Book Review – Amor en Retrogrado by A.M. Riley

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (January 22, 2008)
Language: English
ASIN: B00322OP86

About the book:

“In the year since JD Ryan, Robert Lemos’s life partner, packed his bags and moved out, Robert has been in a painful daze, anesthetizing himself with work. Then one rainy night, he gets a call that his ex has been beaten and shot in a parking lot outside a gay dance club. JD is in critical condition and the man who was with him is dead.

Robert rushes to JD’s bedside to find him recovering from the gunshot wound but suffering from retrograde amnesia. As JD slowly regains his memories, he recalls everything except the circumstances of the murder, and the reasons why he left Robert. He remembers their love, and seems determined to reconcile. It’s the miracle Robert’s been hoping for.

Interference comes from all sides. Detective Bill Turner, who seems to have too personal an interest in JD, pegs Robert as the primary suspect in the shooting. Robert’s best friend, police Captain Gabe Lara, seems to feel that Robert is better off without JD. Even JD’s returning memory seems to conspire against Robert. And as the detectives track down the killer, Robert helplessly waits for JD to recall the truth of their relationship and leave him yet again.

But if they survive the investigation, they just might find love in retrograde.”

MY REVIEW:

A.M. Riley’s Amor en Retrogrado is for me one of the best in this genre. And I don’t say that lightly.

Unlike 99% of the GBLT novels out there, this novel starts out at the end of a committed relationship, when a gay power-couple have already suffered a ‘fatal’ breakdown in their relationship. A heartbroken Robert Lemos (high powered public defender) hasn’t had any contact with his partner JD Ryan (celebrity novelist and gay crusader) for more than a year. And it’s by JD Ryan’s choice. But when JD gets seriously hurt and suffers from retrograde amnesia, Robert gets the chance for a miracle he has been praying for – a possible reconciliation between the two. JD only remembers the strong love they had for each other, and he tries to discover (same as we the readers) what happened in the past that he made the decision to end it.

It’s a virtual tour de force, A.M. Riley tells us in flashbacks encompassing 15 years how JD and Robert first fell in love with each other, their initial romance, their tempestuous obsessive relationship, their love for each other and how ultimately, their relationship is eroded and destroyed by distrust and co-dependency. I found it astounding how A.M. Riley was able to build up the relationship and then heartbreakingly destroy it, all told in flashback, with an amnesiac JD reacting with the rest of us readers – wondering how the hell such a beautiful strong relationship ended up being destroyed? And we are there on their journey to hell and back – and I can’t tell you how over-invested I ended up being – just hoping against hope for a happy ending. The characters are fully fleshed out, totally flawed and human, and I totally loved them.

There’s also an interesting murder-mystery that’s added to the drama in this novel – who killed the man JD was with and beat-up and shot him? That subplot doesn’t detract from the main narrative, and in fact, fuses the past and the present and shows us more about the kind of man JD was/is.

I seriously cannot stop saying good things about this novel, and I highly highly recommend this one! This is one seriously intense and complex book with heavy emotions – not one to read lightly.

Other reviews of Amor en Retrogrado are found at Good Reads and Reviews by Jessewave.

Check out Amor en Retrogrado and help support A.M. Riley.

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~ by RandomizeME on September 27, 2009.

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