BOOK REVIEW: NEVER FORGET (MEMORIES, #1)

never-forget-emmahartNEVER FORGET (Memories, #1)

Author: Emma Hart
Published on: February 20, 2013
Genre:
Contemporary romance, New Adult

Published by: Self-published
Format: E-book, paperback

A city girl.
A small town boy.
A summer they’ll never forget.

Spending the summer at her Grammy’s in Lilac Bay, Devon, is city girl Alexis ‘Lexy’ Edwards’ idea of hell. That is, until she reconnects with her childhood friend, Jen, and meets Alec Johnson.
Alec is the kind of guy Lexy knows she needs to stay away from. He’s the village flirt, ridiculously hot and very dangerous to her self control. But there’s a problem – she can’t seem to keep him out, even though she knows he’ll break her heart.
As Alec slowly strips away Lexy’s defences and the two embark on a summer romance she never wanted, their feelings grow to more than either expected. But nothing lasts forever, and reality intrudes.
As her world is shaken to it’s core, Lexy’s self made prediction comes true when she discovers she’s spent six weeks surrounded by secrets. Kept out by her family and the only guy she’s ever trusted, she falls apart.
And when Grammy tells her that ‘you might not end up where you wanted to be, but you’ll always end up where you’re meant to be,’ she has to figure out if her meant to be is back home in London, or if it’s been in Devon the whole time.

REVIEW

Emma Hart is among the first indie (self-published) authors that I found out about. Never Forget is one of her earlier titles, and the first of hers that I read. It is a sweet contemporary romance, slash summer romance. The book is told from the alternating first-person POVs of Alexis Edwards and Alec Johnson. Alexis ‘Lexy’ reluctantly spends one summer with her grandmother at Lilac Bay, Devon. Although this allows Lexy to reconnect with her friends, she’d rather be anywhere else.

One morning, Lexy meets Alec. She knows nothing about him, except that she’d rather stay away. Lexy is one of those girls who want to finish their studies before pursuing a relationship. It doesn’t help that Lexy finds out about Alec’s Casanova reputation via Jen, her best friend. This begs the question of will-they-won’t-they? Much to Lexy’s chagrin, she’ll have to get used to Alec’s presence, as he’s her grandmother’s sort-of personal aide.

As for Alec, he is irresistibly drawn to Lexy from the moment he lays eyes on her. And it’s not the way he’s felt about his past women. Alec starts to court Lexy, slowly penetrating her shell. As the summer progresses, their feelings for each other grow. And the summer that Lexy thought she would hate turns out to be the best of her life. Unbeknownst to Lexy, Alec and her family are keeping a crucial secret from her. Will this tear Alec and Lexy apart for good, or are they still meant to be together?

Never Forget is a stunning book from an author who was just starting out (at the time of the book’s release). Even back then, Emma Hart knew how to create characters that feel alive and stay with you. Alexis and Alec were great, as were the supporting characters. The way the protagonists’ romance builds throughout the book is moving. By the time the shocking revelation comes to light, you’re invested in Lexy and Alec. As I approached the ending, I couldn’t stop turning pages to see whether they would remain together or not. I was also drawn to the characters of Samuel and Jennifer. They’re Lexy’s older brother and best friend, respectively. Supporting characters like those always help round out the personality of the main heroine. Lexy and Jennifer make a really good pair of friends. In contrast to Lexy’s rather sunny (though a little cynical) personality, Jen appears to be a firecracker. I look forward to getting to know more about her and Sam in the second book, Always Remember.

Although this is quite a good early book for a beginning author, some readers may find that this is stuff you’ve seen before. There’s not much that’s very original about Never Forget. If the characters weren’t so expertly done, I would likely have given the book a lower rating. A lesser author than Emma Hart couldn’t have carried the plot well enough to interest most readers for long. She takes you through familiar territory, but makes the journey entertaining and hard to let go of.

Despite Hart’s huge talent, I only read a few of her new books these days. Like other similar authors, she caters mostly to women. Romance is one of my favorite genres, but when I read it, it’s to root for the female lead. I don’t read titles that rant about the male lead, unless the heroine stands out just as much. Female readers, you’ll love Emma Hart’s books. I strongly recommend you add her to your to-read-next list; you won’t be disappointed.

This novel is recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual content and some language. Violence level is mild to none. Note: The new edition contains Holding On, a Memories series novella. It should be read after finishing Never Forget.

MY RATING

Seriously liked it!

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