Title: Memento Amare
Author: G.D. Cox
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 379 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: A dizzying tale of two men who, despite all odds, find love for each other over and over again. Bottom line? Interesting idea but the execution wasn’t my favorite.
Reviewed By: Ben
Blurb: “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?
Review: Memento Amare is about two secret agents, Phelan and Clyde, who fall in love on the job when they are mentor/mentee. In two separate missions they are each exposed to some sort of interrogation weapon, which leaves Clyde with specific memory loss. Specifically, he can’t remember Phelan at all: not meeting him, not being mentor/mentee, and especially not being married to him for many years. Bummer.
At first the story seemed to be about Phelan and how he loses everything important to him, but the end gave us a premise which was more about Clyde and how he finds love for Phelan over and over, despite his irreconcilable self.
The story takes place in an alternate universe similar to our own, but with a super-secret terrorist force that actually kills bad guys, and has a whole bunch of made-up geography. It’s a little bit like the A-Team, with some touchy-feely and handsy characters in it. Phelan is made out to be this Captain America-style hero, who loses pretty much all the people he cares about, so when Clyde loses all memory of him and pushes him away, Phelan goes off the deep end. Clyde is the B.A. Baracus of the bunch, in that he has a pretty bad attitude from growing up rough, a bajillion chips on his shoulder, and has toxic masculinity issues up the wazoo. Mr Perfect and Mr Troublemaker. It’s a match made in heaven.
The tropes are fantastic, but I’ll be entirely honest—the way the story was told completely threw me off. We start out in Phelan’s head, in the past tense, when he’s a kid. We watch him grow up. Then we fast forward to Phelan devastated that Clyde just sent him a ‘I don’t remember you, so I’m leaving’ memo, and then we go back to when they first met. We do this back and forth thing for a while—the rest in present tense—so I wasn’t sure when the story actually started. Not only that, but we don’t move beyond that first moment when Phelan gets Clyde’s letter, until the last half of the story.
When I found out Clyde was the victim of some sort of memory wipe from a specific device (because I usually forget the blurb), I was curious if the storytelling style would eventually tie into that moment so when we ended the book, we’d be at the point where they’ve fixed the device and Clyde’s cured…but that’s not what happened. Not only that, but there was a prolonged HEA, to the point where I think we see them die as old men? I can’t remember. It was all really confusing.
Bottom line? Interesting idea but the execution wasn’t my favorite.
You can buy Memento Amare here: