Review: Because of You (Coming Home, Book 1) by Jessica Scott

because of youReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Book covers can be a great source of titillation, and this one isn’t half bad either as the sight of a hot guy in combat pants showing his tattooed naked back gets the reader right into the story, or at least it did with me.

Shane is a mixed-up guy who serves in the army as a sergeant, but has a bad private life. With a failed marriage, being a bad son and an even worse father, he doesn’t give himself much hope for a good life when he comes back. After several years in the army, he is finally going to Iraq, in charge of his men. He has to look out for their best interests, and it is noticeable from the story that he is under a lot of pressure to perform.

Jen St. James and Shane have a smooch before he goes off to Iraq, hoping that she might be the one for him after only five months being divorced. He feels as though he might not mess this relationship up if she gives him the chance to break the habit of a lifetime. Jen has recently had a mastectomy, and feels uncomfortable in most of her clothes. She is safe after the cancer scare, but it has left her with a complex about how other men view her. She would love to look sexy in clothes again, and doesn’t realize that most people don’t notice she has only one real breast.

In the story Carponti acts as a means of getting Shane to open up when he is at his worst point emotionally. He is upset about the way his wife left him, and the divorce in general, and all he wants to do is get Shane to have a bit of down time where he can have fun and share some special time with his men. This though is the last thing he wants to do, and little does he know who he will find who he can share a special moment with. Carponti is Cupid and does a great job of it too.

The writer has made sure that the two main characters have their own problems to cope with, and that they can help each other out. She could give him a hand with his uncertainty that life will get any better after the divorce, and he can help her with her lack of positive self image. It didn’t help when Jen’s ex boyfriend once announced to everyone in a bar that she only had one breast.

Jessica Scott impresses the readers with her storytelling ability. She gives readers a chance to read a novel that is more than a romance, but a story of the brief lives of Jen and Shane who are two unhappy people who meet in a most unexpected way. They can help each other find love and that love can heal all in many ways. This is something that we can truly feel in this novel as; Because of You is a riveting read.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Because of You

Review: Until There Was You (Coming Home, Book 2) by Jessica Scott

until there was youReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Can two people who are opposites really find attraction? This is the general idea of Until There Was You. Jessica Scott had her debut with Because of You, and started her foray into military romance novels, and gave readers a good idea of what she wanted her characters to act like, leaving their general look to the imaginations of thousands.

Sergeant Reza and Captain Claire Montoya aren’t supposed to associate with each other, but when he is the only one out of the brigade she knows, she doesn’t really have an option to ignore him. This shows what a lonely life service men and women can have in the army, but that kind of life isn’t for her, she wants a bit more than that, and sees her opportunity for fun with Captain Evan Loehr, even if Reza is always trying to set her up with guys to date. She doesn’t need any more one night stands with guys who work with her, it would only complicate things, yet love can do strange things to people, and it does to her.

This is a romantic story, starting with Claire chatting with Evan. She embarrasses him, and he is interested in her, but doesn’t want to be getting with a woman he thinks Reza might have had a relationship with, as Reza does have a reputation for being a ladies man as well as a hard drinker. Claire is easy going and approachable, she is comfortable around men, and casual too, but Evan is the exact opposite. He can’t relax and isn’t friendly at all, more so to women, especially army women who he, as a rule doesn’t date. They spend most of the novel annoying the hell out of each other, and when they get in a clinch, they break from it as though they are doing something wrong in enjoying something akin to a sex life.

I especially loved this line in the novel:

But Evan couldn’t take his eyes off Claire. A woman who ate napalm and pissed razor wire and inspired Evan to want to throttle her every time they were in the same room together.

