Title: Enticed by His Forgotten Lover
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
May Contain Spoilers
""Have we met?""
Answer: a right hook! Because Bryony Morgan pulls no punches. Even when she’s very pregnant and facing down the father of her unborn child. She fell for wealthy hotelier Rafael de Luca when he courted her for her beachfront real estate. Then he disappeared. Now, she’s in New York for answers–and she won’t accept a brush-off.
But selective amnesia after a crash has Rafael puzzled. How could he ever forget a combustible beauty like Bryony? Solution: return to the island where they met, and relive the unforgettable nights in question–until he remembers everything…
I received Enticed by His Forgotten Lover by Maya Banks through the now defunct Harlequin Ambassadors program, and deciding it was time to take a break from monsters, murders, and mayhem, I picked it up to read on a Saturday afternoon. I plowed through the book in just a few hours, and though I wasn’t completely convinced that the protagonists were attracted to each, or were a good match for each other, I didn’t want to stop reading once I started.
I am not a fan of amnesiac heroes. Nor does the pregnancy trope work well for me. It is my least favorite romance trope, to be honest. If the hero is noble, and all Harlequin heroes are, ultimately, noble, he has no choice but to provide for both the mother of his child and his child. There isn’t really a question that he will turn his back on his family. This kind of kills the suspense for me. I know that the hero will overcome his reluctance to wed and will do everything in his power to take care of his own. That’s what these guys do.
I didn’t completely buy into the plot, either. Rafael is suffering from amnesia after surviving a small plane crash. Not just any old amnesia, though. He has forgotten just four weeks of his life. The four weeks he spent on Moon Island, purchasing property that he has plans to build an exclusive resort on. When Bryony Morgan decks him at a party, he is baffled. How does he know this fiery, pregnant woman? He doesn’t believe Bryony when she informs him that they fell in love and spent those forgotten weeks in a haze of passion. She can’t really be carrying his child, can she?
I loved the first encounter between Rafael and Bryony. She actually hauls off and punches him when he asks if they’ve met before. Better yet, it’s at a party where Rafael is attempting, despite his missing block of memories, to woo investors for the new resort project. So much for being a smooth operator! I don’t think that Bryony lived up to the promise of a feisty heroine, though. She is determined to make Rafael fall in love with her again, even with the din of warning bells clamoring in her head. Something is amiss, but she just can’t figure out what it is. When it becomes clear just how badly Rafael had been using her, even I was a bit surprised by his ruthlessness. The “old” Rafael really was willing to do anything to close a deal.
What saved the read for me, in the end, was that Maya Banks managed to squeeze my favorite trope into this story as well: the redemption trope. Nothing beats a repentant hero, and it is satisfying when the hero realizes just how wrong he had been. Eating a little crow is a healthy supplement to an arrogant hero’s diet, and more of them need to be humbled. That’s why I loved the final 40 pages or so of this angsty Desire. Rafael is a cad, but he doesn’t realize how awful he was until he finally does get his memory back. There was a reason he was blocking out those four weeks, and it didn’t have anything to do with the trauma of surviving the plane crash. A cutthroat businessman, he wasn’t one to let anything, or anyone, stand in the way of what he wanted. When he reconnected with his conscience, the memory of who he used to be was bitter pill for him to swallow.
I didn’t feel there was enough tension between Bryony and Rafael. I expect a little more sizzle from this imprint, but it just wasn’t there this time. If Rafael’s redemption hadn’t been so satisfying, I would have been disappointed with this read. As it was, I wish there had been a greater sense of attraction between the protagonists. While this installment of Banks’ Pregnancy and Passion series was lacking in passion, I am still interested in reading Cam’s story. He definitely needs to eat some humble pie.
Review copy provided by publisher