Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reviews + Discussion: "Back To You" + Giveaway!

Today Kame, Pat, and I are discussing the newest novel from Jessica Scott, one of our favorite authors. Finally, after waiting impatiently patiently we get Trent and Laura's story -- and wow, was it a heartbreaker!

Read through to the end of the post; I'm giving away THREE ecopies of BACK TO YOU and Jessica Scott has offered up ONE signed copy of I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!  

  Please, have a seat and I hope you enjoy today's discussion! :) 





Back To You by Jessica Scott
Publisher: Forever (January 7, 2014) [ebook version only -- print release in July!]
Series: Coming Home, 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance



He's in for the fight of his life . . .
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family—so he deployed again. And again. And again . . . until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs . . . if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.

Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried—and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?






Where to Buy*:
AmazonKindle | BNNOOK | ARe
More Info:


Our Reviews of Jessica Scott's other books:

Because of You, #1 (Kame)
Because of You, #1 (TBQ)
Anything For You, #1.5 (TBQ)
Until There Was You, #2 (TBQ)
I'll Be Home for Christmas, #2.5 (TBQ, Kame, and Pat)




Our Discussion:


Kame: I am so excited we all are talking about this book. We LOVE Jessica Scott here at TBQ's Book Palace. I know we all were looking forward to this book – some more than others.

I will confess something to all of you that I already confessed to Jessica – when I got the book from NetGalley I turned to the Epilogue and read it.  I know, but I was anxious about this one. I wasn’t enamored with Trent and I wanted to sort of test the waters.  So after that fantastic Epilogue (no spoilers) I knew I had to wait to read it until after Christmas as I wouldn’t have a lot of time and I knew I would ignore everything I had going on to read – and boy did I.

So what were your feelings about Trent after the other Coming Home books? Were you looking forward to this one?




Pat:  I must confess, I peeked too, only because I wanted to prepare myself!  I liked Trent and Laura's story from the beginning. I really admired Laura, her job was to comfort and help military families, and no one seemed to think she needed help. I was very anxious for this story to be told.

TheBookQueen: I have been waiting for Trent's book since I first stumbled upon Scott's series last year. And I have to say, I was NOT disappointed; Scott did a wonderful job!

In the other books, I always felt horrible when Laura showed up; how could Trent do that to her? But Back To You really showed me a new side to Trent. He's not perfect, but he's trying so hard with his life. Yeah, he makes a few wrong choices (such as always deploying, though it's complicated), but I couldn't really hate him for anything he's done. I may have been a bit upset at times, and sad at how his actions have affected Laura and the kids, but Scott created Trent in such a way that you can't help but care for him, and want him to fix everything and have his HEA.


K: Trent kept on volunteering to deploy and this causes Laura to get frustrated when she learns and she files for divorce. In Back To You we find out why he keeps on volunteering to deploy. So what are your feelings?  Do you empathize with Trent?  Do you think Laura should have stuck it out longer?

P: I think Trent should have "manned up" and talked to Laura. But he was so far into his survivor’s guilt, and guilt from ignoring his family, that it became a vicious cycle for him. After reading Laura's point of view, I don't think she really wanted the divorce. It felt like she was anxious for him to sign the papers, but dreading it at the same time!


K: I agree Pat – I think filing for divorce was a rash decision for Laura and after while she regretted it. She loved him and just didn’t feel loved.


TBQ: Like the entire novel, my feelings on the situation is … complicated, to say the least. Yes, I empathized with Trent – but I also empathized with Laura, and I can't say that I blame either one for what happened. Trent had his demons, and in his mind he thought he was doing the right thing by always deploying; he learns that was he wrong in this book, but it's not an easy discovery, nor is it quick.


Laura had to deal with not only the stress of having her husband off in the war, but keeping things together at home, raising their two small children, and even working at the base. She had a full plate, and her serving him with divorce papers makes sense. Did I want them to get divorced? Of course not, but I think that if she hadn't stepped up with the papers, it's likely Trent may not have tried, not until it was far too late, at least. 


K: Do you think she did the right thing about agreeing to “appear” that they had reconciled?

TBQ: Yes. Because even though she was tired of struggling alone while he ran away to war, and no doubt had some love/hate feelings going on for him at times, she still loved him, and Laura is not the kind of heroine to turn her back on him.


P: I so respected Trent for refusing to ask Laura, but her agreeing is what I expected. No matter what, she still loved him, and believed he was innocent, she didn't want his life destroyed, she just wanted to go on with her own life with her children, alone if she had too.


