Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Other Laura

Laura Hudson miraculously survives a murder attempt but has total amnesia. She doesn't know who she is or what happened to her and has memories of a life that doesn't fit what she has been told about herself. Ryder can't believe the personality change that his wife has undergone, but loves the woman she has become. But what happened the day Laura was shot? Will finding out the truth destroy the happiness they have found?

I was curious to read this story after seeing the reviews for it. It seemed similar to Winter's Edge - a woman wakes after an accident with amnesia to find everyone, including the husband she doesn't remember, hates her.

Well, The Other Laura begins with Teresa Gallagher, Ryder's personal assistant, fantasising about having sex with him. Then we meet Ryder, and he is fantasizing about having sex with Teresa, though he knows he would never be unfaithful to his wife, Laura. Though they haven't actually done anything but think about it, this just gave me a foul taste in my mouth and was obviously the set up for Teresa and Ryder hooking up later. I hate hate hate adultery, and I hate how many romance novels excuse it. Laura is a bitch. Yeah, I get that, and to be fair, the author has given her a horrible abusive background to explain it. That still doesn't make it all right for her husband to fantasize about his assistant or vice versa.

As you continue through the book, it becomes clearer and clearer that the "new" Laura is actually Teresa, and that foul taste in my mouth got stronger and stronger. Eventually there is a big Mexican stand off with a few startling revelations. Finally, we discover that the real Laura is actually dead, and Teresa and Ryder can ride off into the sunset together. So technically I guess there was no adultery, because by the time they actually got physical with each other, Laura was already dead. Furthermore, they didn't realise at the time that Teresa wasn't Laura, so they weren't knowingly cheating on anyone. For many readers this would have made their relationship fine, and they would have enjoyed the book. For myself, the introductory scenes just ruined it all for me. If they hadn't fantasized about each other at all, and had just been colleagues or friends, I might have been able to stomach the rest of the book. As it was, I could barely finish reading it.

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