Romancing the Memory Collector,
Fifth in the series of g-altered characters’ romances
by author Virginnia de Parté
We who have read De Parté’s fourth book in the series, A Stella Affair, have already met and liked Thomas. He is a Customs Inspector who works with a partner “Buster”, a sniffing dog whose abilities are well out-stripped by those of Thomas with his g-altered senses. This is his story, of how he hopes to develop a relationship with Kate after she literally falls at his feet in the airport, and he comes to her rescue.
Kate Bentley, myopic yet able to see the bubbles of people’s lost memories, tries to catch and return them to their owners. Working at a retirement village, she is sometimes overwhelmed by seeing so many lost memories drifting away, beyond her reach. Her absorption in looking after her father and a lifetime of difficulty socialising (due to her myopia) cause difficulties for Thomas.
Thomas sends flowers, meets Kate’s father and begins an old-fashioned, tender courtship. But intervening events and misunderstandings cause glitches and hitches in communication and understanding.
Thomas, while watching the close and caring relationship between Kate and her father, Colin, in the early stages of Alzheimers, realises he has missed out on having a loving family life of his own. He consults Wills Corban (a character we met in A Talent For Loving) as to the wisdom and possibility of a single man adopting a child. He returns to The Nursery to find a boy to rescue from the mean (as in ‘bare essentials’) existence, to nurture as a son. He leaves with a daughter*.
Regrettably, Thomas forgets to let Kate know. When Kate finds out about his daughter, she becomes distrustful, and almost cuts off the relationship completely. However, when a resident wanders off from the retirement village, Thomas, and his daughter come to help—Thomas to track him, Suzie to sing for the residents—he is able to explain his situation fully.
When Kate’s own father goes missing, she calls Thomas, but they lose Colin’s trail at a bus stop. Wills calls on another g-altered person to help locate Colin. Once his location is known, he “jumps” Thomas and Kate to the city park where Colin has been seen. They hurry to the nearby pier—on the edge of which Colin is standing, as if waiting for something. Kate discovers the thrilling “jump” has somehow changed her.
Between these and other events in the development of the romance, De Parté weaves in more touches of the background of the family, and other significant back-story elements of the characters. Finally, the way is obviously clear for the tender romance to continue, in Thomas’s old-fashioned courtesy’s way. Virginnia De Parté continues this fascinating futuristic world of the affairs of genetically altered people in her own unique and enjoyable style with this sweet romance.
*Only by reading the book will you learn the daughter’s g-altered talent—no spoilers here—move along.
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© Lynne R McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2014 May
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