Friday Favorites – New Books, New Authors

Posted Nov 2 2012, 8:05 am in , , , , , , ,

Even though I’ve been swamped playing catch up, I always find time to read. Reading is almost always the last thing I do each day. I love being able to forget the to-do things on my list and being lost in the loves of characters. I sometimes talk about books here on my blog, but since I’m not a book reviewer, I only talk about books I really like. I also don’t offer in-depth criticism. There are plenty of people who do that much better than I, so I’m just going to talk about why I like these books.

First up, Until There Was You by Jessica Scott. This is Jessica’s second book and I hadn’t read her first. I read lots of great things about the book and I follow Jessica on Twitter and I like her as a person. I avoided her first book, though, because she writes about military men and women. Now, I’ve talked many times about my love for military men and men in uniform. When it comes to fictional characters, though, I like to read about guys who are out of the military and already adjusted to “normal” life, or those super secret Special Ops guys who let nothing affect them. Jessica writes about soldiers who are still very active duty. I didn’t read her first book because I was afraid that the reality of what soldiers have to live with would ruin the fantasy or escape for me (totally selfish, I know). Anyway, at the end of September, Jessica gave away Until There Was You on Twitter and I was lucky enough to snag a copy. Then I figured since she was kind enough to give it to me, the least I could do would be to review it.

Here’s the blurb:

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye. He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

Bottom line, it’s a great book. Jessica creates real, believable characters that will yank at your heart. It is hard for me to read about soldiers planning to deploy. It does affect them, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. It definitely added a new layer, which made me like the characters even more.

Although I really enjoyed the book, I had some issues, none of which had to do with the story or Jessica’s writing (her writing is fabulous). Part of my problem is that this is a category length novel, and I almost always feel they are too short. I want more of the characters. That leads into my second issue: I’m not sure I buy the HEA for Evan and Claire. Both of these people are damaged and they fit together perfectly, and I believe the happy for now. If the book was longer, I would probably believe the HEA. This is a contemporary romance but it’s not light and fluffy; it’s leans more toward angst.

After reading an angsty book, I always need something lighter to balance out my emotions. I looked through my Kindle for my next read and remembered that I had Shannon Stacey‘s new Kowalski book waiting for me. I love Shannon Stacey’s writing and adore the Kowalskis. All He Ever Needed is the latest book and it’s a fun read. Mitch Kowalski returns home to help his younger brother who has a broken leg. Mitch is the kind of guy with a long reputation in the small town. It seems as though every female has very fond memories of the bad boy. Paige is planting her roots and building a life in the small town. They both try to ignore their attraction and when that doesn’t work, they agree to a casual fling until Mitch leaves. We all know how that works out, don’t we?

 

When you choose books, do you prefer angst or light? Are you like me and need to find a balance?

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