January 7, 2014

Back to You by Jessica Scott. Review

Back to You  (Coming Home #3)
Jessica Scott
Date: January 2014
Genre: Military Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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.

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 thoughts
In this book we are given the story of Trent and Laura.  The reader has heard snippets about them from other characters points of view.  Now we receive a deeper look into what is going on in their lives and marriage.  As well we catch up with earlier characters and have a peek into what is happening for them.

Trent has gone through a number of deployments, many of them chosen, to avoid the life at home. The war zones he has been in have a huge impact on him.  He has almost died, seen others die, missed important events in his family's life.  He has become a master at stuffing down all his emotions.  He is under threat of a court martial - and he is sharing nothing with his wife Laura.  He has given his all to defending his country and the institutional army has let him down.

Laura has worked on base as a liaison between the army and relatives of army personnel.  She has raised two children, managed on a pittance of a salary, loved her husband but found she has been left more and more in the dark.  She has been hurt by her husband as with his remoteness he has left her isolated and worried.  She believes it is time to end their marriage.  Both Trent and Laura are drained.

I have never been to war or had relatives go to war.  My grandfather fought in World War 1, and he was a taciturn man who was most definitely impacted by Gallipoli and other places.  This book gives insight into what men and women fighting in our wars today must experience.  Physical, mental and emotional  challenges that those who haven't been involved in war will never know. This book in some small way helps to bridge that gap as it shows the strain on the soldier and  their family.

I liked the way the author showed the good, the bad and the ugly side of the army as an institution. I liked the way modern medicine and the role of mental health workers was portrayed.  Most of all I liked the way Jessica Scott showed me the deep well of courage that returning soldiers must dig into to gather up the pieces of their lives. I appreciated the way she portrayed their wives and families.
4 stars
1.5. Anything for You 
2     Until There Was You
2.5  I'll Be Home for Christmas
3     Back to You 

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