Because of You

Because of You - Jessica Scott Because of You is a fantastic debut from author Jessica Scott that contains searing sexual tension along with a highly believable story and characters. Though I wouldn’t classify it as a military romance per se; it is more of a contemporary romance that focuses on the effects of a war and the people involved in and around it.

The storyline centers around Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison whose sole identity is a soldier and Jen St. James, a nurse and breast cancer survivor. They first meet the night before Shane’s deployment to the sandbox and share one explosive moment, never thinking that they’ll have a chance to explore it more. But when Shane is badly injured in Iraq and sent back home, him and Jen are brought back together. Jen and Shane have a slow-building romance but their story, and the ones around them, is emotional, heart wrenching and sometimes overwhelming. Humor was sprinkled in at just the right moments though to save you from falling into despair for these characters.

What truly captures your heart in Because of You is the internal struggles that each of these characters face and the relationships between them. Shane is a platoon sergeant, which is all he sees himself as, and being laid up in the hospital he thinks he’s useless; useless to his men, his country, useless even to Jen. On top of that he is suffering through the guilt and responsibility of losing some of his men and others being severely injured and forever changed. Shane takes everything on himself and he is basically at his breaking point. Jen is a survivor; she’s fought through breast cancer, a mastectomy and her family turning their backs on her. On the outside you wouldn’t be able to tell that she has been through so much but on the inside she is terribly insecure, she can barely look at herself in the mirror let alone have someone else see her and her scarring. I think this aspect of the story will hit home to a lot of women, whether you’re a breast cancer survivor yourself, or not. It’s a scary and very real thing. You also get a glimpse into the amazing women behind the soldiers, that is a job in itself and not an easy one by any stretch of the imagination. All of these facets that I’ve mentioned above is what will strike you the most while reading; it’s all so very real!

Because of You is definitely not an ‘escapism’ type of book, you’re not going to find that type of story here. This is a very raw, in your face type of read that will give you a good punch in your gut and knot up your insides. In a good way though. :) I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and especially more information of a secondary couple featured in Because of You. I really hope we get to see more of them soon.