"Thank you for giving me the chance to love you. And for giving yourself the chance to love you, too."
Agent Phelan Cole of the Global Anti Terrorist Force, one of the most respected and feared men in the classified military counter-terrorism and intelligence agency, is secretly and happily married to fellow agent Clyde Barnett. With their romantic relationship and marriage concealed from other agents, Cole and Clyde will face the greatest threat yet to their love for each other: A mission in the Eastern European country of Croenia leads to Clyde losing all his memories of Cole ... and reverting back to the gay man with severe internalized homophobia that he was before he met Cole, an openly bisexual man accepting of his own sexual orientation.
While the agency's intimidating Research & Development department races against time to reverse engineer the device that caused Clyde's amnesia, Cole is also racing against time to save his marriage and bring back his beloved best friend, lover and husband. Will Cole succeed in saving his husband? Or will he lose everything, even his own life?
Memento Amare is a standalone, 130,000+ word, gay romance novel by G. D. Cox. It has a guaranteed HEA ending.
So if reading the book was hard...
Writing the review may be damned near impossible. I could probably give you a laundry list of why this book shouldn't have worked because there is a bit of just about everything in this book that has at times driven me crazy while reading other books and yet somehow this time they either didn't bother me or they just made the story work and I mean work.
While the storyline in 'Memento Amare' may not seem that unusual it's a mystery/romance/spy/thriller type book what sets it apart for me is how the author has brought this story to life. First off this story covers a really long time period we first meet Phalen Cole when he's a very young child and by the end of this story both men are well in to their 50s/60s and what a life they've had. But I'm not even going to start with that because this would easily go from a review to a very lengthy essay because at 130,000+ words be prepared for a lengthy read but trust me it's so worth it.
So why shouldn't this story have worked well it's insta-love...sort of but not really. I'd probably call it more of an insta-attraction and when all was said and done it worked for me because while the attraction was instant acting on it wasn't. While insta-love's not really my thing this isn't the first book that I've read where the author made it work...so really, all in all this was a small niggle and like I said it worked because while it may seemed like insta-love these guys didn't automatically fall into bed and live happily ever.
The bigger issue and the one that really should have had me doing a DNF was how the story played out. We get alternating POVs from the MCs which this part I like. I often don't do well spending too much time in one MCs head but the part that surprised me was that when it comes to the time line it's not linear folks we're all over the map and I think this is probably the first story I've ever read where I can honestly say that at the end of it all this was in a lot of ways what probably made this story work so well. As we're taken through Phalen's life and his relationship with Clyde we are given this story both as it happens and through memories and flashbacks by both MCs. Sometimes these memories are revisited more than once but from a different perspective, but I have to admit It took me a bit of contemplation to figure out why I was ok with this and what I realized was that often times when a person reflects on their life or even recounts it to others memories aren't always given in a linear order but often tend to be related in relevance of what has happened in the present to make that memory become relevant or important to events or the person recalling it. So as I was reading this I realized that this ironically was also one of the reasons that I was becoming so engaged in the story because more important than a chronological time line I was getting things that as they became relevant to the story.
Most of this story actually takes place during the time that Cole and Clyde are members of the 'Global Anti Terrorist Force' or 'GATF' both Cole and Clyde's lives are woven in and what starts as a spy type story turns into an incredible love story filled with action and suspense that grabs the reader and wrenches on the heart. This is by no means the first book that's made me cry but it definitely is one of a select few that I can honestly say probably got as much teary time from me as not...seriously more than once I had to set this one aside because...too many tears to keep reading.
In spite of the fact that Cole and Clyde are agents for the GATF the most important mission that these two men have is the one to save their life together as partners and as the story unfolds what we see is that the strongest weapon in either man's arsenal are words...words offering love, promise, hope, trust, faith, salvation and in the end redemption...
'Momento Amare' is the first book that I've read by G. D. Cox. But I have to say given how much I enjoyed the interesting and unique journey that this author took us on I can't imagine that it will be the only one."What does it say about this world that men are rewarded for killing another man, and punished for loving another?"
On a separate but connected note the author has generously added a short story entitled...'Memento Amare: All About the Memories' that at 22 pages is short but sweet and fun to read after the emotional ride you take reading the book...oh, it's also free!
This one's definitely recommended and best read with tissues and teddies on standby.
********************A copy of 'Momento Amare' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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