My Review of Before I Fall – A New Series Coming March 3 from Jessica Scott

Before I Fall Cover

Falling Series – Book 1

Author/Publisher: Jessica Scott (March 3, 2015)

BLURB:

Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah – a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.

Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.

A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.

Buy Links:
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This book was a gift from the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

MY REVIEW:

When Jessica Scott writes about the military you never know what angle she is going to look from.  In this one, she hits home on problems faced by our veterans and not from their point of view.

Beth Lamont takes care of her father and goes to school.  Her degree in business will get her a job.  One with the benefits she needs to finally get her father the care he needs.

Noah is back from the war and in school.  He feels like a fish out of water but that isn’t his only problem. His problems require he face them, before they can be fixed.

When Beth’s professor offers her a tutoring job on top of being her TA, she jumps cautiously.  The student is ex-military and she would really like to avoid anything and anyone remotely involved with that. But money is tight and she decides it can’t hurt to meet with the guy.

There is an attraction that cannot be denied between Noah and Beth.  The sizzle starts at first look and builds into an inferno.

Here is one of my favorite passages from their first lunch together:

“So your Dad, why hasn’t he been seen at the VA?”
She leans back as the waiter brings us chips and salsa and our drinks. She dips a chip and takes a bite. She’s stalling, but I’m not sure why.

“We should try to keep this conversation light and enjoyable. If you get me started on the VA, I may start using creative profanity.”

I lean a little closer so I can whisper in her ear. I’m tempted to bite her earlobe but I’m trying to behave. My  restraint is damn near superhuman “I’m dying to hear what you consider creative profanity. I can’t picture you swearing.”

“The VA is one of the few institutions that gets my blood pressure up that high.”

“Why?” I haven’t been seen by the VA yet. I’m still on Tricare for a few more weeks and then I’m taking advantage of the student insurance. I’ve heard enough horror stories about the VA that make me skeptical at best. I won’t be able to avoid it forever, especially not with everything that happened to me during the war. but I’m content to avoid it for now.

Beth sips her water then takes a deep breath. “They cancel more appointments than they keep, and he’s been scheduled for surgery five times in the last year. Because he’s not 100% disabled, he doesn’t have full coverage at local hospitals. And because of his rating, his back problems are treated as elective as opposed to medically necessary.” She takes a deep breath. Her voice is laced with tension. “It’s complicated.”

“Shit, I’m sorry.”

“Thanks.” She snags another chip. “So what’s your story? You’re a junior?”

“I took a lot of courses after work when I was down at Bragg. School accepted most of my transfer credits. I get to use my GI Bill to finish up my BA and then I’m applying to grad school.”

“My dad gave me his GI Bill,” she says after a moment. “He’s the reason I can even begin to afford to go here.”

There’s something else there, beneath her words but I don’t push her on it. “I’m glad I went to school while I was active.”

“How did you have time? If you got promoted so quickly you had to be working a lot.”

“I was, but I carved out time. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up so I joined the army.” “You joined the army on a whim during war?” Her words are laced with sarcasm.

I laugh and almost choke on a chip. How’s that for romantic? Smooth, Noah, real smooth. “When you put it that way, it does sound kind of foolish,” I say when I’m done hacking up a lung.

Unfortunately there are secrets and lies on both sides of this equation and the question becomes are they strong enough, have enough faith to make it through.

Jessica tells this story of pain, heartbreak and hope with such emotion I felt I was in the story.  I cried with and for Beth, her father and Noah.  My anger at the VA is not just because it’s in the book but because it is a real issue and happens every day to our veterans and their families.  The frustration is real.

I loved this book and give it Five Contented Purrs!

I am looking forward to the next installment in this new series!

 
About Jessica
Jessica Scott Cropped

USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.She’s also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She’s pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Learn more at Jessica’s Author Page:
Jessica’s Author Page

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