I love Jessica Scott's Falling series featuring young veterans who are trying to rebuild their lives after serving in the military. She creates such wonderfully realistic characters, characters who are flawed and damaged but who deeply deserve a happy ending! The stories in this series all work as stand alone but if you read them in order you'll enjoy spotting familiar faces in later books. I've already read After I Fall (watch out for my review being posted later today) but I'm excited to share more information with you here and I have some brilliant extracts too.
Parker Hauser lives the perfect life and knows exactly where she's been and where she's going. Parker has to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect life.
Until she meets Eli Winter.
Eli throws her entire life into chaos when he denies her the one thing she wants from him.
One chance encounter stokes her desire for the man who refused to touch her and left her questioning everything.
When Parker tries to help his new business, the spotlight turns on Eli's military record. And the war he's tried to forget may destroy them both.
Before I Fall
Break My Fall
After I Fall
Catch My Fall (2017)
Readers who want an extended sample can download here:
(Posted with permission of Jessica Scott)
Sexy Teaser 1:
She is on her knees in front of me. It is the most erotic thing I've ever seen in my life.
There is trust in that simple gesture. I cup her chin, stroking my thumb over her bottom lip. I can't look away. Her lips part, and I slide the tip in, just a little. Her mouth is soft and warm and wet. She closes around the edge of my thumb, sucking gently, so gently.
I ache in a way I haven't ached in forever. This touch, this complete surrender to the feelings of erotic, sensual caress.
There is nothing about this that will end well. We are from two very different worlds. And no matter how much I pretend to walk in hers, I'm only visiting. Trying to get funding to keep my business open. Trying to make a difference.
Trying to pretend that the things I do still matter.
But this afternoon, when she walked away, I couldn't let her go. I looked in her eyes and saw something there that called to me. That made me need to make her believe that she was touchable. That she was worth more than the people in her life had led her to believe.
And now she is on her knees in front of me. Waiting, unsure about what to do next. My brain may want her some other way, but my dick is perfectly happy to oblige her at the moment with just how she is.
I have lost control of this situation.
But then she reaches for my jeans, her palm sliding over my cock. She squeezes me, still sucking gently on my thumb. She traces the tip of her tongue over the edge as she pulls my belt open. Jesus, I'm a fucking goner.
The air is cool on my stomach as she pushes open my jeans. I can't move even if I wanted to. I need to see this through. I need to do this right.
But I can't fucking move. I can't blink. I don't want to forget a single moment of the erotic image of Parker on her knees in front of me.
She slides my erection out of my jeans, stroking me gently. Christ, I'm hard as fucking rock. It's everything I can do not to guide her lips to me. To urge her to put that beautiful mouth around the tip of my cock.
I thought I didn't want this? I fucking lied.
She drags her teeth over the edge of my thumb a moment before she releases me. I have nowhere to put my hands now.
I drop them by my sides. I am not in control here.
"Can I kiss you here?" she whispers, rubbing her thumb over the aching crown.
"Yes please." The words are strangled. A plea. She has me under her complete control.
I am completely still as she moves closer. Rubs her lips over the tip. A soft, gentle caress. I'm ready to fucking beg.
And then she opens, tracing her tongue over the edge before sucking me gently, so gently into her mouth.
It's heaven. Pure fucking heaven. Her touch is electric, like a thousand points of heat with every slide of her lips over my cock.
I close my eyes and fight the urge to move, to rock into her.
This…this is supposed to be for her but it's not. Because I am a selfish bastard who is just like a thousand other guys who won't turn down a beautiful woman on her knees.
I'm no saint.
But goddamn, Parker feels good. Touching me. Licking me. Sucking me. I am lost in her touch. Lost in the complete and total need to let her control this, let her take this wherever it will go.
She sucks me a little harder. A groan escapes me. My balls tighten, and I can't fight the urge to rock into her. Just a little.
I reach for her then, urging her to let me go. To stand. And when she does, I pull her against me, harder than I probably should, and kiss her. I'm too far gone at the moment to do anything but kiss her. To drink from her. To take all of her inside me in that single gesture.
