Now in PaperbackBook four in the Coming Home Series is a shattering look at the men and women in the Armed Forces. The emotional rollercoaster of Reza and Emily's relationship isn't just about coming together and righting wrongs and defeating the bad guy isn't as clear cut as a man in black wearing a menacingly cape. No, Reza has been battling his alcoholism and Emily is trying to spread awareness of mental health importance to all the soldiers. Jessica Scott has written a wonderful story about fighting your own demons.
Reza Iaconelli has always used drinking as his escape. Escaping from the memories of his abusive father, and escaping the memory of all his friends and fellow soldiers who have lost their lives. His alcoholism never got in the way of his command he has always had it under control until he caused an incident in Colorado during a training mission and his best friend, Claire, and his Sergeant Major intercede and make him go into rehab. Months later he hasn't had a drink and it is a daily battle not to drink. But something is going on under his command one soldier keeps using mental distress to avoid going on duty and another soldier self medicates and is getting jerked around with the medical board about his discharge. Reza has always tried to help the weak and protect those who need it, but will his self destructing drinking blind him to the needs of his men?
Emily Lindberg has lead a charmed life, she has never wanted for anything following in her father's footsteps and became a psychiatrist. She has never disappointed her family until one visit to the VA hospital and realized the men and women who served our country needed help that they were not getting. It wasn't anything she expected Commanding Officers demanding and bullying her do what they want despite what the soldier in question needs. After meeting the tall, dark, and brooding First Sergeant Reza Iaconelli she realizes he was right when he said she has no idea what happens when out on deploy and she won't understand until she experiences herself. Reza can't help but be attracted to Captain Lindberg. He views her as sweet and innocent and doesn't want to corrupt her to the violence and death of war, but when she asks to join him in a training exercise so she can understand what goes on he is compelled to comply with her request. Their first kiss is full of promise and underlying passion it was only a matter of time before they slept together. Their relationship gets sidetracked when one of Reza's men commits suicide in front of Emily and himself. Reza starts to drink again and even more him CO is implemented in a hazing incident against another one of his soldiers. So upset that he didn't see it happening buries himself deeper into a bottle. Emily loves Reza but his self destructing actions are destroying the relationship even before they have a chance. But only Reza can stop face the truth and work to make it better and Emily is just the motivation he needs to realize this.
I really enjoyed reading this book it gives you an insight to the darker side of the military. Most military romances don't go into much of the emotional hardships the guys go through and this was a good reality check. Also props to Ms. Scott for the use of Steel Reserve as the beer of choice for Reza. (Steel Reserve is a beer with a higher alcohol content than most others).