Toni's Reviews > Until There Was You

Until There Was You by Jessica Scott
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's review
Aug 01, 2012

really liked it
Read from September 04 to 08, 2012

Still set in the mid-2000s and the Iraq surge, Until focuses on two Captains responsible for training a convoy unit prior to deployment. Evan, Captain America, is the by the book West Point grad. Claire is the maverick (an enlisted soldier who jumps to the officer corps) who puts the needs of her soldiers first. Maverick describes both her approach to life and being as soldier, as well as her jump from enlisted to officer. The opposites attract characters are designed to engender conflict. At heart, both have the best interests of the deploying unit at heart. Add in a death by Powerpoint training schedule, a drunk Sergeant First Class, and a Colorado winter and you have the perfect mix of fuel to create sparks of the first magnitude.

Claire and Evan’s story is at times sweet; they are both fighting the demons of their childhood. At other times it is more incendiary; they don’t want to need each other, or anyone for that matter, but they need each other with something that borders on fierceness. Their road to HEA is long and torturous, but that seems to make it all the sweeter in the end. You want these characters to let go of their demons and trust each other. The fact that that trust is hard won and not given easily makes it all the more meaningful.

Coupled with the road to the HEA is the road to deployment. The glimpses of training as seen through Evan and Claire’s eyes provide a window into the Army that we don’t often see. This is the real world Army. This is not the Army of operators we often see in these situations. The gritty reality makes the story so much more moving. At times the training story overwhelms the Claire and Evan story. You want the trainees to succeed almost more than you want Claire and Evan to trust. It is an interesting dynamic and one that Ms. Scott navigates well. While the training doesn’t have quite the happy ending that Claire and Evan do, it highlights the realities of war.

The military realities of this book make it not for everyone. However, if you are looking for a well-told story with realistic situations and thoughtful characters, I urge you to consider Until Their Was You.
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