The Rule of Thirds is a stunning novel that travels from the U.S. to Afghanistan and back again. Along the way, we meet fierce photojournalist Annie, the admiral who adores her, and a colorful cadre of confidantes. With masterful prose, Jeannée Sacken pits her protagonists, still freshly grappling with PTSD, against the Taliban and ISIS. The result is heart-pounding action paired with tender storytelling. Beautifully wrought and unputdownable, The Rule of Thirds earns 5 heartfelt stars!"
The energy from Jeannée Sacken’s The Rule of Thirds hits you right in the face from page one as the story follows Annie Hawkins, Pulitzer Prize–winning photojournalist, back to Afghanistan to record the last days before the Taliban takes over. Annie Hawkins is every writer’s dream character: tough as nails, badass extraordinaire, riddled with guilt, and filled with love for her daughter and the man she adores. Sacken’s words speed through paragraphs and chapters, leaving her readers no choice but to feel the sweat, heat, dust, and dirt as it clings to every part of their bodies as they inhale this book.”
The Rule of Thirds, the final book in Jeannée Sacken’s powerful Afghanistan trilogy, is a gripping, immersive, vividly rendered story that has everything a reader could want—complex and deeply human characters, a richly drawn story world, and a riveting plot with inner and outer stakes that keep us rooting for Annie Hawkins and the people she loves. Expertly told, The Rule of Thirds is a tale of courage, loyalty, determination, and resilience with an ending that’s unexpected—and perfect.”
I adore romantic suspense. The Rule of Thirds, the last in Jeannée Sacken’s Annie Hawkins trilogy, offers another thrilling sojourn into war-torn Afghanistan. While reading (greedily consuming) this much anticipated novel, I appreciated once again the total immersion the author provides. Sacken also paints a realistic picture of how PTSD can impact one’s life, career, and family. In this third novel, Annie Hawkins returns to Afghanistan a much less reckless journalist, yet one still willing to risk all for the lives of others. At just about any moment during this read, anything could happen. Careers could be lost, things could blow up, people might die, loved ones could be kidnapped, everything is at stake and the tension is relentless. As with her other novels, The Rule of Thirds stands alone, but read all three. It makes the conclusion of this last one so, so satisfying.”
Another stunning achievement! With seamless writing we are once again drawn into the compelling world of Annie Hawkins, veteran war photojournalist and my favorite flawed protagonist. Annie, Cerelli, and Sawyer are faced with tough decisions as the ominous Taliban takeover in Afghanistan looms closer. Playful banter, sizzling sex, and hard choices fill Annie and Cerelli’s relationship, contrasting directly with the chilling suspense of the political situation and the unexpected introduction of Annie’s daughter Mel directly into the life-threatening culture of this damaged country in transition. Tension-filled to the end combined with a tenderness Sacken skillfully interweaves, I cannot recommend this story highly enough.”
The Rule of Thirds hits you hard with the full pain, humanity, and useless destruction of war. The novel is fraught with edge of your seat drama and written with the cultural sensitivity and depth of research a reader expects from the author, Jeannée Sacken. “A tense page-turner that still makes you think, with wonderfully engaging characters, insights into a country few of us will get to visit, and adventure that had my heart pounding to the last page."
AFTER CERELLI LEAVES, I scrounge up a yogurt and do my best to forget about him seeing his shrink. Again. Because of me. Because of the work I do, the places I go, the risks I take. Damn. He’s afraid of losing me. Afraid. I almost gag on my yogurt. Cerelli isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. Yet he’s afraid of what could happen to me. And those fears are completely reasonable, especially since he’s already witnessed me come way too close to dying two, no three, times.
Not to mention that he’s a SEAL. He knows all too well what happens in war zones. He’s seen way too many people die in pretty horrific ways—things most people couldn’t even imagine. So yeah, he knows exactly what could happen to me. And I seriously don’t like what that’s doing to him.
So, what do I do? Go with Nic and my crew to Afghanistan to cover an amazingly important story? This is a story any and every journalist wants on her resumé. But I’d bet that while I’m there, Cerelli will worry about me, wish he’d convinced me not to go, and then do double duty with his therapist, digging deeper into his feelings. Years ago, I made it clear that he couldn’t tell me what I can and can’t do with my life. Unlike my ex-husband, Todd, who never could wrap his head around that and, in the end, couldn’t deal with the dangerous places my job took me, Cerelli’s kept his promise. But at what frigging cost?