It's rare that I pick up a book that has me smiling one minute, reaching for the tissues the next... and then running out of tissues but being too blubbery to go to the shops to get more. (Note: waterproof mascara is a lie. An awful, awful lie.)
I loved this book. I loved it so much that I wanted to fly over to America and give Jessica Scott a giant hug (risking getting my arse kicked by her mighty military boots) for writing something so fucking amazing.
The lady who wrote Because of You has served in Iraq, she's still in the military and the sheer realism present in this novel smacks you between the eyes and serves as an amazing reminder of just how much real life experience can bring to the page.
So to summarize. Guy (Shane, an army dude) meets girl (Jen, a military nurse) just before deploying for Iraq. There's chemistry but he's headed out so nothing happens between them. Some time later he returns in the form of a patient at the local military hospital, truly messed up and looking down the barrel of a forced retirement and a hell of a lot of physical and mental recuperation. Meanwhile Jen is hiding a couple of scars from her past as well. Cue mutual self growth and a whole lot of snuffling, snorting and snot on my part.
I can't do this book any more justice in summary. I really can't capture all the emotional nuance or things that make this such an amazing roller coaster of a read. And worse, I really can't think of anything all that funny to say about such a gut-puncher of a plot.
In short, I've read Because of You a bunch of times. I think it's a stellar example of military romance done right and I think anyone and everyone interested in the genre or any genre... except people who only enjoy romances with small fuzzy animals in them... should have it on their bookshelf. So... go read it. Now!
Ninja Rating: 5 Throwing Stars