Monday, January 6, 2014

Pre-Release Blitz + Review + Giveaway: Back to You (Coming Home #5) by Jessica Scott




Title: Back to You
Series: Coming Home #5
Author: Jessica Scott
Genre: Adult, Military Romance
Publish Date: January 7, 2014
Review Source: eARC provided by NetGalley

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SYNOPSIS:

From USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott comes BACK TO YOU (On-sale 1/7), a powerfully emotional and darkly authentic military romance in her Coming Home series.

He's in for the fight of his life . . .
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family-so he deployed again. And again. And again...until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs ...if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.
Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried-and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?



REVIEW:

Yet another Earth shattering story from Jessica Scott.  This woman has done me proud once again as a Military Spouse.  Truthfully, my husband has never deployed and at 10 years in that's not an easy thing to have done in his career.  But we're lucky I guess in that respect.  So many others aren't and this story brings that to light.

Captain Trent Davila is facing a court martial and has been released from his command overseas as evidence of stolen goods and a possible indiscretion with a female subordinate come to light.  Laura Davila has always been the stoic Family Readiness Group Liaison.  She delivers the bad news when it needs delivering that a spouse, son or daughter, mother or father is not coming home to their family again.  But after four deployments Laura is ready to toss in the stoic towel of the Military Spouse upon finding out that her husband has been volunteering all this time to go back to the sand box.  He's had the choice and he chose to leave behind her and their two small children.  He's forced her to raise them like so many others have on her own.

Trent is determined no matter what to get his wife back.  He's made some shitty decisions in his day but he couldn't pull himself away from the pull that the war has over him and his duty to the Army.  Laura filed for divorce, she's ready to move on but to save her husabnds career she's asked to try to put on a smiling face, play the part of the perfect happy wife, couple and family in order to keep her husband from having to visit his kids from jail.  Of course Trent doesn't want to put her through this he just genuinely wants his wife back. Can he fight the demons of what he's been through for the past five years?  Can he open up to the one person he's fought so hard to keep the war away from?  Can he be the man his wife needs him to be and the Dad that his children need instead of the soldier he's always been?

This was just an amazingly touching story.  There are a few bits of humor mixed in because of Vic Carponti.  If you read my review recently on I'll Be Home for Christmas you got to see his story and how his injuries have changed his career but he is always the clown when you need him to be.  We also get to see Shane and Jen in this one which always warms my heart as they prepare for their wedding day.  I just love Shane and Jen and hope for another novella on them in the near future!  Her character development from Because of You all the way until now in Back to You is just incredible.  She's a true genius and she is also pretty damn good at writing those steamy erotic sex scenes that cause you to blush, your neck to flush and make you feel like a panty change my be in order.  These are some hot blooded military men and I for one can't resist a man in uniform!  You're a true genius and am amazing writer Jessica and I'm so happy I was able to read yet another of your stories and fall in love with your characters all over again!  Much love <3



Q&A WITH JESSICA:

BACK TO YOU Pre-Launch Blitz Q&A

1. You first introduced Trent and Laura a few years ago and readers have been eagerly awaiting 
their story for a few years. Did you always know when you first created them in BECAUSE OF
YOU that this was how their story would play out? 

I knew they would have a story to tell but telling their story in this particular way, no I didn’t intend it. It took finding my amazing editor along with multiple attempts at trial and error to get them just right.
I’m a nervous wreck about their story, but I’m also really excited because I’m very happy with how theirstory turned out. Plus, hamsters. Who can argue with that, right?

2. BACK TO YOU is the incredibly emotional story of a marriage at the breaking point. What or
who inspired you to write this story? 

I remember standing in the ops one day and one of the guys was on the phone with his wife. He was
telling her how much he was sorry, how much he didn’t want to work late. Then one of the other guys 
remarked that he always says that but he doesn’t ever mean it. So I had this idea of a man who was so 
driven to get back to war that he let his entire family and personal life suffer, but I also wanted a wife 
who people could relate to as well. Laura is Trent’s perfect complement. 

3. In your own personal life, you’ve been the soldier that has deployed to a war zone and the 
spouse that stayed home and has taken care of the family on the home front. Which was more 
difficult for you in your experience? And why?

That’s a much bigger topic than we have time for but I’ll say this: each one has its own unique 
challenges. Being deployed, not being able to get home when your kids are crying that they want 
mommy, that’s brutal. It rips your soul out. But then coming home and your reality doesn’t live up to the fantasy? In some ways I think it’s worse, and that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As far as being the wife at home? I remember vividly lying awake at night, obsessively checking to make sure my ringer was turned on. I never cared when he called I just wanted to hear his voice. So which one is worse? I can’t really say. But I’m grateful that we’ve made it through each one a little bit stronger, you know? 

