Her past was behind her…or so she’d thought.Bethany Acton has come a long way from the day she was an abused child-bride of a dissolute jet setter. Now divorced and single, she writes for a lifestyles magazine, lives out of her motor home, and answers only to her boss—when he can find her. She has overcome her horrendous past and taken control of her own life. But when Jonathan Merritt, a rising star in wildlife photography, enters her world, she learns that control is a tenuous thing.
His past was despicable, but it hasn’t affected his future…until now.
Jonathan knows he has met the woman with whom he wants to spend his future, but first he must admit his role in her past. Afraid the truth will turn her against him, he tries to gain her trust and affection before confessing. But the longer he hesitates, the harder it becomes to tell her. Can Jonathan gain her love soon enough to forgive what he did, or will his past indiscretions destroy his only chance at happiness?
It was a storybook wedding. The elite of the world’s beautiful people crowded the groom’s yacht, cruising off the south French coast. The groom’s austere face was only slightly lined, the gray at his temples adding a distinguished air. His still trim body was clothed by the establishment which had enjoyed the patronage of every male in his family since his great-grandfather. Although he conversed urbanely with his guests, his possessive gaze never left his bride.
Framed in the lens of the ever-clicking camera, the bride had the lithe slenderness seen only in the very young and healthy. Delicate curves hinted at the woman she would one day become. Her short dark hair was gamine cut by the stylist who had created the look. Her make-up had been applied by the hands of the genius whose company had taken three generations of women from beautiful to gorgeous. Her lavish bouquet was of rare miniature white orchids, picked deep in the rain forests of South America and flown in for this ceremony. The lace for her veil had been created by devout hands in a convent which had produced lacework of this gossamer perfection for centuries.
The veil was secured by a pearl crown once belonging to a medieval princess. It framed a delicate, serious face dominated by enormous, hazy green eyes and a lush, slightly trembling mouth, and billowed down to hand made, four inch spike heels. By tradition the full length veil attested to the purity of the bride, leaving no doubt in the mind of anyone attending that day that this was, indeed, a virgin bride. The diaphanous covering enhanced her bridal outfit, personally designed by the hand of the dresser to royalty. Brilliant fire opals had been meticulously applied to the hand sewn, French cut white bikini.
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: Teach Me to Forget by Mona Karel is a contemporary, hot, and sexy romance about a young woman who was abused by her first husband. Bethany breaks away from her tycoon husband and starts her life over, only to fall in love with a man involved in setting her up for that abuse in the first place.
Bethany is now a magazine reporter and she reviews a book by our hero, Jonathan Merritt—without his permission of course. In retaliation, Jonathan pays Bethany’s publisher a visit, only to find himself enchanted with the spunky, but shy, reporter. In order to get her alone long enough to find out more about her, he offers her publisher an exclusive interview, provided that the publisher can convince Bethany to spend the next few days at Jonathan’s home doing the interview. But no sooner does he get her alone than she begins to display the symptoms of deep psychological scars caused by her teenage marriage to her first husband, a cold, despicable, and wealthy business tycoon.
I was a little unclear as to when exactly Jonathan realizes that Bethany is the same person he helped inadvertently set up for her teenage wedding, but other than that, I had few complaints about the story. The writing is good, the plot strong, and the characters charming. This is a story about overcoming your past, learning from your mistakes, and forgiving others who also learn from theirs. I’m giving it 4.4 stars.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Teach Me to Forget by Mona Karel is an interesting novel. While it doesn’t have the same paranormal thriller bent that her first novel, My Killer, My Love had, it does have the same injured/scarred heroine, aloof/unfeeling hero style that appealed to me so much in that book. In the case of Teach Me to Forget, the heroine Bethany is emotionally and psychologically injured rather than physically, but the wounds are deep and just as debilitating as physical ones.
Sold by her own father to a wealthy but cold and insensitive business tycoon, Bethany is a teenage virgin bride. She has to be drugged to willingly go through with the wedding, and once she is married she is abused and treated like a personal possession by her husband. When she finally escapes from the marriage, she has turned from a happy, warm, and generous teenager into a scared and untrusting young woman, who uses an alias to prevent her ex-husband from finding her.
When her magazine publisher demands that she accompany the hero Jonathan to his home in the mountains to do an exclusive, in-depth interview—something Jonathan has never offered a reporter before—Bethany has to agree or risk losing not only her job, but her boss as a friend. She reluctantly agrees to go with Jonathan, but she has no idea that Jonathan was partly responsible for her being chosen as her first husband’s virgin bride. The plot revolves around Bethany’s learning to trust another human being and coming out of her self-imposed prison of no emotional attachments—ever!
The writing in Teach Me to Forget is as good as in My Killer, My Love, and the plot is equally strong. The subject matter was handles with sensitivity, and as Taylor says, the sex scenes are hot. I give the book 4.5 stars.