From USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott comes an all new novella about a woman who came back from war changed and the man who loves her enough not to let her go.
All Major Patrick MacLean wanted was Christmas with the woman and child who were his family in everything but name. But Captain Samantha Egan has come back from the war a different woman than the one who left - and she doesn't know if she can love him anymore.
But neither of them counted on the determination of a little girl they both call daughter and if Natalie has her wish, her parents may have no idea what's coming for them. It's going to take Christmas miracle to bring these two wounded warriors back from the edge of a broken heart.
This story has been featured in Home For Christmas: A Holiday Duet with JoAnn Ross.
USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.
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 OIF/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.
Most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012. Learn More at http://www.jessicascott.net
I was wrong. I can’t do this. I can’t go to class and pretend like everything is normal. That I’m normal. I’m not. I’ve lost everything that matters to me. But I made a promise.
And if I’m going to keep that promise, I have to focus. I have to pretend that I belong on this southern campus that drips with old money.
And I have to pass stats. That’s where Beth comes in.
I’m terrified she’ll see through me. That the careful lies
and easy smile won’t be enough to convince her that everything is fine.
That she’ll see how broken I really am.
But there’s something about her that draws me closer. A
sadness in her eyes that am powerless to resist.
I should walk away. Protect her from the broken, darkness in
Before we both fall into something neither of us can control
Stay focused. Get a job. Save her father’s life.
Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah - a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.
Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.
A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.
In 2009, Army second lieutenant Jessica Scott deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
She thought deploying was the hardest thing she'd ever do.
She was wrong.
This is the story of a mother coming home from war and learning to be a mom again. This is the story of a lieutenant making the grade and becoming a company commander. This is the journey of a writer persevering through a hundred rejections. This is the story of a soldier learning to be a woman again. This is the story of a wife waiting for the end of a war.
This is the journey as it happened, without commentary. This is her blog.
There are many blogs from the Iraq war, but this one is hers.
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.