Thursday, February 18, 2016

review || BREAK MY FALL { blog tour } by Jessica Scott

For Josh Douglas, broken by the impotent rage of combat and loss, pain is the only thing that feels real until he meets Abby Hillard.  In Josh, Abby sees a puzzle for someone else to solve even though she deeply feels the pull to free the darkness that cloaks him.  BREAK MY FALL by USA Today Bestselling author, Jessica Scott, is the second book in an emotional new adult series about a group of young veterans adjusting to life away from the military. They've got a lot to learn about life away from war - and college may or may not be the place for them to learn it.

Jessica Scott | February 15, 2016 | New Adult
Falling, book 2


Violence. I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more.

And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus.

I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic.

Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive.

It’s my drug.

Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight.

Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living.

Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes.

But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again.

But I cannot stay away. And loving her might finally be what breaks me.

{ about jessica scott } .

Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.

She's also 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 Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She's pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.

{ excerpt } .

I lean on the bar next to him. Side by side. Cradle my head in my hand and just wait. Casual. Pretending my lungs aren’t too tight and my body isn’t too aware of the size and strength in this man.

He lifts the glass to his lips and just like last Friday, I am mesmerized by the movement in his throat. Who knew something as mundane as swallowing could be so captivating?

I am not going to think about pressing my lips to the pulse in his throat. Or running my fingers down that same spot

"Want to talk about it?" How’s that for witty? I need Flirting for Dummies or something.

There is a scab over his right eye. "Are you my fairy god-therapist?"

I shrug. "Nah. Just thought I'd offer. You know, return the favor from the other night."

His lips are flat and tight. "I run off a dude hassling you, and now you get to listen to me solve all the world's problems?"

"Maybe not the world. How about just yours?" He's prickly but I'm not afraid of him. There is something about him that feels…not safe. That’s the wrong word. No, never that. But something that makes the risk…worth it. "I'm a pretty good listener."

He turns back to his drink and tosses back the remains. "It's complicated."

"Always is."

He rests his forehead against the empty glass and looks so broken and sad, it cracks the ice around my heart just a little bit.

{ review } .

This series has been phenomenal thus far. Leave it to war-vet-turned-romance author Jessica Scott to bring home these vets-turned-slightly older than traditional college students, and show readers just the harsh reality some of these men and women go through. She grapples topics as 'simple' as PTSD, and then the more complex, starting to hit the public eye ones like VA hospital issues. While Ms. Scott doesn't point fingers, she does bring to light just what these issues do to the men and women who often need the services, but don't get them.

Before I Fall was great. Break My Fall was better.

After returning from war, Josh battles anger and violence -- and other, more personal, issues. Never did he imagine finding an ally in the cute mixed girl in class. It takes a good quarter of the book before something as simple as names are exchange, but watching these two flirt the edges was fun. Josh may keep his anger on the surface and his feelings hidden, but Abby sees it.

Abby, too, has her own dark memories, and as much as Josh hated the violent part of his life, I loved watching as his violence turned toward protection.

Abby and Josh's journey isn't an necessarily an easy one. I loved watching Josh open up to Abby. I loved when he finally allowed himself to be vulnerable toward her, even though it made him feel much less than a man.

"Don't talk about my friend that way..." -- Abby

As much as Josh pulls the protective male role with Abby as their story progresses, Abby pulls her own protective streaks, too. She doesn't always know how to handle his dark moods, but I loved watching her try -- and I found that to be the true thing that Josh needed. The only thing I wish there were more of with these Falling books was a deeper look in "after".

I feel like a broken record, because this next line is said in many of my reviews of series books but -- I can't wait for the next one! Eli was a great sounding board for Josh in this book, but he had his own issues haunting behind his eyes, and I can't wait to see them come out.

{ giveaway } .

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