K: I personally think Trent owes his lawyer a case of his favorite adult beverage, getting Laura to agree to let Trent come home and pushing Trent to see Emily was the key to this HEA. I agree Trent did the right thing when he refused to ask Laura and honestly I think if he had asked it would not have helped him gain Laura back, and maybe there would have been a different outcome.


Pat: I agree Kame, I don't know what would have happened if the attorney hadn't pushed them both to see how much they really needed each other.


TBQ: Agreed!



K: I also love the kids in this book – they are just as crucial to the story as Shane and Vic.


P: When authors write about children in books it totally frustrates me when they don't seem to fit in. Definitely not the case with Jessica. I'm sure her experience being deployed, and leaving small children at home contributed.  I loved them too!


TBQ: Sometimes kids in romances can annoy me, but I liked Emma and Ethan, and you are right, they were very important to the story. Whenever they would throw themselves at Trent, I'd tear up a bit; they didn't care that their Daddy wasn't perfect, that he was gone for so much of their life. They were just happy to have him home, and that really helped Trent to heal.



K: I remembered those kid temper tantrums – she wrote them well! And you know most kids that age just really do see their Daddy that way. My favorite scene was that first night with his daughter.


Oh and Vic – LOVE him. He was funny as ever.  I could feel Shane’s tension the whole book.  His love for Jen just oozed on the page. I don’t think it is a huge spoiler to say that wedding preparations led to many great moments.  These three couples are great friends – I hope our time with all of them is not close to the end.

P: I have to be truthful, I wasn't crazy about Vic till, I'll Be Home For Christmas! I kind of thought of him as a pain in the neck wisecracker, but we met the real Vic in his story. Love Nicole!    Shane still remains number one for me. His and Jen's story I have re-read so many times.


TBQ: Oh, don't even think about the word “end”! I don't want this series to end – Jessica, you have to continue writing until you are old and gray and Vic is shuffling along on a walker, causing trouble at the Seniors' Center, Okay?


But yes, I loved seeing Vic and Shane and just watching these relationships (both the group of friends and the individual couples) continue to grow and thrive. It's one of the main reasons that I keep reading these books! I can't imagine a Coming Home novel without Vic; it just wouldn't be the same without his various antics. 


K: Just so you all know – I love Trent as much as Shane and Vic now.  I love how they are three different people and can be the best of friends. I want more TRENT!


TBQ: You said it! :)
 



K: Okay now on to favorites….without spoilers your favorite aspect of the story?

Mine – Trent’s glasses. I know seems funny, but re-read and notice the placement of his glasses, they are a window into is soul. They help show his tension, frustration and in the end his healing. He is not like Vic or Shane; Trent is quiet and his glasses were very much a part of his character.

P: Kame, totally agree about the glasses. I also thought the way both Trent and Laura often touched the scar over his heart was interesting. Sort of the touchstone of when their life took that terrible turn.



K: Yes Pat,  I love how at first he wouldn’t let her touch the scar, but then it became an unspoken sign to them.

TBQ: * sigh * How did you know that I was thinking of Trent's glasses when I started working on my review? I completely agree – plus glasses = sexy! :D And then you had to steal the scar, too? I knew I should have went first . . .


Hm . . . I don't know if I can pick a favorite! Would it be seeing the real life struggle of Trent trying to adapt to being home and not at war? Would it be seeing Trent and Laura working everything out? Would it be Vic's scenes, which always brought a smile to my face? Really, I can't pick – the best answer would be “The entire novel”! :) 


K:  Favorite Quote?

 



“I was wrong…so goddamned fucking wrong.”

Her arms tightened around his neck. “About what?”


“About the war, the army, fucking everything. Every choice I’ve made has been wrong. Terribly fucking wrong.” He cupped her cheek. “Except the one to come back to you.”



P: I had a few favorites, but I think Laura's comment to Trent says it all. 




"And I'll be here to walk you through whatever darkness you go through, as long as you'll let me."



TBQ: Hm . . .  I have far too many! But I'll go with one from Vic, because it made me laugh and put the greatest imagine in my head for hours after that!




Carponti looked down at his prosthetic. “I wonder if they make a hammer attachment for the Nub.”




K: I also love when Vic refers to Nicole checking Dr. Google.

P: A random question from me, did anyone else notice a certain similarity to a best selling author in the personality of Laura?   Not to mention the presence of hamsters!

Kame: Oh yes – the hamster antics and the ability to conquer anything in or outside the house had Jessica written all over it.  I love it when authors put a little of themselves into stories.

