Blog Tour, ARC Review & Excerpt: Battle Scars by Jane Harvey-Berrick


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From the dusty plains of Afghanistan to the sleek corridors of the New York Times, journalist MJ Buckman seeks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What she doesn’t expect to find is a man who’s her complete opposite … and fits her perfectly.

Marine Sergeant Jackson Connor knows that relationships don’t work for men in the military. He’s living proof of that. But when a steely-eyed temptress in a flak jacket, who carries her moral cause in front of her, crosses his path, he’s furious, curious, and all kinds of in-lust.

* * *

A grown-up love story about two people who aren’t looking for love, but realize how precious it is when they find it. They don’t play games and there are no stupid misunderstandings, just life standing in their way.

Can they compromise? And what does that look like in a modern relationship between two driven people?

Assignment Vs deployment.

They’re always traveling in different directions. What relationship can survive that?



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Beautifully intense and oh-so-functional military romance – 4 stars

This is a surprising book with a natural, intense and functional love story, and some hard-hitting elements thrown in to make it a raw and real read. A well-written and emotional military story, this is a quick read that leaves an impact, and I really enjoyed it.

MJ Buckman is a journalist who visits the most dangerous places in the world in order to bring real-life stories to the people at home. Her latest story sees her in Afghanistan, and when she runs into trouble, a team of Marines are there to save her life.

Marine Sergeant Jackson Connor is the one to drag MJ out of trouble. He’s annoyed yet intrigued by the spunky reporter, and is unable to forget about her, so he looks her up the next time he is home.

What follows is an unlikely love story as two complete opposites come together, sharing a strong attraction and a life-changing connection. There’s just that special ‘something’ that draws them together. And despite everything that stands in their way – their lives, their dreams, pretty much the whole world – they make the brave leap to follow their hearts.

“It’s a new day,” he murmured against my flushed skin. “Let’s just see where it takes us.”

This is a functional, real, passionate and intense relationship. MJ and Jack are completely open with each other, holding nothing back, and I loved watching them work to build something together even with all of the hurdles standing in their way.

“We’ll make it work,” he said, a mixture of confidence and despair etched on his face. “If we both want it, we’ll make it work.”

Through danger, violence and fear, they stand by each other’s sides, and it was gorgeous to see. But compromise will only get them so far. How will they manage when their dreams continually pull them in opposite directions, literally dragging them apart?

I’d do whatever it took to hold onto her. Even if that meant letting her go.

I really enjoyed this book. I’m a fan of this author, and didn’t know much about this story when I started reading, but I trusted her completely – plus I’m a sucker for a military romance. But this one still took me by surprise. The romance was gorgeous – sweet, passionate, swoony and functional – and though there was drama, it was real-life with nothing stupid or annoying about it. And there was so much attention paid to the detail of their lives, Harvey-Berrick certainly did her research with this one, and I thought those added elements gave this book a feeling of realism that you don’t often get in romance.

But the focus of the book is most definitely the love story, and I thought it was really gorgeous. I loved the characters, I loved them together, and I loved their story.

“I’ve waited too long to find you. I’m not letting you go now.”

4 stars

And as a special bonus – fans of this author will love the cameo from Sebastian and Caroline (squee!)

An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.



A whole generation was growing up knowing only despair, death and destruction. How could there be lasting peace when children were encouraged to carry guns? How could life return to normal when these children had never experienced it? The problem seemed too big, too difficult, too impossible to solve.
And here and now, we were all suffering the effects of lives lived in hate.
Doctors and nurses worked with strained detachment as they attempted to triage a thousand people at once. Chaos was too polite a word for everything that I witnessed.
“Can I help?” I asked, a nurse rushing past.
She raised her shoulders in a helpless shrug, then pointed at a teenage girl who had a wound on her leg, bright red pooling around her.
“Apply pressure,” she shouted as she ran toward a child whose robes were dark with blood.
“Then what?” I yelled after her.
“Pray!” she shouted over her shoulder.
I turned to the girl whose jet-black eyes watched me without emotion. She’d wadded her dress, pressing it against the wound while blood soaked into the sand around us. I pressed down on her leg, trying not to gag as blood seeped between my fingers.
All around me, people were crying and begging for help, most of them young, so young. I knew that over half of the refugees at this camp were children, but seeing them like this…
I stayed with the girl, helpless to do anything except apply pressure to a wound that wouldn’t stop bleeding. I pressed down, pressed down, and I talked to her—trivial nonsense that meant nothing, important things that meant everything. I told her about Jackson. I told her all about the man who’d stormed his way into my life, his eyes blazing. I told her my hopes and fears, and when I’d told her everything I could think of, I prayed, reciting Bible verses that I’d last heard at my father’s funeral.
She didn’t understand me, of course, but maybe she understood the tone. Maybe she knew that I was praying for her.
And finally the blood flow slowed and I stopped talking. There was nothing more to say because the girl was dead, her dark eyes open and accusing.
And what could I do? I wasn’t a doctor, I wasn’t a nurse. I wasn’t even a fighter. All I could do was write about what I’d seen and heard, said and done, and hope that somebody cared. Maybe even someone who cared enough to help end the madness.
But when hatred is your birthright, hope seems a very long way away, and I wondered if God had heard my prayers.



About the Author

Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).

She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. ( )


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