I had the privilege of interviewing indie author Deanna Lynn Sletten a couple of days ago on this blog. While I was researching information about her on her website, I noticed that she was running a giveaway on Smashwords for a copy of Memories, so I signed up, and I told her I did because it just sounded so good. I really wanted to read the book. Well, Ms. Sletten graciously offered to gift me a copy of the book. I wish I had paid for it now because I enjoyed it so much. I had to put it down because life got in the way, but I didn’t want to. It was THAT engaging.
Dani and Michael (Miguel) used to be an item back in the ‘70s. She was just 18, and he was a Viet Nam vet with PTSD and drug and sex addictions. Now it’s 18 years later. Dani hates Miguel because he left her without a word way back then, and he wasn’t there for when she needed him. She’s a successful professional now, and he’s a wealthy business owner. They meet again when she takes over a coat buying trip from her pregnant friend and coworker. Over the next few months, their relationship picks up where it left off – with a few bumps along the way, and they eventually get married.
There’s romance and drama in this to rival any of the great romance classics. Their situation reminded me quite a bit of An Affair to Remember – so much conflict and hurt caused by just a little miscommunication (or, in Miguel’s case, complete failure to communicate). But the conflicts are real, the characters are real, and the story is fantastic. And this is the perfect book to review right before Memorial Day because of the military angle.
In her interview, Ms. Sletten said that she was most proud of the PTSD nightmare scenes she wrote in for Miguel, and I can totally see why. They are really well-written. She put a lot of time and focus into researching war and its effects on veterans, and it shows. There is so much emotion in these scenes. You really feel like you are right there in the thick of the action.
You know, from the beginning, how the story is going to end – they end up together, it’s no secret (but is that ever a secret in any romance novel?). Still, that didn’t ruin the story for me. Sletten is such a skilled writer that she keeps you interested in the characters and their dilemma (and the inevitable resolution) throughout the novel. Pick up this book and see for yourself, if you don’t believe me. $2.99 is a small price to pay for such great entertainment.
I also appreciated the fact that the sex scenes (there was one detailed, one less detailed) were really tastefully done. So many times, sex scenes in romance novels border on the pornographic, but not this one. So, if you’re looking for something really raunchy, don’t pick up this book. It’s much better than that – much more focused on the relationship between the two characters and less on the act itself.
All glowing tributes aside, there are quite a few typos, editing issues, and misspelled words (“alter” instead of “altar,” for one). And the whole Michael/Miguel thing really threw me (although it seemed like the author was very consistent in the way she handled that. I don’t think I would’ve remembered to distinguish them that well). Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. And now I want to pick up a copy of Widow, Virgin, Whore!