are being investigated, and some are just trying to stay alive.

Andrea and Carrie are dealing with learning the real truth of who their father is and all of the girls are learning what their mother Adelina Thompson has been through in her life. But it is hard to layer new trust over a lifetime of heartbreak and abandonment. The whole group is trying to put all of the puzzle pieces together regarding the recent dangerous events and investigations, but there are many factions involved with the past and present situations. The secrets and lies are layered thick and some people will stop at nothing to keep them buried. 

"I want to know why I was left to believe I wasn't worth loving."

Speculations and some answers then lead to more questions. It is a frantic race by a host of individuals to bring down the bad guys and protect the Thompson sisters and those that they care about. 

It is also an opportunity for the Thompsons to lean on each other, learn the real truth of their shared past, and renew relationships. The silver lining is the truth, discovery, love and hope that comes out of deceit, revenge, and power plays. 

Who are friends? Who are enemies? It is all convoluted and nothing is truly as it seems. 

"They aren't different at all. For them it is all about power and pride and position. Every one of them went on to become a man of power. It's time someone brought them down."

Underneath the political story was personal of forgiveness, empowerment, and reconnection,  and rebuilding trust. And there is still the baby, Rachel whose medical needs started it all and she also becomes more focused on again. The romance aspect was small and it was not really about characters falling in love or actually having relationships, but was  more about lost love and the possibility of second chances. 

When this trilogy started out, I thought it was going to be mostly Andrea's story. And it was a journey of discovery and reconnection for her. But really it was their mother Adelina's story that was the catalyst for everything. All that she endured ruined her life and had a bearing on the lives of all of her children and their relationships. But so much of what the girls knew was to cover up the pain and the truth. As the layers came off and secrets were laid bare, there was much healing that needed to occur between all of them.  We got to delve further into the weaknesses, strengths, and determination of all of the sisters: Julia, Carrie, Alex, Jessica, Sarah, and Andrea, as well as Adelina, Crank, and Dylan. Finally all of the questions were answered and resolutions were provided.

"I wanted vengeance for the longest time. But...that's not up to me. Or you. We're called on to continue our lives...to forgive, if we can."
"Sometimes forgiveness is the hardest word in the world."

This book, like all of Charles Sheehan-Miles' books, was well written, in depth, and insightful. It had danger, suspense, and political intrigue along with complicated family relationships, secrets, and drama. It was told in multiple points of view of many characters with clear date stamp.  There was a lot of plotting, intrigue, betrayals, surprises, and twists that occurred both in the past and the present. And as all the factions collided, it became one huge mess. It was a group effort to get to the bottom of it, pardon the innocent, and go after the guilty.

Although I enjoyed getting answers and the ending of the trilogy, I did not feel like it was quite as action-packed as book 2 Girl of Rage and did feel like the middle slowed down a bit. I think because it seemed like the information on all of the players and events kept getting analyzed. Granted some small changes occurred in the stories as they built, but I was anxiously awaiting more action, resolution, and moving forward. And I will admit that I was still hoping for a bit more of personal relationships or romance vs. politics. Granted the personal relationships were explored especially with the family, but the romantic sucker in me still wanted to feel more with the romantic situations involved (Yeah, I know this is a different genre, but I was still hoping).

There was a window at the end that let us see a bit into some of their futures, but since we had come through three books to get there, I might have liked just a little more of their happy endings to top off all of the intense drama. But I still highly recommend the Thompson Sisters series and the Rachel's Peril trilogy. They are very different styles, but still give us time to spend with these characters that are so real, so passionate, likable, but damaged in various ways. Even though each sister and each couple had experienced heartbreak before in the Thompson Sisters books, the story in this trilogy took them and then truly blew their lives apart in ways no one could have expected. But in many ways that was needed to be able to bring all of the pieces back together to form a more cohesive unit.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
The Rachel's Peril trilogy is a spin off from his Thompson Sisters Series and begins after The Last Hour:
A Song for Julia(#1)Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kim's 5 star Review (FREE at this time!)
Falling Stars (#1.5):
  Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kim's 4.5 star review
Just Remember to Breathe(#2): Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kim's 4 star Review
The Last Hour(#3): Goodreads /Amazon/B&N/Kim's 5 star Review

Girl of Lies
Rachel's Peril #1
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Kim and Rachel's 4.5 star reviews
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.

Girl of Rage
Rachel's Peril #2
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Kim and Rachel's 5 star reviews

Four days ago, Andrea Thompson agreed to fly to the United States to help her sister Carrie. Four days ago, everything changed. 

Now Andrea is lost and on the run. Dylan Paris is missing. Julia and Crank Wilson are under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. The Thompson family is scattered and in danger, and Andrea’s very identity may hold the key to unlock decades of buried secrets.

Andrea, the youngest member of the Thompson clan, sets out on a search to find answers. Who is attacking her family? Who is trying to kill her and why?

As Andrea seeks her answers, everything she thought she knew about her family will be turned upside down.

Charles Sheehan-Miles
Website/Facebook/FB group/Twitter

Charles Sheehan-Miles has been a soldier, computer programmer, short-order cook and non-profit executive, and is the author of more than a dozen fiction and non-fiction books, including the indie bestsellers Just Remember to Breathe and Republic: A Novel of America’s Future. He is a member of The Authors Guild and the Association of Independent Authors.

Charles and his partner Andrea Randall live and write together in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

I write about things I’m passionate about: love, romance, war; addiction, remorse, guilt. I write about the things that terrify me and give me joy. I write about life.


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