From the author:
When Steffi Lockwood returns to Sanctuary Sound to start over, she has no idea she’ll also get a second chance with her first love.
Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.
Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.
Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Steffi’s secrets begins to surface, will it bring them together…or tear them apart for good?
I finished The Memory of You by Jamie Beck several weeks ago, but have been trying to think through the review. This one was difficult for me. In the preface, the author tells us that reading about traumatic events,
“led to me wondering about how victims and their families survive such events and how different people might respond to trauma.”
I was curious about how that would translate into a book, so I jumped in with both feet. It didn’t take me long to realize that I didn’t care for the heroine, Steffi, or our hero, Ryan. As a second chance romance, the reader has to go back to where things ended so we can get all caught up again. What we learned was Steffi ghosted Ryan instead of just telling him she needed space. Ryan had a rebound relationship and ended up in a bad marriage.
Steffi suffers an assault and goes home to Sanctuary Sound to start a business with one of her best friends, Claire. Ryan’s wife has left him and abandoned his daughter. He just wasn’t likeable from the beginning and he kept throwing barbs at Steffi as she repeatedly apologized. She was obstinate, which wasn’t my issue with her. My issue with her was she was more of a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kind of person and kept trying to force Claire to rebuild a burned bridge with Peyton and that took up A LOT of the story. It’s laying the foundation for other books, but it was too much to be thrown into the mix. I digress…Steffi kept inching forward to rebuild the relationship with Ryan and was hopeful, but seemed to sacrifice a part of herself in the meantime. I started liking her more almost 2/3 of the way thru the book.
We won’t talk about how Ryan uses his contacts and influence to dig into Steffi’s assault. It is a serious topic, so I kept moving forward to see how it would be handled in the book. Aside from flashbacks, we don’t see a whole lot of it until almost the end and then it felt rushed. I wanted to like the book, so I held out hope.
I felt the pace of this book was slow and not in a good “slow burn” kind of way. It wasn’t a full miss for me and I know it is, and will be, a hit for others. I’ll likely read the next book in the series, The Promise of Us, which is Claire and Logan’s story. Claire has her own trauma she has overcome, so we’ll see. I’m hopeful for it since we don’t have the high school first love relationship to sort through.
My rating: 3 tiaras