"I don't want to come like this,” I whisper, nibbling on the edge of her meal.
"How do you want me?" A serious question. She needs to know that she's controlling things here. She gets to say how far we go. If we even finish. "Because right now? I'd sell the fucking bar to get you to agree to let me do terrible, forbidden things to your body.”
"What are you waiting for?"
I smile and rock against her a little more. "Those five little words."
And then she is on my sofa, her upper body braced on her palms. I capture her face in my palms and kiss her gently, lowering her until she is supported. Slowly, sipping on her lips. Savoring the taste of her. "Can I touch you here?" I slide my fingers down over the length of one of her arms. She makes a noise. "Say yes," I whisper near her ear.
"Can I touch you here?" I trace my fingertips over the edge of her ribs, just along the swell of her breast.
Her response is a huff against my lips. I smile. "Say yes."
I brush the back of my knuckles over the tight edge of one nipple. A shiver runs through her.
"Can I touch you here?" A slip of my fingers against her inner thigh.
She makes a sound. A whimper. Maybe a plea.
"I need you to say yes." I manage to get the words out. Barely. They are somewhere between a whisper and growl. It takes everything I have to restrain myself but this…this isn't for me. "Please say yes."
I slip my finger a little closer, running it gently, barely there, over the seam of her body.
Waiting, intensely and painfully hard, for her response.
"What do you want?" A murmured question that feels like a demand. The single word I need is lodged in my throat. It’s thick and heavy, filled with potential and promise.
"You," I finally say.
"Why?" Such a complicated question. I search his face, looking for an answer, a lie, something simple to fill the space left by his question.
I lift my hand, afraid he'll see it tremble. It takes every ounce of willpower I've got to slide my fingers over his forearm. I'm surprised by the raw power beneath my touch. I expected the tattoos to be physical manifestations of the violence on his flesh. His skin is hot and smooth. My hand looks pale and small against it.
"You seem…" I lift my eyes to his, never removing my hand. "You seem like a straightforward kind of guy."
A man with rough hands and dark ink carved into his skin. A man so unlike the men I'm used to, it's not even funny. I lift my hand to his cheek, just above the edge of his beard. I've never touched a man with facial hair before. He is still beneath my touch.
A moment before I'm about to press my palm to his cheek, he grips my wrist. Not hard enough to hurt, but he definitely gets my attention.
"Not here." I swallow. My mouth is suddenly dry. "Where?"
He jerks his chin toward the dark hallway behind us. I follow him silently, wishing he was already touching me, making me feel, letting me pretend I matter, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
He leads me through the maze of small tables and patrons at various stages of intoxication. Away from the noise and the smell of fries and smoke and cologne and all the good things that bars have.We step out of the noise and into shadows and silence. He doesn't pounce, doesn't push me against the wall and run those rough hands over my skin.
Instead, he leans against it—a casual, arrogant male.
Waiting. I know for what. For me to make the first move.
For me to step into the space between us. For me to touch him first. I want to. But I am paralyzed. Rooted to the damp concrete beneath my feet. The cool night air might as well be chains, holding me, restraining any thought or movement.
He doesn't move. His arms are folded over his broad, heavy chest, his T-shirt straining against his body. The silence hangs on, stretching and thick and tight.
"Scared?" he finally whispers. A dare. A terrible, wicked promise in that single word.
"Should I be?" My throat is tight and dry.
His answer is nothing I expect.
And everything I want.
I needed to get out of my apartment and away from the creeping sadness that threatened to drown me if I stayed alone one more minute.
Tomorrow, I will find the owner of The Pint. Tomorrow I will figure out how to unfuck my life.
But right now, I’m standing in a closed-in space with a man who looks like a real-life rendition of Jason Momoa, and my panties are currently hosting their own episode of Celebration at the idea of standing just a little bit closer. I should be at the Baywater Country Club drinking top-shelf martinis and celebrating with Kylie and Bethany and Meaghan. But I can't see them tonight. For more than the obvious reasons.
I was planning on drinking myself stupid and forgetting everything about the last twenty-four hours in the human garbage fire that my life has become. It hurts and goddamn it, I'm tired of it hurting. I'm tired of being there for everyone else while I have to smile and look pretty.
