Tuesday, February 4, 2014

[Discussion]: "All For You" + Tour 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 Reza and Emily's story -- and wow, was it a heartbreaker!

And, as a bonus, we have a fellow reader, Jackie, joining us. 

At the end of the post, there are two Rafflecopter giveaways, provided by the publisher, as part of Scott's blog tour. 

To read our review of this book, check out this post!

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





All For You by Jessica Scott
Publisher: Forever (February 4, 2014) 
Series: Coming Home, 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance



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 . . .





Where to Buy*:
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)   Discussion 
Back To You, #3  (TBQ, Kame, and Pat)   ✦ Discussion




Our Discussion:


TheBookQueen: Are you ready, ladies? Help yourselves to anything on the table, and let's get the fun started! 

Welcome the blog, Jackie -- thank you for joining our discussion today! :) 



What can we say about All For You? It's the perfect blend of everything. Not just romance, not just an (accurate!) depiction of military life, but oh so much more! I don't believe we can do this book justice in our reviews or discussion, but we will give it our all!

Kame: I completely agree – took a while for me to write my review – I was scared I couldn’t put my feelings into words that would give it justice.

Jackie:  I also agree. I really feel like you miss something if this book is only classified as a “romance.”


Pat: Me, too.  I'm still trying to process all my emotions!



TBQ: Before AFY, what were your thoughts on Reza? Did your opinion of him change after reading this book?

I have to admit, in the previous books I was always pissed at Reza, thinking why is he constantly drinking, putting not only his own life at risk, but his men's lives as well, either while he's drunk or detoxing. After reading his story, I understand. It does NOT give him an excuse, but I understand what causes him to pick up the bottle, I understand how he struggles with it, how he knows that his actions are going to cause damage one of these times.



K: He wasn’t a favorite character; I couldn’t believe he was still in the army, that he didn’t get kicked out.  I also didn’t see what Clare saw in him. I questioned if I could really have emotions over his story – but then I read Back To You and before that I was rather luke warm about Trent – so I then knew I would love Reza!

P: I thought Reza was a jerk!  He couldn't keep his mouth shut, or control his drinking. I felt Claire's friendship and her protection were all that was keeping him in the Army. Knowing his story changed all my feelings for him. For the better.



J:  I did not like Reza.  I couldn’t get around his drinking and the fact that this drinking might put his fellow soldiers at increased risk of getting injured or worse.  I realized after reading AFY that I was so very unfair to Reza.  I didn’t bother to think he was more than a soldier with bad coping mechanisms that led him to drinking.  It did not take long for me to actually care about Reza and want him to stay sober.


TBQ: I'm glad that I wasn't the only one who was iffy about Reza in the past!

Like I said, Scott does a wonderful, brutally honest, job at showing Reza's alcohol addiction. And while I can't say that I personally know what that is like, with Scott writing it, I feel like I do know what Reza was going through. There's no miracle cure for addiction, just as there is no magical cure for PTSD. Here's the hard question: Do you think Reza will be able to stay sober this time?

K: While I myself do not battle alcoholism I have a good friend who does and fights every day to stay sober. Everything Jessica wrote rang true to me. The first few days after I read the book I woke up and thought of Reza. I am begging Jessica to write a novella so I can see that he has stayed sober.  I want him to so bad; I want him and Emily to have an HEA.

J:  Since these are stories that are supposed to end with a HEA, I sure hope he stays sober BUT the reality is many people do not.  He needs to deal with the underlying issues that led to his drinking.  He should have done that in rehab but we really don’t know yet what the outcome will be.  I hope Jessica does write a short story about Emily and Reza’s HEA.  He was doing some things incredibly wrong.  The bottle in the glove box needs to go.  Every bit of alcohol needs to be removed from his home, car, etc.  He loves to exercise and that is a great way to help him through those times he wants to drink.  I also believe Emily’s love will he play a very big role in helping him through those difficult times but he does need to be able to cope independently as well.

Pat: A person suffering from an addiction can listen to family and friends, even do rehab, but until they have a reason to stop, it's not going to work.  Reza had a heartbreaking reason to drink, but with Emily he has a reason to stop.  I think Reza will succeed this time. He has someone standing by his side.

