Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“Selfishly, we all want things, but doing what is best for the other person is what love is.”
Corinne Michaels’s newest story, Help Me Remember, grabs you from its very first chapter. It’s everything you love about her storytelling: angsty, impeccable in its details, and engaging. Help Me Remember launches us into a new series from Michaels, the Rose Canyon series. If this book is any indication, Michaels will have another popular series under her booklist belt.
The story follows Brielle. As the book begins, Brielle awakens in a hospital bed with various injuries and a lack of her most recent memories. She also awakes to the death of her brother, Isaac. Additionally, in order to protect the efficacy of the investigation, her family and friends won’t give her details about her past. Devasted by the loss of her brother, and wanting to find answers, she enlists the help of his best friend, Spencer, to investigate her life. She has always loved him from afar, so her feelings of connection to him don’t seem out of place. As the story progresses, they find clues as to the person who killed her brother and assaulted her, but she also finds herself falling deeply for Spencer. When portions of her memory return, however, she can’t believe what she remembers and it threatens to derail her future.
I love an amnesia story within a romance story. It drives you further into the book as the protagonist gains their memories bit by bit. If written well, the pacing of the book is fluid, and that is definitely the case with Michaels’s story. Brielle’s memories are revealed at moments when you think the journeys of her hero and heroine might derail or slow. Little by little, she pulls you deeper into their story. I hated to put it down to adult because their story is compelling. Even more, the villain isn’t obvious until it’s revealed. Then, the story takes on its normal progression into the happy ending for her main characters.
Brielle is a compelling FMC. There are moments in her journey when Michaels could fall into traps, namely when Brielle struggles with memories of her former boyfriend. At first, I was worried that Michaels would lead us astray for much of the story with that storyline. Thankfully, she resolves it quickly and focuses us on the developing relationship between Brielle and the MMC. The incremental development of that allows for a building of chemistry that entices the reader and makes it believable. My only criticism is Brielle’s response to the revelation of her love interest. For me, it seemed a bit manipulative of Michaels. Any long-term reader of Corinne Michaels knows her penchant for creating angsty stories, and this feels like a move on her part to re-create the angst of the earlier stories on her booklist. And frankly, I didn’t think this story required it at the level it was crafted. Now, having read many of her former books, the angst of Help Me Remember is tame. I simply believe that the general suspense built throughout the romance could have been enough to connect emotionally with her readers. Again, my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth.
I’m excited for the Rose Canyon series books to come. The next one is teased a bit at the end of Help Me Remember, and it promises some second chance romance, a trope that Corinne Michaels creates with aplomb. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense with a side of angst, you’ll love her newest book, Help Me Remember.
In love and romance,