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Because of You by Jessica Scott

Because of You (2011)

by Jessica Scott

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3.5 stars. I started out really liking it--I really enjoy how both the male and female protagonists are not whole for different reasons. Their romance, at the beginning, is sweet. But it really accelerated in a way that didn't feel natural. And I was really tired of Shane's whining and Jen's sainthood by the end. There's also some odd side story with his commander that is just sort of thrown in from time to time--I assume it's a "device" to get me to buy more in the series. But meh.

Also, I read the kindle edition and the book ends at about 82% finished--almost 20% of what I thought i was getting is the publisher pimping different books. I'm all about a free preview, but 20% is pretty egregious and makes me feel like I was a little ripped off. Holding that against the publisher and not Ms. Scott. ( )
  mullgirl | Jun 8, 2015 |
This story had a good plot dealing with some serious issues. I liked how they explored feelings and handled everything but sometimes the wallowing got a bit repetitive and I found myself skimming. Nurse Jen ends up taking care of wounded Sergeant Shane but she has some scars of her own.
( )
  Dawn772 | Jan 29, 2015 |
I must confess that I choose this book because of its cover (sexy :)) and because I adore Suzanne Brockmann and everything military related. I was curious and hoping that this was something good and enjoyable...well, did I get a big surprise.
Jessica Scott is from now on on my top shelf of authors that I will definitely read. It's easy to see that she's a new author, the story is sometimes repeated, some ideas are tossed around and never developed, but the passion which the story is written compensated all of that.
I loved Shane and Jen even without knowing what will become of them. The way they meet, the way they handled things is so well written that you can feel it in your bones. They're flawed, but human and as the rest of us, they have to struggle in finding their way home again. All the other characters were well developed and well placed in the plot, giving another perspective of things.
I believe that Jessica Scott, with her military career, made excellent job mixing the harsh reality of war with real life. Kudos for Jessica and I hope you'll be writing more because I will definitely read you. ( )
  Lost_Lenore | Feb 19, 2014 |
A realistic look at military life makes this a surprisingly dark and angsty novel. Shane's time overseas looking out for his men and his guilt when he fails were stark reminders of what our soldiers deal with on a regular basis.

Jen's brush with breast cancer - and subsequent mastectomy - added another dark note to the story. While I think both situations were well written and realistic, I think the story would have benefited from some levity. While engrossing, it tended toward the dramatic and depressioning, which didn't make for a very feel good read.

Despite that, I enjoyed the journey both Shane and Jen embarked upon - both together and separately. I

The secondary plot featuring Shane's commander left me feeling frustrated and annoyed. The cliffhanger seemed unnecessary given the bulk of the story was focused on Shane and Jen. I'm anxious for more information.

I'm glad the story was left with a Happy for Now ending, rather than a HEA. Shane and Jen still have some things to work out between themselves. I don't know that I would have believed an ending the included marriage and babies.

Though this was a darker novel, I enjoyed it and look forward to more from Scott. ( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
Edit (Sept 2012): I didn't round up the stars like I've been doing lately. Rectifying that.

4.5 stars rounded up to 5

I am a part of the military community and a military spouse. Therefore I will throw myself into any story involving military heroes, so this story was sure to capture my attention. Some parts of this story hit close to home, which caused a major snot fest. The characters are tough but tortured, brave but conflicted – their struggles and their pain, both emotional and physical, are raw and honest. In some cases it's a matter of not being able to truly understand the choices some of these characters make unless you know what it's like to be in their shoes. Regardless, I loved this story because I could empathize.

Shane Garrison is getting ready to deploy for a years tour in Iraq. The night before his deployment, he receives divorce papers. The demise of his marriage goes down without much fanfare, which causes him to reflect on the decisions he's made, as well as come to terms that he may not be cut out for marriage. He's a true soldier through and through. As the leader, he's responsible for every man in his company. That earns him not only the respect and loyalty of his men, but it also makes him internalize their struggles; he always feels the need to fix things. Putting his men above everyone else and his dedication to his job are most likely what led to his wife's infidelity. On his last night stateside, he and his men gather at their regular watering hole where he meets Jen for the first time. By the end of the evening, they share a kiss that gives him a little hope for the future, and it will have to be enough to sustain him on his deployment. The opportunity arrives sooner than he thinks when he's badly injured in an IED explosion which sends him back stateside to recover, and right into Jen's care.

Jen St. James knows all about death, pain and avoidance. She has come to terms with her mastectomy, but she feels incomplete and anything but feminine. She won't let a man near her for fear that her scars will run him off. Then she shares a kiss with Shane and she's faced with a longing she has fought to suppress for a long time. Too bad he's set to leave the next day. When he returns to her, battered and broken, they finally get the opportunity to forge a friendship, though awkward and strenuous at first. It pains her to watch that brave man fall into a dark abyss of helplessness. It seems if anyone could understand him just a little, it would be her. Choosing to divulge her deepest, darkest secret scares her to death, but once she does, the tables turn on her and she has to face the fact that she's somewhat of a hypocrite. However, helping Shane also helps her to learn to trust. The journey to that point seems littered with obstacles, but together they learn there's a lot to live and be thankful for.

This story took me on an emotional roller coaster. The struggles of wounded combat soldiers is something we've all heard about, but reading about it in detail makes one more … aware. The descriptions of the sh*tty accommodations on base for soldiers is sadly true. I still feel my skin crawl when I think of my husband's office. I'm surprised most buildings aren't condemned. I always remember him telling me how military members are labeled as “equipment”, and it just seemed to me that they're treated as such, as evidenced by the miserable ba*tard, Lt. Randall.

The story not only deals with the PTSD that soldiers come home with, but also the trials of the military spouses who have to watch their loved ones deploy over and over again; left behind to raise their children alone, trying to give them as normal a life as possible, and fight the daily fear of men in uniform showing up at their door. I felt so much more for Laura and Trent than I did Vic and Nicole. The latter had a unique dynamic for dealing with all the craziness, partially due to Vic's sense of humor. Laura and Trent are a completely different story. Her heartbreak could be felt so deeply, it made me cry. As her fears and doubts creep in, due to his lack of communication, she comes to a very difficult decision. Some people might say that she's being selfish, that he's probably too busy trying not to get blown up to call her regularly. While that is true to a certain extent, it would be unfair to forget everything that she has given up as well. There are no winners in a war, neither on the battlefield nor in matters of the heart.

The story ends on a cliffhanger, so I can't wait for Ms Scott's next book when we finally get to learn more about what happened to Trent over in Iraq, and whether or not he can save his marriage. ( )
  MsRomanticReads | Apr 12, 2013 |
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