Can a battle-scarred warrior . . .
Stay sober. Get deployed. Lead his platoon. Those are the only things that matter to Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli. What he wants is for everyone to stay out of his way; what he gets is Captain Emily Lindberg telling him how to deal with his men. Fort Hood’s newest shrink is smart as a whip and sexy as hell. She’s also full of questions—about the army, its soldiers, and the agony etched on Reza’s body and soul.
. . . open his heart to love?
Emily has devoted her life to giving soldiers the care they need—and deserve. Little does she know that means facing down the fierce wall of muscle that is Sergeant Iaconelli like it’s just another day at the office. When Reza agrees to help her understand what makes a soldier tick, she’s thrilled. Too bad it doesn’t help her unravel the sexy warrior in front of her who stokes her desire and touches a part of her she thought long dead. He’s the man who thinks combat is the only escape from the demons that haunt him. The man who needs her most of all . . .
This is a story not just about love but about perseverance under the most unimaginable conditions and how or IF the soul can survive.
Here we meet Reza Iaconelli. A Staff Sargent in the US Army for the First Calvary who has witnessed things of this war of which no one ever should. His hard fought battles in Iraq and Afgahnistan have forever left marks on his body, mind, and soul but somehow he’s managed to stay the course and serve his country to the best of his ability. His life before the Army was also difficult and even though his current job is something one may consider honorable, his fractured family sees a completely different picture. His life is anything but simple but “Sarn’t Ike” seems to be built for the rough road that life has mapped out for him. That is until he meets Captain Emily Lindberg and has his eyes opened to a side of the Army life he had dismissed since he joined. When these two finally come to terms and understand that together they can make a bigger difference than apart, the battle they end up facing, of which neither are prepared for, will forever leave a scar.
Emily spends her days seeing and hearing the broken sides of soldiers, both combat and newbies, and wishing there was more she could do. The Army has placed her in a psychological assessment role and although she can certainly sympathize, she will never fully understand just what these young men and women have been through. Much to the dismay of her family, Emily joined the Army on a whim after discovering her cookie cutter life was not all it was shaping up to be. She decides that even though her life has always been one of privilege, she is determined to prove to herself that she is capable of giving more than she takes in this world. She finds herself immersed neck deep in PTSD cases at Ft. Hood and takes verbal lashings from the leaders of the troops who feel that their men are either soldiers or their not. In their world it’s as simple as that and anything other than that is considered weakness and wasteful; exactly how they view Emily’s contribution to her country.
The moment Reza and Emily meet, the story immediately takes on a life of it’s own. There are many dark themes within these pages but it is done with truthfulness and class, never once diminishing the reality of what life if like in the military. Even here, within the realm of fiction, there is a realness felt and the curtain on the harsh reality of war is pulled back and exposed for all to see. Military members from all branches of the armed forces face an enemy of which fear, terror, and death are mere playing cards in the game of war and it all comes down to a mentality of “it’s either them or me”. This story throws the spotlight on what a war can do to someone, the aftershocks that will never quite recede, and how our communities receive these now damaged souls. Nightmares, drug and alcohol abuse, and anger are just a few of the things these soldiers deal with constantly and these harsh realities are touched on in this story. It is not for the faint at heart nor is it for someone just wanting a juicy romance. There is plenty of sexual tension between the hero and heroine but it is not the pivotal element that the story is based on. I found this story heartbreaking and uplifting at times and thoroughly enjoyed how Ms. Scott took the darker and dirtier side of war and military life and did not sugar coat it or make light of the internal and raging conflicts our troops face. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to try something new in the Romance genre. It’s ripe with military lingo but anyone who’s ever watched a movie or tv show with war-like themes can follow this story easily. I found Ms. Scott’s style of writing pleasant and will be looking for more to come from her in the future.
**This book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was offered or received and all opinions expressed here are my own.**
About the Author:
Connect with Jessica Scott: