Author: Jacob Z. Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: DSP and Amazon
Received from Publisher
Blurb: 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?
Santi has faith in the love he and Hank shared and in the words his father once spoke to him: “It’s never too late to fall in love. All over again.”
Review: Santi Herrera was a workaholic when he first met the man who would become his husband. Determined to make partner at the law firm he worked for, Santi hadn’t even been on a vacation since graduating college, much to the consternation of his best friend, Jill. No time for vacationing, certainly no time for dating, and forget a relationship. At Jill’s insistence, Santi embarks on a trip with Jill from his home state of Texas to San Diego in California. While waiting to get into a club one night, Santi spots a man who seems to push every one of his buttons and, completely out of character for him, Santi approaches the man. They quickly form a strong attachment and end up spending the remaining time of Santi’s vacation together. When it comes time for Santi to head back home vacation to end, both he and Hank find parting impossible and they decide to give their budding relationship a go, even with the distance.
With Hank having a thriving construction business in San Diego and Santi well on his way to a partnership he has worked hard for in Houston, either one of them moving would mean a huge sacrifice in their respective careers. One which Hank is willing to make to be with his love, so he moves to Houston, leaving his two best friends in the house the three had shared, to forge a happy life together with Santi. Until an onsite accident lands Hank in a coma and then robs him of all his memories of the past three years when he comes back out of it. As far as Hank recalls, he lives in San Diego with Mitch and Darren and has boyfriend named Karl whom he loves even if the relationship is a rocky one.
The start of Please Remember Me is set in the present day just after Hank’s accident. Santi and Hank’s history is revealed in flashback with some details further given by Santi’s reminiscing and the recollections he tells to Hank. I had a couple of issues with plot holes and some things did have me rolling my eyes a little (such as Santi instinctively knowing what Hank craved even though they barely knew each other). I also found the almost chatty style the story is told in emotionally distanced me from the characters, especially in the first part of the book outlining how they met and the development of their relationship prior to Hank’s accident. In fact, the most emotional scene for me at that point was where Hank’s dog, Picasso, succumbs to the pains of old age. Not to say that I wasn’t enjoying the story, but I also wasn’t feeling terribly emotionally invested in the characters, either.
However, from when Hank started to come out of his coma I was a pulled into the story and wanted to know what happened to Hank and Santi from there; if they could rebuild a relationship that one partner didn’t even recall or if Hank would ever regain those memories. The scene where Hank leaves the hospital and goes back to a home he doesn’t have any recollection of with a man that, to all intents and purposes, he barely knows, is particularly poignant. Beautifully written, I think it’s the best scene of the book. I could really feel the emotion in it. The frustration from both their sides at a difficult situation, the hurt for Santi, the exasperation for Hank and their wary navigation around the different places they are in caused by Hank’s memory loss. Little actions described, such as Santi almost resting his head on Hank’s shoulder out of habit and having to stop himself, make the scenario of dealing with Hank’s amnesia believable and made my heart ache for Santi. It also made it understandable why Santi was so intent of trying to make Hank remember their shared past instead of concentrating more on getting to know each other again as things stood in the present. When Santi takes Hank to the San Diego zoo hoping to jog his lost memories is another beautifully written scene. It’s a wonderful turning point for them in rebuilding their relationship, and it has a quiet power behind it. I really loved the epilogue told from Hank’s POV. It was incredibly sweet and perfect for Santi and Hank’s story, which I would usually find overly sentimental, but it was well done absolutely worked for me in this book.