Title: Memory’s Prisoner
Author: Jamie Lynn Miller
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Published: December 4, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Detectives Mitchell Reid and Joseph Valentino of the Chicago Police Department have finally moved from friends to lovers, partners on the job and off. Then an escaped bank robber with a thirst for vengeance shatters their world. The police tactical raid to recapture the convict goes horribly wrong, leaving Mitch severely wounded and Joey with a devastating head injury. They both survive, but Joey’s long-term coma and memory loss will change their lives—and love—forever
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: This is a unique and optimistic romance. I loved the emotional way the story is told but think a few scenes missed the glaring opportunities for deeper character insight.
The Set Up: Chicago police detectives Mitch and Joey are partners at work and are starting a tentative but passionate romantic relationship as well. Just as Michael and Joey are settling into their new relationship, a criminal from their past orchestrates a revenge plot that severely injures both men. Joey’s long-term coma and how Mitch copes with it could alter their relationship forever.
Why I Read this Book: I love books set in my adopted city of Chicago and the synopsis caught my eye. Before you ask—this is NOT book two in a series. This is the only book about these characters that I could find on the author’s website or Goodreads.
What I Liked: This story was told in a unique format which packed an emotional punch for me. The long novella opens with Mitch at Joey’s bedside and then readers are introduced to the men’s relationship in a flashback of the men celebrating Joey’s birthday. The love and tenderness between Mitch and Joey is laid out beautifully as the men revel in their new relationship. From the street fair they attend to the sexual intimacies of their bedroom, readers become invested in Mitch and Joey’s relationship. Then suddenly the characters are ripped apart as both men are injured in the line of duty. Then the present story progresses as Mitch copes with Joey’s coma. I can’t say more about the plot but it’s very captivating as I had to know what happens with these two men and if they’ll ever have a HEA. This way of telling the story forced me to have an emotional investment and I give the novella huge kudos for that.
What I Didn’t Like: My one criticism with this long novella is there seemed to be some missed opportunities to delve deeper into their backstories. For instance, Mitch has anger because he feels that Joey’s coma is stealing Joey from him so his physical therapist tells Mitch to keep Joey alive by sharing stories. Instead of Mitch sharing particulars about Joey that would have given deeper insight to his character, the novella says Mitch shares the stories. Also, even though Joey is the character in the coma I felt like I didn’t know Mitch as well as I wanted to. I didn’t get a sense of his backstory which is a shame because I loved his character and his devotion and love for Joey.
IMO: Don’t let my little character quibbles prevent you from reading this emotional and uplifting story. The way the story and relationship are laid out captured my attention and had me racing to the end. I think MM readers will enjoy it as much as I did.