Sunny Reviews I Remember by Julie Cannon

This book had a lot of potential, but I really had a hard time with it. I liked the characters and the chemistry they shared, but the way the book was written made it really hard to follow. It’s not written in chronological order, but rather in a series of flashbacks woven in with current happenings. I should note that I read the e-book on a Nook e-reader, so I don’t know if the paperback or other e-reader formats are the same, but there were absolutely no transitions between present day and the flashback scenes. I found this terribly frustrating. There were a few times that I was a paragraph or more into a flashback without realizing it and got completely confused. I know what you’re thinking – she should pay more attention to what she’s reading. Well, I’m reading books like this for fun – I shouldn’t have to work so hard to understand them!

It’s hard to discuss this book without spoilers, so consider yourself warned. The story centers around two women who meet on a lesbian cruise. EJ and Dee meet at dinner on the first night of a 3-week cruise, and after one ‘date’, decide to have a no-strings, what-happens-on-the-ship-stays-on-the-ship affair. They end up spending most of the cruise in bed together and have a blissful, wonderful vacation. They both use sort-of-fake names, no personal information is shared and they go their separate ways at the end of the cruise.

Now, flash forward to present day. Company President Emery Barrett is back from her vacation, about to interview a new candidate for Vice President of Corporate Strategy of Martin Engineering, her troubled company. Enter Dana Worthington, highly qualified corporate strategist. This brings me to the other frustrating thing about the book – the big reveal. Because of the writing style, this happens in the very first chapter – page 11 to be exact. The frustrating part is what could have been a startling surprise is basically revealed in the book’s blurb, so it turns out to be no surprise at all that Dana and Dee are the same person.

The book actually begins with Emery the Executive on her first day back at work preparing for the big interview. The entire cruise story is told in the flashbacks. I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if the story had just been told as it all unfolded. Yes, I do remember that the title of the book is I Remember, but for me, that just didn’t work out so well.

There were parts of the book that I really did enjoy. As I said earlier, I liked the characters. They were interesting and they definitely had good chemistry together which was very apparent in the many, steamy love scenes. If you’re a fan of office romances, this would be a good book for you as Emery and Dana struggle with their memories of the cruise and ever-growing attraction to each other in their corporate world.

There was a bit of intrigue thrown in toward the end that I would have really liked to have seen expanded on because it was an interesting twist, but it all gets tied up so quickly, it ended up not really adding much to the story. Also, the ending was rather abrupt, but it certainly left the door wide open for a sequel.

Overall, I was disappointed with this book, but I’ve talked to others who very much enjoyed it, so I’ll chalk it up to different strokes for different folks. So, my bottom line is: give it a try – you may like it very well or I Remember may become one you’d just as soon forget.

Click here to download a sample or buy I Remember

Uncharted Passage by Julie Cannon

This book deals with the complexities of a relationship born from a life and death situation. Two women, Hayden Caldwell and Emily Bradshaw, vacationing in paradise when a tsunami hits and kills thousands. The story starts off with Hayden saving Emily and two children shortly after the killer tsunami hits Thailand. Over two days, Hayden protects Emily and the children until they can be rescued. The real story starts after they get back to the US. These two women would seem to be on the opposite ends of life’s spectrum but can they deny the plans that fate seems to have for them?

I enjoyed the beginning of the book, although I thought the focus on the sexual attraction between the two main characters was a bit much considering the circumstances. But then I thought about the whole “celebrate life” type of thing and thought, ok, maybe I’m being just a bit too critical. This is a romance, after all.

I have mixed feelings about the rest of the book. I enjoyed the chemistry between Hayden and Emily and some of the conflicts that they dealt with internally, I could understand and empathize with. But there were other things that made it hard for me to get into the story. I have a difficult time overlooking errors like missing words in the middle of a sentence or misused words – like using “weather” instead of “whether” – and there were enough of these to be distracting to me. And then there were things that kept throwing me off  because of my military background. I know not everyone knows these things – like officers don’t go to bootcamp and don’t have an enlistment period – but if they stuck out to me. Many of the same issues and questions and doubts were repeated so many times over that it got very redundant and annoying to me. Honestly, I think much of the repeated questions and inner monologues could have been completely cut out and the story would have been tighter and made for a more compelling read.

This was my first read of one of Julie Cannon’s works. I also bought Heart 2 Heart so, eventually, I’ll read that one, too.