I discovered Jessica Scott when I read her I’ll Be Home for Christmas during the past holiday season, and I fell in love with her military heroes. Since I can’t get to the earlier books in the series just yet, I’m determined at least to keep up with the series as it moves on from here. Meeting Trent and Laura in that previous book, I’ve been curious what’s behind Trent’s distance from his wife and what’s going to happen to them. While there aren’t too many surprises in store, what we get is much better – a look inside at how our service members give everything they’ve got and how that affects everything in their lives from that point on. Poignant scenes between husband and wife, father and children, and soldiers and their superiors.
Trent has had guilt running through him no matter what he does and which way he turns. He’s been deploying due to his need to be with his men since his team lost members. However, he’s been less than honest with his wife about those deployments. Now he’s facing court martial and divorce. One he knows how it came about, the other he’s still trying to figure out what went wrong. Even now that he’s home, he hasn’t been able to walk through his front door. He’s forgotten how to be a husband and he never really learned how to be a father, being gone most of his kids’ lives. Biting the bullet, Trent enters counseling and finally goes home to face the biggest challenge of his life.
Once she learns the truth behind Trent’s deployments, Laura has had enough. She and the children aren’t enough for the man to come home to, she’s raising the kids on her own, so she takes steps to continue to do so – literally. But Trent refuses to sign the divorce papers, and when she’s approached to help him fight the court martial, she takes the bargaining chip for what it is to cut the last ties of a life neither of them seems to want anymore.
The emotion that runs through this series is so heartfelt. You can’t help but feel for the characters as the story goes along, wanting so much for their pain and loneliness to stop and their long-lost happiness to return. Because life isn’t easy, especially the life of a military family, Trent has to work extra hard on two fronts to make even the smallest headway in the amends he owes his family. There are wonderful scenes each time he opens up to Laura, letting her in to his turmoil, something he’s not been able to do in the past. I love the scenes between Trent and his children, even the ones that don’t go well. He has a lot of learning to do and those kids put him through his paces.
As Trent and Laura deal with the fallout of their life, everyday life also intervenes, pushing and pulling them both every which way, making them go from a delicate new-found hope that things just might work between them to the doubt that’s lived with them for so long. It’s a roller coaster for them and the reader. There’s added betrayal of the military that Trent has given so much to, another emotional hurdle he must get through and Laura must understand for them to come out on the other side.
Though I discovered this series late, I’m enjoying the characters and stories a lot. It’s that emotional upheaval that Ms. Scott does so well and that I crave when I read. I’m now definitely hooked and will keep reading each new book. Since I’m late in reading and reviewing this one, I have the last two waiting in the wings – a situation a reader usually doesn’t have, because we’re usually clamoring for more before the author can get more written. Therefore, I’m going to savor every last word.
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 reaches 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?
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