Monday, October 8, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott

When I was approached by Jessica Scott about reading her newest novel, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, I was hesitant. I had not read anything by this author yet and knew this would be a contemporary romance. Then I read the excerpt. Then I read Jessica's bio. I learned that she is an active duty Army officer. So, who better to write a contemporary about a hero and heroine in the Army. I am so glad I took a chance.

***eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.


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.

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Claire Montoya is tough, single-minded, gutsy and a captain in the Army. She's survived her father's alcoholism, Iraq, and advancing from an enlisted recruit to officer. Now faced with readying untried troops for deployment to Iraq in minimal time and under the command of a man who, in her opinion, doesn't know what he's doing may just be the end of her career.
Evan Loehr is an officer and a gentleman. A West Point graduate and a captain in the Army, he's a man who lives by the rules. He knows from experience the consequences of breaking the rules. So when he's thrown together with the one woman who has always tempted him to break his own rules, his resolve grows weaker. He's fought his attraction to Claire Montoya even while danger exploded around them in Iraq. He's butted heads with her when she wanted to do things her way and he wanted to stick to the rules. Now, he's right back where he started - she wants to train a team of green troops her way and he wants to train them according to their commander's orders.
As an Army brat and an officer's daughter, I was immediately drawn to this tale but what I found was a story that touched me deeper than I expected. UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott is a look into the minds and hearts of officers trying to their best by their troops, their friends, their country and themselves. Courage comes from deep inside and is sometimes built from self-preservation rather than guts. Claire has a deep respect for the military standard but puts the welfare of her troops before anything else. Evan understands this but as a man, as an officer, he is held tight by the military standard because without guidelines, he understands how dangerous it is to go off track. It can cost someone their life. If only he can get Claire to understand this before it's too late.
In UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, Jessica has created characters that grab you, pull you in, and endear themselves to you so intensely that you feel their pain, their sorrow, their angst, and their joy. Early on, in the romance building between Claire and Evan, there is a scene where Claire removes Evan's shirt to discover a tattoo. She asks him about it and he starts to tell her. As his grief and his sorrow begins to envelope her, she traces the tattoo with her fingertips. This single gesture is enough for Evan to relax with her so that he begins dropping the walls, he's built around his heart, that guard his guilt and prevent anyone from loving him. He finally reveals the guilt he's carried for so long. This scene was so touching, so romantic, and so sweet that it made me cry. It was a simple scene that contained no sex just this reveal and acceptance. It was at this point in the story that I knew this one was a keeper. 
I highly recommend UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott to everyone who has ever felt pride in themselves, their country, and their military. As a military officer, Jessica brings her own experience, both as a soldier and as a woman, to this romance and it's what makes it so intense. This is a romance that will capture your heart, fill you with pride for our unselfish military and make you smile, even as tears slide down your face, as surely as the sun rises tomorrow. UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott is an expressive, action driven, emotional rollercoaster about friendship, trust and respect, compassion and forgiveness, survival, and allowing love to sooth the wounds carried deep in a person's soul.
Happy Reading Everyone!
Btw, be sure to come by on Wacky Wednesday when this fab author will be joining me!
UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott, Loveswept from Random House, available now in ebook formats. 


1 comment:

Jen Shields said...

I didn't know you were an army brat. Great review.