Tag Archives: Jessica Scott

Coming March 21st Pre-Order Now! After I Fall – Falling Series Book 3 by Jessica Scott


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After I Fall
Falling Book 3
By
Jessica Scott

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Winter Blog Blurb

Her entire life has been a lie. Being with Eli is the most honest thing she’s ever done.

Parker Hauser lives the perfect life and knows exactly where she’s been and where she’s going. Parker has to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect life.

Until she meets Eli Winter.

Eli throws her entire life into chaos when he denies her the one thing she wants from him.

One chance encounter stokes her desire for the man who refused to touch her and left her questioning everything.

When Parker tries to help his new business, the spotlight turns on Eli’s military record. And sins from the war he’s tried to forget may come back to destroy them both.

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Parker

“What do you want?” A murmured question that feels like a demand.

The single word I need is lodged in my throat. It’s thick and heavy, filled with potential and promise.

“You,” I finally say.

“Why?” Such a complicated question. I search his face, looking for an answer, a lie, something simple to fill the space left by his question.

I lift my hand, afraid he’ll see it tremble. It takes every ounce of willpower I’ve got to slide my fingers over his forearm. I’m surprised by the raw power beneath my touch. I expected the tattoos to be physical manifestations of the violence on his flesh. His skin is hot and smooth. My hand looks pale and small against it.

“You seem…” I lift my eyes to his, never removing my hand. “You seem like a straightforward kind of guy.”

A man with rough hands and dark ink carved into his skin. A man so unlike the men I’m used to, it’s not even funny. I lift my hand to his cheek, just above the edge of his beard. I’ve never touched a man with facial hair before. He is still beneath my touch.

A moment before I’m about to press my palm to his cheek, he grips my wrist. Not hard enough to hurt, but he definitely gets my attention.

“Not here.” I swallow. My mouth is suddenly dry. “Where?”

He jerks his chin toward the dark hallway behind us. I follow him silently, wishing he was already touching me, making me feel, letting me pretend I matter, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

He leads me through the maze of small tables and patrons at various stages of intoxication. Away from the noise and the smell of fries and smoke and cologne and all the good things that bars have. We step out of the noise and into shadows and silence. He doesn’t pounce, doesn’t push me against the wall and run those rough hands over my skin.

Instead, he leans against it—a casual, arrogant male.

Waiting. I know for what. For me to make the first move.

For me to step into the space between us. For me to touch him first. I want to. But I am paralyzed. Rooted to the damp concrete beneath my feet. The cool night air might as well be chains, holding me, restraining any thought or movement.

He doesn’t move. His arms are folded over his broad, heavy chest, his T-shirt straining against his body. The silence hangs on, stretching and thick and tight.

“Scared?” he finally whispers. A dare. A terrible, wicked promise in that single word.

“Should I be?” My throat is tight and dry.

His answer is nothing I expect.

And everything I want.

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Winter Blog About Author

Jessica Scott Cropped   Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO.

She is the bestselling author of the Homefront series and the Falling series, both about soldiers and veterans adjusting to life after returning from the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Her bestselling Falling series features soldiers integrating into life on college campuses.

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 Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She’s holds phd in morality in Sociology with Duke University and she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.

Her debut novel Because of You launched the return of Random House’s  Loveswept digital imprint and launched the start of the ever popular contemporary military romance genre.

Author photo: Covington Photography

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Not A Romance, More Power Of Love: My Review of The Long Night By Jessica Scott


The Long Night

The Long Night
By
Jessica Scott

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Blurb Spring Blog - Copy

Whatever it takes, just come home to me. Promise me, Sam.

In eight months, Staff Sergeant Sam Brown will become a father. But first, he has to survive his fourth tour in Iraq. On his last night home, he tries to pretend that everything is fine, that the war is fine, that his life is fine.

But as he returns to the war zone, things are anything but fine and the promise he made to his fiancé takes on a desperate edge. As things spiral down, Sam starts to wonder about that promise.

How high is the price he will pay when the long night comes to an end?

