As always I get excited about Jessica Scott books, and I always try and find the right time to read them bracing myself for the emotional turmoil she puts me through. I love a good romance about second chances and this is a good one. Another brilliant and hopeful novel from Jessica Scott.
Two people meant to be with each other they just got the timing wrong. High school sweethearts Gale and Melanie get married when Mel ends up pregnant and Gale makes the decision the best way to support his new family is to join the Army. Mel struggles with Gale gone all the time and dealing with a baby all on her own so she leaves him. Now years later Gale asked for an assignment at Ft. Hood to be closer to his teenage daughter, Jaime, and Mel; but everything is confusing for them. Gale has never stopped loving Mel and being close to her again stirs up all the old feelings. Mel is struggling with trying to be a good mom but Jaime is a troubled teen, already with one accidental suicide, yes accidental she was a cutter and she accidentally cut too deep. Now Mel is scared of it happening again and is a little overprotective of her which naturally leads to conflict between them.
The start of the book opens up with Gale finding out Jaime is in the hospital and because Mel didn't explicitly write that she needed him there he was not allowed to leave Gale then blacks out when he wakes up he finds that he had beaten his CO so badly he put the man in the hospital. Trying to make amends for time lost Gale but at the same time he was scared of inserting himself in their lives and one more deployment he is hesitant; but Jaime needs him. When he finds the son of an old friend in his daughters room he personally escorts the boy to his father. Trouble begins the next time he sees the boy with a black eye and the lame excuse of walking into a car door isn't cutting it, Gale reports the man that pulled his butt off of his CO to keep from killing him.
War changes people and in another great book by a woman who know her stuff it shows how sometimes that change is for the better or for the worst.
NOW OUT IN PAPERBACK!
It's Always Been You is yet another fantastically heart wrenching novel by the fabulous Jessica Scott. A wonderful piece about the side of the military you forget about, what the ravages of war can do to a person and how it affects their family. I love all the characters, as always. Captain Ben Teague is a strong and loyal soldier with a wicked sense of humor. Ben is so loyal he dreads his new promotion to command his own team for fear he would become a cold hearted and distant like so many CO's before him; including his own mother a colonel who became distant after the death of Ben's father. Major Olivia Hale a lawyer with a painful past who doesn't let anything get by. She is best friends with Emily the psychologist from the last book, All For You, she is also strikingly beautiful and feels apart from the crowd she doesn't want to wear her combat badge because she didn't actually see combat and she feels not worthy of wearing the Stetson like the rest of the men.
When Ben's old mentor and the person who saved his live, Escoberra is charged with child abuse Ben is adamant that his old friend couldn't possible have abused his adopted daughter. Olivia wants to believe Ben when he tells her their has to be another explanation, but past experiences tell her to protect the daughter no matter what. Ben is in charge of cleaning up his company from the users and that puts him right up front dealing with Olivia for most of it. One in particular he bends the rules for and sits on his packet so when he is discharged he can be eligible for the G.I. Bill. He bends the rules and works with his men so he can keep their loyalty and not lose his loyalty to the men. His men appreciate everything he does. Ben is a great leader even if he doesn't see it.
Escoberra and his family aren't talking to anybody, and Child Services have no choice but to drop the charges. Ben is happy but Olivia feels like she has failed. It isn't until after when she gets more information that she takes the initiative and sends Escoberra's medical records to specialist. Ben almost quits when it get tough and the budding romance between Ben and Olivia gets put to the test with lack of communication and lack of trust but Ben knows Olivia is the best thing to happen to him in forever. This is a great story with plenty of sexual tension and smart ass jokes to keep me satisfied, I really enjoyed this book and I really love this series