Review: Helping Her Remember by Kate Carley

Reviewed by Shelly

This is a new to me author and the first book in Kate Carley’s ‘Crawford Falls’ series. It’s a second chance contemporary romance which I’m a fool for. The icing on the cake, the child the hero doesn’t know about. I saw glorious page-turning-slobbering-tears in my future.

I struggled with this review because so far this year I haven’t wanted to like a story as much as I did this one only to be disappointed. I don’t think my expectations were too high. This isn’t a debut novel so the author isn’t a novice to bringing forth emotion from the reader. But as a reader I felt I didn’t really understand the why.

There’s too much to unpack to explain my disappointment, but suffice it to say I didn’t understand Kelly and her motivations. She kept Dylan’s son, AJ, from him because she thought Dylan was too much of a drinker. Hear me out on this. Kelly moved to Crawford Falls when she was a teenager and she always had a crush on Dylan. Always. From the first day that she knew Dylan, alcohol was present so she’d always known that Dylan drinks. When Kelly and Dylan were sexing it up for the two weeks after her first year away at college, Dylan was still drinking. Dylan was always a drunk. Always. But Kelly’s crush was so encompassing, yet finicky, that she didn’t realize that having sex might result in a child then after finding out she’s pregnant decides that Dylan is persona non grata. That’s what I’m supposed to believe?

My thing is, if Kelly’s going to not let Dylan meet his kid, at least have a better reason than just his drinking. Whose to say he wouldn’t change for his kid? Had Dylan’s drinking created a problem for others, I don’t know…a car accident, hurt someone or some such thing, I would have definitely been more sympathetic to Kelly’s rationale. But I wasn’t really feeling it.

During the pregnancy and after the baby was born, Kelly never told anyone that Dylan was the father. Her mother, Ivy, served no purpose. Ivy claims she didn’t know who Kelly’s child’s father was. Seriously? Your daughter was sexing it up on your basement with Dylan and you never suspected, not asked, who the daddy might be when she turned up pregnant? Then again, that’s probably asking too much of Ivy because she was too busy ‘dating’ every Tom, Dick, and Harry to pay any attention to her daughter’s life, I guess. Argh I couldn’t stand that woman.

Then there are all of Kelly’s ‘friends’ still in Crawford Falls. Friends that she supposedly cared about but never told that she was pregnant, much less who the father was. When she left town, she seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. No contact with anyone but her mother.

Once Dylan found out that Kelly had moved back in town, he became some kind of a dog after a bone. No anger, no resentment, no questions about her leaving and why she never, not once, contacted him after she left. Just hey how are ya? Let’s kiss and make up. There’s forgiving and forgetting, but Dylan didn’t even wait a day; he just jumped right back in. The killer was, after seeing AJ and knowing his age, Dylan never questioned his paternity; he just assumed that Kelly had sex with someone else. I couldn’t figure out if he’s just dumb or lazy.

This is a couple I couldn’t care less about. I never got the feeling of empathy or sympathy for either of them. That feeling of – yes, I would totally do the same thing never happened. That feeling of anticipation and pleasant surprise never happened.

The secondary characters – Brynn, Emmett, Lacy, Jesse, Jake, and Olivia seem to be interesting people. I’m really curious about Brynn and Emmett though; their story felt like it would be an interesting read.

In the end, it wasn’t a bad story, just a meh. Maybe it’s me alone, but that ending was a little…abrupt leaving quite a few story lines without resolution. Maybe they’ll be addressed in future installments.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: C-

*ARC provided via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

Helping Her Remember
by Kate Carley
Release Date: February 26, 2018

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