Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back to You by Jessica Scott (excerpt, review, GIVEAWAY)

I am THRILLED that this wonderful story is in print and delighted to share it with you.

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?


His uniform scraped the edge of her cheek. His body was a solid wall beneath her skin and for a brief moment, she simply let him hold her. His strength wrapped around her, his scent pulled her close, reminding her that somewhere inside this man was the man she’d married. The man she’d loved.

She hadn’t meant to cry in front of him. Not again. But the truth had simply slipped free of the chains she’d attempted to bind it with, breaking her resolve until it emptied out of her, tearing free and leaving her drained.

It was a long time until the tears stopped. Her eyes felt swollen.

Now, she rested against Trent and closed her eyes. She simply stopped. Stopped fighting. Stopped arguing. Stopped resisting her stubborn heart that still loved this man no matter how many times he hurt her or lashed out.

His leaving, his anger: He wasn’t in control of those things. Not like she’d convinced herself he was in those dark days when the rumors and innuendos had been breeding like a live thing in the silence between them. But there was more at work here than her husband simply walking out on her.

He’d made a huge step by talking to the counselor. And he hadn’t needed to tell her about their conversation, but he had. Laura leaned back, refusing to believe the insidious voice in her head that said he was just telling her this out of sheer selfishness.
She lifted her gaze, looking deep into his eyes. She started to shift and pull away but Trent moved first, cradling her face with his palms. Gently, his thumbs caressed her cheeks, wiping away the tears.

“I’m so tired of screwing everything up, Laura,” he whispered. “I want to fix this. Not for the trial. For us.”

“It’s not that simple.”

“Yes, it is.” His voice was urgent and harsh. “I can’t fix what I’ve done. And I damn sure don’t deserve your forgiveness.” He lowered his forehead to hers, his palms warm and solid against her skin. “But I’m asking you to help me. Help me reset my normal. Help me learn how to be a dad again. A husband.” He blinked rapidly.

She pressed her lips together, biting back fresh tears. “And what happens when you leave again?” she whispered. “What do I do then?” She sniffed quietly. “You keep breaking my heart.” Her voice cracked.

His fingers crooked around her jaw. “I want to stop.”

They were tucked away in a quiet corner of the coffee shop. The couch was blocked by a high booth. No one could see them. Laura kept her eyes locked on his. Finally he’d laid his fears, his hopes, his dreams in her lap.

She could crush him so easily. A stronger woman might have walked away, doing to him what he’d done so many times to her. But she was not that woman. She wanted to end the pain between them, not prolong it.

She’d thought divorce was the right answer. Ending the sham their marriage had become, protecting their children from more pain. The kids were her life now and she would not apologize for that. For all intents and purposes, she’d been a single parent for years and that was okay because she knew how to do that. Now fear latched on to her heart. Fear that he would leave her again. That he would once again shatter her into a thousand pieces.

But he was here. At this moment, it was all she had. Without giving herself time to think about the consequences, she leaned closer and brushed her lips gently against his.

She pulled away before he could deepen the kiss. Fear and awareness and arousal skittered through her veins, making her off balance, like a needful, sensual thing. She’d grown accustomed to the hugs of her children, their wet kisses and enthusiastic embraces.

What she craved now was something darker. The faintest brush of lips against lips had sparked something primitive inside her. Something deeper and richer. A long-forgotten need to be touched by a man. But not just any man—by this man. His hands, roughened by combat, sliding up her thighs. The coarse pads of his fingertips caressing her skin.

Memories bombarded her as she attempted to lean away and salvage the remnants of her pride.

But Trent was not operating under the get-some-space battle plan. He reached for her, his eyes rich with dark emotion. His palms scraped against her cheeks, his fingers strong as his lips claimed hers.

His breath was a gasp against her tongue and for a moment, Laura was stunned into stillness, unable to move beneath the assault on her senses. But then her body remembered his taste, her tongue remembered his touch, and a warmth awakened inside her. She opened for him, stroking his tongue with hers, her body folding into his like it was meant for him.

Her every nerve came alive. A cascade of long-denied arousal mixed with bittersweet memories of other homecomings, other farewells. It crashed into them both, driving them under a torrent of emotion.

This was the man she had married. A man who could make her body purr just thinking about him inside her. A man who knew exactly how to kiss her to drive her wild.

This was the man she’d been waiting for. She wanted nothing more than to crawl into his lap and have that urgent, passion-filled sex of first homecoming.

It was a long moment before the arousal faded and she became aware of the tender, sucking kisses he placed on her lips.

Another moment before he rested his forehead against hers.

An eternity passed before the words she’d never thought she’d ever say again slid past her lips. “I miss you,” she whispered.

And for once, he did not pull away.

About the author:
USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas. She's pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

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I also am happy to be able to offer a print copy of this wonderful title to one lucky commenter.  Please leave a comment with a valid e-mail address about whether or not you have a personal connection to the military (and we are grateful to all of you who have served and sacrificed).  A name will be chosen from those who leave a comment after August 5, 2014 using


5 out of 5 stars

Back to You by Jessica Scott is the searingly emotional military romance that continues the ‘Coming Home’ series and finally explores the relationship between Trent and Laura Davila that imploded in “Because of You”, the first story in this compelling series. An impending court martial continues to loom over Trent’s head but that pales in comparison to the disaster that his marriage to Laura has become and he struggles to find a way to reach the woman he has not ceased to love, despite her demands for a divorce. Trent must find a way to deal with his discomfort with his family, his distance from everyone he cares about, his crippling guilt, and the impending destruction of all that he has held dear over the years. The question is whether any of it is reparable or have things gone beyond the point of no return?

There are some stories that just touch the heart and make one suffer right along with the characters and root for them to get through the heartache and difficulties in their lives. Jessica Scott has created a cast of characters that are vivid, not just because of the poignancy of the issues they face...the constant threat to their survival, the strain on their interpersonal relationships, the repercussions of breast cancer, amputation, survivor’s guilt, PTSD...but also because they are not perfect. 

The harrowing journey to find himself characterizes Trent’s role in this story but the strengths and weaknesses that are displayed in his interactions with others plus Laura’s own reactions detail the cost that is often extracted by war and its machinery. There are many poignant scenes in this story, that reflect the deep love shared by these two people who have become so scarred by their experiences that they have lost touch with what they had but there are glimmerings of hope as well...”The overwhelming love that he felt for her was there. Like a sleeping thing waking from a long dormancy. It was fragile. Malnourished. But there, stretching after a long slumber...”

It is cathartic to watch the healing start as Trent finally gets some help “...what he truly saw was her strength. The strength to love his children, to keep their home together. To walk away when he hadn’t been enough.” and a memorable description of something called an ‘emotional rucksack’ helps shed a little light on the sometimes impossible pressure that soldiers force upon themselves with incredibly harmful repercussions. “It means that we all have the capacity to deal with bad news. And when the first piece of bad news hits, we can stuff it down and keep going. But eventually, our bags get too heavy and there’s no more room to stuff things down anymore.”

This is a great novel which combines a fantastic love story with harrowing realism about the cost being paid constantly for participating in war and if I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. 
© Night Owl Reviews 

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review. 




  1. Since I haven't read any of this authors books, I can't pick a favorite but thank you for sharing and giving us an excerpt. I loved reading that.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's such a great series and I think that you will enjoy reading it! Thanks for visiting, Mary.