Review: Love Lost and Found by Michelle de Winton

 

Title: Love Lost and Found

Author: Michelle de Winton

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Felicity Williams can’t remember the last five years thanks to an accident that wiped out her memory. She fled her old life in hopes of starting fresh and found refuge working on a cruise ship. But her past is coming for her…

Rick McCarthy awakens after a climbing accident to discover that his business partner and fiancée has quit her job and disappeared. He’s trying to accept that she’s run out on him, but now he needs her signature to close a deal that could literally be life or death. He’ll go to any extreme to get what he needs…even if that means becoming someone else to win her back.

But a little lie becomes a large mess when they’re stranded on a deserted island together, and old misunderstandings might ruin their chance at new love…


Review:

While Love Lost and Found didn’t completely work for me, there were several aspects of the story that I found very compelling.  After Felicity suffers from a fall while rock-climbing with her business partner, Rick, she reawakens with no memory of the last five years.  She tries to readjust to her old life, but nothing feels right.  Her apartment is cold and sterile, and she can’t remember her co-workers.  Worse, what she does remember is breaking up with her old boyfriend after catching him cheating on her.  As she contemplates the emptiness in  her life, she decides that starting over somewhere else is preferable to trying to fit back into a life she doesn’t remember, and one that seems lonely and isolated.  She takes a job on a cruise ship, and sails off into the horizon.

What she doesn’t remember is Rick, the man she has been working with and dating.  She doesn’t remember that he had proposed to her just before the accident that sent them both to the hospital.  Rick was in a coma for six weeks, and when he comes to, he can’t believe that Felicity left him, without a word or a note.  Worse, he company is on the verge of a remarkable research discovery, but he needs Felicity to sign the paperwork that will see the fruition of his labors since the death of his brother.  With Felicity’s assistance, he’s on the path to a breakthrough for a leukemia treatment.  Desperate to keep his promise to his brother to get the process approved, he hires a private detective and tracks his errant fiancée down.

First, what didn’t work for me; Rick doesn’t believe that Felicity lost her memory, so he pretends to be a prospective investor for the cruise line, and makes his re-acquaintance with Felicity under false pretenses.  There isn’t a time during the story, except for the very end, that he isn’t lying to her.  That just grated on my last nerve.  He is given the opportunity to start over with her, but every overture is based on a falsehood.  He doesn’t trust her enough to be upfront with her, and he suspects that she is faking the amnesia.  Great way to make a new start, Rick.  And by not being honest, it just made his motives for reconnecting with her suspect.  If I were Felicity, I wouldn’t have been able to believe anything he said after discovering that he wasn’t being straight up from the beginning.

The second thing that didn’t work was the couple being left on a desert island.  Rick makes arrangements with the captain of the cruise ship to have them “left” on an island with no supplies – no food, shelter, or water.  First, the liability of the scenario makes me cringe.  Regardless of whether Rick signed waivers promising not to sue the cruise line, Felicity did not.  I would have been furious when I discovered that I spent a night with no provisions  by design instead by accident.  I don’t care how romantic it was; either one of them could (and did) have gotten injured with no help nearby.  Plus, there are bugs on that island, and everyone who knows me knows how much I hate bugs.  Ugh! The whole episode on the island was like a nightmare to me.

What did I like?  Felicity looked at her old life, and realized that she didn’t like what she saw.  She had no close friends, and no real connection with anyone.  Her apartment was as barren as she suspected her life was, and so she decided to make lemonade out of the lemons life had handed to her.  She starts over, and she’s a completely different person.  Her change in circumstance opens her up to make the first real connections she ever made, and allowed her to re-discover her love for Rick.  She was all business before the accident, but after, she was able to embrace a softer side of herself and truly begin to like herself and the people in her life.  I loved this about the book.

While Love Lost and Found didn’t completely win me over, there were enough positives to keep me engaged in the story.  I just wish the hero had been more likable, and had acted a little more, well, heroic.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Meet Henry Middlebrook from Theresa Romain’s It Takes Two to Tangle and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome special guest Henry Middlebrook to the virtual offices today!  Henry is the red-hot hero of Theresa Romain’s It Takes Two to Tangle. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Henry] Determined. Embattled but not defeated.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Henry Middlebrook?

[Henry] I wish such a thing as a typical day existed for me. During my years in the army, I could rely on a steady routine of early rising, marching, camping, shouting, helping, and any other verb that might occur to a person. Since selling my commission, I have found life among the ton in London to be less dangerous but more unsettling. At the moment, I reside with my brother the Earl of Tallant and tolerate his excessive helpfulness. It is kindly meant—and with one arm useless, I need more help than I care to admit. Nothing from correspondence to paying calls to dressing to dancing is the same as it used to be before wartime and my recent injury.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Frances?

[Henry] Stubborn, brilliant, unexpected.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Henry] She wants my trust, but she won’t give me hers. In the years since she was widowed, she has relied on her own wits and scraped by at the edge of respectability as companion to her wealthy cousin. She is proud of the life she’s built on her own terms, and quite rightly. But secrets have become a habit with her. How I shall ever convince her to trust me, I don’t know. I shall probably have to spill a few secrets of my own…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Henry] I would not ask a soldier without medical training to adjust my dislocated shoulder. The result was…let me say, unfortunate. I cannot regret my years defending England, though. And sometimes I wonder what sort of turns my life would have taken had I not been injured. Would I still be a soldier? If so, I would be nearly a stranger to my brother. And I would never have been given the chance to know Frances.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Henry] A passionate letter from “a friend.” So it is signed, but I know who wrote it. On the letters from “a friend,” I pin many hopes. These letters remind me that there is much good to be found in a new sort of life, and that love is within reach.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t attempting to woo potential brides?

[Henry] I have always liked to paint with oils, though since losing the use of my right arm, the results of my painting are not pleasing to the eye. Thinking about color and understanding the art of others is still a favorite pastime of mine. I enjoy every trip to the British Institution to look at new paintings. And if my lifelong friend Bart Crosby comes along and tries to pretend he isn’t bored within five minutes—well, that’s always good for a grin.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Henry] Paint, love, laugh, teach, learn.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Henry] Thank you. It is my honor to engage in conversation with such a gracious hostess.

About the book:

IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE BY THERESA ROMAIN – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2013

WOOING THE WRONG WOMAN…

Henry Middlebrook is back from fighting Napoleon, ready to re-enter London society where he left it. Wounded and battle weary, he decides that the right wife is all he needs. Selecting the most desirable lady in the ton, Henry turns to her best friend and companion to help him with his suit…

IS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE…

Young and beautiful, war widow Frances Whittier is no stranger to social intrigue. She finds Henry Middlebrook courageous and manly, unlike the foppish aristocrats she is used to, and is inspired to exercise her considerable wit on his behalf. But she may be too clever for her own good, and Frances discovers that she has set in motion a complicated train of events that’s only going to break her own heart…

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest and is working on more Regency romances. Please visit http://theresaromain.com/ for more information.

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