Author: L.A. Casey
Overview from Goodreads:
In this fiery new romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L.A. Casey, can she unlock her memories—and find true love?
When Noah Ainsley wakes up in a hospital room with no recollection of how she got there, all she knows is that she needs to see Elliot, the love of her life. Then she learns the horrifying truth: her short-term memory has been destroyed by a car accident. She and Elliot broke up five years ago. And now she’s married to Anderson, a man she doesn’t even recognize.
In an instant Noah’s world is turned on its head. All she wants is Elliot by her side, but it is clear Anderson is hurt by her rejection. Can she really have fallen in love with this stranger? Nothing makes sense—and when even Elliot refuses to answer her questions, Noah is left feeling all alone.
But as her memories slowly return, Noah begins to wonder if she’s been wrong to shut Anderson out—and wrong to put all her trust in Elliot. The ex she loves and the husband she doesn’t remember hold the keys to her past. And when the truth is finally revealed, which future will Noah’s heart choose?
The plot of the book greatly intrigued me as amnesia stories are fascinating where the main character must piece together not only how they got in the accident in the first place, but also is the life they had really the life they want.
After Elliot rescues his ex-girlfriend, Noah, from a car wreck, she is in a coma. Noah wakes up from the coma to discover she has forgotten the last five years of her life. The novel works through Noah’s struggle as she works through her emotions of not only trying to remember what happened to put her in a coma in the first place, but also why did she marry another man (Anderson) and not Elliot. Does she go with Anderson who she’s married to for the past three years (together for the last four) or does she go with Elliot who is her past love and currently the last man she remembers loving?
The characters each have a distinct speaking style and Irishman Elliot’s dialogue is written with his Irish accent. I’ve read other reviewers who said they found this problematic, however, I was all for it as it made it easier to picture his voice in your head. I’m aware that it’s used in both Ireland and Scotland, but I couldn’t help hearing Outlander’s Jamie (a Scottish-man) every time Elliot said the word “sassenach.” Therefore, Elliot’s accent would switch between Irish and Scottish as he spoke to Noah.
It took me longer than most novels of this genre to get into the story which surprised me as I loved the concept. It reminded me of Once Upon a Time (ABC TV Show) where Prince Charming wakes up from his coma and remembers Snow White as his love interest compared to the other woman (Princess Abigail). Prince Charming goes through a similar struggle of trying to work out what happened in his past and who he needs to be with. Eventually, the story did suck me in as I wanted to read the truth behind Noah’s accident. (To me, this ended up being a predictable series of events (*disappointing*), but might not be to others.)
One thing I wish this novel did was more flashbacks to build up the characters. As the story is working to help Noah put together pieces of her past, additional moments describing the emotions/thoughts behind these past events would’ve helped to add another dimension to the story and help the reader understand why each character made certain decisions. Without them, some of the choices each character made didn’t make as much sense and you really start to wonder why they did x, y, and z. Noah’s actions throughout the story are hard to get behind as she doesn’t seem to put much thought behind them as she works through getting her memories back.
I enjoyed the concept and some of the characters, but it was the lack of substance behind the characters that made it difficult to enjoy. Some scenes became very maddening to read as it was hard to understand (1) why no one consulted a psychologist or other mental expert to help Noah yet they all claimed to have her best interests at heart and misunderstandings or an overflow of emotions kept occurring when it could have been aided by outside help (counselors exist in this universe as Elliot sees one for a separate struggle) and (2) the reasoning behind Noah and Elliot breaking up in the first place to give her a chance to even have Anderson in her life. Those were the main two aspects that I found frustrating, however, I understand that not everyone will care as much about these pieces as much as I did.
Overall, the novel was enjoyable as you want to keep reading to figure out who Noah will choose and the events that will lead her to that decision. Even though, I had some issues with this novel, I would still read more from this author.
**Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**