- Writers Retreat
- Writers in School
- OUR SUPPORTERS
When Grace Danner gets on a plane in Texas, bound for Ireland, she thinks she’s going to settle her Aunt Nola’s estate and return to her life in a week’s time. If anyone told her she was embarking on a life-changing journey, she would have laughed herself silly while downing a hefty shot of Bailey’s.
Kerry Mulligan is the real estate agent handling Nola Burke’s property, but her dream is to buy a farm and live in the peaceful Irish countryside with her animals. Before Nola died, she engaged Kerry to handle the sale of her property, should Grace want to do so.
In Forget Me Not, the two meet when Grace, not familiar with traffic patterns in Ireland, steps in front of a moving vehicle. The driver turns out to be none other than the real estate agent Grace has come to the little fishing village of Howth to meet. During their initial encounter, she finds Kerry feisty, cantankerous, and extremely attractive, with her thick red hair and her emerald eyes. She’s an enigma to Grace and, later in the tale, she has an unexpected encounter with Kerry in a lesbian bar. It leads to a sizzling kiss, causing the walls Grace has erected to crumble, forcing her to confront her real feelings.
As Grace sifts through her Aunt Nola’s personal effects, she tries to understand why she chose her as heir to her flower shop, The Irish Garden, and all her property. They’ve only spoken once and Nola’s lived a world away for years. However, when Grace discovers a letter Nola left for her, it gives her surprising insights.
With her week in Ireland drawing to the close, Grace struggles with a decision to extend her time there. Nola’s affairs are taking longer to deal with than she thought they would—and, then, there are her feelings for Kerry. After whirlwind romantic encounters, Grace is torn, but Kerry encourages her to get back to her life, telling her not to worry about the shop and its employees. However, Grace’s concerns run deeper than the sale of property and people’s livelihoods.
When Grace returns home, she finds her old life no longer grips her. Work is more boring than ever, she’s distracted by thoughts of the lovely little seaside village and the people she left behind, especially Kerry. So when Kerry gives Grace an “out” from their long-distance relationship, Grace is devastated, and we wonder if she will give up or finally be brave enough to act—and if Kerry will be open enough to allow her in.
Told in the first person, from Grace’s point of view, we are privy to Grace’s inner musings and her vulnerabilities. We also see her workaholic mentality and its ultimate demise, her relationship with her best friend and colleague, Morgan, and her deeply hidden struggles and longings.
Descriptions of the seaside town of Howth transport us to another time and place, where the pace is slower and people take the time to get to know one another. The story is imbued with the lore of the delicate little flower, the Forget-Me-Not, giving meaning to the title and to the expression of feelings between Grace and Kerry.
Bryant crafts clever wording to infuse Grace with a sharp-witted personality, which clearly covers her insecurities. There are some minor technical editing issues, like missed opportunities to “show” rather than “tell,” and some grammar, vocabulary and typo faux pas, but the story itself has great bones. Grace is easy to relate to and the reader may want to yell at her, as Morgan might, to try to make her realize she’s jeopardizing her chance at real love and a fulfilling life.
This story is filled with loving familial interactions, caring friends, romantic interludes and tantalizing sex scenes. The dialogue, both among the characters and within Grace’s head, is refreshing, original, and sometimes comical. Forget Me Not is a fresh perspective on a romantic theme, and an entertaining read.
Forget Me Not
By Kris Bryant
Bold Strokes Books
Paperback, 9781626398665, 240 pp