Thursday, September 27, 2012

[ARC Review]: "Until There Was You"

Until There Was You by Jessica Scott
Publisher: Loveswept (October 8, 2012)
Series: Coming Home, 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance--Military

He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.

He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

Where to Buy*:
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My Review:

I knew going into this book that I would love it. I've heard nothing but praise about Jessica Scott's first book (Because of You). And everyone was right—Scott is truly talented, creating a wonderful, emotional story. I look forward to going back and reading her debut, as well as anxiously awaiting her next novel!

Claire and Evan's story is anything but easy. They each have a lot of personal baggage to overcome before they can have their HEA. At times, it seems almost impossible—between their demons and loyalty to the army, how can they work through their relationship? But in the end they do, of course, and the journey to that point is touching.

I loved that Evan wasn't a perfect hero. As Claire jokingly called him, he was Captain America, practically perfect, a man who follows the rules. But this is how he deals with his mistake from the past, the one that haunts him to this day—the one that he has inked onto his skin, both in memory and as penance....

Claire has her own secrets, and they've defined who she is today. Tough, but underneath it all she's unsure, lonely, and terrified to trust anyone again. I liked that about her, it made her more believable.

Plus, let's not forget Reza (Iaconelli), Claire's one true friend. He's very flawed.

Evan watched as Iaconelli worked his way through the formation. He trusted Iaconelli more than any other warrior in his formation. His skill on the battlefield was unnatural, but it kept his men alive, and Evan couldn't help but wonder at the cost of that skill. Had the descent into hell been worth it? Iaconelli was the warrior Ajax personified and more deeply flawed than any Greek hero. A nagging voice whispered in Evan's ear that Iaconelli was a grenade with the pin already pulled, simply waiting for the handle to be released to explode. "He needs help," Evan said.

Like Claire, I was frustrated with him, wanting him to stop. But she doesn't know how to help him without hurting him, their friendship, or his position. Evan, although not quiet as good a friend as Claire is, also cares for Reza, and struggles with how to help him.

Evan approached Iaconelli after the last vehicle rumbled out of the assembly area. He didn't know what he was going to say or even how to start.
It was an uncomfortable feeling for him. His goal was always to do the right thing. To follow the rules. But with Reza, the rules were no longer clear cut. Sure, it would look like an easy choice to someone who hadn't served. Turn him in, get him sent to rehab. But that would mean disregarding the combat awards on his chest, ignoring the nearly fifty months in combat he had served and reducing the hero who stood before him to little more than an alcoholic

I'm very curious about Reza—and I would love to read his story! :)

Until There Was You also had a playful air to it at times. Here are a just a few of my favorite quotes.

"Rexa said I should just tell you I'm crazy and ask you to put up with me." She pressed her lips together, biting back the sting of emotion. "But that's not really the entire truth." She breathed deeply, smiling tremulously. "I miss your cock when it's not around. And the rest of you isn't half bad, either."

And a few pages later (after a very nice smexy scene)...

Shaking her head slowly, she reached between their bodies. Slowly she slid her hand over his erection. "Does this mean I get to keep your penis around?"
"You can do whatever you want to it, so long as it doesn't involve hot wax or shaving."
"I shaved for you."
Evan laughed. "You've never seen a bald cock. It looks like a plucked chicken."

4 STARS! Jessica Scott has captured my attention, and I'm now a fan for life! Sexy yet playful, emotional and complex, Until There Was You is a great book to read, and one that I will be recommending to others! I'll admit I probably understood very little of the army lingo used, but I didn't mind—it added a depth to the story and showed me that this was written by an author who knows this world, rather than someone who just Googled a phrase or two. I look forward to many years of new books from Ms. Scott!

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All quotes are property of the author, I do not claim them.
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Until Next Time,

*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!

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