Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lapses of Memory by M. S. Spencer


Sydney Bellek’s love for Elian Davies is reignited each time they meet, but in the long years following each encounter she forgets him. For his part, Elian knows from the age of seven that they are meant for each other, but when she finally understands it’s too late. Will he regain his memory and remember her or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

Sydney keeps her daughter Olivia on pins and needles as she chronicles the ups and downs of her parents’ romance, making it difficult to concentrate on her own dilemma—how to choose between the rich and dashing Rémy de Beaumec, who wants to take her around the world, and the strong, silent, American-to-the-core, Benjamin Knox, who wants to make her happy. 


M. S. Spencer has come to be one of my favorite authors of cozy mystery.  She regularly sends ARC copies of her books to me for honest reviews and her mysteries always keep me on the edge of my seat and while I figure out part of the ending there's always something that surprises me.  Those of you who follow this site know how difficult that is to do.
Lapses in Memory is a departure for Ms. Spencer.  It's a love story, not a mystery.  It's the story of Sydney Bellek and Elian Davies who meet on a flight to Paris when he's seven and she's five years old.  Through the years they meet again, frequently on air planes, so in addition to telling a love story, Ms. Spencer chronicles the history of passenger aviation, something I can relate to, having taken my first flight on a converted Douglas C-47 "Gooney Bird" at the age of ten.  (Hop next door to Rochelle Weber Author [or click the icon in the left column] for a chronicle of my own aviation adventures.)  They become competing journalists, so their story also takes place amidst some of the most dangerous events in recent history.

Most of the time when they meet, Sydney doesn't recognize Elian.  When she's a teenager, she doesn't remember the seven-year-old who was on her first flight, especially since he's decided Elian sounds square and is calling himself Eddie.  When they meet in college, she doesn't realize Elian is Eddie, the boy who climbed eight stories for a goodnight kiss only to find her sound asleep, and leave a note on her windowsill. And when she finally realizes she loves him, he's been shot and has amnesia.

The story is told in bits and pieces as Sydney prepares for one last trip to Paris, and her daughter, Olivia, records it for a book.  Sydney delights in shocking her daughter with the sexy bits.  Do kids think they come parcel post?  Or that they're all artificially inseminated?  Don't they realize we were young and horny when we conceived them?  It's universal—tell your kid you had sex with their dad and they turn red and freak out.  Tell them you enjoyed it and you may as well have a sedative on hand for them.  Sydney doesn't tell her tale all at once; she needs frequent naps, making one wonder if she'll get to Paris at all.  Meanwhile, Olivia must decide between a wealthy Frenchman who wants to take her around the world, and her stoic American boyfriend who wants her to do what makes her happy.

While this book wasn't a mystery, it still kept me on the edge of my seat, burning pages wanting to know how it turned out.  How would Sydney and Elian finally get together?  Who would Olivia choose?  Would Sydney have the energy to get to Paris one last time?  What sort of plane would she take this time?  Would the memory of Elian sustain her on this trip?  You'll have to read the book to find out, because I'm not telling. 

Length:  237 Pages 
Price:  $4.99 

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file I created on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement. 

Thanks for visiting.  RIW


  1. Thanks for a wonderful review, Rochelle! M. S.

  2. Nice review! Sounds like an interesting story!

  3. It was a wonderful book! A departure for M. S., but really terrific.