Book Review – The Last Hour by Charles Sheehan-Miles

by Maryse on April 24, 2013 · 23 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Last Hour (Thompson Sisters)
Okay no spoilers in this but still, I’m gonna say this: If you are in the mood for a deep, detailed love/life story (both are equally prevalent), that will VERY likely make you sob, then stop reading this review and get this book. The writing is amazing, the story laid out so well. Profound, and you will feel it. I don’t want to give you any hints that might keep you from experiencing this one fully. Keeping that in mind, this one has been a bit more difficult to review.

To me, this is his best one yet!! I’ve been following this series and gently easing myself into this family, without even realizing it was happening. Yet,  by the third book, I had that “feels like home” feeling when I realized just how well acquainted I am with them, already. How invested I am in their happiness. And how much I want to be there for them in their times of sadness. Well… except for this one. While it was the best one so far, it was also the most heart wrenching and so crazy-real.

I had to distance myself as I was reading. It’s a… “reflex”. A self-preservation thing where if I have a good grasp of a painful issue right off the bat, well… I go into self-preservation mode. But it never works. I can hold back all I want. I can manage to reach the “sad” parts and maybe only tear up. Maybe only shed a tear, even. But it catches up to me. ALWAYS. Holding back only delays the inevitable.

I’ve been a Moody McCranky-Sulk all day and I couldn’t put my finger on it. DUH!!!! Subconsciously I knew what my problem was. But I procrastinated. Sulked. Went MIA. No new “today” posts. Anywhere. Not on my blog. Not on my Facebook. Nuthin’. I was… “away”. Then, evening came and I procrastinated in a different way. Celebrated the great author news… posted book covers, refreshed and refreshed and refreshed my Facebook. Yep. Procrastinated. Internally, I agonized over telling you guys I felt… lonely. But I was. Lonely. My mom knows. My husband knows. My dogs know. And now you know.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I read an emotional book last night, finished it at 2am, and just… wow. Though I’m trying to find a way to release it into words and do so without spoilers… but here’s a hint —> *my heart*. Still feeling it after a day away from these characters. Charles Sheehan-Miles, I love your book-family. I miss ‘em!

Leanne: That book killed me….but was a great read

Rita: I’m reading that one now; it’s really killing me.

Nicole: I COULD NOT stop crying toward the end…it was so sad…it’s one of those books I can only emotionally handle reading once…so good

Maryse’s Book Blog: My heart feels it even more right now… crazy right? I dunno why, but writing this review is difficult for me. Re-reading some parts.

Dawn: I read that as a BETA…wow, just wow…it’s difficult to put a review into words. I had to sit with it for a while. Brilliant.

Kirsten: I do feel like part of the Thompson Family too Maryse. I still think about it.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m feeling lonely… I’ve ben thinking about *ahem* you know… all day. ALL DAY.  The author got some words from me in the middle of the night. I may have even growled at him. I yelled at him. Called him by his whole name and everything. I said “CHARLES SHEEHAN-MILES WHAT DID YOU DO!!!????”

Charles Sheehan-Miles ^^truth. Maryse thank you so much

Cynthia: I had to put it down, I needed a break. He’s a brilliant writer, Just Remember to Breathe and A Song for Julia were amazing books, but this one was breaking my heart and I was scared that it wouldn’t be put back together. I can’t put into words how deeply it was affecting me.

Nicole: Do u have to read them in order cuz im feeling like I need a book that will make me cry….

Maryse’s Book Blog: Nicole – nope. You can read this one first by the way it was written (stand-alone) but I’d recommend reading them in order. However, if you wanna cry… here it is!!!!

Dawn: Nicole….get some stock of tissues…and for days after…I’m not joking!

ClaudiaL Me too Maryse, I can’t stop thinking about this book…It’s one of the best on my list!!!!!!!

Naiky: It killed me!!! … I sobbed like a baby!

Kerri: I finished it last night at 3:30am! I literally sat there staring for like 15mins after I was done, I was spent emotionally, oh my heart needs something light and so unlike what I just read. You are right Maryse, Charles is an amazing writer!

And after a day of reflecting, and not being able to get it out of my mind, NOW I just wanna… sob. I wanna go back to my book, and well… you’ll know. You’ll understand. Twists. Turns. Reality. Stuff.

A bit of history about the series: A well-to-do large family, that is somewhat close, and yet has it’s fair share of personal issues. A distant mother, an affluent father with a public image to uphold, and five (?) daughters that have all experienced joy and pain. Have been there for each other… and have isolated themselves at times, too. I’m curious about all of the sisters and am bonding to each one’s story, as if they are real. As if they are my own friends. Or my own family.

And Carrie is the one I’m closest to. The one in THIS book. I’ve bonded to her because how can you not? But I’ve especially bonded to Ray. He is the ultimate hero. There’s a strong military influence in this author’s books, but more-so on an emotional level. The struggles. The fear. Their integrity, and their sense of duty.

My life was a web of promises, and it wouldn’t take much to pull the thread on them.

The real-life nightmares. The aftermath.

I hadn’t talked with anyone about what happened. I hadn’t told anyone. And of tonight was anything to go by, that silence was taking it’s toll.

I’d talk with her. And let her make a decision. If she wanted to walk away at that point, at least she had a choice in the matter.

The problem was… I really wasn’t ready to talk about it. I wasn’t even ready to think about it.

Men in uniform have taken on a whole new meaning. I mean… ;) I know what we normally say as we waggle our eyebrows when referring to ‘em. But it’s SO much more than that, and it’s proven here, in Ray’s character. This is a HUGE story. But it’s a story within a story.

