Title: Remember When
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 210 Pages
At a Glance: I had my issues with the story but, overall, I enjoyed reading it. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because I like reading about the lifetime of a character, which I did here, and I don’t find that often enough in books.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: Life is simple and hopeful in youth. Luke and Nelson are best friends exploring their budding sexuality. They have big plans for the future, and nothing can stand in their way or tear them apart—except a family move that puts a continent between them.
Ten years later Luke and Nelson meet again, but nothing is simple anymore. As strong as the attraction remains, obligations and expectations come between them as Luke is forced to honor family responsibilities over the desires of his heart.
Impossibly fate sees fit to offer them a last opportunity to see what might have been. Will the third time be the charm, or is trust so badly broken it is impossible to repair? Can they recapture the innocent love they once knew and make up for all the wasted years? In a love story that spans half a lifetime, two friends destined for each other will have to fight hard for their happily ever after.
Review: Remember When is a third chance story. We don’t get a lot of those, so it was a nice change. Luke and Nelson were childhood best friends. They were also each other’s first crush, first kiss, first love, first heartbreak… They met again a decade later, but life had plans for them, and it didn’t include them being together. So, they got out of each other’s lives for the second time. They say the third time is a charm, and for them it turned out to be true. They met after a lifetime apart, but this time nothing got in their way.
This is a charming, sweet story but so full of broken promises and missed chances that it makes you hurt along with Luke and Nelson for what could have been. Each time they meet, they dive headfirst into trying to build a life together. Every meeting happened by chance, and in the most unexpected places. It seemed unrealistic, but I don’t really care about it. In their twenties, it didn’t turn out as they hoped it would. Luke had to make a very difficult decision about his life, but then he behaved very poorly towards Nelson. It was so bad that I was surprised when Nelson was so quick to fall into bed with him after they met for the third time. It’s true that later they sat down and talked and tried to rebuild their relationship, and Nelson’s trust in Luke, but I would have liked more of a struggle. It seemed way too easy the way they rekindled their relationship.
Also, if you think about it, they hadn’t spent all that much time together if you didn’t take into account their friendship as kids, from the age of five till they were thirteen, so it was a bit disbelieving that they would love each other after spending basically their whole lives without any contact except a few short weeks in their early twenties. They didn’t really know each other, their character, the person they grew up to be. They knew everything about the other as a kid, but from ten till forty, it’s a bit of a long road. A lot can change in a person. Anyway, I chose not to focus on that part so I could enjoy the story, and I’m happy to say that it worked.
There were a lot of secondary characters, which is something I like, but here they weren’t very involved in the story. We didn’t get to know any of them very well. They were there when they served a purpose, and then they just disappeared without a word. A lot of times I thought that I was reading a potential plot development, but in the end it didn’t go anywhere. There were a lot of unfinished threads, mainly in regard to the secondary characters. The focus was on Luke and Nelson (as it should be), but I would have liked to know a bit more about Grady or Nellie or even Doug.
There were a lot of sex scenes, and I wouldn’t have said no to half of them being cut out of the story and replaced by relationship development scenes between the MCs, or scenes with both of them interacting with their friends and family. We don’t really see them together as a couple and around their social circle at the same time, which is something I missed from the story.
Remember When is a fairly light read and not very high on angst, as you can see Luke and Nelson are going to end up together one way or the other. I had my issues with the story but, overall, I enjoyed reading it. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because I like reading about the lifetime of a character, which I did here, and I don’t find that often enough in books.
You can buy Remember When here: