ORDER A COPY: Forget Me Not (Escape Contemporary Romance)
Publisher: Harlequin Escape
Publishing Date: May 1, 2013
eBook: approx. 166 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Claire and Stefan’s marriage was over. They’d been estranged for six months, living in separate apartments, leading separate lives. Until an unknown accident leaves Stefan with no memory of who he is, what he wants, and the wife he left behind.
Claire’s compassion leads her to caring for Stefan. Though he is back to being the thoughtful, affectionate man she fell in love with, she can’t let herself get too involved. The instant Stefan’s memory comes back, he’ll remember who he was and what he really wants– and it’s not Claire.
Or is it?
When Claire received a phone call from the hospital that Stefan was in trouble, she couldn’t ignore the fact that he needed her. Stefan had been found wandering the streets with no memory. It is not his fault that his family is back in the United States and can’t get here quick enough, or at least can’t inconvenience themselves enough to drop their social events for their son. If he has no memory, he doesn’t remember that they are separated. He doesn’t remember that he said he hated Claire, that he no longer wanted to be married to her.
Claire doesn’t understand why she was suddenly not good enough for Stefen nor why he left, and she tries not to love him anymore, but regardless of how much it will hurt her, she’ll help him try to remember his life.
She just has to remember that no matter how sweet and kind he is acting toward her, once he remembers his hate, he will leave her once again. Claire has to remember not to fall in love with Stefan again because this time if he leaves her, she just might never recover from the pain.
This was a very good, well written short story with an interesting theme. For the most part, I enjoyed the storytelling and characters.
It was interesting to watch the new Stefan meet Claire for the first time and he starts to like the woman in front of him. He is unaware of their past and he doesn’t understand why he would have walked out on Claire and he wants to stay with her and try again.
Although Claire fantasized about Stefan returning to her, she is afraid to trust new Stefan no matter what he says because she fears he will regain his memory and remember why he left to begin with and then Stefen will end up leaving Claire and breaking her heart all over again.
What started bothering me is there were things about old Stefan that made me wonder why Claire loved him so much. He was more than a little bit arrogant and selfish and not just before he walked out on her.
Worse is although new Stefan was a much more likeable character, Claire tells him that he was always a man who kept going until he got whatever he wanted. So when Claire tells new Stefan that he needs to go back to his new apartment after two weeks trying to re-acclimate him, new Stefan disagrees with Claire that they need to go back to their separate lives. New Stefan wants to stay with Claire and restart their marriage and he is determined that that is exactly what she will agree to. So even thought new Stefan is nicer and more thoughtful, underneath it all he doesn’t care that Claire is afraid he will remember why he left and leave again. He is determined that they will be together again. So deep down even new Stefan is a selfish bastard.
Another thing is that Stefan has a shaky relationship with his rich parents. They are unhappy he moved to Australia to be with Claire to begin with and they hate, hate, hate Claire with a passion because she grew up poor, the daughter of an alcoholic father. They believe Stefan married way beneath him and were so happy when Stefan walked out on Claire. Yet when Stefan needed someone, the only one who would step forward was Claire, but they feel this is just her excuse to wheedle her way back to Stefan and get her greedy claws into him again.
Although new Stefan stands up for Claire, his parents are steadfast that they will do everything to separate them once and for all. I felt this was left unfinished and I was unsatisfied that there was no final “battle” where Stefan tells his parents to F-off.
It was a good short story, but I started loosing my new found love for Stefan once I got to know him. I saw that there was some improvement but deep down he was still the same selfish guy.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
She nodded, spinning her fork into her fettuccini. “My clients are thrilled. The other family has dropped the charges.” Frowning, she added, “I told you about them, didn’t I?”
“Wayne and his mother. Yes, you did.”
He’d remembered the boy’s name, something he’d never have done in the past. He’d always remember the cases and their legal intricacies, but the clients had meant nothing to him.
“This is excellent, by the way.” Claire pointed to the bowl in front of her, then smiled, thinking of the way the case had been resolved. “Today, I did something I’ve never done before. I took my clients to the café downstairs to celebrate with coffee and cake.”
“I don’t normally get that personal with clients but I was so pleased with the outcome of the case, and I had the time.” Also, being with Stefan had put her in a good mood. “It was nice. A good way to finish the case.”
Stefan nodded as he chewed. “I’m pleased.”
She raised her eyebrows, knowing he had something to tell her. “And you?”
“I discovered a fantastic band today.”
She flipped her thumb towards the stereo. “Nirvana?”
“They’re good, aren’t they? No, I meant a different band.”
She blinked in disbelief. “You discovered The Beatles?”
Giggling, Claire covered her mouth. If she wasn’t careful, she was going to burst into peals of laughter.
“You’ve hear of them?” Stefan asked, his voice all innocence.
“Everyone’s heard of them. They’re probably the biggest band in the history of rock and roll.”
He waited, then raised his eyebrows. “Bigger than Elvis?”
She wondered if Stefan was teasing her, if he’d got his memory back and was making up this story about ‘discovering’ The Beatles.
Resting her fork in the bowl, she asked. “How do you know about Elvis?”
“I found a heap of books on rock and roll in the spare room. Actually, I already figured The Beatles were a huge phenomenon. I could work that out from the number of books we had on them.”
He had been teasing her, but not the way Claire had imagined.