Series: Coming Home #2.5
Format Read: PDF
Release Date: February 4, 2013
From the author of Because of You comes an all new Coming Home short story.
Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison has spent a year recovering from his combat injuries. A year spent in the arms of the woman of his dreams. But loving Jen comes with a price: every time he touches her, he faces the uncertain fear that loving her might mean losing her forever.
Jen is a breast cancer survivor and with Shane, she’s found a man who loves her despite her scars. But her scars may be too much for their love to survive.
As their love grows, so does the risk to Jen’s life. And Shane must make the toughest decision any man can make to save the woman he loves.
Bea's Thoughts: SPOILER ALERT
Okay, a couple of housekeeping things first.
Second, the spoiler alert. STOP NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!
The book talks about cancer, specifically breast cancer. It's pretty much the driving plot point. So if cancer is a trigger for you, don't read the novella and stop reading this review.
Unfortunately, the original book blurb didn't indicate that cancer was part of the story and so I eagerly requested the book, only to fall apart when I started reading it. Myself and few others mentioned this to Jessica and she changed the blurb so that potential readers will know. Thank you Jessica for doing that; it's much appreciated.
I have to say up front that the cancer theme affected my experience of the book and my rating. If it had been any other medical condition, I'd give the book 4 or 5 stars. But I can't get past the cancer so I gave it 3 stars on goodreads. That may not be fair but it's all I could do.
And now, the actual review. :)
I haven't yet read the first book, "Because of You", where Jen and Shane meet but that wasn't a problem. The story works very well as a stand alone.
This was a beautiful and sweet love story that explored Jen and Shane's fears for each other; Jen's fear of Shane returning to battle and being harmed again, and Shane's fear of Jen's breast reoccurring. It's the latter fear that drives Shane's actions in the story and while I have mixed feelings about Shane's decision I understand it. I don't want to spoil what that decision is, but it's dramatic and life changing.
There are women who have breast cancer in the family or have tested positive for a breast cancer gene who decide proactively to have a double mastectomy even though they themselves don't have breast cancer. I don't agree with that choice but I can understand the fear. My stepmother and a biological cousin are breast cancer survivors while my mother lost her battle. Because of my family history, as well as a family tendency to cancer in general, I started having mammograms in my 20's. So I can understand Shane's decision and I respect him for it, it wasn't an easy one.
Unfortunately, before Shane can bring himself to talk to Jen about it, she finds out and is hurt. She's hurt because he didn't talk to her and also because she's tired of being thought of in terms of cancer, doesn't want to be defined by her cancer. Watching them work past their pain and confusion is painful but in a good way. I want them to work it out even as I wish there were another solution and I hoped they could work things out.
While the story is primarily told from Shane's perspective, we do get Jen's too and Scott beautifully shows us their love, their passion and their fear. It's a gut wrenching story with moments of humor (the scene where Shane tries to figure out what do for Jen for Valentine's Day is both funny and sweet) and if it just didn't have the cancer I'd absolutely love this story. If cancer is not a trigger for you and you enjoy contemporary romance, read this story. You won't regret it.
I received a digital ARC from the author for review.