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On this Memorial Day, I found nothing more fitting than to review this book by Jessica Scott.This is a powerful, emotional book. One that delves into the mind of a soldier both at home and deployed.

I was drawn into this story from the first page and read it in one sitting. I had to know how things turned out. From the heart-wrenching goodbye at the airport, through the flights to the base I felt I was with Sam, feeling everything he felt.

The angst, the conflicts within, the losses, every single scene was vivid even those within Sam’s mind. Even the mission that went FUBAR. Here is a scene from that mission a favorite of mine.

“They can’t just leave us out here, can they?” Major Whitman’s voice held an edge of something not quite panic.

Sam was unprepared for the violence of his own reaction. “You fucking coward,” he spat.

“I’m in charge of this operation,” Whitman said.

“And you’ve done an admirable job of fucking things up for us so far. How about you let the adults pick up and run with things now that you’ve broken all your toys?” Sam snapped.

“I don’t appreciate your tone, Sergeant,” Major Whitman said.

The attempt at pulling rank pushed Sam over the edge. He didn’t think. Didn’t consider the consequences. He lifted his weapon, thumbed the selector switch from “safe” to “semi” and fired.

It was quite possibly the dumbest thing he’d ever done. The round could have ricocheted off the walls, but instead it was absorbed by the soft metal of the coffee pot.

Everyone in the room hit the deck.

Sam fought the strongest urge to point his weapon at the major. It was all he could do to force himself to lower it. He wanted to drive the butt of his weapon into his fucking skull. Instead, he flicked his weapon onto “safe” as he lowered it. He jammed his index finger at the ruined silver bullet. “Your coffee pot cost me a truck. We could be heading back to base right now if it wasn’t for your stupid officer tricks.”

“I’ll have your ass court-martialed over this.”

“I think it’ll take a hell of a lot more than killing a coffee pot to get me court-martialed.” Sam stepped into the bigger major’s face and prayed, prayed, the man would swing on him so he could bust his teeth in. “I’ve got a fiancée at home with a baby on the way. I want to go home to them and I’ll be fucked if I’m going to sit back and let your coffee pot change that.” He pivoted toward the stairs. “Get the fucking antenna back up and get a truck hooked up to it.”

He walked out before he did anything else stupid.
Like actually shoot an officer.
Scott, Jessica. The Long Night: A Novel of Suspense (Kindle Locations 1632-1648).

This is a very intense, psychological book. I loved everything about it. Jessica you have a unique gift for bringing the hard truths to life. Thank you.

5 Contented Purrs for Jessica!

About the Author Spring Blog

Jessica Scott Cropped  Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.

She has written for the New York Times At War blog, War on the Rocks, PBS Point of View Women and War and has been featured in Esquire Magazine as an American of the Year in 2012.

She has published 11 novels and novellas about soldiers returning from war and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice. She has compiled two nonfiction projects about her time in Iraq and the return home.

She has recently completed a master’s Degree in sociology from Duke, a Masters Degree in Telecom Management from University of Maryland University College, BA in Cultural Studies from State University of New York. She is currently pursuing a PhD in sociology.

She’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

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Latest in the Falling Series – Break My Fall by Jessica Scott


Break My Fall Cover

Break My Fall

Falling Book 2

By
Jessica Scott

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Blurb Spring Blog - Copy

Violence.

I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more.

And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus. I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic. Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive.

It’s my drug.

Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight. Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living.

Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes.

But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again.

But I cannot stay away.

And loving her might finally be what breaks me.

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Another powerful read filled with things we don’t usually think about. Our soldiers who come home, not necessarily outwardly injured but injured just the same.

You never know what might trigger some memory for an ex-soldier. PTSD is alive and well, this is a story that deals with that truth and the things that can and do define it.

Josh suffers from PTSD in more than just the anger and violence, there is also anxiety and it’s effects. When he meets Amy he knows he should stay away but she soothes him, helps him focus.

Abby has had a lot of pain in her life, she doesn’t want to like Josh, she doesn’t want to need him but she does. This scene is right after their class on Violence, it is when they introduce themselves.