TBQ: I couldn’t agree more! You are right, Kame, the emotions are so strong that I’ve worried about him, too! I want him to succeed, but, like Pat said, an addict has to want to change. I agree that Emily will help to give him a reason, Jackie, but he still needs the desire to change for himself, too, or he will just be back at square one again. And I'm glad you brought up the things he did wrong. I can't tell you the number of times I wanted to grab his flask and throw it!

Scott's books are a bit on the dark, gritty side--or at least the real side, the side of life many of us choose to ignore. Suicide plays a large part in AFY, as various soldiers, back from the war, attempt, and in many cases succeed, in taking their own lives. I already knew that this happens in our military, but Scott brought it to my attention even more. I wanted nothing more than to punch the various leaders who turn a blind eye on these situations, and call such soldiers pussies. But it also made me want to help, to show these strong men and women that they are not alone. How did you react to the suicides?

K: It got to my gut. I ached for those involved, but I was in shock right along with the characters; I didn’t cry, I was just sort of  numb. Then a few days after I finished I saw some statistic that said 22 military/formerly deployed soldiers commit suicide a day – a DAY.  It makes me mad and I want to find something I can do…

J:  These stories make me want to thank and help every soldier I meet.  The hell they go through is just gut-wrenching.  I think the one thing we can do is demand that when our soldiers are stateside they get what they need.  I recently saw a piece on how to be a good manager and one of the best pieces of advice they gave was it was OK to be “nice.”  As I read this story, knowing that it was likely based in reality I felt like the US Army needs to teach its leaders that “nice” is OK.  I know you can’t always be nice and the middle of a battlefield is not the place for it but back in the US when it is obvious some soldiers need a little more help, leaders should learn that some people need a little special handling.  When I was first a Nursing Manager, I had a young guy start as a nurse’s aide on our floor.  Everyone criticized him.  My boss wanted me to discipline him and get rid of him.  I refused to give up on him.  I worked with him, encouraged him and assigned him small tasks that added responsibility.  A short while later I moved into a new job and about a year later I ran into him.  He treated me like an old friend and couldn’t wait to tell me he had just been named employee of the month.  We have to invest in our people not take all they have and demand more.

P: This story totally rocked me emotionally.  It is so heartbreaking that these men come home from multiple deployments and just can't adjust to being home and safe. The thought of commanders referring to these brave men as "pussies" pushes all my buttons. Ms. Scott's depiction of war and it's warriors is frighteningly accurate, knowing she has lived through it all herself.


TBQ: Well said, Pat! I saw that, Kame, and I couldn’t believe the numbers, either! You are right, Jackie, there are definitely things that our Army could learn from that story (thank you for sharing that example, too!).

Hm, I wonder if there's something we could do to help spread the word and reach out to our soldiers and veterans. . . 

Who do you want to see get a story next? And which characters do you want to revisit?

I can't pick favorites, so I want to revisit EVERYONE, again and again. Like I said in our last discussion, I never want to see this series end!

K: I agree; I want to see everyone. But if I have to pick one I would love to check in on Reza and Emily – because I think their love story just got started and now that he has taken steps to change his life it really is a whole new path in their relationship. 

There are also a few secondary characters in AFY I wouldn’t mind reading more about.

J:  I am in agreement; I think we need to re-visit Emily and Reza.  It seems like they are going to get their HEA but his recovery is intertwined with that HEA.  I also loved Trent and Laura and would love to hear about them again.  The young private Wisniak must have an interesting story and there is also Emily’s friend who is a lawyer…can’t remember her name.

P: I'm with you TBQ, I love having the characters showing up in all the novels. As far as new stories, Teague seems like an interesting character, and Emily's friend Olivia, and of course Foster.

TBQ: It’s true, All For You was as much about Reza’s struggle to change as it was the relationship, and I do hope we get a novella in the future, that would help me to breathe easier!

Yes, I’m curious about Teague, Olivia, and Foster, too!