The present. The past. The incredible love story. I could just indulge in that love all day. The accusations. The investigations. The military life. And a tragedy that puts so much into perspective. So much. A possible second chance and a family coming together. The love story. Have I mentioned the love story?

All I could do was try. All I could do was be here. All I could give her was my love, even if she never knew.

I guess there was one other thing I could do. I could fight.

This book is great. And then as you simmer on it, and realize that you’re still in the book even though hours have passed since you’ve hit the end, you’ll know. It’s… amazing. So important. So deep. So real. So perfect in it’s own way. At least to me.

Yeah, I think I’m gonna 5-star this. I’ll never forget this one, and I’ve been in “it” all day. The writing is amazing. The characters are deep, real, and solid. Mature and responsible. There’s something bigger, more meaningful to appreciate through the moments of pain. And in the grand scheme of things, I can take comfort in this.

Don’t laugh. I mostly read contemporary romance. It’s got to have a happy ending.”

He nodded, seriously, and said, “I’d never laugh at that. Real life should be that way.”

Here’s the Thompson Sisters Reading Order (Thank you so much Charles, for sending this review copy my way. Or should I say Grrrrrrrrr to you?) ;)

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten April 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM

So hard to review this one Maryse, but you did a beautiful job.

Maryse April 24, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Thanks Kirsten. And thanks for the shoulder. *hug* ;)

V. April 24, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Thanks for the review. I have not read this series. It looks good and I love a good cry. I’ve just added it to my reading list.

Laura April 24, 2013 at 8:55 PM

absolutely FABULOUS review for an absolutely FABULOUS book!

Tina B April 24, 2013 at 9:26 PM

I kind of skimmed your review, because when I started reading it, you were making me re-live those moments in the book and my heart can’t take it. I don’t think that I have ever cried like that over a book. I completely agree with your review! I think you did a fabulous job without any spoilers. ;)
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Becky April 24, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Do you recommend ready the first 2 books first or is it a stand alone?

Autumn @TheAutumnReview April 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM

I can’t wait to read this one. Soon. Very soon.

Jean April 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Well, I have only read Just Remember to Breathe. Have not read A Song for Julia yet and didn’t know if I would. But now, after reading your review of The Last Hour, I will read both A Song for Julia and The Last Song…..the tearjerkers just kill me though…….. I can see how you formed a connection with the Thompson sisters. It is unbelievable how a book can affect you for days, EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY!! Love your blog! I am on here just about everyday!!!

Jenn April 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Great review Maryse….I started reading this on Sunday after finishing Blind Obsession…..between these two books I was put through the ringer and I mean that in the best possible way; these two books were both 5 stars for me…. by the time I finished this one though which took me 4 days….. I needed something Bad Ass so now I am reading Real :)

LucyLou April 25, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Sounds great!

Angy April 25, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Awesome review… I’ve all three books and I love his writing. This book was simply amazing. I procrastinated starting this book for two days and was scared to keep reading because of what the characters were going through. Beautiful story, best one yet. Looking forward to more of his books.

Tracey April 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I agree with every single thing you wrote here. The fact is that I cursed Charles Sheehan-Miles multiple times finishing up this book. I finished hours ago and sometimes the truth just hits me, square in the chest and I start to fall apart again. I am grieving for this story, there is no other way to say it and frankly, I will tell anyone and everyone to read this book. I was so raw and vulnerable after finishing that story that it’s a good thing I was holed up at home, who knows what could have happened to me out there with my emotions so damn exposed. Lord knows……

Damn that was a book for the list….the best books I’ve ever read. This one sits top five, easily.

Jean April 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Wow I am just about to start The Last Hour today and I am preparing myself. I read A Song for Julia over the weekend and LOVED it! His writing style is so unique that it makes you not want to put the book down!!! Hoping for more from him regarding the Thompson sisters!! Great author!

Ali April 30, 2013 at 8:56 PM

I love your reviews, and you have never steered me wrong! I would just like to add, and maybe you’ve already reviewed these books…
(I’m a newer reader)
It’s not like me to throw out 5 stars willy nilly, but the Kathleen Turner series by Tiffany Snow? Holy Cow! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them.
Cannot get enough. HUGE FAN!
Not to detract from this review, I just didn’t know where to put this comment :)

Elma Post May 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Great review! This was such a beautiful book!
Love your blog! A fan from Holland.

Tiffany May 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I just saw that the first 3 books are on sale as a box set for Kindle for $7.99! I don’t typically buy romance novels written by a male author. I just have never found one that I connect with. But these sound beautiful. I can’t wait to read them. Thanks!

April September 23, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Maryes!! I just finished! I’m so torn. I loved this book but at the same time I have never had to stop myself from throwing my iPad. I’m not kidding I almost threw it. This book was amazing but well HOLY HECK!!

April September 23, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I think I might need a support group!!

LaurenB October 15, 2013 at 10:38 PM

I feel like such an idiot that I didn’t know what was going to happy, given the title of the book, but I have seriously been sobbing for twenty minutes now. What did I expect? Ah. Part of me wishes I hadn’t read it at all but if must have been a great book if it affected me so much. Ahhh. I loved Ray. And I agree with you that I felt the closest to Carrie.

LaurenB October 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Happen, not happy. Whoops. Can’t see through my blurry eyes I guess

Mila December 27, 2013 at 6:33 PM

This book was amazing ! One of my favourite of the year and I’m sure it’ll be on your favourite books of 2013 too !

Rhonda March 3, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Anyone know when #15 will be released?

Krystal Marin July 30, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Awesome review. Maryse, can this be read as a stand alone? Or should I read the first two books first?

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