“What’s your name?” His voice is low and quiet. Steady now. Almost calm.

I turn, unable to avoid looking at him now.

It dawns on me that no, I don’t know his name.

I stand there for a moment, hesitant. The last time this happened, I fell too far, too fast.

This time will be different. Because I’m not going to make the same mistake twice.

It’s like standing too close to an electrical current.

The simplicity of the question is deceptively benign.

I’m drawn to him in a way that is unhealthy and dangerous. He’s already consuming my thoughts, drawing my attention away from the matter at hand and luring me down a dark corridor where only dark thoughts and whispered need twist together.

I hold up one hand, needing to break the spell or whatever is going on between us. My hand collides with his chest, and I am flush against the stark reminder of this man’s strength and power and capability to do violence.

Before the rational part of my brain kicks in, I brush my fingertips gently over the bruised and damaged skin above his eye.

He goes still beneath my touch. That full bottom lip opens a little. A tiny space, but I can feel the heat of his breath on my wrist.

His eyes are locked on mine. I’m trapped, unable to move. I’m not sure I want to. I’m furious for him but I’m frozen, burning where my fingers touch his skin.

I cannot move. Cannot look away.

“I’m Josh,” he whispers. An answer to an unasked question.

I swallow the sudden lump blocking my throat. “Abby.”

“Abby.” He repeats my name and it sounds something like a prayer, whispered in reverence and awe.
Break My Fall (Falling Book 2) (Kindle Locations 549-561). Jessica Scott. Kindle Edition.

A slow building relationship with many ups and downs, and some very hot scenes. All together a thought provoking, emotional and intense read.

5 Contented Purrs for Jessica!

About the Author Spring Blog

Jessica Scott Cropped  Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.

She has written for the New York Times At War blog, War on the Rocks, PBS Point of View Women and War and has been featured in Esquire Magazine as an American of the Year in 2012.

She has published 11 novels and novellas about soldiers returning from war and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice. She has compiled two nonfiction projects about her time in Iraq and the return home.

She has recently completed a master’s Degree in sociology from Duke, a Masters Degree in Telecom Management from University of Maryland University College, BA in Cultural Studies from State University of New York. She is currently pursuing a phd in sociology.

She’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

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Release Week Blitz! Jessica Scott’s After The War with My Review


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Jessica Scott
After the War
5/5/2015

J Scott After the War CoverBlurb:

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.

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My Review:

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
tomorrow.

“Whatcha drawing?”

“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
for?”

“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.


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Excerpt:

“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?

“Sarah?”

“Yeah?”

“This doesn’t feel wrong to me. I just wanted you to know that.”


 

Jessica Scott HeadshotAbout Jessica Scott:

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.

Find Jessica Online:

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My Review of Homefront – First in the New Series from Jessica Scott


HOMEFRONT-Cover
Release Date: April 7, 2015

SummerBlog Blurb

He’s always loved her…

First Sergeant Gale Sorren waited a war and half a lifetime for a chance to get stationed near the ex-wife who left him years ago. When he finally musters the courage to see her, the life he imagined she was living was nothing close to the reality.

She’s never stopped loving him…

Melanie never stopped worrying about Gale each time he headed off to war. But he’s never been there when she needed him and she’s had fifteen years to steel her heart against him.

But when Gale moves to Fort Hood, he finally has a chance to make things right with Melanie and the daughter she raised without him.

Can Mel trust her heart to a man who has always let her down?

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SummerBlog My Review

This book was a gift from the Author/Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

First Sergeant Gale Sorren has finally gotten his wish to be assigned to Fort Hood, but somehow has not come up with the courage to approach his ex-wife and daughter. As a result he ends up running into Melanie at a “mandatory fun” event, two months after moving here.  Mel was not happy that he had been there so long and had not even picked up the phone to call his daughter.

After that awkward meeting he finally convinces himself to go see his daughter Jamie and to try to make things right with Melanie.

