Alyssa knew going home would be hard since her memories there are not some of the fondest, but in her reality there wasn't much choice. She's in desperate need of a job and if that puts her in the path of the guy she always had deep feelings for well that just couldn't be helped. Outside of her brother, Marco is supposed to be the guy she could count on, but since coming home himself, Marco is just the shell of the guy she once knew. She knows it will take a lot of patience and understanding, but Alyssa is willing to do what it takes to be a part of his life again and be there for him just like he was for her when she was younger. Her unrequited feelings will just have to stay where they have been since she met him – hidden. However, it's a lot harder to stay friends when he keeps throwing her mixed signals. Then there's the little problem of her being homeless.
Marco is living in his own personal hell. The effects of the physical and mental trauma while defending our country have settled in and Marco refuses help in dealing with the fallout. He's drowning in meaningless work and night after night of sleeplessness. His life is monotonous until the day Alyssa comes back to town and turns his world upside down. Now he's more concentrated on watching out for her than watching out for his heart.
This story is a full-bodied brew of emotional intensity. Alyssa is a character you can't help but fall for and Marco is the guy you can't help but root for. Alyssa is perseverance and positivity personified. No matter how hard times get, she always keeps a smile on her face in front of others and is willing to do what it takes to help anyone she can even at detriment to herself. Her endearing qualities are exactly who Marco used to be and what he needs in his life now. Their chemistry evolves throughout the story from friendship to something more than, but is deterred when thoughts of how Alyssa's brother will react enter the picture. When they are off it is frustrating, but when Alyssa and Marco are on it's magic.
Outside of the awesome storyline, fluid pacing, and characters with wonderful depth, the only thing that felt a bit lacking was the ending. It does seem to end abruptly, but easily overshadowed by the sweetness of the ending and the other engaging qualities of the story. As my first experience of this author's work, I definitely want more of the stories she's selling.
You always want what you can't have...
She's always been off-limits...
Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend's little sister, but her return home changes that...and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco's not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he's not about to let her see the mess he's become.
...but now she's all grown up.
When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can't stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa's not looking for protection--not anymore. Now that she's back in his life, she's determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time...
[From the best-selling and award-winning author of Hearts in Darkness!]