Stefanie Lockwood can repair anything, except her heart—that’s still recovering.
After a brutal assault leaves Steffi with puzzling memory lapses, 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 Ryan’s concern for Steffi’s mental health prompts him to dig into her past for answers, will what he learns bring them together or tear them apart for good?
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“Some of us need to go far and wide before we find our way home.”
Man, this review is kinda a tough one. When I first came across this book, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the synopsis. I mean it had the whole damaged heroine/second chance romance vibe going for it, so I had to give it a try….
The Memory of You follows the story of Steffi and Ryan and is told from dual points of view. When I started reading this book, I was definitely intrigued. Ryan and Steffi still had intense chemistry despite the years and pain between them. Neither Ryan or Steffi are the same as they used to be. Ryan hasn’t been able to forget the pain of losing Steffi when they were younger and now he is going through a separation and has other responsibilities to worry about. And Steffi….well, lets just say Steffi was very immature when she was with Ryan. She didn’t communicate well and really just devastated him. She never really got over Ryan and the feelings are clearly still there. Steffi also has a lot on her plate. She has a new business with her bestie and still reels from an attack she suffered years prior. This story had a lot going on, but I thought it had some good potential and was excited to see where it would go.
The Memory of You is one of those books that you love and hate at the same time. For the most part I really enjoyed this book. I loved the redevelopment of Ryan and Steffi’s relationship. They took things slow and tried to work on their issues. I enjoyed watching them find their way back to one another and learn to forgive & trust again. I also really enjoyed Ryan’s daughter Emmy. She so sweet and added a cuteness to the story that it really needed. Sure Emmy wasn’t always the perfect kid, but she was just what I would expect from a little girl who had her world turned upside down.
However, there were definitely some issues with this story. I love stubborn characters. I do. I know most people wouldn’t say that, but I do. But with Steffi, she was just way too over the top. I mean at times her stubbornness made me feel like she was a child. She just refused to listen to any logic and it made me annoyed with her. If she were a real person, I would have totally shook her and tried to knock some sense into her; that’s how crazy she made me. Also, I felt like she was really pushy with her friends and was the last person who should be doling out advice since she never listened to any of the advice that was given to her.
The next thing I need to address is the pacing and dialogue. While I appreciated the slow build and anticipation of Ryan & Steffi’s relationship, it was just too slow. I mean, it felt like things were just progressing at snail’s pace. Yes, I know there are reasons for some of the slowness, but there comes a point when enough is enough and the pacing has got to pick up. Please don’t get me wrong, when done right I totally LOVE a slow burn, but I need to feel like the story is moving/going somewhere. And that just could be me, but I felt it was worth mentioning. As far as the dialogue goes, again for the most part it was fine. However, there were some instances where it felt repetitive.
So, overall, I do think this will be a book that is a hit for some and a miss for others. For me, it was just ok. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I will say that The Memory of You does deal with some heavy subject matter and I do appreciate the way the author dealt with it. This story sends of strong message of healing and forgiveness. The characters are not perfect, but I think that made them more relateable. While this book wasn’t a total hit for me, I’m still glad that I checked it out and gave it a chance.
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*