Book Review: Because of You by Jessica Scott

Because of You
Coming Home #1
Author: Jessica Scott
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Military
Released: November 14th 2011
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Contemporary Military Romance. From the war-torn streets of Baghdad to the bittersweet comforts of the home front, two wounded hearts navigate the battlefield of coming home from war in this explosive eBook original from newcomer Jessica Scott.

Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care.

Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire.

Shane Garrison is a career NCO (Non-Commissioned Office for all the non-military readers). He has done several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan since he joined the Army and is gearing up for his next deployment when the story begins. In the midst of preparing for his upcoming deployment, he is served divorce papers by his soon to be ex-wife Tatiana. She's found another man, unfortunately an all to common story for military (in real life not just fiction). Shane isn't as hurt by this as he probably should be but then he has always been more married to the Army than to his wife.

His last night in town a few of his men including his company commander, Trent Davila (Capt. Davila), drag him to the local bar for one last night of frivolity. Though Shane doesn't want to be mixed up in any bar room brawls and have to bail anyone out of jail the night before they fly out for the desert, he agrees to join them. While at the bar he meets local nurse Jen St. James and is right away taken by her natural beauty. Much like Shane, Jen is a survivor at heart but on this particular night Jen is finding it hard to cut loose, much to her friend Laura Davila's dismay (yes, Capt. Davila's wife). Laura has talked Jen into wearing a gel form under her bra to mask her friend's insecurity over losing her left breast to cancer several years ago.

After their least favorite officer, Lt. Randall, makes a pass at Vic Carponti's wife Nicole, a brawl breaks out and Shane must divert his attention from Jen to his boy who will certainly get in trouble if he can't contain the situation. The night is cut short after the fight dies down and Shane and Jen share a quick but flirtatious kiss at her car before they head home, separately. No obligatory, I'm leaving for the desert and may never come back, one last night of fun sex here. Shane figures he's probably seen the last of Jen St. James since there is never a guarantee that he or any of his men will make it back home at the end of their year long tour in the sandbox. Jen ends up filling in for one of the nurses set to do final medical checks on the boys before they head out the following morning. Shane is fearing a medical check due to a recent appendectomy that is still healing and hopes that he can fly through the medical check line without the bloody bandage under his uniform being noticed. No such luck! Jen sees it and tries to beg him to stay and have it looked at but he flirts with her enough to get her to compromise her career and reputation to send him with his men overseas.

One unfortunate ambush after four tiring months on patrol sends Shane home early. Jen is put in charge of his care when he returns though she feels herself taking a very personal interest in this patient. Now both of them find themselves in a situation where they will have to figure out if they can get past their injuries, old and new, physical and emotional and see if they can turn their one night flirtation into something everlasting.

Now its admission time. I am a military spouse, a proud Army wife. When Yara sent me this book to read I saw "a contemporary military romance" and thought, oh no, I don't know if it's smart to have the military spouse read this. I purposely stay away from Welcome Home Troop videos, the news and photos of injuries that break your heart as a spouse to an active duty military member. But, I gave it a go and I've never been happier to have read a book in my whole life.

This book put my very real life into perspective. Jen's friend Laura is the spouse who has been through four deployments, she takes care of the kids and keeps a full time job, much like myself. She doesn't complain about her duty to her husband. She is the type of person I hope I can become when my husband finally deploys (let's face it, it's bound to happen). Jessica Scott paints a very real picture of what happens when a service member is injured overseas and returns to the U.S. feeling like a broken shell. She also paints a very real picture of life for the spouse keeping up the fight back at home. I was shocked when I read Scott's bio and saw that she herself is a career officer in the Army and has served several deployments overseas. In fact, it was during her most recent deployment that she wrote this book. I will be forever grateful to hear for doing so! I was in tears as I followed the struggles facing all of her characters. This book may have changed my life as a military spouse and I highly recommend it to everyone.

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