A Love To Remember

A Love to Remember by Sarah Hadley Brook: Review by Lost in a Book

Synopsis:

Graham Hayes decided long ago he’d never be in a relationship. It was better to stay single than to fall in love only to be left alone, which he was certain would happen to him. He’d seen Alzheimer’s ravage his family members all his life, leaving their loved ones to deal with the fallout. Some of them stayed, but some didn’t. Graham isn’t going to risk it.

When he hires nurse Sam Morgan to take care of his dad during the day, his pledge to stay single is put to the test. He soon finds it difficult to maintain a professional distance.

Graham’s guarded his heart for so long, but his resolve is crumbling. Will he be able to conquer his fear to give himself a chance at love? Can he trust Sam to stick around for better or worse?

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3 Stars

This story fell into the just alright category on my reading enjoyment scale. It started off well enough but lost steam and depth as the pages turned.

Graham’s life is changing as he prepares to move in with his father who has early-onset Alzheimers. He works from home but needs assistance to monitor his father during the working hours. He’s able to hire a nurse named Sam to bear some of the weight and provide Graham peace of mind.

Graham has spent his life knowing he would stay single while partaking in quick one-off hookups. He has chosen the single path after watching multiple family members suffer from Alzheimers and the aftermath when they are left behind.

Sam’s an outgoing nurse that has the ability to put people at ease, especially Graham’s father. Graham and Sam Both have an instant attraction and try pretend to stay away from each other. While Graham is hot and cold about their relationship, Sam is completely upfront about his interest in Graham.

Most of the feels stem from the situation with Graham’s father. Alzheimers is an extremely heavy topic that I’ve experienced personally with my grandmother. It’s almost impossible not to feel each frustration, memory lost, confusing moment, and broken object as they happen. But outside of what Graham and his Dad are experiencing and how to cope with losing someone before they’re really gone, the romance was lacking.

I didn’t get Sam and Graham’s relationship beyond a convenient way to get off at first, even though they kept saying what an amazing connection they had. It didn’t get much better with all the discussions of how much they wanted each other without any emotional depth. A sexual connection is always appreciated but a believable emotional connection is necessary for me to fully enjoy a romance. Unfortunately, that mark was missed IMO.

There are a lot of trivial details included that detract rather than enhance the story. A Love to Remember is told through Graham’s POV and I think not having Sam’s was a missed opportunity. Graham became somewhat annoying and having an alternative POV would have broken up his ramblings and allowed readers to get to know Sam.

As I mentioned above, it’s an alright read with some situational feels, an easy HEA, minimal depth, and some heat in the beginning that trickled off quickly. As always, these opinions are my own and YMMV.

Copy provided for honest review.

 

New Release Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Love To Remember by Sarah Hadley Brook

 

 

Length: 27,000 words approx.

Publisher: JMS Books

 
Blurb
 

Graham Hayes decided long ago he’d never be in a relationship. It was better to stay single than to fall in love only to be left alone, which he was certain would happen to him. He’d seen Alzheimer’s ravage his family members all his life, leaving their loved ones to deal with the fallout. Some of them stayed, but some didn’t. Graham isn’t going to risk it.

When he hires nurse Sam Morgan to take care of his dad during the day, his pledge to stay single is put to the test. He soon finds it difficult to maintain a professional distance.

Graham’s guarded his heart for so long, but his resolve is crumbling. Will he be able to conquer his fear to give himself a chance at love? Can he trust Sam to stick around for better or worse?


 
Excerpt
 

The doorbell rang just as Graham took a seat at the table, preparing to try and get some work done. It had been days since he’d even opened his laptop. He groaned. Looked like it wasn’t meant to be for the moment. His dad had finished his granola cereal and was sitting on the sofa, reading a book. It was still early enough in the morning where he seemed to have most of his faculties.

Assuming it was the home health care aide the agency was sending over, he didn’t bother to check the peephole or the window next to the entrance and swung the door open.

Graham’s jaw dropped and he stood in place, his feet frozen to the ground. Was he hallucinating? What the hell was going on? He stepped out and pulled the door partially closed behind him so he could speak to the man on his doorstep. The man currently grinning down at him.

“What are you doing here?” Graham hissed. “How did you find me?” He glanced up at the man he’d met at the club and wondered if he should call the cops. Wasn’t this considered stalking? It didn’t matter that his body reacted in all kinds of weird ways. He could be dangerous. And compared to Graham, the guy was huge.

The man stepped back and held up his hands, palms out. “Hey, I had no idea you lived here.”

Graham’s eyes narrowed.

“No, seriously,” he insisted. “The agency sent me here.”

“Agency?” Shit. “You’re the … home health care aide?”

S.G. nodded and offered his hand. “I’m Sam Morgan. Nurse for hire.”

Graham stared up at him — probably a little too long at the man’s massive chest — and finally shook his hand, shaken by the jolt of electricity coursing through his arm. “Okay. Um, come inside?” His voice was trembling. Get a grip!

S.G. — Sam — followed him inside, ducking his head as he walked through the doorway.

His dad didn’t look up, so Graham led the man to the kitchen table, gesturing for him to take a seat. He wasn’t even sure what to say. Or ask. He felt awkward. And silly for thinking the guy was stalking him. Graham had only been a quick fuck at the club for Sam. A means to an end. Nothing more.

He sat across from Sam and stared. The man was even sexier in the daylight. Dirty blond hair cut close to the scalp, a little longer on top. In the light he could see his eyes were the color of caramel. Hazel, maybe? He fought the urge to reach across the table and stroke the stubble still covering his jawline. And shit, the man was broad. Huge. He’d thought of him as a warrior that night and he found himself thinking that was still an apt description.

“You’re a nurse?” he blurted out.

Sam frowned. “Hey, don’t stereotype me,” he said quietly. “I love being a nurse.”

Graham’s face heated. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean … I guess I’m just kind of shocked at seeing you here,” he admitted.

Sam’s frown turned into a grin. “Yeah, not exactly what I was expecting this morning, either.” He tilted his head toward Graham’s dad on the sofa. “I assume I’m here for him?”

Graham cleared his throat, tried to clear his head. “Yeah. That’s my dad. Thurston. Thurston Hayes.”

“So you must be Graham Hayes?” Sam’s voice was quiet, his gaze on Graham.

“Yes. I’m sorry. I should have introduced myself.” Shit. He was blundering this. He’d never felt so off-kilter when it came to a man. “Do you want something to drink?”

Sam shook his head. “No thanks. Right now, can you fill me in on your dad? Let me know what’s going on. I have some basic information, but it always helps to get specifics from family.”

“Sure.” Graham glanced at his dad and saw he was still engrossed in his book. He wondered if he’d even turned a page. Was he struggling with reading, too? Graham turned back to Sam, who was watching him, patiently waiting for him to continue. “I’m not sure what you want to know?”

Sam leaned back and offered him a small smile. “My job is to make your life easier and help the patient feel better. Why don’t you just tell me a little about your dad?



Author Bio
Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.



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