Until There Was You by Jessica Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this look into life of career military men and women.
Captain Claire Montoya was in Colorado Springs to help get her friend and fellow Captain, Sarah Anders’ team ready for combat. Claire is nervous because the team, a logistics company, was not prepared and with only five weeks to train, she was not sure they were going to be ready. It is late 2008; the tail end of the surge and Iraq is still a very dangerous place to send inexperienced soldiers. Sarah is in charge of this mission because she had not deployed recently and it was her turn, while Claire had recently returned from Iraq. Claire, one for pushing the envelope was angry because the training schedule was full of events that they should not be wasting time on and not convoy training which is what they needed, to deploy successfully.
Captain Evan Loehr was also in Colorado to help get the troops ready, the fact that he and Claire have worked together several times in the last three years does not mean they liked each other. The first time they met they shared one kiss that still haunts them both, however neither would confess to that statement. Evan is a play it by the rules kind of Captain, and that grinds on Claire who wants to do what is right and that might go against some rules.
Working with Sarah is Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli one of the first persons Claire met when she joined the army years ago and he has been a friend ever since. Claire is very protective of Reza and refuses to turn him into his commander about his drinking problem. As they all work toward getting the troops ready for deployment, Claire and Evan spend time together and realize that they want the same thing, a fully trained team to send to Iraq.
An unexpected event turns a regular training exercise into chaos, Evan and Claire realized that one of the Lieutenants, Mallory Engle disobeyed the brigade commander, and Claire knows that several people may lose their careers over this. Still feeling like she needs to protect those around her, she takes some of the blame realizing the consequences may be severe. Claire prepares to face her commander back at Fort Hood; he is angry and has never seen an officer go to such lengths to protect a noncommissioned officer. A letter of reprimand and the choice of a new career direction help Claire realize that what she really wants is a future with Evan.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters were believable and I enjoyed gaining new insights about the army (even though my son is in the army) and the people that serve our country. I liked both Claire and Evan, they had an interesting history and although it was usually antagonistic, they grew to love each other as they worked to save a company from deploying before they were ready and save a friend who needed help.
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