Release Day Review by Rafa: Remember When, by SJD Peterson (DNF)

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Remember When, by SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 28, 2017

Rating: DNF at 54%


Life is simple and hopeful in youth. Luke and Nelson are best friends exploring their budding sexuality. They have big plans for the future, and nothing can stand in their way or tear them apart—except a family move that puts a continent between them.

Ten years later Luke and Nelson meet again, but nothing is simple anymore. As strong as the attraction remains, obligations and expectations come between them as Luke is forced to honor family responsibilities over the desires of his heart.

Impossibly fate sees fit to offer them a last opportunity to see what might have been. Will the third time be the charm, or is trust so badly broken it is impossible to repair? Can they recapture the innocent love they once knew and make up for all the wasted years? In a love story that spans half a lifetime, two friends destined for each other will have to fight hard for their happily ever after.


M/M Pairing
Gay Character
Bisexual Character
In the Closet
Friends to Lovers
Spoiler below (highlight to view):
Surprise Pregnancy

I struggled with this book from the very beginning and I’m surprised I even got to the halfway point. I made the decision to quit when I found myself skimming through entire chapters, mostly due to boredom and/or disbelief.

Right off the bat, the book started off shaky with its erratic third person POV in the prologue. As time went on, I was also put off by the stiff and uninspirational writing style – even the dialogue, with its distinct lack of contractions, made the characters sound like robots. Speaking of, the sex scenes did not hold any appeal either, with no spark or connection or even a sign that there’s another person (a loved one, no less) involved in the act. It got to the point where I’d cringe whenever one of the heroes got a boner – I mean, that can’t be a good sign, right? I simply couldn’t bring myself to care for either character as teenagers or as twenty-somethings. The thought of continuing their story into their thirties as suggested by (threatened in?) the blurb was more than I could handle.

In addition to the general problems I listed above, there were also specific things that made me throw in the towel. At one point, the book dedicated an entire chapter to Nelson’s dad falling seriously ill and Nelson rushing home in time for the surgery. For a book that’s supposed to span decades, it moved pretty slow so I thought to myself, Finally, something’s happening, the story is picking up. Well apparently not, because the next chapter resumed at an indeterminate amount of time later with no immediate mention of his dad’s fate. I forged on, wondering if the man was even alive or dead, when the surprise element was introduced (highlight hidden spoiler under Tropes and Tag). Naturally, an epic and hurtful lovers quarrel ensued and that’s when I realized that I simply didn’t care what became of Nelson and the other dude (I don’t even remember his name #sorrynotsorry). This book was simply not for me.

I would not recommend Remember When at all, but there’s a better chance you might like BAMF and Plan B, two titles on the author’s backlist that I vaguely remember enjoying some time ago.


SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.


You can purchase Remember When from:
Dreamspinner Press
Google Play
Barnes & Noble

Or add it to Goodreads

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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