Book Review: Because of You by Jessica Scott

Because of You by Jessica Scott is a contemporary military romance book that just might hit close to home for many readers. Jen St. James is a nurse in a military town. Jen is also a cancer survivor, having faced chemotherapy and a mastectomy. Her best friend Laura's husband seems to be constantly deployed and drags Jen with her to the bar, where the men are getting set to be deployed again. Shane Garrison is hoping to keep all his men out of trouble that night, and to keep them safe once they hit Baghdad. One kiss and both their lives are changed, starting to break down barriers. When Shane is injured and sent home for care, the two have to face their own issues and decide if love is more important than their pasts or being independent.

Because of You does something I rarely see, accurately portrays what it is like to be deployed, what it is like o be waiting for a loved one that is overseas, and the physical and emotional wounds our soldiers have to face before and after duty. It might feel too close to home for some to read, either because of the military ties or the cancer, but the story is so perfectly told that it needs to be read. The emotional issues tied to Jen's cancer, family problems, war wounds, loss, and so much more are deal with in a very realistic manner but with an underlying feeling of hope and understanding. Too many military related books gloss over what really happens after our troops return home, and how it feels to be a parent and waiting for your spouse to come home.

The romance between Jen and Shane is a slow burn, there is no sudden moment of 'perfect love'. Rather, they are real people with real issues that need to develop trust and work on their relationship rather than having it fall into place with no effort. The surrounding characters and plot make this even more than a deep love story, there is suspense and a bigger story that I can not wait to see develop in later books of the Coming Home series. Frankly, when I reached the end of the book I desperately wanted to know more of Laura and Trent's story, and am greatly relieved to see that I can read their book in 2013.

I highly recommend Because of You to readers that like romance with real conflict and emotion beyond the expected story. I was drawn into the character's lives almost immediately and had to take some time before diving into my next read, because I was still thinking too much about the story. This is a deep and captivating read worth every moment, even as I stayed up far too late to finish it.
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