Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review: Memento Amare by G. D. Cox

memento amareTitle ~ Memento Amare

Author ~ G. D. Cox

Published ~ 15th August 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance

Rating

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Synopsis

“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?

 

Freya’s Review

Agent Phelan Cole – secret agent of the Global Anti-Terrorist Force – bisexual, and proven tough man. He’s the right-hand man of Nate, and when both are in a room, everyone quakes. Clyde Barnett has grown up with issues. He’s a man fighting an internal war, and initially spews homophobic drivel trained into him by his father. Growing up he became adept at various gymnastics and circus acts. He was recruited to the Terrorist squad by Nate – essentially, he’s a lethal bastard.

Clyde met Phelan, and they eventually fell in love and married. While on a mission, Clyde gets zapped by something in a box and all his memories of anything Phelan related are erased. He can’t remember his marriage to Phelan, and the homophobia of his youth is more prominent in his mind.

Memento Amare is primarily told, with areas of actuals. As it is from multiple POV’s many events and phrases are repeated; some added extra perspective to the story, others didn’t. At the start, Phelan thinks back to conversations he’s had with his pa. The story then travels through what made Cole and Clyde the way they are - including the events and the people who influenced their lives. Consequently, the tale spans many years and involves coming out, torture, and homophobia alongside the military action and some man loving.

This is not a story where the timeline remains constant. It is one of those where the teller jumps around events. Some involve recent past, others further afield. Occasionally, there’s a hint of something ahead, before returning to the past. It’s as if there’s a much older person telling the story of what happened back when, while interjecting present day thoughts and carrots along the way. Consequently, I found a portion of the arc difficult to follow. There is also a lot of scene setting involving family and glossed over missions that enhance reputations. While scene setting is an essential part of story-telling, I felt some of this was unnecessary and distracted me from the main arc. Coupling this aspect with the frequent repetition of events, for me, made the tale unnecessarily long. On a grammar point, there is a significant overuse of brackets. Research too is essential. In one scene one of our heroes is sure he has “fractured ribs, maybe even broken ones.” Fractured and broken are interchangeable terms. The difference is made by the use of simple or compound.

There were elements of brilliance. When the story stayed on a single timeline for a few pages, I loved it. The intimacy between Clyde and Phelan is touching. There are heart-stopping scenes and moments when a Kleenex is needed. Clyde tries to reconcile his feelings with the facts Cole recounts, and the memories he doesn’t have. Add in the homophobia from his youth, and he’s one confused bunny. Nate, however, is a show stealer. His dry wit, no bull, and downright tough-man stance is delicious.

G.D Cox says that a different version of Memento Amare was previously released in another format and that it has been extensively expanded. Indeed, it has the potential to be an exquisite story. The warnings at the start promise a story of explicit love, blood, action, drama, torture, and the need for a Kleenex. All these elements are there. The action is good, the loving sweet and the drama bloody. Though, I couldn’t help wishing for more consistency in the timeline and fewer POV’s. Each time I revisited a scene from another perspective, it lost its potency.

Purchase Link

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK

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Connect with G.D. Cox

TUMBLR | GOODREADS | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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