In closing before we get to all our mini reviews – Fans this is a box of Kleenex book.  A don’t think you are reading it in a few days book. For me personally I only got 3 hours sleep while I read this book and I did nothing but read (started at 9pm and finished the next AM).  There are gut wrenching parts and surprises that will cause your heart to race.  I think I speak for all of us when I said we love this book and anxiously await the next!

Pat: Totally agree, it seems when Jessica has a book released, we all clamor to review.  Love that we can all give our views.  Thanks for all your work Kame and TBQ, and a special thanks for letting me join in.

TheBookQueen: I could not have said it better myself, Kame! Thank you for today's discussion, ladies, and I look forward to talking about the next one!


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Mini Reviews

Kame: 

My heart raced most of the book.


Trent knows he has made mistakes and it is costing him his family. He almost died while deployed, well technically he did die; and he couldn't cope with life at home so he volunteered to go back to war. Laura loves Trent with all her heart but why would the man she loves volunteer to return to war over and over and leave his family behind? He must not love them anymore; she can't understand but knows she must move forward so she files for divorce. 


Trent was a character in Because of You that I barely noticed. He was important to the plot but I was not very vested in his character. I wasn't even sure if I would like a whole book with him as the main character. How wrong I was. There is so much more to Trent, he kept so many things from his wife and friends. I became enamored with his glasses and how they became a telling point in many scenes. I enjoyed his scenes with the children as much as the ones with his best friends Shane and Vic. By the end of the book I found myself hoping we would see more of Trent in other books of the series - and actually considering begging Jessica Scott for a novella about this great couple. 


Laura is a great contemporary heroine. I enjoyed how she did not automatically jump back into Trent's arms; that she considered what their future would be like. Her tenderness with Trent was amazing and actually served to calm me during tense scenes in the book as well. Her independence was great, she showed that spouses of deployed military personnel must take on many roles during a deployment.


Jessica Scott writes from a unique point of view. She HAS the military experience from both sides. She has been deployed leaving family behind, and she has been home when her husband has been deployed. I think this gives her books an edge, a sort of realism I haven't read in any other book. Her books are wonderful stories; they are romances, but not all roses, flowers and champagne. They have gritty feelings, angst, realistic dialogue and complex situations that need more than a page to resolve. 


While this book could serve fine as a stand alone book; however I think it is best enjoyed if you read Because Of You and Anything For You first. Block off some time when you get this book; I myself could not put it down - I couldn't sleep so I just got up and finished it with only 3 hours sleep! You will laugh (come on Vic is in this book!), you will cry (some of those happy tears) and your heart will ache. It is that good!


5 STARS! 



Pat:

Captain Trent Davila is lost. He has spent 10 years in the military, the last several  fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the process he was nearly killed, and his guilt of surviving when some of "his boys" didn't, has torn away at the man he was. The man he is, has volunteered for deployment after deployment, threatened with court martial for crimes he didn't commit, his wife has filed divorce papers, and he doesn't even know his two small children.  He's tired of being lost.


Laura  Davila hopes for a new life, if only Trent would sign the divorce papers. She's been a single mom for the multiple times he has deployed, has a job she loves, and lots of friends.  She married for forever. "But forever was a long time. And her faith in their love died long ago on some distant battlefield."


The journey of these two people tore at my heart. Since the first Coming Home novel, Because of You, I have been fascinated with Trent and Laura. On the surface the perfect military couple to all they know, till things out of their control starting chipping away at their perfect.  I shed a lot of tears reading this book, but not just for Trent and Laura.  So many old friends, Carponti and Nicole, Shane and Jen, and the familiar names of fellow soldiers and some not so friendly officers.


I highly recommend this novel, as I do Ms. Scott's previous ones.  The series is military romance, but it actually is so much more.  The experience of being deployed and returning to the States happens every day to the men and women of our armed forces.  "Coming home was not a single event. It was a process. A journey." Something Ms. Scott has experienced herself.  I want to thank her, and all the men, women and families who have sacrificed so much for our country.

5 STARS! 


TheBookQueen: 

I knew that when I finally got my hands on Trent and Laura's book I would spend the entire time blinking back tears and rubbing my aching heart. I was right. Back To You was extremely emotional and once again Jessica Scott took me on a roller coaster ride of raw emotions and real life. If you've read Scott before, none of this will be at all surprising. 



“I'm so sorry I wasn't man enough for you to believe in,” he whispered. 


Heart. Broke.


Trent is an amazing hero. He's not perfect, he has problems, and many demons from the war. But that just makes him that much more loveable. He seems very real (as any of Scott's characters do), rather than a paper cutout of a character. His commitment to Laura, his determination to save his relationship and be a dad to his kids was beyond touching. And his glasses? Sexy!


