Back to You by Jessica Scott
Series: Coming Home #3
Also in this series: Back to You
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: July 29th 2014
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"Jessica Scott is an exciting new voice in romantic fiction who bursts upon the scene with an unputdownable debut novel!"--Robyn Carr, New York Times Bestselling Author on Because of You
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?
I’ve been anxiously awaiting this story since I read the first book in the series. Trent fascinated and frustrated me in the previous books and I wanted to explore the mystery of him.
Laura and Trent have been through a lot of years of marriage and a lot of deployments together. Laura figured she’d be able to stand by Trent no matter what. As the years drag on and Trent pulls farther and farther away from her and their two children, she starts wondering if they can make it. When trouble starts brewing during Trent’s latest deployment and he freezes her out, Laura really struggles to hold it together. When she finds out he’s volunteered for every deployment and lied to her about it, then gets charged with sexual misconduct, she’s done. Though she doesn’t want to be the wife who gives up on her man, she just can’t take anymore and files for divorce.
The last thing Trent wants is to lose his wife, but he has no idea how to open up to her. He can’t share the horrors of war with her, or the guilt he feels whenever he’s at home with his loving family and his guys are overseas. Which is the main reason he kept volunteering for deployments. And with each one he felt more and more disconnected from his life back home. Until he couldn’t open up at all. Now that he’s back stateside and facing a court-martial, he’s rethinking his past decisions. When his lawyer says he and Laura need to look like a happily married couple in order to help his case, he flat refuses. He doesn’t want to hurt her anymore than he already has. Until she agrees. Then he realizes he might have another shot.
After years of deployments and months alone, the last thing Laura wants is to have Trent move back in and disrupt her new normal. But she can’t deny him the time with his kids, and no way can she let him hang out there all alone when there’s a possibility she might be able to help clear the charges against him. So she agrees to help, as long as he agrees to grant her a divorce as soon as his trial is over. But spending time with him and watching him try to get his feet under him and find his new normal is harder than she expected. She still loves him and wants nothing more than to work things out. If only love was enough.
This was an extremely realistic look at the trials and tribulations our military members and their families face. I admit I was bawling by page 8 and that didn’t really let up until about halfway through the book. My heart went out to Trent. He really wanted his family, but he had no idea how to get them back. He’s felt disconnected for so long, he doesn’t even know where to begin to reengage. I was glad to see Scott didn’t just wave a magic wand and make him better. He had to find a way to deal with his near-death and the loss of so many of his men, and that included medication and counseling.
As Trent opens up and learns to be a husband and father all over again, I felt myself melting right along with Laura. Though he made choices that hurt his family, his love for them was undeniable. He may not have known how to reopen the lines of communication, but he made real effort.
I really empathized with Laura. It isn’t easy being the one left at home, especially when your husband slowly disconnects from you and your family. When the rumors started up about Trent and a female soldier, she didn’t put much stock in them. Until she found out he’d been volunteering for his deployments when he’d told her otherwise, divorce was the farthest thing from her mind. That was her breaking point. I can’t say I blame her, either. She felt betrayed by his lies more than anything else, not understanding how he could run off to war and leave her behind time and time again.
While this is a romance about a husband and wife falling in love with each other again, it’s also a hard-to-put-down look at the troubles our military heroes face when coming home from war. Scott did an excellent job of balancing the romance with the realities. It was hard to read at times, and I straight bawled at one point, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
4.75 out of 5
This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.