Review: All for You by Jessica Scott

all for you by jessica scottFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Military romance, contemporary romance
Series: Coming Home #4
Length: 307 pages
Publisher: Forever Romance
Date Released: February 4, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance

Can a battle-scarred warrior . . .

Stay sober. Get deployed. Lead his platoon. Those are the only things that matter to Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli. What he wants is for everyone to stay out of his way; what he gets is Captain Emily Lindberg telling him how to deal with his men. Fort Hood’s newest shrink is smart as a whip and sexy as hell. She’s also full of questions—about the army, its soldiers, and the agony etched on Reza’s body and soul.

. . . open his heart to love?

Emily has devoted her life to giving soldiers the care they need—and deserve. Little does she know that means facing down the fierce wall of muscle that is Sergeant Iaconelli like it’s just another day at the office. When Reza agrees to help her understand what makes a soldier tick, she’s thrilled. Too bad it doesn’t help her unravel the sexy warrior in front of her who stokes her desire and touches a part of her she thought long dead. He’s the man who thinks combat is the only escape from the demons that haunt him. The man who needs her most of all . . .

My Review:

Like the previous entry in this series, Back to You, this is also a story that has been hovering in the background of the Coming Home series, at least since Until There Was You, because that’s where we really get to know Sgt. Reza Iaconelli.

until there was you scottIt’s not a good introduction, because when we first meet him, Reza is a mostly-functioning alcoholic, and a fully-functioning man-whore. In Until There Was You, Reza’s alcoholism causes a major screwup at a training exercise that his friends take the heat for, but Reza is given one last chance to sober up for good, or get discharged.

The military is the only home Reza has ever known. But staying sober is more difficult than facing enemy fire. He fights his cravings every single day, and temptation is always within reach.

He’s positive that Fort Hood’s new shrink doesn’t have a clue what makes any soldier tick. Her theories can’t be any match for the realities of facing combat.

But she fascinates him all the same. Especially because Emily Lindberg is willing to put herself in harm’s way so she can figure out how to help.

From the first moment that they meet, Emily can’t get Reza out of her mind. Not just because he starts out challenging everything she says, but because he’s everything she’s convinced herself she shouldn’t want.

But she can’t resist the adventure that he represents. And the more time they spend together, the more she realizes that he needs her to help him wrestle his demons every bit as much as she needs him to help her find the adventurous side of herself that she lost.

They try to convince themselves that it’s just a fling–but whatever they have is too explosive to be that simple.

Escape Rating A: All for You is not an easy story, but it is a marvelous one.

Reza does not start out exactly as romantic hero material; he fits the bill physically but emotionally he’s incredibly damaged. Not just because of his alcoholism, but as a result of everything else that’s wrong in his life. That he has a well-deserved reputation for chasing (and catching) every willing female doesn’t make him a good candidate for a relationship. Especially since he doesn’t believe in anything more than a fling.

Emily is a freshly-commissioned Captain–the rank seems to be an automatic result of her status as a psychiatrist. She doesn’t have combat experience, and she has an incredibly hard task to get any respect for her ideas of how to stem the tide of suicides running through the Base and the service. It’s her desire to help, her need to get the soldiers on her side, that drives her into the Army and into Reza’s path.

Emily’s desire to save lives is so strong that she has broken with her upper-crust family in order to serve. She never wanted to be a society wife, but she also joins the Army to get away from a bad breakup and a family where she has never quite fit. While she isn’t hurting to the degree that Reza is, she certainly needs some healing.

They need each other, even if initially it doesn’t seem to be for the same things. But what they both need is someone who will believe in them, no matter what.

Figuring that out is a hard and bumpy road, but the story of how they finally manage it is so worth reading.

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