Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Because of You & Until There Was You by Jessica Scott

The first in Jessica Scott's Coming Home series, Because of You was released last November (Loveswept, November 2011).  It has been in my TBR pile for a while and when the second one was due to be released earlier this month, I decided it was time to move it to the front of the pile.  I loved Because of You.  Not only is it well written, it has a sweet romance.  It's a wonderful story filled with emotion.  I found myself getting choked up more than once while I read it.

Jen and Shane are just so right together.  I loved watching their fall into love. Both of them are dealing with changes not only to their physical selves, but to their identities. Jen is just the right person to help Shane through his healing from his injuries. Shane is able to help Jen open up and trust again.  While the romance was a wonderful part of the story, at the heart is the reality of war and its aftermath.  The book deals with the very real issue that coming home from war isn't always a happy thing.  I thought the author did a wonderful job in showing the real emotional and psychological turmoil that wounded soldiers face upon returning home.  How they often have a hard time reconciling why they returned and their fellow soldiers didn't.  I read that Ms. Scott has a military background, so I'm sure her experiences allowed her to make the situation as realistic as possible.  I definitely recommend this one!

Because I loved the first book, I dove right into Until There Was You (Loveswept, October 2012).  While I liked it, I didn't like it as much as the first book.  I think it may be the timeline for the book.  It takes place over a much shorter time period than the first one (about a week).  Even though Claire and Evan have known each other from working together for a number of years, I didn't feel the connection as much.  I felt Evan was more invested in the relationship than Claire was.  She just came across as a bit cold to me.   I was able to warm up to her in the end. 

The rest of the story was well written.  I liked the glimpse into the war readiness training.  I felt like it was pretty realistic given the author's background.  I was bothered at the number of people who looked the other way on  Reza's clear alcoholism. While I understand their loyalty to a war hero, they weren't doing him or fellow soldiers any favors by allowing him to be so self destructive. I was happy to see him man up and do the right thing in the end.

Because of You ended in a sort of cliffhanger, so I was a little disappointed to see that Until There Was You didn't have the same characters in it.  Nor did it address some of the unanswered questions from the first book. Given that, both books can be read as stand alone novels.  I'm hoping she will wrap some of the loose ends up in the third book, Back to You, scheduled to come out next year.

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