Friday, February 6, 2015

ARC Review: Please Remember Me by Jacob Flores

Please Remember MeBlurb:

Successful lawyer Santi Herrera couldn’t be happier with the direction his life is taking. Not only is he on track to becoming a partner in his law firm, but he’s planning his wedding to Hank Burton, a south Texas contractor who has made a name for himself despite his humble beginnings. The introverted, lone wolf Santi and the friendly, outgoing Hank complement each other perfectly. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, they were hooked, and as far as Santi and Hank are concerned, a happily ever after is their destiny.

But fate deals them a devastating new hand.

A construction accident leaves Hank with severe head trauma and brings him precariously close to death. When he finally awakens, Hank doesn’t remember Santi or the love they shared for the past three years. Santi faces the greatest challenge of his life. Can he respark a flame his lover can’t recall? And can he stop the diverging paths that fickle fate charts between them?

Sandra's rating:

With "Please Remember Me", Jacob Flores delivered a solid, yet somewhat angst-filled romance centering around two men, one of whom loses his memories of their relationship after a terrible accident. Upon waking up from a coma, Hank Burton no longer remembers Santi Herrera, the man with whom he's been in love for three years, and whom he was going to marry soon.

I liked how the author told their story in flashbacks that were worked well into the overall plot progression, and how the flashbacks served to show the reader their history against their present, including all the family relationships with Hank's parents as well as Darren and Mitch, who are Hank's "brothers" and Jill, who's Santi's best friend.

With Hank having forgotten him, Santi has to fight with everything he has for Hank. Obviously, it's not easy, and the author did a fabulous job showing Santi's struggles, his pain and hurt, his perseverance in the face of such adversity, his dashed hopes, his doubts. There were moments that were so painful that I cried for him, but there were also moments that were sweet and loving, and through all of them, I could tell how much these two men were in love, before and after.

Both characters are fully fleshed out, though for most of the book, we only see Hank through Santi's eyes, as the story is told from his first person POV. What stood out most for me in Santi's characterization was the insurmountable love he feels for Hank, not only for the man he was, but also for the man he is now. It was made clear time and again that there was nothing Santi wouldn't do for Hank, even if it meant standing back and giving him up, in the even that Hank either didn't fall in love with Santi again, or never recovered his memory.

Hank may look imposing, being tall and muscled, and Santi initially makes the same assumption most people would, before that's corrected. I really liked Hank - he was loyal, steadfast, and once he was in love with Santi, nobody else stood a chance. He's a hunk, sure, but he's also the kind of man who won't stray, who won't be tempted. Even though we only see him through Santi's eyes, his actions spoke far louder than any of his words possibly could, and the emotions between the two men were palpable.

I cried a few times. There is so much love in this book, it was overwhelming at times. I think that a more cynical reader might classify the relationship as idealized - I don't believe it is. I think Jacob took the time to show that their relationship isn't simply based on the physical connection - though that one burns scorching hot, OMG - but also cements it in their willingness to work with each other's idiosyncrasies, take the other person as they are (something that is only too clear after Hank's accident), and find joy in each other every day outside of the bedroom.

The sexy times were scorching, and, while emotionally charged, written by someone with real-life knowledge of the act, which definitely showed. No leaking, no winking rosettes, just (what I assume to be, based on what I've learned since beginning this M/M romance journey) real love-making between two men.

There are some pretty funny moments too. The banter between Hank and Santi made me giggle quite a few times, as did their interactions with their friends, and their adventures at what they expected to be a Leather party - yeah, I LOL'd.

I have to say this, though - the book is dedicated to Mike for the inspiration (whom, if you follow Jacob on FB, you will know as Jacob's partner), and while the physical description of Hank appears to somewhat match that of Mike, seeing that dedication then also triggered a "OMG, and Santi kind of looks sort of like Jacob, and OMG, I mustn't think of them while reading this" kind of reaction.

That aside, this was a beautifully written love story against a backdrop of amnesia and the realistically depicted struggles that came from the accident. The epilogue included a moment that I didn't need for this book and their love-story to work, but it was sweet nonetheless.

Highly recommended.

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

Get the book:
 (available 2/6/15)

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