He’s always got a joke… Army Sergeant Vic Carponti always has a joke — no matter how bleak the situation might be. He’s the guy who can make jokes in the middle of a firefight in Baghdad or when he’s getting sewn back up after getting blown up. But his sense of humor hides a fierce loyalty to the men he serves with and a devotion to his wife who he loves more than life itself. But there’s nothing funny about war… But as he prepares to leave on his latest deployment into the violent throes of the Surge in Iraq, his jokes don’t seem as funny to his wife. Nicole forces herself to laugh at his redeployment antics but behind her laughter hides the darkest fear of every Army wife — that the knock on the door may be the news that destroys her world. They both try to make the best of the deployment but when the phone doesn’t ring for a few days, Nicole starts to worry. And when the dreaded call comes telling her he’s been hurt, she’ll move heaven and earth to be there when her husband wakes up. “I won’t spoil it, but it will give you hope, laughter and tears!” ~ Romancing Rakes “Buy it. Read it. Have lots of Kleenex on hand. Scott’s stories are always powerful and emotional but they’re honest, she doesn’t jerk you around or manipulate you. The power of the stories and of the characters emotions gets into you and sweeps you away.” – Bea’s Book Nook “One of the things I love so much about the Coming Home series from Jessica Scott are the characters themselves. They are unflinchingly real, raw and flawed people – ordinary folk dealing with extraordinary circumstances in the only way they know how to.” – My Written Romance
I’ll Be Home For Christmas is the first book that I have read from this author here, and I have heard so many amazing things about her work, especially in her talent in crafting such beautiful military romance novels. And I have to say after just reading this novella, I can definitely see why she is raved about so often because there is such a intense emotional vibe that is portrayed and a sense of realistic love that vibrant and real and I honestly couldn’t believe that I had taken so long in reading this one because Jessica Scott crafted such a powerful story within this short read, and its not very often I am impressed by a novella but I definitely was with I’ll Be Home For Christmas.
In this story we have a married couple, Vic and Nicole. In this story we see what a deployment does to a marriage and how it tests the bounds of resilience. Nicole knows that this deployment is very different from the others, the danger has escalated to terrifying levels and she doesn’t know if her husband will survive this time. Vic on his end, is trying to keep the morale of his men and trying to keep his wife from worrying by making her life and playing his role as the “jokester” but as they are separated and the heat in the “sandbox” is increasing, he also knows he must do everything he can do get his R&R so he can be home for Christmas…
I found this journey of this marital couple through the military struggles to be so enriching and packed with so much raw emotion. You can just sense the edge that they are both on and that the future for them is so uncertain. I loved seeing the strength and courage of these wives that stay at home and have to continue living despite the dangers to the men that they love. We also get some teasers for some other couples that I am really curious about, and I just want to jump into book 2 because this book really showed them in a light that you need to have their story. As for Vic and Nicole, they were such a fun pair. I rarely see a hero like this though, he is so sarcastic and playful and doesn’t take too much seriously. He is much more lighthearted and his wife takes it all in stride and really balances him out. I do like how he isn’t naive to emotion or the depth of love his wife has for him. This pair definitely gets pushed to the limits here but I admired seeing them confront it and move forward with courage.
Overall I found I’ll Be Home For Christmas to be the perfect holiday read that was quick, deep, and riveting and won my heart completely.
About Jessica Scott
Jessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, a small zoo consisting of too many cats, dogs and the occasional domesticated rodent, and wife to a retired NCO.