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.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 “Doctor Babe” “I’m waiting for you, soldier” “I don’t have a home without him” “Grab what happiness you can, while you can.” Kisses
Is it possible to love a book and yet feel utterly emotionally wrecked by it? Yes…completely. I have hurt for characters before. I have cried for characters before. These are not foreign emotions to me…but I can’t even wrap my brain around the deep soul wrenching pain that these two went thru…it shook me to my core. If an author can make me bawl my eyes out ugly cry (for the record, worst ugly cry of my ‘book’ life) and I still come out loving it…that’s pretty awesome in my opinion. And once again, I’m breaking my rules, I can’t pick just one quote that best serves my ‘kisses’…so you get them all…because I refuse to pick…so there.
‘In the movies, pivotal moments sometimes happen in slow motion; so you can appreciate every detail, wonder at the tragedy or awesomeness of the moment. Real life doesn’t happen like that at all: it happens all at once, your sense laid open bare, every single detail happening at once while your mind takes it all in as if your skin and clothes had been ripped off.’
Dr. Carrie Anne Adelina Thompson-Sherman, six foot two Amazon goddess she’s a beautiful woman, brown hair, blue-green eyes and at 27 she’s got the ‘world at her feet,’ if you will. She’s finishing up her PhD at Rice (Woo! Sorry…it’s in Texas, gotta show some love 🙂 ), so not only is she beautiful but she’s intelligent. She’s been studying cougars, which makes her a bad ass. She’s probably the best sister in the universe. I mean I can go on and on listing the fabulous things about Carrie, but the truth is, there isn’t a list of things not to like about her. Then one night…her life changes…
‘It was overpowering. Overwhelming. I was twenty-seven years old. I’d been with men before. I’d dated at least twice seriously. But I’d never experienced anything like this. Right at that moment, it was as if every wall I had, every boundary, every defense, had simply stepped to the side, opening the gates to who knew what.’
She meets Sergeant Raymond Calhoun Sherman, he’s 26, fresh out of the army and back in the US after being in Afghanistan for longer than he’d care to remember, he goes to hang out with his best friend Dylan and meets…the woman who will change his life. Ray is…probably the most real book boyfriend I have ever had the pleasure of reading. He’s authentic and genuine. He’s not perfect, but he’s pretty close. He’s American Hero for cryin out loud, plus on top of that, he’s tall *swoon* and let’s be honest…who can resist a man in uniform?
“You’re amazing,” I said.
“I agree, I am,” she replied. “But don’t let that stop you from saying it.”
“Nothing can stop me from saying it. You’re amazing. Wonderful. Fantastic. Beautiful. Smart. Funny. Doctor Babe, you’re everything I’ve ever wanted in life.”
I cannot go into detail about what happens in this book – for two reasons. One, it’s hard to divulge too much without giving away some spoilers and I don’t do that in my reviews…and two, because I am crying just typing my feelings out…any more detail and I will be a blubbering mess. Random Fact – there are two very important dates in this book – probably the two key events that cause 90% of the angst in this book….the first one is March 24, 2012 – why is that important to me? That’s my wedding date. The other is November 15, 2012 – again, why do I care? That’s my birthday. Is Charles Sheehan-Miles stalking my life? Possibly…but I’m okay with that 🙂 Am I a geek for kinda loving that he just so happened to use two very important dates in my life for his book? Heck Yeah! No shame over here…don’t judge me.
‘Life it fragile. Screw all that hesitant bullshit. We were going to go for it.’
Alright…confession time. This is my first Charles Sheehan-Miles book. *Gasp* I know…I know, what have I been doing with my life? I have no idea, I have no good excuses – but I joined the party, sorry, I’m just a little late. Is it a big deal that I’m reading the books out of order? Eh…for me, not so much. It didn’t bother me, would things maybe made a little more sense? Sure…of course, but it didn’t distract me from enjoying and falling in love with the characters. It definitely makes me want to get to the first two books…pronto! Well and apparently these books are meant to be read as stand alones…so I don’t feel too bad about it. But still.
‘Ray just said, “Those weren’t the cards we drew, baby. But we’ll meet it together.”
He was right. We could handle it with each other. But I didn’t think I was strong enough to go it alone.’
So now…my feelings…this book was a mind fuck on a different level. There are so many different ways you can take angst. Some of it is avoidable or controllable or there are just different/easier ways to handle it. Angst that is 100% out of your control…sucks. There is no one to blame for someone else’s actions that just so happen to influence and affect your life. You’re. Just. Stuck. It’s funny because with Carrie and Ray…their good times were unfortunately few…but when I got them – OMG! My heart soared. The two of them together was magical. They did have a fast love – I’m okay with that, because I felt it. They knew it was fast and didn’t care, they let their emotions take them wherever they were meant to go and I loved it. I loved them.
‘I had closed my eyes and taken a deep breath. There was no way she could have known how much that meant to me. There was no way she could have known that she was becoming a lifeline for me, that my best moments of peace were those moments when our world shrunk down to just the two of us.
I just wished I could bring that peace right now.’
Okay…judgment day for me…I don’t do reviews with spoilers. I don’t read reviews with spoilers so I wouldn’t want to do that to others. This is a tough thing for me because what I am about to say could be taken either way – but I feel an obligation since this is something I address in every review I do. So…if there is a chance you might not want to know anything – stop reading now…this book is NOT HEA. This book is a gut you and make you cry your eyes out non-HEA. It’s bad. I’m still crying over it. I can’t even talk about it without getting choked up. And that makes me sad and happy at the same time – it’s a very confusing feeling. I mean…maybe my problem was up until the last chapter, I had hope. I never wanted to give up and it wasn’t until the last page of the epilogue that I was literally forced to give up whatever hope I still had left…but I can’t lie and say it wasn’t beautiful. The fact that words on a page and the wonderful story of two people who loved each other so fucking much it breaks my heart but can evoke this much emotion out of me…I’m sorry, it’s just awesome.
“I mean it. If I go away, you forget about me. Just walk, keep going, don’t ever turn and look back. It matters to me, Carrie. That you have a happy life, a good life. When I close my eyes and look in the future, I want to see a smile on your face.”
So Congratulations Mr. Sheehan-Miles, you made me ugly cry worse than Taking Chances, Falling Into You and Edge of Never…combine all three of them and this book still made me cry more. Heck, I just ugly cried typing this review. But now I feel like I need a hug…so I might need to request one from Charles, which I feel is the least he could do for me. 🙂 Every ounce of my reading loving soul recommends this book…but with the following Warning: Be Prepared.
Charles has an AWESOME giveaway going on – check out what’s up for grabs:
(1) $100 Amazon Gift Card
(1) Signed Hardback of The Last Hour – US/Canada Only
(5) eBook copies of Just Remember to Breather – May be gifted from Amazon or Barnes and Noble – International
Want a chance to win? Of course you do! Click here!
Charles Sheehan-Miles has been a soldier, computer programmer, short-order cook and non-profit executive. He is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books, including the indie bestsellers Just Remember to Breathe and Republic: A Novel of America’s Future. Click here to go to his website.