It’s not very often at all that I get teary when reading a book. That’s not to say I don’t experience great sweeping emotions (I do!), however I’m usually not a crier.
Jessica Scott’s Back to You has made me break that streak. Reading the story of Trent and Laura, who we first met in Because of You, and seeing the struggles they go through hit a real emotional hot spot for me. Then, the tears – they started flowing.
What is Back to You about?
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
. . . to win back his only love.
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?
Here’s what I thought of Back to You:
Back to You is not only a romance, it is also a unflinching look at the ways even the strongest couples can be torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. You first come across Trent and Laura in the first book of the series, and throughout subsequent tales, we’ve been given hints about their disintegrating relationship. In their story (which I’ve been looking so forward to), their marriage has finally hit the wall.
Trent is back Stateside facing not only the end of his marriage, but the end of his career after he is accused of misconduct. He knows that he wants to make amends and repair his marriage, but after so long, he just doesn’t know how to be the husband and father he believes Laura and their children need. Laura is still so deeply in love with this man, however years of deployment and separation have taken their toll on him and she just can’t do it to herself any more.
The chemistry that exists between Trent and Laura is never in question, despite their marriage coming to a screeching halt. There are some pretty hot moments and upon seeing how much love still exists between them, I just found myself willing them to find a way to get through the troubles.
However, Trent and Laura’s issues aren’t going to be solved by one night of hot sexytimes, and I’ve got to say thank you to Jessica Scott for resisting the urge to make it so. The scars left on his body and his soul can’t be fixed simply, and you can see that the author knows this.
Trent is aware of what his service has done to him and to his family, and I love that he doesn’t seek to apportion blame to those who don’t deserve it. I thought it was so incredibly brave of him to be like that – so many take the easy path and blame others for their issues. I loved that he was seeking to protect Laura from the ugliness, even though she sees it very differently. Laura is such a strong and brave woman. The path she has started upon isn’t the easy one and it’s sure not the one she wants to be on, but I’ve got to say it takes a fair set to do what she did.
Once again, the great strength of this book, as with all the others in the Coming Home series, are the people – the characters that live within the pages. Their lives aren’t sugarcoated, they aren’t immune to the darker side of life, they are normal people. As much as I love reading to escape from reality, every now and then a healthy dose of real life is needed.
While Back to You is a deeply personal and emotional book, there are still wonderful moments of humour and comic relief. This time, in addition to my favourite, the deeply and wonderfully inappropriate Vic Carponti, the funny stuff is delivered by the family hamsters, Agent Chaos and Fluffy.
Back to You is just an incredible book, and if you haven’t read it yet (or the other books in the Coming Home series), please go out and read them.
A side note on the crying: I’m an ugly crier too, so I can only imagine what on earth people would’ve thought had happened if they had come across me – luckily, I was at home on my own when I read it.
My rating: 5 out of 5
Release Date: 7 January 2014
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Forever Yours, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley in return for an honest review.