Publication date: April 7th 2015
My rating: 4 stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
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?
Gale and Melanie married right out of high school, Gale entered the army and then Melanie got pregnant. Marriage, a baby and a war would be a lot to take on at any age, but as teenagers, it would be almost impossible not to struggle. Melanie divorced Gale when their daughter, Jamie, was a baby with bitterness and resentment between. But they never got over each other. Now fifteen years later Gale has finally been posted close to Melanie and Jamie again, and he hopes it’s not too late to become a larger part of their lives. With all the hurt accumulated, Gale doesn’t dare to hope that Melanie might still have feelings for him, but as soon as their around each other, the desire he felt, still feels, can’t be ignored.
Gale feels so much regret and guilt over not being there for his daughter and ex-wife, especially since Jamie starting having behavior problems. When Jamie was admitted to the hospital for cutting herself, Gale couldn’t leave his station to offer support and he lashed out in anger, almost getting court-martailed, but worse he let his daughter and ex-wife down. Gale also feels hurt and betrayal over Melanie divorcing him so early on in their marriage, not even bothering to try, and limiting his time with his daughter even more. Still, Gale has never gotten over Melanie, and now that he’s stationed close, the attraction burns hotter than ever. But he knows with all the hurt between them, he must tread lightly:
He held himself viciously in check. Barely cupped her cheeks as he fought the turbulent need inside, as it surged up, wanting her, only her. To remind her that she was his, she’d always been his. But this was a campaign, not a single battle.
Melanie chose to divorce Gale not wanting a husband who would be absent for months on end, but looking back she wonders if she made an impulsive mistake and would’ve been better sticking it out with Gale. And there’s the fact that she still loves him, still wants him.
She had no claim to this man. No, she’d given that up years ago when she’d walked away, taking a colicky baby and sentencing herself to hard years alone.
But Melanie doesn’t want to hope for something that may never be. Gale will leave again. She knows this. Should she dare to hope they could have a future together even while sharing him with the army?
I adore second chance romances. Two people who were meant to be like Gale and Melanie, who loved brightly, intensely, but then had it all derailed because of stress and immaturity made me sad. Seeing them get another chance at happiness together filled me with joy. They both had angry and frustrated outbursts over the years, but they’ve grown up. They’re both at a time in their lives that they’re able to see their mistakes, and move past them. I appreciated they each owned up to their part in the breakup without rehashing all past wrongs over and over.
This romance was not only moving it was sizzling hot! Jessica Scott is a pro at writing deliciously sensual scenes without making them feel over the top and only fantasy. There was palpable sexual tension between Gale and Melanie stemming from an intense past connection making their reunion so very sexy and sweet.
Jessica Scott’s writing is beautiful, realistic, and captivating. She writes flawed, yet likable characters with relationship struggles that are easy to empathize with and relate to. If you haven’t picked up one of her books, you are definitely missing out.