He’s always loved her…
First Sergeant Gale Sorren waited a war and half a lifetime for a chance to get stationed near the ex-wife who left him years ago. When he finally musters the courage to see her, the life he imagined she was living was nothing close to the reality.
She’s never stopped loving him…
Melanie never stopped worrying about Gale each time he headed off to war. But he’s never been there when she needed him and she’s had fifteen years to steel her heart against him.
But when Gale moves to Fort Hood, he finally has a chance to make things right with Melanie and the daughter she raised without him.
Can Mel trust her heart to a man who has always let her down?
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This book was a gift from the Author/Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
First Sergeant Gale Sorren has finally gotten his wish to be assigned to Fort Hood, but somehow has not come up with the courage to approach his ex-wife and daughter. As a result he ends up running into Melanie at a “mandatory fun” event, two months after moving here. Mel was not happy that he had been there so long and had not even picked up the phone to call his daughter.
After that awkward meeting he finally convinces himself to go see his daughter Jamie and to try to make things right with Melanie.
Jamie and her mother fight all the time and since she had been hospitalized for cutting, the trust between them is hard in coming. Gale offers to help Mel with Jamie, try to be a father now he is close by. As such, one of the first things he had to do was escort a boy from his daughter’s room after they had cut school.
Alex is the son of First Sergeant Tellhouse, Gale had served with him in Iraq. Now he had to bring the Alex to his father for his cutting school and being removed from Jamie’s bedroom. The boy looked scared and more than just a little.
When Alex shows up with a black eye and a really poor excuse Gale suspects Tellhouse is hitting his son Alex. However with no proof and Jamie worried, he is keeping an eye out. He needed proof to take it to command.
One of my favorite scenes is actually between father and daughter, occurring because she hasn’t spoken to her mother since the Alex incident and her mother took her door.
Gale stood on the opposite side of a deep magenta sheet
that Jamie had stapled across her doorway. Gale smiled at the
petulant defiance in her voice.
She sounded like her mother. He wondered how she’d
react if he told her that.
He decided against it. He was there to try and make the
peace, not stir up the revolution again.
He was used to dealing with petulant kids. Hell, half his
company was only a couple years older than Jamie. He could
handle a cranky private.
Daughters were a whole ’nother ballgame.
He supposed it was different when said disgruntled
teenager was one’s own spawn, as opposed to someone else’s
kid. He was starting to think that dealing with a platoon full of
nineteen-year-old boys was infinitely easier than dealing with his
Still, he’d never backed down from a challenge, and this
one was so much more important than anything he’d done
He knocked on the doorframe again.
“Are you deaf? Leave me alone.”
“Jamie, it’s me.” He wanted to say it’s your father but the
word was awkward. Like a shirt that didn’t fit and cut too tight
beneath his arms.
The sheet yanked open. For a moment, she looked
genuinely curious about his presence, then the angry mask
dropped back into place. “What do you want?”
Gale stuffed his hands in his pockets and tried to figure out
how to get into that room without violating her space. She
needed to invite him in, otherwise it would be defeating the
He couldn’t just give her orders like one of his soldiers.
That made the entire situation trickier than anything he’d
dealt with and he’d dealt with a lot.
“Can I come in?”
She scowled. “Aren’t you just going to barge in like mom
“Nope. Not until you invite me.”
“What are you, a vampire?”
Gale covered his mouth as he laughed out loud. Holy shit,
his daughter was a budding smart ass. He wondered if she knew
how funny she sounded. She stepped back to throw the sheet in
his face. He caught it. “I wasn’t laughing at you, Jamie. Swear. I
thought your vampire comment was funny, that’s all.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, only slightly mollified.
“Fine. Come in.”
Things heat up between Melanie and Gale and in a different way between Gale and Tellhouse as so many things come to the fore.
Turning pages was not an option, it was a must. I couldn’t put this down. Jessica handles the sensitive subjects of cutting and child abuse in a way I think few others can. I laughed, cried, held my breath and I think I also had to take a cold shower while reading this book.
5 Contented Purrs for this wonderfully written book.
We also see some friends from the Coming Home series in this book. Sergeant Reza Iaconelli’s story is in Until There Was You Book 4 and Captain Ben Teague’s is in It’s Always Been You Book 5. Both are great reads as are all of The Coming Home Series!
Jessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.
She has written for the New York Times At War blog, War on the Rocks, PBS Point of View Women and War and has been featured in Esquire Magazine as an American of the Year in 2012.
She has published 11 novels and novellas about soldiers returning from war and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice. She has compiled two nonfiction projects about her time in Iraq and the return home.
She has recently completed a master’s Degree in sociology from Duke, a Masters Degree in Telecom Management from University of Maryland University College, BA in Cultural Studies from State University of New York. She is currently pursuing a phd in sociology.
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