Laura's strength alone made her an extremely likeable heroine, and one that I was able to connect to. I hurt when she hurt, and ached to help Trent, too.


Scott proves her talent yet again, providing a captivating romance that is real and heartbreaking, but with a few scenes that make me crack a smile (Oh, Carponti!). Throw some great chemistry into the mix and you have the perfect book!


5 STARS! 



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Kame, Pat, and I all received e-ARCs of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for our honest opinions. However, all of us will be buying our own copies, too. :) 

Note*: The quotes used belong to Jessica Scott; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway




How to Enter:


  • Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter, please, it makes it much easier to pick and contact the winners! :) 
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Ends 1/9! Winners will be announced and contacted late 1/9 or early 1/10. Good Luck!





Have you read Jessica Scott? What are you waiting for?! 

If you have, do you have a favorite book, character, or scene? How about a favorite quote? Without spoiling anything, join the discussion for this truly amazing book! 






Enjoy!


Until Next Time,


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*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

16 comments :

  1. What a great discussion but REALLY, you peeked at the epilogue Kame and Pat??? Sacrilege! LOL!!! I LOVED this book! Jessica Scott is one of my absolute favorite authors. Her characters are so authentic that I find myself thinking about them as if they are real people out there somewhere. I was always intrigued by Trent and his decision to volunteer to deploy so I have been waiting impatiently for this book to come out since I read BECAUSE OF YOU.

    Please note, this series really needs to be read in order.

    Great reviews and discussion TBQ, Kame, and Pat! Looking forward to more from you this year! :)

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  2. I haven't read Jessica Scott before and seeing everyone on I-team group (Pamela Clare) so excited by the new release, I would like to read one of Jessica's books. Anyway, she is on my list and will start reading as soon as possible.

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  3. It was just a little peak. (and can you imagine me needing to keep my mouth shut after! Well I did send a confession e-mail to Jessica...) Colleen - you are absolutely correct - this needs to be read in order. Thank you for stopping by!

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  4. TBQ and Pat this was sooo much fun! Can we all just now agree to do this again for Reza's book?
    Jessica thank you for the giveaway - it is great when authors support the reviewers!

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  5. I first felllove with Jessica... I was going to say writing, but actually it's all of her... after To Iraq and Back. I fell like I connected with her so much that I looked her up on Facebook and found her website. Instead of waiting for her next book with her blogs, I went through every entry on her website. I am now an eager fan of everything she writes. I love how she weaves happiness, sorrow, humor, and anger.

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  6. She does indeed have a talent for that -- thank you for stopping by!


    Enjoy,
    TBQ

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  7. But of course -- how could we *not* do this with Reza's book? :) I'm counting down the days!


    Enjoy,
    TBQ

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  8. Oh, you will love her books! It's best to read the series in order, but it never hurts to win book 4 before buying the rest, right? :)


    Enjoy!
    TBQ

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  9. Thanks for stopping by! :)


    Really, I can't believe I was the only one who didn't look at the end! Shame on you, K + P! lol Though I admit I've done that with other books in the past . . .


    Enjoy!
    TBQ

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  10. I am totally in!! Love doing this with you Kame and TBQ!

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  11. Thanks Collen and TBQ for the reprimand! LOL.
    I only do it when I'm worried, so I can enjoy the book!

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  12. BrendaE - I read Because of You first and then when To Iraq and Back was published read that - you are right - I am a fan of Jessica the person as much as the author! Thank you for stopping by - don't forget to do the Rafflecopter so you can win a copy of I'll Be Home For Christmas signed by Jessica!

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  13. This was my first Jessica Scott novel. I started following her on FB a bit ago and have purchased a couple of her ebooks but just never got around to reading them. BIG MISTAKE! I'm all over them now. As I read Back to You not only did I laugh out loud occasionally, but I also shed some tears. One of my "awesome book" criteria is if the book actually makes me cry. Back to You did not disappoint. I found myself both wanting to blow through the book as quickly as possible to see how it ended and dragging my feet while reading it because I was enjoying it so much! I'll def be downloading more of Jessica Scott!!

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  14. Oh, don't you love when a book makes you feel that way? Not sure whether to devour the book whole or savor it slowly? Scott's always do that to me!
    Enjoy,
    TBQ

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  15. Shari Drehs BartholomewJanuary 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    I have read Anything for You, fell in love with the characters. Looking forward to reading Back To You

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  16. I love her books. They are a marvelous reads. I have been waiting forever for Trent and Laura's story. I love that you really feel what everyone is feeling in the stories.

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