4. Which is your favorite story to write—a reunion romances like Trent and Laura’s where each 
scene is alive with their own history or a fresh romance where they meet for the very first time 
and everything is new? Why?

I love a reunion story. I love the idea of being able to forgive and love the person you’re with right 
then and not the memory of someone. I’m a huge sucker for reunion stories, honestly. I love the 
reconnection, the noting of how things have changed, of learning to love that person all over again, 
especially after a betrayal or things didn’t work in the past. 

5. Trent is such a compelling character and you do a beautiful job of showing his survivor’s guilt 
and the resulting anxiety and fear that provokes in him. He’s both so alpha and strong and 
so very broken. What inspired you to create such a complicated hero? A real life person? A 
culmination of your own experiences? What you’ve seen yourself in the army? And were you at 
all concerned about the way readers would respond to him? 

Trent is going to be hard for people to read, I suspect. He comes close to crossing some boundaries, and I wanted to do that deliberately: I wanted people to understand that coming home from war isn’t cured in a day or a week. It’s a process. Someone like Trent who has bled in combat isn’t going to be okay after a night of magical sex. I know that’s the fantasy, but I wanted something more: I wanted the fantasy that the couple will be strong enough to make it. So for me, Trent is deeply, deeply personal because I’ve seen friends struggle with some very tough choices. And the truth is, there is no magical cure but there can still be a happily ever after if you have someone strong enough to stand with you. 

6. Laura is such an amazing character because she’s done the best for her family at every turn and 
supported her husband. But when all communication breaks down with her husband and he 
just keeps deploying, she serves her husband with divorce papers while he’s serving. It seems 
like such a taboo to serve papers while your spouse is deployed—is that true? And why did you 
choose to have Laura, the ultimate good wife, respond this way? 

Laura sending Trent divorce papers while deployed I think is the ultimate prohibition. It’s just wrong on so many levels, and yet I wanted to give readers a sense of what could drive someone to their breaking point. Laura is such a strong woman and yet she broke. The strongest of us all have our breaking points.I wanted to show people how hard the war has been on everyone—not just the soldiers deploying but on the kids, on the spouses—but I also wanted to give people hope, too. 

7. Agent Chaos and Fluffy, the family hamsters, almost steal the show with their disappearing acts 
and they add the perfect amount of cuteness and comic relief. What inspired you to add them 
into the story? 

Ah Fluffy and Agent Chaos. So for readers who don’t know, we have hamsters. It all started when 
we volunteered to buy the pre-k class pet. I didn’t realize that this would include home visits for the 
holidays. Fluffy was the first hamster and she promptly escaped within the first 24 hours. After that, 
we’ve become a multiple hamster household and well, when they escape, it’s madness because we have
dogs and cats who, by some miracle, haven’t actually ever managed to capture one of the little buggers. This story badly needed something to lighten it up. I thought adding in some escaping rodents would 
be the perfect thing to break up a really tough interaction between Trent and his kids. They provided a 
bridge for him to cross, a way to reach them while he was still getting used to them. 

8. Big wedding or small? Hamsters or dogs? Sweats or lingerie?

Small wedding. Both hamsters and dogs and cats. Sweats all the way.

9. Emma and Ethan, Trent and Laura’s kids, are adorable and watching Trent learn how to be a dad 
again is an amazing thing. How do you think Trent got so detached from his family? 

Coming home to be a parent again is probably the hardest thing soldiers do. The kids have changed, 
they have their own wants and needs and, well, they’re not your soldiers. They don’t listen like your 
soldiers have to. The noise and the chaos and the constant needs are really tough to get used to again, 
so I think Trent just ran away because it was too much to deal with. 

10. Since this is such an emotionally charged story, was it difficult for you to write? Or did it come 
easily?

It was very, very difficult to write. I wanted to push boundaries and create at least a glimpse of what it’s like to come home. I wanted to give readers a taste of the emotions that people go through, the fear, the uncertainty but also the love and the hope and the relief that their loved one is home safe. 

11. Since you’ve been in Trent’s shoes, what is the hardest thing about readjusting to civilian life after a deployment?

The crowds and the entitlement. To this day, I won’t go into crowded stores or wait in crowds. It’s 
suffocating. And it’s funny because when I first came home, I was so annoyed at people complaining 
about lines and traffic and school starting. I was just so grateful to be back. Now, I’m much more 
sympathetic to everyday gripes and groans. I think it’s just part of how we get through our days.

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