Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Launch Day Review Blitz: All for You by Jessica Scott

We are really excited to be a part of Jessica Scott's Launch Day Blitz for her latest book in the Coming Home series. All for You.  We have an exciting excerpt for you to read after my thoughts on the book. Also, make sure to check out the two giveaways offered by the publisher below.

Publisher: Forever 
Date of publication: February 4, 2014

Can a battle-scarred warrior . . .

Stay sober. Get deployed. Lead his platoon. Those are the only things that matter to Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli. What he wants is for everyone to stay out of his way; what he gets is Captain Emily Lindberg telling him how to deal with his men. Fort Hood's newest shrink is smart as a whip and sexy as hell. She's also full of questions-about the army, its soldiers, and the agony etched on Reza's body and soul.

. . . open his heart to love?

Emily has devoted her life to giving soldiers the care they need-and deserve. Little does she know that means facing down the fierce wall of muscle that is Sergeant Iaconelli like it's just another day at the office. When Reza agrees to help her understand what makes a soldier tick, she's thrilled. Too bad it doesn't help her unravel the sexy warrior in front of her who stokes her desire and touches a part of her she thought long dead. He's the man who thinks combat is the only escape from the demons that haunt him. The man who needs her most of all . . .

My thoughts:

All for You was such a good book.  I really loved it.  It was also a difficult book to read because of the subject matter. Alcoholism and suicide never make for light reading material.  The story centers around Reza and Emily.  Reza, who we met back in Until There was You, is an alcoholic who is trying to stay sober on his own.  The stress of his job and learning how to be back home is making it difficult.  Emily is relatively new to the Army and has never seen combat.  She is trying to really reach out to the soldiers who need her help. She looks to Reza to try to help her understand what the soldiers are going through.  I loved these two together.  For me, Reza is the most changed out of all of the men in this series.  Events in the book make him take a hard look at his life and his attitude.  I was really rooting for him to make the right choice in the end.  

The story is a realistic look at what is happening to our military when they come back. War changes people.  Addiction is a reality that really can't be ignored.  I was appalled at the attitudes of the higher ranking officers and NCOs toward those who sought treatment and help with their problems. While this is fiction, I'm sure that it carries over into real life.  The book really made me think about what we are asking our young men and women to do for our freedom.  Doesn't freedom always come at a price?   If anything, I know I am starting to have a better appreciation for what they sacrifice so that I can be safe and free.  I applaud the author for not sugarcoating the issues and for giving it to us straight!

If you haven't yet read any of these books, I urge you to give them a try.  They all can be read as stand alone books, but why not start with Because of You?  You won't be sorry.

Enjoy this excerpt from All for You:

Emily watched her friend weave through the crowd of broad-shouldered Cavalrymen and toward the captain. Alone at the bar, Emily twirled her wine in the glass, staring into the swirling pale golden liquid.
She sipped her wine and glanced around the wide open space, feeling the warmth. She was comfortable in this place. A drink after work. A good friend. This was a good life. It was simple. It had purpose. So much better than the complicated mess she’d left behind.
         She lifted her glass, savoring the freedom of her rebellion. She might not fit into her uniform just right but she fit here among these soldiers better than she’d ever fit back home.
         She saw Olivia gyrating slowly with the captain across the dance floor. Her friend’s movements were slow and sensual, a sultry undulation that spoke of power and of sex. She smiled at her friend’s pleasure. It was enough that Emily could enjoy another’s happiness. She’d come here tonight to relax, to help Olivia celebrate.
         “You don’t come here often, do you?”
         Emily glanced at the man who’d appeared at her shoulder. He’d been standing with the group of captains that Olivia had just infiltrated.
         “Not really,” she said, sipping her drink. She thought about easing away, putting space between where their upper arms touched.
         Personal space much? she thought.
         “Are you here with friends?” he asked. She caught a heavy scent of beer from his direction, beer mixed with cigar smoke. It was not unpleasant.
         She glanced over at Olivia. “Yeah.”
         “Not up for company?”
         She smiled and finally glanced back at him. “Not really. Thank you though.”
         He brushed the tip of his hat with two fingers. “My pleasure, ma’am.”
         He swaggered off, leaving her alone at the bar. That had been nice. Too bad she wasn’t interested. Once upon a time, she might have danced but there was something missing from the way he’d carried himself.
         He was missing that power that Sergeant Iaconelli wore like it was second nature.
         She shook her head and took a long sip of her wine. She’d done nothing but argue with the man but now she was thinking about him in a way that was purely unprofessional.
         The heavy iron door swung open at that moment and Emily’s breath caught in her throat.
         “Speak of the devil,” she muttered.
         Reza Iaconelli stood in the doorway, his gaze scanning the room as though he was taking a headcount. What was it about the man that he was always walking through doors at the wrong time? And this time, his gaze swept the bar and landed directly on her.
         His eyes lit up, his mouth flattened. Just a faint flicker, but it was enough to tell her he’d recognized her.
         And the familiar hostility was gone.
         Her mouth went dry and she took another sip. He wasn’t going to come over. It was going to be fine.
         They would keep the rampant hostility and no lines would be blurred.
It would be fine, right?
         Except that he was now coming over. Weaving through the crowd, his Stetson adding to his height.
         What the hell was she supposed to do about that? The closer he got, the more her stomach flipped beneath her ribs.
         She was too tired to fight. And the alcohol would probably allow her to say something that she’d regret come Monday.
         His clean white shirt accented his shoulders and made his skin look darker, more appealing. His face was shadowed by the brim of the Stetson.
         He was there. A short space separated them. He radiated something—a power.
         A rawness.
         She was doomed.


About the author:

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 written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.

She's pursuing a PhD 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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