Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back to You by Jessica Scott

Title: Back To You
Author: Jessica Scott
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Coming Home #3
Main Characters: Trent and Laura
Release Date: January 2014
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:

He's in for the fight of his life . . .

Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family—so he deployed again. And again. And again . . . until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs . . . if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.

Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried—and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?

My Review:
I'm always a bit leery about books like this. I spent twenty years as a military spouse and sometimes these books cut a little too close to home and those feelings and emotions from that time. This one was especially hard-hitting because it's about an established couple on the brink of divorce from the stresses from military life. I definitely had that jittery, slightly sick feeling to my stomach for the first 20% of this book that relates to that issue, but it was such a good book....it was worth that feeling at the beginning. 

This book is about Laura and Trent. Trent has not been dealing with the stresses of war well, so his only coping mechanism is to volunteer to go back to war and not deal with the stress of it all especially the foreign-feeling home life that awaits when he gets home. With each deployment, it's gotten worse and finally Laura has reached her breaking point...when he's charged with sexual misconduct...and files for a divorce. Not only is Trent facing his own emotional issues, but he's also been fired as commander and is facing court-martial charges. Right now is not a happy time to be Trent. His only crime is mental exhaustion and not dealing with things that he should. The fact is...he loves his wife desperately, but feels disconnected from everything. And the thing is...Laura loves him too. She just respects herself too much to be hurt by him any more. She's calling it quits as her only self-defense. 

This isn't an easy book. Both of these people are deeply hurt, but still in love. That doesn't change the fact though that things aren't working between them anymore. *gah* So much emotion. But Jessica Scott wrote an incredible book. Even when I was frustrated as a reader with one or both characters, I still could feel the empathy for how they were acting and reacting. You can tell that Jessica Scott knows what she's talking about. As both a military spouse and active duty soldier, she's lived this and seen it firsthand. That reality comes across the page. It also creates an incredibly realistic military environment within this fictional story. 

The court-martial story line was one I don't think I would have been brave enough to tackle, but the author created it all perfectly. She captured the screwed-up politics within the military and how it plays into hirings/firings of good soldiers. Trent had his issues as a commander who are ultimately responsible for the actions of hundreds of men. It's a difficult position to be in and the reality of possible jail-time for not doing your job as well as you could is terrifying. There's a whole other level there of controversy that I won't get into, but it was nice to see this author brave enough to touch on it.

Overall, this was an amazingly good book. It was entertaining and in the end, full of romance and hope. I'm so glad I stuck through those opening pages when I was questioning whether or not I could read this book or not. I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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