Title: After the War
Author: Jessica Scott
My Rating: B
Genre: Military Romance
Series: Homefront #2
Main Characters: Sarah and Sean
Release Date: May 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
A terrible loss…
Captain Sarah Anders lost her husband to the Iraq war and has nearly lost the career she loves. Sent to Fort Hood, she only wants to do her job and take care of the daughter she’s raising on her own. She never counted on running straight into a memory she’d tried to forget.
A love he never forgot...
Captain Sean Nichols never got over Sarah. He simply tried to forget her amidst the war and the chaos of combat. But when she’s assigned to investigate his unit, he comes face to face with the woman no war or any amount of time could make him forget.
A dark secret…
As Sarah gets closer to the truth, Sean must accept that actions he took during the war may end the tentative love building between them. And even if Sarah can forgive him, Sean may never be able to forgive himself.
Nobody writes military romance like Jessica Scott, and that holds true in this latest installment of her military series set at Fort Hood, Texas.
This book is about former lovers, Sarah and Sean, but they broke up because Sean wanted Sarah to get out of the military and just be a military wife and mother...something Sarah never wanted. So they broke up and haven't seen one another again. The book takes place 9 years later. In the meantime, Sarah got married, lost her husband in the war with Iraq, and had a daughter. Sean didn't know any of this, but it's especially shocking since he was friends with Sarah's husband and was there the day he died. Sean still hasn't recovered from that day.
But this book is not just about Sean and Sarah. It's also about the difficulties of war and what the after-effects are...on all of them. War leaves a long-lasting scar on even the strongest of men and women. It doesn't matter where they were at during it all. Sean and Sarah have both sacrificed huge, although Sean is the one who's truly been in combat. But there are other examples of this throughout the story and they all deal with the stresses in very different, often complex ways. Jessica Scott's books are never feel-good, easy reads, but I think they are important to understand what soldiers go through.
As an active duty officer, she's been there and that shows 100% in her writing. Like I said, the stories are never easy, but don't let that worry you...they do end with an HEA for the characters and there's always some amazing character growth all the way around. She writes the emotions so incredibly well and I particularly liked this one because of the heart-wrenching history between Sean and Sarah. There are some amazingly beautiful moments between them as he's working through his stress. It's just beautiful. It was also interesting to see military life from the aspect of a single mother who's torn between her duty and love for her life in the Army and doing what's right for her child who she could leave as an orphan if she's killed in action. There are no easy choices, but Jessica Scott presents all sides to show how much grey area there really is, especially when it comes to the hardships of war. Definitely emotionally impacting.
Note: I received an ARC and I really hope that this book has one more final editing pass before publication. There seemed to be a higher number of edit issues than normal for an ARC and a few timeline/story situational inconsistencies that needed to be fixed in the edition I read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.