Jamie and her mother fight all the time and since she had been hospitalized for cutting, the trust between them is hard in coming. Gale offers to help Mel with Jamie, try to be a father now he is close by.  As such, one of the first things he had to do was escort a boy from his daughter’s room after they had cut school.

Alex is the son of First Sergeant Tellhouse, Gale had served with him in Iraq. Now he had to bring the Alex to his father for his cutting school and being removed from Jamie’s bedroom.  The boy looked scared and more than just a little.

When Alex shows up with a black eye and a really poor excuse Gale suspects Tellhouse is hitting his son Alex. However with no proof and Jamie worried, he is keeping an eye out. He needed proof to take it to command.

One of my favorite scenes is actually between father and daughter, occurring because she hasn’t spoken to her mother since the Alex incident and her mother took her door.

“Go away.”

Gale stood on the opposite side of a deep magenta sheet
that Jamie had stapled across her doorway. Gale smiled at the
petulant defiance in her voice.

She sounded like her mother. He wondered how she’d
react if he told her that.

He decided against it. He was there to try and make the
peace, not stir up the revolution again.

He was used to dealing with petulant kids. Hell, half his
company was only a couple years older than Jamie. He could
handle a cranky private.

Daughters were a whole ’nother ballgame.

He supposed it was different when said disgruntled
teenager was one’s own spawn, as opposed to someone else’s
kid. He was starting to think that dealing with a platoon full of
nineteen-year-old boys was infinitely easier than dealing with his
own kid.

Still, he’d never backed down from a challenge, and this
one was so much more important than anything he’d done
before.

He knocked on the doorframe again.

“Are you deaf? Leave me alone.”

“Jamie, it’s me.” He wanted to say it’s your father but the
word was awkward. Like a shirt that didn’t fit and cut too tight
beneath his arms.

The sheet yanked open. For a moment, she looked
genuinely curious about his presence, then the angry mask
dropped back into place. “What do you want?”

Gale stuffed his hands in his pockets and tried to figure out
how to get into that room without violating her space. She
needed to invite him in, otherwise it would be defeating the
purpose.

He couldn’t just give her orders like one of his soldiers.
That made the entire situation trickier than anything he’d
dealt with and he’d dealt with a lot.

“Can I come in?”

She scowled. “Aren’t you just going to barge in like mom
does?”

“Nope. Not until you invite me.”

“What are you, a vampire?”

Gale covered his mouth as he laughed out loud. Holy shit,
his daughter was a budding smart ass. He wondered if she knew
how funny she sounded. She stepped back to throw the sheet in
his face. He caught it. “I wasn’t laughing at you, Jamie. Swear. I
thought your vampire comment was funny, that’s all.”

She narrowed her eyes at him, only slightly mollified.
“Fine. Come in.”

Things heat up between Melanie and Gale and in a different way between Gale and Tellhouse as so many things come to the fore.

Turning pages was not an option, it was a must.  I couldn’t put this down.  Jessica handles the sensitive subjects of cutting and child abuse in a way I think few others can.  I laughed, cried, held my breath and I think I also had to take a cold shower while reading this book.

5 Contented Purrs for this wonderfully written book.

We also see some friends from the Coming Home series in this book. Sergeant Reza Iaconelli’s story is in Until There Was You Book 4 and Captain Ben Teague’s is in It’s Always Been You Book 5. Both are great reads as are all of The Coming Home Series!

 

SummerBlog About the Author
Jessica Scott Cropped
Jessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.

She has written for the New York Times At War blog, War on the Rocks, PBS Point of View Women and War and has been featured in Esquire Magazine as an American of the Year in 2012.

She has published 11 novels and novellas about soldiers returning from war and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice. She has compiled two nonfiction projects about her time in Iraq and the return home.

She has recently completed a master’s Degree in sociology from Duke, a Masters Degree in Telecom Management from University of Maryland University College, BA in Cultural Studies from State University of New York. She is currently pursuing a phd in sociology.

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Sign up for Jessica’s Newsletter to keep up with the latest information about new releases:

She’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012. Learn More at her WebPage and these sites.
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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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