K: Teague and Oliva are next, and I agree Foster needs some attention if just for the fact he put up with crap from Reza!

Okay we talked about Reza – but there is another half of this happy couple.  What did you all think of Emily?

I myself think what she did took guts.  She left the country club life to become a soldier to do some good.  All the other heroines in Jessica’s books have been part of the military life for a while; there is still newness for Emily.

J: I think Emily gave a perspective of military life that someone, like myself, might see.  Since I know very little about military life I appreciated her process of learning things about the military.  Emily was strong but sweet.  While it appears Emily wanted to distance herself from her parents, it is obvious that they love her and are a significant influence in her career.  I felt a connection to Emily since she is a health care professional like me.  I understand that intense need to help and that requirement to not give information to anyone about a patient.

TBQ: Emily was a great heroine, and I was happy to see her standing up for herself, and wanting to help Reza and be there for him. She could have easily just walked away from him. Hell, he often all but tried PUSHING her away, and she pushed right back. I admired her for that!

You are right; it’s never easy to go against your family, no matter how old you are, and especially when they do not respect your decisions or stand behind you. Again, these things, and more importantly the way that Emily handled them, made me connect with her even more.

Exactly, Jackie! I, too, liked that she was new to the military life. It provided not only a different story and character, but some fun times as she tries to find her way in this new life.


K: Without spoilers can you share your favorite scene?

I LOVED the scene where Emily asks to go out on the training with Reza and what happens during that training session.  I also enjoyed the scenes between Reza and Clare.

J: I liked the scene by the lake in the truck.  Emily’s shock at doing “that” outside.  It was cute but also endearing.

TBQ: Agreed, ladies! Hm. . . I loved when Emily would come over, right when Reza was having a shitty day, and she wouldn’t take his crap, she’d step right in, no matter how bad his attitude was, no matter if he was drunk or not. I loved watching her show him that she was there for him, whether it was by listening, talking, or, well, communicating in other, ahem, ways. :D


There were so many great quotes and scenes in this book. I marked some, and when I reread it (and I will!) I know I will find even more to bookmark. Do you have any favorite quotes to share

K: 



She looked between hers, still a shapeless lump on the floor and his, straps failing like a Muppet on too much caffeine. 




I know not romantic but I smiled because that is such a Jessica comment!




“Ah fuck, Emily. Why couldn’t you just go?”

“I wouldn’t be much of a friend then, would I?”

He shifted to look at her. There was worry on her face. Worry, but no judgment. “Is that what this is, then?”

“Maybe we should stop asking what this is and just accept that I’m here right now. Despite you being an ass.”




TBQ: Ooh, great quotes, Kame!

Okay, here is one of my favorites:



“Yeah, well, romance isn’t always hearts and flowers. Sometimes it’s hard work.”




Truth!


P: I laughed out loud at the scene when Emily was trying to figure out her body armor!!  Of course Reza walks in and totally has it assembled in minutes.



The war is....simple. You go over there, you patrol. You hope to come home. But here at home? I don't know what I'm doing. I'm lost."

~Reza




"This man looked like he was itching for a fight and darn it if that's what he wanted, then Emily would give it to him. Just another day at the office."

~Emily



TBQ: *nods* That was a great scene, Pat. My heart broke when Reza said that, especially as I realized that is exactly how many of our soldiers see war time vs home time.

So, before we leave, do you have anything to add?

My last words: BUY THIS SERIES NOW!

Kame: Buy it and pre-order the next book too…I can’t wait for the fun we have planned for that one!  Thanks TBQ – It has been fun.


TheBookQueen: Thank you, Kame, Pat, and Jackie, for a wonderful discussion! Let's plan on doing it again for book 5! 





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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







~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

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!

4 comments :

  1. I had to stop by and say I proud I am to be part of this with all of you!

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  2. I love doing this for such a wonderful series! There is so much to talk about!! Thanks TBQ, Kame, and Jackie .

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  3. It's so easy to do when the series is this good -- not to mention fun! :)

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  4. Thanks, Kame -- in many ways, our discussions wouldn't be the same without your input and wonderful questions! :)

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