Amnesia is one of those plot devices that seems to have been done to death in fiction—not to mention movies, television, and every soap opera ever made. But done well, it can still manage to ratchet up suspense and mystery, getting the reader invested in a way that few things can. Such is the case with Bobbie Cole’s Mysteries of You. As I read it, I found myself anxiously turning the page, anxious to uncover the mystery behind Mason Alridge’s forgotten life.
The synopsis, courtesy of the Carina Press website:
Cold case detective Charlie Vargas is searching for a killer—but what she really needs to know is what happened to her lover, who vanished several months ago. When the phone rings and she hears Seth’s voice, she’s skeptical. He tells her his name is Mason Alridge, and the only thing he remembers after his accident is the number he called…hers.
Mason looks nothing like her former lover, but there’s something about his mannerisms, if not his face, that draws Charlie in. As they begin to piece together what few clues and skimpy details they have, Charlie and the man she believes is Seth slowly discover a mutual passion. With the Feds following at a distance and someone trying to kill them, will they live long enough to find out his true identity?
This story is part mystery, part suspense, and part romance. A year earlier, Charlie Vargas had a whirlwind romance with a man named Seth, who proposed to her after two weeks of dating and then promptly disappeared. After looking for him for several months without a trace, she assumes that he ditched her and tries—not very successfully—to move on with her life, until she gets a phone call from a man who sounds eerily like Seth. He says his name is Mason Alridge and that he sustained massive head injuries in a car accident several months earlier. The only thing he remembers from his previous life: her phone number. He also says that he believes the people around him are lying about who he is.
When Charlie and Mason meet, his appearance has been so altered by plastic surgeries that she cannot be sure whether he’s Seth. Whether he is or not, there’s an attraction between them that neither can deny—although they both try. Mason isn’t sure whether he should pursue his attraction to her when he’s so unsure of his own mind, and Charlie isn’t sure whether her attraction to him is genuine or merely residual of her relationship with Seth.
The best part of this book is our slow discovery of who Mason is and his history. We get a lot of false starts and misleading clues. This momentum carries through most of the book. Unfortunately, the momentum slows down a bit at the very point of the book it should have picked up: when we finally uncover the truth about Mason and his true identity. In the climatic scenes, I had a bit of trouble following who was doing what—although some of that might have been editorial/formatting errors in the ARC (e.g. not having section breaks in the correct places) that contributed to some of it.
Nonetheless, I thought this was a fun, entertaining read. Fans of romance who also like a little mystery and suspense will enjoy this book a lot.
Note: I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley. Memories of You is on sale as an e-book from Carina Press now.