Series: Homefront #3
Source: the author in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 30, 215
Challenges: Finishing the Series
Buying Links: Amazon* | Kobo | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
The third book in the all new Homefront series from USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott
A warrior focused on battle…
Captain Sal Bello wants nothing more than to train his men for their upcoming deployment. But life at home is far more complicated for many of his men. And Sal doesn’t know how to stop the unraveling within his formation.
A warrior tested by combat...
First Sergeant Holly Washington has been baptized by fire and come out steel. She knows how to lead soldiers in combat and bring them safely home.
As these two warriors clash over what it means to be a leader, they'll cross the line between officer and enlisted. And the fallout could be more than either of them are prepared to face.
How could I resist when this book became available for review? It's no secret that I love Scott's books; they're passionate, emotional, and provocative.
"Forged in Fire" is another solid entry in Scott's Homefront series. Unlike the other books in this series, it's not a second chance romance; Holly and Sal have not been involved before. Like her other books, Sal and Holly start out at odds. Also like her other books, there are personnel problems within the unit, the officer in charge, in this case Sal, is blind to certain problems due to his loyalty or affection for one of the men under his command, and the higher ups are uncooperative. There's nothing new here, Scott doesn't break new ground, but sticks to her formula. As always her writing is compelling and entertaining. She intertwines a romance with serious military issues, giving us several stories in one.
Sal just wants to get his men ready for war but his unit is a mess - arrests, drugs, poor performance, etc. Holly is brought in as First Sergeant to oversee Sal's unit and another one. They disagree frequently and vociferously, and Sal goes nuts when Holly acts impulsively, or simply not as carefully as he'd like, and puts herself at risk. He conveniently arrives on multiple occasions in time to step in and save her or help her. After the second or third time, I had the thought that A) this was happening too often, it was too convenient, and B) if he wasn't careful he would undermine her authority.
Holly and Sal, in addition to their work problems, have personal baggage and the complication that fraternization is frowned upon. As their professional respect for each other grows and they break through their respective emotional walls, their attraction also grows. Holly and Sal are both smart-mouthed and impulsive and neither one likes to back down. Sal is serious, rarely cracking a smile or showing much humor while Holly is sarcastic and quick to crack a joke. She delights in poking at Sal, trying to get him to smile or laugh. He does have a sense of humor but is super-serious and focused. I loved watching them come together and slowly letting the other in. Holly, due to a traumatic past relationship, is reluctant to trust but Sal just keeps coming and pushing until she lets him in. When they come together, it's explosive.
"Forged in Fire" delivers a touching romance, an emotional subplot about domestic abuse and drugs, and kept me reading right through until the end. It's not one of my favorites by Scott but it's still a good, solid story that will entertain and educate.