Published: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Date: 4th March
Genre: Military romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
She plays by the rules . . .
Captain Ben Teague is many things: a tough soldier, a loyal friend, and a bona fide smart-ass. He doesn't have much tolerance for BS, which is why he's mad as hell when a trusted colleague and mentor is brought up on charges that can't possibly be true. He's even more frustrated with by-the-book lawyer Major Olivia Hale. But there's something simmering beneath her icy reserve--and Ben just can't resist turning up the heat . . .
and he's determined to break them.
The only thing riskier than mixing business with pleasure is enjoying it . . and Olivia can't resist locking horns--and lips--with Ben. He's got more compassion in his little finger than any commander she's ever met, a fact that makes him a better leader than he realizes. But when the case that brought them together awakens demons from Olivia's past, she will have to choose between following orders--or her heart . . .
It's Always Been You is #5 in the Coming Home series by Jessica Scott. I have read these in rather quick succession, and as I picked up this one, I wondered had I read myself out of these books. However I was rapidly engaged by the story involving Ben Teague and Olivia Hale.
Ben is asked to take command of a company, up until now he has avoided taking responsibility. He doesn't care for 'playing the game' to climb the ladder. Nor does he care for much of the leadership that he has witnessed, where power and the rule of the army is paramount. Yet can Ben model a different type of leadership - one where care for his men takes priority, where doing the right thing for them rather than the law of the army thing can work? If he takes on the role of leadership can he make a difference for the men who have fought and returned wounded in mind and heart and are about to be discarded from the army? Through some serious challenges, and shouldering the responsibility and weight of leadership Ben is able to answer his questions. He has an interesting sergeant, Soren, who turns out to be someone that Ben is able to go toe to toe with and shoulder to shoulder with.
Olivia is the lawyer for the company Ben is in, and so needs to work closely with him. She has her own secrets, scars and fears from her past that haunt her to this present day and the work she is involved in. When one of Ben's company are in trouble is it her intuition that is right or is it Ben's loyalty and trust that is right? It was a mystery that I was not sure how it was going to turn out. Who would be right? Was one of them making a mistake that would impact on a whole family? This part of the story kept me reading, the final answer made sense, yet was heartbreaking.
There is plenty of sizzle and passion between Olivia and Ben - great love story, and I enjoyed that very much. Another excellent story in the Coming Home series.