Title: Remember Me?
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: Hartwood Publishing
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella (95 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
One Sentence Review: A nice reunion tale of second chances.
For Chad and Jeff, summer camp had been a time of discovering each other and making promises. One of those promises was to stay in touch and keep seeing each other. But Chad never called, and Jeff remained behind to finish high school. Chad broke Jeff’s heart, but both men suffered. Chad couldn’t forgive himself for being a coward and not standing up to his parents, and Jeff wouldn’t let anyone into his heart again to hurt him.
A year after Katrina and ten years after that fateful summer, Chad and Jeff meet again, only this time it’s in the ER of a local hospital. Chad is the attending doctor and Jeff is an assault victim, on the brink of death. Chad is once again swept into the past by the only man he’s ever loved, and like before, Chad makes promises to Jeff—promises he will keep, or else.
When Jeff awakes from a coma, he finds the man who broke his heart sitting in his hospital room. Angry, confused and scared, Jeff has no defense against this man. And he also has no one else to care for him, only Chad.
After all these years, Jeff’s dream has finally come true, Chad is back in his life. But for how long? And is Jeff willing to open his heart to the man who broke it?
I’m a sucker for reunion and second chances stories and I am a fan of this author so I figured that this book would be a winner for me. Remember Me? reminded me a little of a m/m version of While You Were Sleeping — without the whole fall-for-the-brother thing 🙂 — and I found it to be a solid, fairly quick read that I enjoyed.
Set one year post-Katrina, the story opens with Chad, an ER doctor, being paged to attend to the victim of a brutal beating. Chad recognizes the patient through all of the bruising as Jeff, someone he knew from summer camp when they were teens ten years before — someone who he had loved, made a promise to, then didn’t follow through because of fear. Jeff, who was a year or two younger than Chad’s seventeen, had asked Chad to keep in touch after camp ended, but the older teen was convinced by others that continuing to see Jeff wasn’t the best idea. Now all of the feelings of remorse and guilt come flooding back upon seeing Jeff barely alive and in a coma, and he wants to right the wrongs he did, first by taking responsibility for arranging for Jeff’s absence in his own life. He is worried, though, how Jeff will react once he wakes. Once Jeff does regain consciousness, he has a myriad of emotions, from confusion to anger to despair to gratitude to hope. Is there any way for these two to let the past hurt go and make a fresh start?
There were many things to like about this book that was, at its core, quite emotional. I liked watching Chad come to terms with what he did as a younger person to Jeff, his resolution to fix things while Jeff was unconscious, his determination to let Jeff make his own decisions when he does wake and give him space. I liked that Jeff didn’t immediately forgive Chad, that he had to work through his emotions to the realization that although he was pissed for the past hurt, it was obvious that Chad was trying to right the wrongs and Jeff didn’t belabor the negatives. Neither man has committed to other relationships because of unresolved and even unrecognized attachment to the other, and I liked how they realized that in the end. I liked how Chad was to Jeff’s cat, Murray. 🙂
I did have a few niggles, however:
First, the story seemed to race toward the end once Jeff was released. Second, it ended just as I wanted to watch these two try and make their way together. They have challenges that I’d like to see them work on a bit. Third, Chad’s use of the term “baby” wore on me. Almost every sentence out of his mouth contained it in the last chapter plus.
A quite pleasant read with themes of reunion and second chances. Recommended.