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Friday, 31 August 2012

Until There Was You by Jessica Scott

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.

 Grace's Review:
Love is a battlefield between two army captains!

Until There Was You begins with Captain Evan Loehr and Captain Claire Montoya meeting in Fort Hood, Texas in 2005. There is an immediate spark of attraction, but these two can't back away from each other fast enough. Oh, no, either one can't afford to be distracted from work! The tension is so thick between them that it carries on for a few years. Fast forward to Colorado, 2008. Evan and Claire have worked on some missions together since first meeting, and they still can't stand to be in the same room. This particular mission, and the people involved, forces both to face their demons, which just may be the key to breaking down the walls around each of their hearts allowing them to let some much needed love inside.

I read the first book, Because of You, right before delving into this one. With a different cast of characters and a different setting, Until There Was You, can be read as a stand-alone. If you've read the first book, then you know that Ms. Scott can write emotional, squeeze-your-heart-out scenes very well. She offers all that and more in this edgy sequel. I love how her stories tackle some very serious issues. This time it is alcohol abuse and how one is affected and deals with alcoholism.

Perhaps one of my favorite things about this author is that she writes some of the best strong-willed, stubborn characters around! Claire is a feisty redhead who thinks it's OK to bend the rules as long as it gets the job done. She refers to Evan as “Captain America” because he believes that following the rules is the only way to go. Really, these two are like two bulls butting heads all the time! Evan can't ever lose control, because of a tragic event that happened in his past. Claire has been let down so many times in her life that she has major trust issues. The story is a rich mixture of serious, humorous, and sensual moments. The laugh-out-loud parts are pretty darn funny, especially during an intimate scene. Claire spits out some snarky remarks that had me bursting with laughter!

So while reading this, it reminded me of the song “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar. These lyrics:

We're losing control
Will you turn me away or touch me deep inside?
And before this gets old, will it still feel the same?
There's no way this will die
But if we get much closer, I could lose control
And if your heart surrenders, you'll need me to hold”

Yeah, these lyrics remind me of Evan & Claire perfectly!

I am so honored to have read an ARC of Until There Was You. Between books 1 and 2, there are some characters that I'd like to see get their happy ever after. For me anyways, book 3 can't come fast enough! I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next in this series!

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