Title: All for You by Jessica Scott
A Coming Home Novel
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 336 pages/Word Count: 87,000
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 . . .
Reza felt Emily hesitate before she climbed the hill toward the MOUT site behind him. His gaze fell to his gloves on her hands, and an unexplained warmth spread somewhere in the vicinity of his belly as he watched her.
He wasn’t entirely sure what the hell had happened to him. Not so long ago, he’d gone up one side of her and down the other for keeping information about a soldier from him. Not so long ago, he’d told her she did not belong in the army.
Now she was out at the range with him, wanting to know about the world he lived in.
A world he didn’t want her to know. The scars on his body were testament to the ragged ugliness of war.
She’d watched movies about combat. He’d led men in combat. Bled with them.
What on earth had possessed him to bring her out here?
He knew what it was and it pissed him off. If she was going to deploy, maybe something she learned today would save her life later. He hated to think of her in a bunker with rockets landing all around. His stomach twisted hard. He wouldn’t be there to keep her safe.
People like her simply didn’t recognize the world for what it was: a cruel, hard place that would crush the best of them. It was a world that required exactly what they were about to do: train.
If he couldn’t protect her, he could train her. At least a little. A little was better than nothing.
If she backed away from the shoot house, he wouldn’t let her go. She needed to do this, to see this in training where it was safe. No matter how much he wanted to protect her from the smoke and chaos of war—even a mock war like they were getting ready to wage today—the simple fact was she was going to deploy. Better to learn what she could here today rather than head to the desert with zero training. The threat of violence was a very real thing in his daily life and if she was going to deploy, she needed to understand that.
He watched her as she approached, careful to keep his expression neutral.
Part of him wanted her to run, to turn away from the violence of his life.
But another part of him, the dark part, wanted her to join him in the muck and the mire. That darkness held a powerful lure, a quiet shame mixed with the pride: he was good at what he did.
She flexed her hands in those gloves and his guts clenched. Down, boy.
“You ready for this?” he asked as she stopped next to him.
She peered up at him intently through her army-issued protective glasses. They were at least three sizes too big. “Is one ever really ready for something like this?” She didn’t look nervous but he heard the stress in her voice.
“Would it help you to know that I’m looking forward to this? This is the fun stuff I signed up for.” Not the killing parts. No, not those. But the force-on-force mock fights? That was the fun stuff.
“Fun? Are you serious?”
USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon. She’s currently pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012.
She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.
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