Workaholic Santi Herrera is dragged to San Diego on a much needed vacation by his best friend Jill. On their third day, the duo decide to hit the clubs and that is where Santi’s life takes a turn for the better. When Santi sees a tall, gorgeous blond man, he can’t help but walk over and introduce himself, something he would normally not do, but something about the man calls to Santi.
Hank Burton is a bit shocked but pleased when approached by the attractive man outside the club. Thinking the assertive man is a player, Hank is cautious, but quickly realizes that the man he just met was for real. Three days go by and before Santi returns to Texas, the guys decide they don’t want it to end, and so their long distance relationship begins.
It only takes two years of travel before circumstances in Hank’s life change and he decides to make the big move to live with Santi in Texas, leaving behind his best friends, and closest thing he has to family, Mitch and Darren, as well as his successful business. It only takes a year before Santi proposes and Hank’s answer is a resounding “YES!” It only takes a second for a fall off of some scaffolding to rob Hank of his recent memories, including those of Santi and the life they had planned together.
This could easily have read like a pity party, but surprisingly it did not. Instead, Please Remember Me told the story of a love so deep, so true, that Santi had no choice but to do everything in his power to get his man back. What took Santi time was to realize, on his own and with the help of friends and Hank’s family, is that he is in fact powerless and thus we feel for the poor, broken man.
Flores did not skimp on the character building in Please Remember Me, nor did he ignore the world building. It is rare that I comment on world building in a contemporary novel, but in this case, I could picture Hank, Mitch, and Darren’s San Diego home, Santi’s condo, and Hank’s work sites, and was definitely drawn in to their world.
As for the characters, all of them, both main and secondary, were skillfully developed and they exhibited strengths and weaknesses that made them feel realistic. Even the secondary characters like Hank’s dad and Santi’s best friend Jill, who at first appear two-dimensional, end up showing that things aren’t always as they appear. I loved Hank and Santi, two-star crossed lovers who beat the odds, only to have the rules of the game changed on them.
The flow of the story begins with an epilogue that sets the stage for a retrospective of Santi and Hank’s courtship and lives. The plot does jump back and forth between past and present and Flores orchestrated these time shifts smoothly and with skill.
I mentioned earlier that we felt for Santi and I stand by that statement, but (you knew that was coming), I had some difficulty with his extended breakdowns and how the consequences seemed mild, especially with regards to Wyatt, Santi’s business partner, who endured lengthy stretches manning the office alone so that Santi could wallow in his grief. Perhaps I am just a mean bastard…
This was my first Flores novel, and to be honest, I was impressed. I loved the cover, the man helplessly watching the other walk into the distance. I loved the characters, the premise, and the stark realism of the world that I visited. That being said, I have no problem recommending Please Remember Me.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.