Series:Coming Home #5.5
Format Read: Kindle ARC
Source: the author in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 22, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.
Blurb from goodreads:
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.
READ IT AGAIN!
Oh, you want more detail than that? Sheesh, demanding readers, aren’t you? :D
Well, for those of you who follow my blog or follow my goodreads or twitter accounts, it’s no secret that I love Scott’s books. I adore them even when they’re ripping the heart out of my chest, stomping on it, and shredding it with a cheese grater. Scott’s books pack a punch. In “All I Want for Christmas is You”, we get the story of Sam and Patrick and their eight year old daughter Natalie. Sam and Patrick aren’t married but have been together since Sam was pregnant with Natalie. Natalie’s biological father has never been part of her life and Patrick is her father for all intents and purposes.
Sam has recently returned from deployment to Iraq and her transition back is bumpy to put it mildly. She began pulling away emotionally during her deployment, calling and writing less frequently as time went on. Now it’s as if she’s on one side of a wall of ice by herself and the rest of the world, including her lover and her daughter, are on the other side and there’s no way to break through or go around or over.
Patrick recognizes the problem but doesn’t know how to help her:
This was more than having a hard time adjusting to being home. There was a very real thing going on with her, and he figured out in that moment that she was trying to ignore all of it.
She was trying to do what so many soldiers did: stuff down the uncomfortable and unsettling thoughts and emotions. Lock them away and pretend that nothing about the war was out of the country.
Pretend that deployment was just another day at the office. Except that the office was now half a world away. Ignore the fact that sometimes, you needed help in coming home.
In her despair, Sam has taken Natalie, left Patrick, and gone to her parents for Christmas. I admit I had unpleasant thoughts about Sam dumping Patrick at Christmas; I mean, really, that’s sleazy. But as I got to know her, I was able to forgive her. I cried for her since she couldn’t cry for herself. I wanted her and Patrick to find their way back to each other, I wanted her to get better, and I hoped that those two actions weren’t incompatible. Both Sam and Patrick are realistically flawed and they each realize they are flawed. They’re strong characters whom you won’t soon forget.
I loved that Scott gave us a story about coming home from deployment from the female soldier’s point of view (though the story alternates between her POV and Patrick’s) and also that we get to see how committed couples fare in the Army when they aren’t married. The perspectives are not the usual ones we see in stories and they were a refreshing change. There’s also humor. Patrick has trouble with Maine’s below freezing temps; he really, really doesn’t like winter in Maine. For the record, I’m with him on this one. :D He was drunk when he packed to join his family and forgot to pack essentials such as underwear, socks, and even shirt and pants so he needs to find a place to buy clothes.
“Seems like I should get what I need closer to home tonight. Or I could just wait until the storm passes.”
She shook her head slowly. “You don’t want to be riding around without underwear or socks. If you go off the road, you’ll freeze off some of your bits and pieces.
He lifted one brow. “Sounds like you might be concerned with my bits and pieces.”
She lifted one shoulder. “They’re nice bits and pieces.”
Scott writes with poignancy, humor, and sensitivity and spins a beautiful tale of love, hope, and redemption. Just don’t read it out in public if you prefer to do your crying in private.