Monday, November 4, 2013

[Book Discussion]: "I'll Be Home for Christmas"

Today Kame, Pat, and I are discussing the newest novella from Jessica Scott, one of our favorite authors. Finally, we get Carponti's story, and it was well worth the wait! Now we are pacing, awaiting Trent's book to finally arrive. Please, have a seat and I hope you enjoy today's discussion! :) 

I'll Be Home for Christmas by Jessica Scott
Publisher: Forever Yours (November 5, 2013) 
Series: Coming Home, 2.6 (novella)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

There's nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke . . . except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war . . . and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband's tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic's bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

Where to Buy*:
 Kindle | NOOK 
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)

Our Discussion:

TheBookQueen: Hello ladies-- Can I get you anything to drink before we begin?

Pat: Pumpkin Spice latte for me! How about you Kame?

Kame: Tea, please.

TBQ: * grabs the tea and latte * I think I'll go with coffee this morning, too. * grabs the vanilla sugar * It's just not coffee without vanilla sugar and some form of dairy. :)

Alright, today we will be discussing Jessica Scott's newest, I'll Be Home for Christmas.

Kame: Yeah!

TBQ: We all love her books, and I know I'm not the only one who was excited to see Carponti finally get his own book. Easy question first—did you like this novella? (Me: Um, hell yes!)

K: I did like it – A LOT.

P:  A hell yes from me, too, TBQ.  It was so much fun to meet Carponti with a serious and loving side.  I enjoyed getting to know Nicole better as well.

TBQ: Exactly!

One of the things I love most about Scott's books are the fact that they seem so real, not just in the army descriptions, but the characters and situations as well. Deployment is not easy, for the men and women in the military or for the family left behind, and once again we saw this very vividly. Carponti lives to joke and laugh, to pull pranks and be a wise-ass. But as we see in this book, sometimes it's hard for him to hold up this laid-back facade for the world. He uses his jokes as both a shield and a mask. I came very close to crying as he struggled to keep his mask/shield in place. How about you two?

K: That is what I enjoyed about the book. Carponti showed so much of himself, I almost love the vulnerable Carponit more than the funny one.

TBQ: Oh, me, too!

P: I enjoy reading Ms. Scott's novels, because all the characters seem like normal everyday people.  Carponti was having so many second thoughts about deploying, which to me would be normal. He felt guilty leaving Nicole for Christmas, he had a "gut" feeling about this mission, and hid it all. It's especially poignant since after reading Because of You, his misgivings were accurate!

K: Speaking of... I have a question. We've all read Because of You. I thought always thought Carponti got injured in the same incident as Shane. To have them injured in different incidents allowed us to see how much Shane meant to Carponti.  I am now actually debating which order I should tell new readers of Jessica Scott.  Should they read this novella first?

TBQ: That's a good question... I read the series slightly out of order (I read Until There Was You almost a year before Because of You), then continued with the novellas. I don't recall being lost or anything, and I think this series can be easily picked up from any order, but let's face it—once you start, you won't want to stop! :) So, I'm not sure what order would be the best.. How about you, Pat?

P: Well Kame's thoughts brought the question to my mind, and I sneaked a peek back at Because of You. Shane is going into surgery back in the states, when Nicole is notified by Vic in a phone call that he was injured. Then she flies off to Germany.    Giving it some thought, I think I would recommend starting with Because of You.

TBQ: I believe I went through every range of emotion while reading this one. From tears of joy and tears of sorrow to laughs and giggles and wildly inappropriate smirks (of course provided by Carponti). I felt for him, as well as for the other men fighting alongside him, and especially for Nicole back at home, worried sick and trying to hold everything together. But, as I said, I also laughed---often, and Scott did a wonderful job at balancing the emotions. I'm still a bit disappointed that we never got to see their little agreement play out; her video, though she did send it, and his, ahem, special man clothes, though he did finish them. Still, the image I created in my mind was enough to make me giggle for hours.... Do you have a favorite part, or a passage that stuck out? Funny, sad, or just plain awesome; anything goes!

K: I enjoyed the theme of how much he loved his wife, and his emotion about thinking this deployment might break them apart just shook me.

P: There are so many spots I laughed and cried. Not being a military wife, I can't imagine how couples handle not only the separation, but the danger added into it. I still struggle with the estrangement between Trent and Laura. Breaks my heart.

TBQ: With each book, their separation kills me, too. I'm very much looking forward to their own story. It will not be an easy one, that is for sure!

Usually novellas annoy me, for a very obvious reason: they are too short. But I didn't feel that way with I'll Be Home for Christmas (though of course I will never turn down more Carpont!). Scott didn't waste any pages, and the story felt as complete, if not more so, than any full-length novel. Did either of you have any issues with the length, pace, or ending?

P: I totally agree with you TBQ!  I am reluctant to read novellas for the reasons you stated.  This one gave us an in depth look at the real Carponti, what he's thinking, and his humorous facade.

K: This novella was a perfect length for this plot – but it wasn’t enough – I could read for 100’s of pages about this group of characters Jessica has created.

TBQ: *nods* My last question—if you were to recommend this author to other readers (and of course we will, and have!), how would you describe her books?

P:  Military suspense, with sizzling romance and real people.

K:  I actually do recommend Jessica Scott a  lot to people. Her books are real. There is romance but the plot is not romanticized. Deployment is hard on families and you got that feeling, but you also felt the strong love these two have for each other.

TBQ: Dang, ladies, you took the words right out of my mouth---well said! :D

So, in short, if you haven't read Ms. Scott's books yet...what are you waiting for? Go, buy all the current releases, lock yourself up for a few days and read them. You can thank us later!

* drains my mug * Well, I won't keep you ladies, as I'm sure we could talk about this series for hours without even realizing it! Thanks Kame and Pat!

P: Thanks for including me TBQ and Kame.  I've had a great time.

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Now I'm sure you wish to see how we reviewed this one. Here's Kame's review, Pat's review, and my own review. ;) Three reasons for you to go buy this book right away! 


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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