Tonight? I thought I wanted the raw pulsing music and the bodies crushed together. I thought I wanted the contact. The distraction.
Don't make a fuss, Parker. Don't say anything to embarrass me, Parker.
What did you do to deserve it, Parker? Why didn’t you just do what he asked? Why do you always have to argue?
Anger crawls up my spine and squeezes my throat once more.
For once in my fucking life, I want someone to look at me and see me. Not my father's car, or my not-allowed-to-be-ex-boyfriend's tailored suits.
I want someone to see me. All of me.
I don’t know what I wanted when I left the apartment, but I think I may have just found it.
And the man standing next to me with the dark beard and dark eyes and terrifying tattoos seems like just the guy to take care of everything for a night.
Except that he might be a little too perceptive. I didn't plan on him seeing the bruises on my arm. Guess I need to rethink that career as a makeup artist if my graduate school plans don’t work out.
He's still watching me, a dark intensity in his eyes. An intensity that feels like a brushstroke over my skin.
I wonder what it would feel like to wake up wrapped in those massive arms, to feel those hands run over my skin while I sleep. What it feels like to be really touched instead of just positioned to receive.
My eyes burn, and I blink rapidly. I will not cry about the dumpster fire of my life and the garbage that surrounds me. I didn’t set out to solve anything tonight. I came out to escape. To try and find some release from the trapped air in my apartment.
Instead I think I’ve found a solution in search of a problem.
The Solution is a big man. Rough, too. The kind of man I would expect my father would call to lead the construction on a new project.
It’s his hands, though, that capture my attention. Big and flat and broad. They're a working man’s hands. Not polished. Not cupped in anger.
Just matter-of-fact hands. Hands that would be honest.
Hands that would feel like heaven on my skin.
I look up to find him watching me. I've never physically felt a look before this moment, this lazy caress of a man's gaze moving inch by inch over my skin.
I part my lips. Just enough that he notices. His nostrils flare.
"Careful, little girl." His voice is thick and deep and smooth. Like the gaze still trailing over my body.
"Or what?" I whisper. Kelsey’s voice slides through my brain.
This is foolish. Utterly stupid.
This is power.
And it is exactly what I need tonight. I need to feel needed. Wanted.
Tonight isn't about rational thought. It's about the opposite. About going in blind, completely on instinct.
"I'm not sure you want to find out."
But he has not moved away. He hasn't turned his back on me, and he hasn't dismissed me as some childish twat playing grownup.
God, but those words burn in my ears.
"Maybe I do."
The muscles in his neck bunch beneath the thick beard. "Do you always hit on random men at bars?"
I press my lips together and dare to take a single step closer. "Nope. You'd be my first."
He lifts one brow. "Oh yeah? What's the occasion?" He jerks his chin toward me. "It doesn't have to do with the bruises, does it?"
I lift my glass to my lips. Slowly I part them, letting the ice cube bounce off the tip of my tongue. When I lower it, his eyes are locked on my mouth. "No," I whisper. "It's got nothing to do with them."
Nothing and everything. But he doesn't need to know that. He only needs to take me some place and touch me.
Me. I need him to see me.
He moves in then with a quickness that catches me off guard. In an instant, he is right there, right in my space. I can smell the faint, smoky scent of him. Something woodsy and spicy and smoky.
It's all I can do to stay still. To not back down from the challenge he presents in that single breath of space.
"What do you want?" His is a murmured question that feels like a demand.
The single word I need is lodged in my throat. It’s thick and heavy, filled with potential and promise.
"You," I finally say.
About Jessica Scott:
Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO.
She is the bestselling author of the Homefront series and the Falling series, both about soldiers and veterans adjusting to life after returning from the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Her bestselling Falling series features soldiers integrating into life on college campuses.
She's also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.
She's holds phd in morality in Sociology with Duke University and she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.
Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.
Her debut novel Because of You launched the return of Random House's Loveswept digital imprint and launched the start of the ever popular contemporary military romance genre.
Connect with Jessica Scott online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Tsu / Goodreads