The Gardener and the Marine by RJ Scott 5 Stars

 I always knew that RJ Scott wrote amazing hockey stories with VL Locey, but I have never read any of her other work.  One of the best things about book blogging is getting offered amazing reads.  I had been watching her newsletter serial of The Gardener and The Marine, but I'm a horrible serial reader - I just want to devour the whole book - so this time I did!

From the Author:

Harrison is alone and hurting with his memories gone, but Toby shows him that love can heal even the most broken of hearts.

After losing his entire team in a roadside bomb, Harrison is left with a traumatic brain injury, a broken body, and scars on his heart that might never heal. Staying at the Ellery Mountain Veterans Center is the first step in healing, but short-term memories evade him, and the only thing he trusts is the love of Barney, his support dog.

Until he meets Toby.

Toby lands the chance of a lifetime, using his horticultural skills to aid in working with veterans during their physical and mental recovery. Meeting Harrison on his first day goes badly, but there is something between them that could be more than just friendship.

With time, it could even become love.

My Review:

I am in love with Harry and Toby and also with Ellery Mountain!  I want to go back and read all eight other books in the series!  

RJ Scott has found the right balance between sympathetic treatment of a debilitating injury and looking past the injury to see the person within.  With an instant connection between Harrison and Toby shining off the page, we watch the characters overcome barriers and obstacles to even stand in the same space together and eventually become closer...

The story is emotional, sweet, warm and hopeful!  It has excellent pacing and just the right amount of heat to warm up the sweet!

If you are ready to take an emotionally healing journey with Toby and Harrison, I recommend that you add The Gardener and The Marine to your TBR!  I read this book as standalone and I don't think you need to read the entire series to get everything this story has to offer - but there are eight previous books in the series, so you are welcome to start here!

***Trigger warning*** Triggers for PTSD and past suicide ideation