Title: For the Love of Luke
Author: David C. Dawson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Intrigue
Page Count: 200 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A handsome naked man. Unconscious on a bathroom floor.
He’s lost his memory, and someone’s out to kill him.
Who is the mysterious Luke?
British TV anchor and journalist Rupert Pendley-Evans doesn’t do long-term relationships. Nor does he do waifs and strays. But Luke is different. Luke is a talented American artist with a dark secret in his life.
When Rupert discovers Luke, he’s intrigued, and before he can stop himself, he’s in love. The aristocratic Rupert is an ambitious TV reporter with a nose for a story and a talent for uncovering the truth. As he falls deeper in love with Luke, he discovers the reason for Luke’s amnesia. And the explanation puts them both in mortal danger.
I like the bones of this plot, as the author describes the London setting well and introduces us to Rupert and his dashing career as a BBC anchor and journalist. He meets his upstairs neighbor Luke when his downstairs flat is flooded with water and he breaks into Luke’s apartment to find him out cold on the bathroom floor with the water running. Chapter 2 features a horribly mesmerizing scene and a strong hint of conspiracy and intrigue. Something is afoot, and the first third of the novel held my interest as I waited for the plot to unfold.
And then … the story becomes a convoluted jumble as Luke warns Rupert off time and again (” … you should keep away, handsome blue-eyed Englishman. I know I’m just trouble” and “Beware, beautiful Englishman. I’m complicated.”), a mysterious man seems to be following Luke, Luke reveals that he has amnesia but doesn’t want to talk about it, there is a strange increase in suicides throughout Britain, and the mysteries keep coming.
I think all these additional tangents would have been okay, if the relationship between the two MCs was more dynamic, but their chemistry feels flat. I didn’t feel any real connection between the two main characters and after only a few days, when people around Rupert are saying is a changed man because of Luke, it doesn’t ring true. In particular, Luke’s personality is very lightly developed.
After I finished “For the Love of Luke,” I kept thinking back on the book, realizing that so many plot details were either left largely unexplained or hastily resolved. It wasn’t so much a matter of red herrings, but that all these random tantalizing elements are dropped into the 200 pages and left unaddressed. While the plot was initially intriguing, ultimately this novel did not work for me personally. 3 stars.