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Title: Love Lost and Found
Author: Michelle de Winton
May Contain Spoilers
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…
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.
Review copy provided by publisher