After the War
The second book in the emotional new Homefront series from USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott
A terrible loss…
Captain Sarah Anders lost her husband to the Iraq war and has nearly lost the career she loves. Sent to Fort Hood, she only wants to do her job and take care of the daughter she’s raising on her own. She never counted on running straight into a memory she’d tried to forget.
A love he never forgot…
Captain Sean Nichols never got over Sarah. He simply tried to forget her amidst the war and the chaos of combat. But when she’s assigned to investigate his unit, he comes face to face with the woman no war or any amount of time could make him forget.
A dark secret…
As Sarah gets closer to the truth, Sean must accept that actions he took during the war may end the tentative love building between them. And even if Sarah can forgive him, Sean may never be able to forgive himself.
This book was a gift from the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Every job has good bosses and bad. Captain Sarah Anders has had more than her share of the bad ones, and this latest one is no exception.
Sarah’s assigned to investigate a bar fight between a Lieutenant and a Sergeant, one that seems like an open and shut case. As she reads the information in the folder, the name of the company commander sends the past roaring to the present.
She never thought to see Captain Sean Nichols again. She had moved on, she had married Jack Anders, and lost him to the war, but has his daughter as a loving memory of what they had together.
Sean was not expecting Sarah to be the one investigating. He hadn’t known she married. His reaction to her was, shall we say, a bit immature considering their relationship had been nine years ago. He introduced her to his First Sergeant as his ex-fiancé Sarah Delany. She corrected the introduction but the interpersonal hostility remained.
Things change between Sean and Sarah when she is taking a PT test for the record, even though she wasn’t required to based on her injury profile. Late that same day, she is ordered to go in to answer Battalion Commander LTC Gilliad’s questions on her investigation.
With her daughter Anna in tow, she arrives to run into Sean as he leaves the Command Sergeant Major’s office. This leads to him taking Anna to his office while Sarah meets with the LTC, and one of my favorite scenes in this book. Anna wants to draw on Sean’s white board and in spite of his needing the information on it he lets her.
He handed her the blue marker. “Go wild, kiddo.”
He sat back and let her go to town. And wondered how he
was going to remember who had been tasked for what
“This is Captain Meow,” she said soberly. “He’s in charge
of all the mice.”
“And who is this?” He pointed to a black ball.
“That’s Sergeant Bandeet. She’s the HIC.”
“Don’t you mean Bandit?” Sean narrowed his eyes. “HIC?”
“Ban-deet. She’s French. And she’s the hamster in charge,” Anna said. “She’s in charge of the rodent airborne division.”
Sean laughed out loud. “Are you sure you’re only five?”
She scowled at him. “You don’t like my drawing?”
“I love it,” he said quickly. “I just never thought of
hamsters doing airborne operations. What are they doing them
“Because the rats are trying to steal all the strawberries.” As
though that was the most obvious answer in the world.
“Ah. Makes sense.” Sean wondered if she was always this
creative and funny. Jack had been a hell of a smart ass. He’d
hidden a blow-up sheep in his cot once when the commander
had been inspecting their areas out in the field. The commander
had not been amused.
As Sarah’s investigation heats up so does her involvement with Sean. There is so much emotion in this book, in the back stories as well as the present.
Throughout this story I can feel Sarah’s pain, the heartbreak and strength that is part of being a single Mom in the Army while we are at war. The pain Sean feels that never leaves an officer on the loss of men. Whether it be to the violence of war or in the aftermath at home, is seen and felt on the pages.
We also get to see Claire Montoya, Sarah’s best friend and Evan Loehr again, their story is in Until There Was You Book 2 of the Coming Home Series.
Jessica Scott has once again written a book that tugs at the heartstrings, and shows us some of the painful truths of war and homecoming.
5 Contented PURRS for this book. I cannot wait for the next in this series.
“I’m sorry you have to go through this alone.”
“Thank you for saying that.” She blinked quickly, and she heard a rustle of blankets. Her mind detoured into a very unprofessional space. “Did you just get into bed?”
He laughed quietly. “Yeah. Are you?”
“Yeah.” There was something illicit in that simple agreement. Illicit and enticing all at once.
“So we’re in bed together?”
“Ha ha ha.” She cleared her throat, though, as a fresh heat traced over her skin, warm and needy. “Tell me more about Kearney.”
“Damn, and here I thought you were going to ask me what I was wearing to bed.”
She hesitated. Only for a moment, not giving herself time to talk herself out of her next words. “What are you wearing to bed?”
A silence that let her mind wander. “Sweats.” He paused. When he spoke, his voice was husky and thick. “Tell me what you’re wearing.”
“Yoga pants and a T-shirt,” she said softly, her cheeks turning hot. Was she really having this conversation?
“This doesn’t feel wrong to me. I just wanted you to know that.”
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.
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