Review: Memento Amare by G.D. Cox

"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?

For one who loves a military/spy/action thriller, this story ticked off many boxes. When both MC’s work for the same covert operation and are equally tough alpha males? Even better.

As per the blurb, this is about Phelan Cole, who’s basically the top dog at an elite anti-terrorist agency set on destroying evil in all its many forms. Phelan knows by experience that the world out there isn’t kind; it’s cruel, unfair, and full of horrible potential. Thus, Phelan’s dedicated his life to fighting such and to his amazement, he’s lucky enough to find his one true love amidst the madness and chaos. Still, Phelan’s love for Clyde Barnett is not an easy one.. Clyde, has many issues, as he’s has been conditioned since he was a child that any weakness, let alone not being heterosexual, is absolutely forbidden. He’s had that literally beaten into him over and over again, where his first instinct is to hate what’s different and all that is associated with the hidden part of himself that even he can’t admit to. However, through his employment at the agency, Clyde’s exposed to Phelan through their working partnership, and eventually they become friends, then lovers, and ultimately husbands - a relationship that slowly unravels Clyde’s own self hatred and deeply ingrained homophobia. Of course, what results is something glorious.

Now the reason why I love tough alphas who are nigh indestructible is because the only thing that can humble them is love. It can bring them to their knees, making them vulnerable, making them ooey gooey and dripping with so much sap that I just can’t not melt along with them, and that’s what happens here. That’s what happens to these two intimidating, skillfully deadly men who only show their weaknesses and true selves to each other. That’s some freaking fantastic fabulousness if you know what I mean. So, when Clyde’s memories of his beloved Phelan are erased, the fallout is absolutely devastating.

Is this book perfect? Hell no. Topmost, it is loooooong, and many know I try to avoid such as much as possible. It is also quite repetitive, mostly in key phrases and themes, as well as an over abundance of self reflection. I’m also not smart enough to say exactly what pov this is written in, but this is not a typical book that unfolds linearly. It’s definitely more a telling than a showing which I know will bother some, so I recommend reading the sample and seeing if it works for you because the writing remains consistently so in that particular format. After a while though, the story caught me, and I just wanted to know more and more as info was doled out in pieces, jumping between past and present, between Phelan and Clyde, revealing a story that was quite impressive.

As a warning, Phelan and Clyde literally go through emotional and physical hell to get their happy ending, and it was painful. However, I’ll never complain when a book can show just how strong the feels are between two people and how that love can inspire one to do amazing things and accomplish the impossible, but mostly in how it breaks down barriers both external and internal, which is obviously the ideal in what its superpower can be. What’s particularly intense is Clyde’s journey. Phelan’s love is nothing short of revelatory and life altering for him, and it’s something he never wants to be without.

So, what makes the lasting impression for me of course, is the intense love between Phelan and Clyde. Their love is the catalyst to everything they do and everything they say because the other completes them, and of course that appealed strongly to the always hungry romantic in me. These two hard, stoic and sometimes scary men, who can basically kill with a look, would sacrifice their very lives for each other. Despite several faults to this book, it hammers the message home. Ultimately, nothing can come between Phelan and Clyde - not self doubt, not personal demons or hang ups, not near death, not even memory loss. Nothing. They will prevail and win! Keep that in mind when reading this and don’t lose faith!

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Trivia Question: Name the crossover book that featured this amazing quote - “I want you to ride me like you stole me”. 15 pts

1 comment:

  1. Lovely review. I've read this book & I liked it a lot. The story is highly engaging & definitely hit me straight to the gut. Great storytelling sans repetitive phrases. Overall, it was a really good book.