Evan acts like he doesn’t like her at all, but he knows he has an obsession with her he has to get under control, or, he thinks he might regret it. There are a lot of funny moments between the couple when they act out their rants. The two of them keep acting as though they don’t like each other most of the way through, and the romance of it is lost in the annoyance the two feel about each other. They never actually have a romance, as it is more of a would-be romance that never happened. It is a shame as I would have liked them to have come to a truce near the end. This is an excellent novel for those who like couples who are on each other all the time, bickering back and forth with witty repertoire.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Until There Was You

A Writer in Love

Guest Blog by M.L. Buchman, author of I Own the Dawn

I’m a male romance author. And one of the most common questions I get is, “You do WHAT?!” Okay, at my day job, I wear nice clothes and run a key department for my company. I’ve consulted for a Fortune 100, worked live theater, designed and built houses, developed complex office automation solutions, and a myriad other odd things. Let’s just say my resume is best described as eclectic. But back to my writing romance:

“You do WHAT?! Why?!” (yes, the exclamation marks are always there. We need a new piece of punctuation that is a shocked question. Or how about a comma that denotes disbelief.)

Even other male writers typically ask the question that way. My response is, “How can you not?!?!?!”

Okay, let’s start out easy. What did Adam want to do when first cobbled together in Genesis? Fall in love. Fred Astaire, Jason Bourne, Captain Kirk? Fall in love. Whoever Da Vinci was painting as Mona Lisa, they were deeply loved.

So why would I want to avoid telling these stories?! I just don’t get the question. The best thing that ever happened to me was the woman who said, “Yes!” nearly fifteen years ago. That and the amazing step-daughter I got as part of the bargain. Falling in love has been the best part of my life.

So that’s part of it. The joy of getting to revel in that moment. To take two people who you’d never think would be together (in my current book: a fine Bostonian First Lieutenant late of West Point and a street chick turned into one of the U.S. Army’s best snipers.) And then, through a whole voyage of discovery over months or even years, I get to discover not only how that can be together, but that they must. They are the other’s soul mate. I get to rediscover day after day of writing just how amazing an experience it is. It’s like I’m courting my wife all over again.

The other big part for me is the richness and truth it brings to the page. Even my science fiction, fantasies, and thrillers have strong love stories. It forces the characters to expose themselves; to reveal, at least for a moment, who they truly are. And at that moment of truth, then comes victory.

I write romance to remind myself to be true. True to my life’s mate, true to who I try to be, and true to my dreams. For how else, other than putting my heart on the page, can I hope to engage yours.

And I don’t see it as writing a romance, I see it as writing about passion. I’m passionate for so many things. Tell me something that you’re passionate about, I’d love to hear! And please check out the contest page on my website: by following along my blog tour for the month of August, you will have multiple chances to win a signed copy of I Own the Dawn: http://www.matthewlieberbuchman.com/?p=294

IOwntheDawn

I OWN THE DAWN BY M.L. BUCHMAN – IN STORES AUGUST 2012

Name: Archibald Jeffrey Stevenson III
Rank: First Lieutenant, Dap Hawk Copilot
Mission: Strategy and execution of special ops maneuvers

Name: Kee Smith
Rank: Sergeant, Night Stalker Gunner and Sharpshooter
Mission: Whatever it takes to get the job done

You Wouldn’t Think It Could Get Worse, Until It Does…

When a special mission slowly unravels, it is up to Kee and Archie to get their team out of an impossible situation with international implications. With her weaponry knowledge and his strategic thinking, plus the explosive attraction that puts them into exact synchrony, together they might just have a fighting chance.

Buy: I Own the Dawn

M.L. Buchman Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. L. Buchman has worked in fast food, theater, computers, publishing, and light manufacturing. It’s amazing what you can do with a degree in geophysics. At one point he sold everything and spent 18-months riding a bicycle around the world. In 11,000 miles, he touched 15 countries and hundreds of amazing people. Since then, he has acquired a loving lady, the coolest kid on the planet, and lives in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please visit http://www.matthewlieberbuchman.com/.

Be sure to check the author’s Contest page for a chance to win a free, signed copy of I Own the Dawn. Below is a contest sponsored for LRP readers:

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of I Own the Dawn. 1 winner. Open to US and Canada only. Enter by sharing what you like best about military romances. Last day to enter: August 12, 2012.