Sunday, September 17, 2017

Catch My Fall by Jessica Scott (spotlight, excerpt, and review) New Adult tilte

part of the Falling series
by Jessica Scott
New Adult contemporary romance/military romance


Former Army Sergeant Deacon Hunter is trapped

Trapped in the friend zone. The woman who captured his heart when they were deployed in Iraq has never looked back at the time they stole.

Former Army Sergeant Kelsey Ryder has scars, the kind of scars that no one ever sees, no one ever knows about unless she tells them. Working around the guys at the Pint, she’s reminded of everything she lost when she left the Army behind.

But some scars refuse to stay hidden.

One fateful night changes everything and neither of them know if their relationship will ever be the same.

All Deacon knows is that he’ll be there to catch her when she finally falls.


"Are you okay?"

"Mostly." I should present to be a rational adult and have a reasonable conversation. Anything is better than the status quo, right? “I guess…sometimes things get to me that shouldn’t.”

"Yeah. I get that." I look up at her words, the frustration in her voice echoing the tension clawing at my heart, locking the words I need in my chest. “It’s hard, though. To say when something hurts.”

I say nothing for a long moment. Letting her words sink in. Letting their possibility wrap around me.

Then I move. Silent and slow, I back her up against the wall. "You don’t have to be strong all the time," I tell her softly. Her mouth is there, just there. She is soft against me, soft in all the ways I remember.

Soft in a thousand ways that will torture me for the rest of a lifetime.

"Neither do you." She’s goading me tonight. Crossing boundaries I know she’s set in place. I can’t figure out what’s changed. If it’s the fatigue I see in her eyes or the mixture of that with too much to drink. I don’t know.

And part of me doesn’t care. Part of me only cares that she’s here. That her body is pressed to mine. That I’ve penetrated the space around her and she has not pushed me away.

God, this woman is fierce and amazing. She doesn't back down, doesn't break against the threat anyone else would read in my body.

"I will never forget what happened between us in Iraq. Or when we came home." I reach for her then, cupping her face. Sliding my thumb along her full bottom lip. Wanting so badly to taste her. To end this unnecessary distance between us. “But we don’t have to keep suffering alone. Apart. It doesn’t need to be like this.”

And goddamn her, she presses her lips to my thumb. A gentle kiss. A thousand sensual memories slash through me, ripping away any shred of my composure.

It takes everything I have not to lift her, to urge her legs around my hips and grind against her. I'm hard as a fucking stone. I know she can feel me, solid and hard against her.

She's my addiction. The one woman I dream about when I'm with someone else.

And she knows it. She has to know it.

Her barriers hurt us both.

"We spent four weeks together when we got home and I don't remember any of them. Except the nightmares." She cups my face, brushing her lips against mine. "I can't do that again. I can't get lost in the alcohol and the sex. Because it doesn't help me forget. It only makes it worse."

I lower my forehead to hers, her quiet admission gutting me, ripping through me. That’s why she’s kept us apart. That’s why she’s walked away and pretended there was nothing between us.

Her words hurt; they slice at me, reminding me of how fucking self-centered I was when I first got home, wanting to do nothing more than drink and fuck, then drink some more.

I had no idea how much she was hurting. Because I didn’t bother to look.

"I didn’t know." It’s a pitiful confession. So insufficient. I step back then, releasing her from the wall.

Letting her go when it's the last thing I want. She disappears up the stairs, quiet as a ghost.

I lower my forehead to the wooden shelf holding parts of Eli's extensive and very expensive whiskey collection. We're a long fucking way from that bloodstained container where Kelsey used to live.

But we might as well never have left.

A piece of my soul stayed back there, mixed in with the sand and the bullets and the blood.

Forever entwined with hers.


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My review:

Note from ELF: Full review to follow
4.25 out of 5 stars

Catch My Fall by Jessica Scott is part of the new adult contemporary and military romance “Falling” series that centers around a small college town where military veterans are dealing with reintegrating into civilian life and pursuing higher education degrees. As always, the author paints a vivid portrait of the challenges and frustrations of coping with the indelible changes war has imprinted on their bodies and psyches and contrasts the lives of those who have experienced so much with those who are relatively naïve to the horrors of war. This story provides the added twist of pitting the veterans against those who will soon face the challenges that will test their ethics and morality but are not quite ready to hear the truths their more experienced brethren are trying to impart.

This couple (Deacon and Kelsey) also gives a glimpse of the horrendous catch-22 veterans are caught in while dealing with an overburdened VA and struggling to cope with their respective issues. The challenges of having any kind of relationship, let alone an intimate one, is sensitively portrayed and I ached for both of these strong people who are struggling to deal with civilian life. I was particularly struck by the frustration of being a female soldier and trying to work within a system that doesn’t even recognize one’s service, let alone value it.

It was delightful to get glimpses of some of the other characters from the series even as one's emotions are caught up in the struggle as we share in the frustrations, sympathize with the low points, and cheer at the little victories. The realism is sobering and reminds us of the sweeping changes that are needed to help those who have sacrificed so much to keep the rest of us safe. I always enjoy the stories penned by this talented author because she provides such compelling stories with realistic characters and this was no exception. I am particularly anxious to read the next story, especially after devouring the teaser at the end of the book, so I hope she has that one well in hand!

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Other titles in the series:


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