Title: Sweet Giordan, Please Remember
Author: Raine O’Tierney
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Giordan Stone, Shane Devereaux
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Hurt/Comfort, Erotic Romance
Giordan Stone is lucky, all things considered. Sure, he spent five years in a coma only to wake with a right leg that’s practically useless and no memories other than his name. But now he’s under the care of sassy southern surrogate mother, Chloe Devereaux, spending his days painting and healing. Giordan wants for nothing at all… until he looks out the window one morning and sees Chloe’s gorgeous son, Shane, standing there. Something very familiar stirs in Giordan.
When he sketches, Giordan is able to go into an “art trance” where pieces of disjointed memory come back to him without time or place. More and more of these flashes are of Shane Devereaux and the intense, intimate experiences they shared together. Even though Shane keeps his distance now, Giordan is convinced his flashes are real. But he doesn’t have the whole story. Giordan is determined to fill in his memory blanks and convince Shane his feelings are genuine.
Giordan’s past is a mystery because he’s been in an accident and now he has to rebuild some semblance of a life. Then he meets a man, Shane, who ignites his desires but not his memory. Does he know this man or is he just smitten?
I found this long novella bittersweet—and aggravating for several reasons. That, however, does not make this a bad book. Not at all. I like stories that engage me emotionally, and this tale of woe had me so irked I nearly tossed it across the room a couple of times. Thankfully I love my e-reader, and because of that I learned to like this story too.
In any case, here are the negatives: Giordan can’t remember his life or what caused the accident, and yet the love of his life has been searching for him for years, then finds him—and cuts him loose ’cause he can’t remember? I don’t give a rat’s ass if Shane’s a good man. Insta-dislike. Then there’s the caretaker, Chloe. She seemed fine enough at first, sweet and fiery—and then she locks Giordan in his room to stop him from learning more about his life for his own good?! No. Just no. Though Giordan couldn’t walk well at this point, I wanted him to make a run for it!
These above things are individual preferences, so others may find them just fine. The writing is good, but the plot moves at a slow pace some might find annoying. There’s a lot of introspection, as Giordan’s point of view is the only we’re getting. These take a lot of time, and while some of the art moments are sensitive and beautiful, at some point I felt like the author had already covered this and that, so… let’s move on already.
And yet… this tale has a sort of a dream quality, where real life becomes hazy, and you can’t tell where memories end and imagination begins. Sometimes you want to remember so bad, and things get distorted. Sad, and something we can all understand and empathize with.
I liked this story because it drew so many emotions out of me. There’s not a lot of humor here, I’m afraid. No LOL moments. This is a tearjerker, plus the kind of story you shout at ’cause it just drives you round the bend. Gio is sweet and broken, and the people around him either coddle him or shut him out. That was so weird and, yes, aggravating.
To counterbalance the soul-searching, there really should have been more one-on-one time with Shane. Way more! As is, he didn’t feel real or tangible to me. I couldn’t get a handle on him at all, and I really wanted his point of view to explain his callousness and borderline cruelty with Gio. I kept wondering if this was an intentional approach by the author, to put us in Gio’s shoes and see Shane as a stranger. If so, it was an interesting plot device, guaranteed to provoke the reader. You’ll see.
Also, the mystery of what exactly happened to Gio and why… well, miracles comes in all shapes and sizes, none as potent as forgiveness and love. By the end, I was blubbering of happiness!
All in all, a good emotional story that will draw you in with strong characterization and dialogue. Gio is the sweetest man ever, and you wish only the best for him.
Reviewed By: Susan