Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back to You (Coming Home #2) by Jessica Scott ~ Review / Excerpt / Giveaway

Series: Coming Home #2

Welcome to my stop on the Back to You Blog Tour! I have a review, excerpt and giveaway to share with you. You don't want to miss this amazing book.  Thanks for stopping by!

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Back to You (Coming Home, #2)Series: Coming Home #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: ForeverPublication Date: 7/29/14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 stars

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?

My Review

I read both Because of You and Until There Was You in 2012, and really enjoyed both. I like author Jessica Scott's voice and her stories of life amid and after war. Given that she has first-hand knowledge of life in the Armed Services, she brings an authenticity to her books that is very, very rare. And though I have strong feelings about the wars in the Middle East, and have lost a family member there, I admire that the books are focused on the people, and not so much a political commentary.

Marriage-in-crisis books are my catnip. I don't know exactly when this happened, but I find myself constantly gravitating to them. I get kind of shaky and light-headed when I know I'm getting ready to dig into a really messed-up relationship. It's weird, I know. But Back to You isn't so much a marriage-in-crisis as it is a marriage-in-dying embers story. If you've read BoY or UTWY, then you know that Laura and Trent Davila's marriage is in big, big trouble. I adored Family Liaison Laura and was desperate to get her story. In fact, I was a little upset that I didn't get it in UTWY (irrational, but true) which is no detriment to the author or story, but just speaks of the pull of that story and my impatience.
Back to You was A-MA-ZING. Trent and Laura's story was more difficult, more soul-squeezing, and more beautiful than I ever anticipated. Scott took her time with Trent and Laura, thoroughly laid out how they got to such a bad place, their emotions, what they would need to overcome and actually speak about to make it back from the brink. She created a remarkable story of the loss and sacrifice and emotional withdrawal two people experience in life at war. Neither was one hundred percent to blame, though Trent's emotional withdrawal plays a pivotal role. I loved that the story was truly about Trent and Laura trying to find a way back to each other. The love never left. If after ten years, six deployments, two kids, and countless empty hours...if there was anything left. If Trent's sacrifices for his country were worth the fact he was MIA in his own life, that he didn't know how to be a husband or a father.
Needless to say, it was an extremely powerful story.
I'm sure it helped that I had a previous attachment to the couple and the series. I need to mention Shane and Jen and Carponti and Nicole. The friends all play a significant role in the story, which I absolutely loved. Be on the lookout for surprises! And some big laughs, via Carponti.
Back to You had me from the first page. Jessica Scott allowed her characters to be raw and real they gripped my heart. I admit that I cried almost the entire time. So much so that my eyes and cheeks were a little raw by the end. There were a lot of sad tears, and a lot of happy tears, especially during pivotal breakthrough moments. It was bittersweet, and so worth it.
It was sexy too!
The Coming Home series is truly special. After reading Back to You, I craved a reread of the others, and did read the two novellas. I'm kind of dying now for Iacopelli's story now. If you're familiar with the series, you know why. He's a riot and I can't wait to see Emily (Trent's therapist) dig into his heart and mind.
So yeah. This is my long-ass winded way of saying that I loved and highly recommend Back to You.

Favorite Quotes

  He sobered, his hands trembling at the thought of his children and the tiny family that had grown while he'd been away. The tiny family that overwhelmed him and terrified him and dropped him to his knees with a need so strong,it crushed his lungs until he could not breathe. He didn't know how to feel good, but he knew he'd never figure it out without them.
  His mouth crooked at the corner. His eyes were dark and hungry, his gaze locked on her, devouring her. Looking at her like she was the most precious thing in the world to him. The man who cherished her, who made her feel loved. Who reminded her of the aching desire she felt for him. For just an instant, the damaged warrior in front of her had slipped away, revealing the man she'd loved. Whole. Determined.
  He cradled her hips, framing them in the mirror, loving the gentle swell of her belly and the curves that she'd always hated.But she was a woman, a woman who'd given him two beautiful children.Her body was no longer flawless but watching her skin flush beneath his touch, he knew he would never find greater perfection. Even if he went to the ends of the earth, his wife would still be the only woman who did it for him.
  There were two chapters of his existence: before the war and after. But there was one constant, one person who had always helped him. One person who kept the light in his soul from snuffing out beneath the darkness of war and pain and death.
   As long as his wife was in the world, waiting for him, loving him, he had the strength, the will to go on. To come home, back to her.


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.

The Coming Home Series

I'll Be Home For Christmas (Coming Home, #0.5)  Because of You (Coming Home, #1)  Anything for You (Coming Home, #1.5)   Back to You (Coming Home, #2)  Until There Was You (Coming Home, #3)  All For You (Coming Home, #4)   It's Always Been You (Coming Home, #5)
(covers lead to GoodReads pages) 
Purchase Links
  Amazon  |  BN  |  Powell's  |  BAM  |  Hastings Indiebound  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

About Jessica Scott
USA TODAY Bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and is currently a company commander stationed at Fort Hood.

Most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. I can't really relate to marriage-in-crisis stories, but relationships in general are such a magnet for me. I'm glad that Trent and Laura are actually solving their problems instead of looking for answers elsewhere. So happy it was sexy because we all know how much you like those stories ;) *pats you* Tears are good! Emotional stories are just the bestessst! So happy you loved it, Andrea! And awwww! That excerpt was so swoony and clearly the're both struggling. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I haven't read any of these books yet, but I'm looking forward to checking them out.

  3. OMG. This definitely sounds like I'd cry. A lot. I'm a big baby when it comes to emotional turmoil. "Soul-squeezing" is an excellent description of books like this!

  4. This sounds so intense and emotional, Andrea. I don't know if I would be able to handle all the emotions that undoubtedly come with this sort of book. I actually think I would really like it. Marriage-in-crisis books are so hard, but if there's an HEA, things can be very satisfying as well.
    I melted a little with that excerpt you shared. I need to check this author out on GR.
    Beautiful review, Andrea, and I'm so happy you loved this. :)

  5. I haven't read this series yet but if I could start now it would be with this one! I saw another review that praised this story and I love these kinds of conflicts. I can handle shit like this easier than infidelity for the sake of cheating. Great review and thanks for sharing!!

  6. I read the first two book and actually quit the series because their story didn't' seem to be coming anytime soon and that's the one I wanted. lol

    I'll definitely have to pick this one up. I do enjoy Scott's writing and the way she adds authenticity (as you said) and gives full weight to service members and their families. It's not a just a plot device.

  7. The soul squeezingness of this one sound like its right up your alley.

  8. Books about marriages aren't really my thing, yet. One day they'll probably be. But I'm so happy you enjoyed this one. Great review, Andrea :)

  9. This one looks so emotional.

  10. Sorry to hear about your family member, that's quite a loss.

    I love marriage-in-crisis too probably because I know HEA isn't exactly happily ever after and even if it's fictional, I do want to see how someone navigates through those trials. Those are my kind of war stories because nobody comes out of it the same.

  11. This sounds like a beautiful soul crushing book. I love a book that can make me cry. Great review.

  12. I haven't actually read any of the books in this series, but they sound great and I'd love to read them.

  13. Wonderful review Andrea. I really loved this book also.

  14. I've always wanted to read Scott so I'm glad to see you love this series so much, Andrea. :) Excellent review, as always!! (I happen to love your long-ass winded reviews! ;)

  15. Laura and Trent are my favorite couple. I loved this one too.


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