Like a Memory by Abbi Glines
One special summer.
The one thing Bliss had lost herself in when the fear and sickness were too much, moments never to be damaged by the harsh reality that followed… until now.
Bliss York didn’t live a normal teenage life. She didn’t go to Friday night football games, walk the halls with her friends every day, go to her prom or even walk to receive her diploma. It had all been taken from her the fall that she was fifteen years old and she was given the diagnosis no one ever wants to hear.
She had leukemia.
Seven years after spending a summer with a girl who he knew would always be his first love and the one who got away, Nate Finlay returns to Sea Breeze to help his fiancé open her new boutique clothing store. When the new employee walks in Nate is taken back seven years to the girl he thought he’d love forever. The one who never answered his calls or returned his text. The one who shut him out completely with not even a goodbye and broke his heart.
They’ve each become someone different. No longer the young teens with stars in their eyes. But does that matter when your heart still says that’s the one.
Nine years ago Bliss York and Nate Finlay met on the beach in Sea Breeze, Alabama. Seven years ago they fell in love on that same beach. They thought it was forever and then the summer ended and one day changed everything.
Nate Finlay never understood why Bliss abruptly stopped answering his texts and calls. He just assumed it was because the connection wasn't as strong for her and that she wasn't as sweet as he thought she was so he put the memories in a vault in his heart and vowed to never fall in love again.
But those memories of that summer were the one thing that got Bliss York through the rounds of Chemotherapy. The memory of that young, perfect love. She didn't think she'd ever see Nate again. Until she does.
Nate is shocked to see Bliss again after all these years, working in the store that his fiance Octavia is opening in Sea Breeze. Though he recognizes her instantly he plays it off like he doesn't remember her - even though he sees the recognition in her eyes followed by the hurt look at his "not remembering" her.
As they're left alone to set up Octavia's shop the years begin to fall away and Nate realizes that the spark he thought had been imagined is still very much there and he begins falling for Bliss all over again. But when he finds out the true reason Bliss cut off communication will he allow himself to give up the easy coldness he has with Octavia and realize that love should be messy? Will he take a chance on Bliss? Or will a devastating tragedy tear them apart once more?
Like A Memory is the book that fans of the Rosemary Beach series and the Sea Breeze series have been waiting for since Abbi first hinted at it in the last book of the Sea Breeze series. Did it meet up to all the anticipation? For me it did. Obviously Abbi was not going to write them a book where they were in love and problem free from the start - she was going to make the reader work for it. Was it worth it in the end? YES! Otherwise the book would have been completely plotless.
Bliss delivered with the virginal innocence Glines's female leads are often known for, despite her aspirations to be brave and independent while Nate was her typical male lead - kind of a pig/jerk until he "meets the right girl" and turns into a possessive caveman. And his dirty talk was downright laughable.
What I liked most about this story was the plot twist with Octavia at the end. It was predictable but definitely a page-turner.
What I didn't like about this story was that I couldn't keep track of all the kids born to the original characters from the two series. Without the last names to sort out who belonged to who it was hard and even then it was impossible with a few. Who were Holland, Saffron, and Crimson again?? I felt like I needed a chart or a map or something to keep them all straight.
There were also a ton of grammatical errors (nothing new here with Abbi's books) which at times made reading difficult.
Overall, I enjoyed the story because it was light, airy, and perfect for a quick read. The second chance at love storyline appealed to me and I gobbled it up almost in one sitting.
4 of 5 Stars!