Jay lives in Seattle with a wife he doesn’t remember marrying and a past he doesn’t remember living. Jay also suspects he is gay, which makes him wonder why he possibly married Sarita a few months ago. And when Jay sees a man across the room at a bookstore, he feels an immediate connection to the apparent stranger.
Deron knows he shouldn’t be in Seattle; it could compromise a critical investigation, as well as Jay’s safety. But he couldn’t resist trying to get a glimpse of the man he loves. Deron never expects that Jay will recognize him at the bookstore, and once Jay reaches out to him, it is impossible for Deron to keep his distance.
But while something inside of Jay does recognize Deron and their connection, pretty much everything else in his head is a total blank. His amnesia is connected to a major criminal investigation and what’s in Jay’s head could break it wide open. Now it is a rush to try to recover Jay’s memories before those who want his secrets kept hidden succeed in silencing him for good.
Oh, this story was such a thrill ride, I was captivated throughout the book! Tanya Chris writes in many genres, but her suspense stories are some of my favorites. The early part of this story, in particular, was so intense and exciting as Jay slowly starts to realize his life is not what it seems. Chris builds the suspense so well as we know Jay has amnesia, and we know that he is connected to Deron, but Jay is unaware of both of these things. We also have no idea how he lost his memory or why Deron is keeping his distance. But Jay seeing Deron is like pulling on a thread and watching things unravel as that is the catalyst to the whole mystery breaking apart.
The author also paces the story so nicely. The early part of the book focuses on Jay slowly realizing his life is not all as it seems and coming to the growing awareness that something is going on, but he is not sure what. It is thrilling and exciting and I could not put the book down. Then the pace slows a little as we get to the revelations, as Jay (along with the reader) learns just how he lost his memory and why that is significant not just to him, but to a major law enforcement investigation that has huge political consequences. Then we are thrust back into the suspense and excitement as it all comes to a climax and Jay’s life is in danger and he doesn’t know where to turn.
There are so many cleverly done elements to the book. One aspect that works particularly well is the POV. The story is primarily told through Jay’s third person POV, but we also get occasional chapters that are from Deron’s POV in first person. This contrast works so well with the story. Jay’s POV is slightly removed, which makes sense as he has no idea what is going on, nor do we as readers through his eyes. Then Deron’s chapters get the immediacy of first person as through him we learn key things about what is happening. It just all works so nicely in building the tension in the story.
I also adored Jay and Deron together and this one is just so romantic. We can feel Deron’s pain as he has to stay away from Jay and the incredible pull he has to be together. He knows he shouldn’t be in Seattle, but he is just pining for Jay and his pain is so palpable. For his part, Jay knows Deron, somewhere deep inside, even though his brain is telling him Deron is a stranger. The tagline here is “His memory’s been erased, but his soul can’t forget its mate” and that is exactly what happens. There is something so sweetly romantic about how it all plays out, with Jay connecting with Deron even with his memory gone. There is such a wonderful connection between them as the story plays out. One thing I particularly liked is we see Jay have some doubts and insecurities as he doesn’t quite know who to trust and there are times when his doubts creep in about Deron. It felt realistic to his character, rather than just blindly trusting. But we still see Jay come back to Deron every time because something inside him just knows their bond, even as his mind is unsure at times.
So I just loved this story and found it wonderfully romantic, as well as exciting and suspenseful. Tanya Chris has crafted an incredible story and I can highly recommend it.