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Lapses of Memory by M.S. Spencer is a Celebrate Mothers Event pick #romanticsuspense #mothersday


Lapses of Memory


M. S. Spencer


Romantic Suspense

Book Blurb:

It is spring in Old Town Alexandria, and Sydney Bellek is dictating her memoir to her daughter Olivia. Every few years from the age of five she meets her true love Elian Davies, but while he remembers her, she doesn’t recognize him. Only after surviving wars, revolutions, and years of separation will she realize they are meant to be, but this time it is Elian who has lost his memory of her. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

Meanwhile, her daughter Olivia has her own dilemma—how to choose between the rich and dashing Rémy de Beaumec, who wants to take her around the world, and the steady, quiet, American-to-the-core, Benjamin Knox, who only wants to make her happy.


Olivia opened the door to the dining room and stopped. A tall, thin man stood awkwardly by the table, his long, patrician fingers nervously tapping the back of the chair. He stared at Olivia, mouth twitching in what could have been a rare attempt at a smile. Olivia spat out, “Benjamin!” Hands on hips, elbows out, she swung around, barely skimming her mother’s solar plexus. “Mother!”

Alice appeared from the kitchen door with a tray. “Dinner is served.”

The meal couldn’t have been jollier. Olivia spent most of the time scowling at her mother whenever she thought Benjamin wasn’t looking, and Benjamin spent most of the time examining his plate. Sydney gave up on small talk after the first ten minutes. As Alice cleared the dishes, she poured coffee into her grandmother’s delicate Wedgewood cups.

“Shall we take our coffee into the living room?” The other two diners nodded mutely. Sydney reflected that perhaps she had miscalculated the teeniest bit. She preceded them and surreptitiously poured a thimbleful of brandy into her coffee before turning to face them. “Well, it’s so good to see you, Benjamin. How’s the senator?”

Benjamin sat on a spindly chair as far from Olivia as possible. “Look, Mrs. Davies—”

“Sydney, please.”

“Uh, Sydney. I appreciate your invitation, and I’m ready to talk, but I think”—he glanced at Olivia—“she feels differently.”

Olivia’s eyes grew wide. “Me? It’s you who told me, and I quote, ‘I guess there’s nothing more to be said.’ ”

Benjamin stood and began to pace. His light gray eyes glinted in the lamplight. He dug under his mop of rich brown hair with a finger. “But you said—no, you announced—that you intended to go with Rémy.”

Olivia flounced onto the sofa, spilling her coffee. “I did no such thing. I asked you what you thought, and you—”

“You could care less what I felt, Olivia. You’d made your decision. I know only too well that there’s no changing your mind once you’ve settled on a course of action.”

“Well, I—”

At this point, Sydney slipped backwards out of the room, taking care to grab the brandy bottle. Her work was done. With luck, not temporarily.


She heard the door slam, and her heart sank. All seemed still below, and just as Sydney gave in to the unlikely hope that the combatants had left together, her bedroom doorknob turned. “Olivia?”

“Yes. Are you awake?”

“How could I not be?”

Olivia sat on the bed next to her mother. She twiddled her thumbs for a bit. “Mother, I’m not going to berate you for meddling. I know you’re trying to help, but the situation is hopeless.”

“But not serious?” her mother asked, her tone upbeat.

Olivia shook her head. “He can’t or won’t tell me how he feels. Without any positive feedback from him, I have to protect myself.”

Sydney threw her book across the room. “Damned feminism!”

Startled, Olivia picked up the book. “What are you talking about?”

“It’s because of so-called women’s liberation that a man is no longer allowed to throw a woman over his shoulder and carry her off. Men today are required to listen and feel, not act and fix, which is their nature. Benjamin is acting the way he’s supposed to act in today’s anti-male world. Mark my words, if he could, he would.”

“Would what?”

“Throw you over his shoulder. Carry you off.”

“Nonsense, he doesn’t have it in him. He’ll always be Clark Kent, never Superman.”

“Well, Clark Kent had a steady job…and lived in a comfortable house with a picket fence…and…and…air conditioning.” Sydney laid a gentle hand on her daughter’s. “That’s why you can trust him, Olivia. Rémy is so…mercurial. You never know who he’ll be next.”

“I like that. Every day’s an adventure.”

Her mother regarded her. “I know you, Olivia. You talk a good game, but you’re happiest cultivating your own garden.”

“You’re quoting Voltaire now?”

“Whatever works.” She kissed her daughter’s forehead. “I fear you’re making a mistake.”

“Aren’t you perhaps visiting your own mistakes upon me? Could all this interference stem from your guilt at leaving my father on the battlefield?”

Sydney froze. “You go too far, Olivia.”

“I’m sorry, Mother. Am I wrong?”

Her mother’s taut cheekbones relaxed. “Yes, you are, but of course we haven’t finished the story.”

“That’s exactly my point. We need to focus on your story. Time is running short.” Olivia stood. “I’m going home. I’ll be back in the morning.”

Sydney lay back on the pillows. “Not too early, dear. I need my beauty sleep for Paris.”

Olivia grinned. “Good. You’ll leave me and mine alone now?”

“What do you think?”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What makes your featured book a must-read?

The framework of Lapses of Memory is a mother recounting her adventurous life to her daughter. The chapters move back and forth between present day and Sydney’s past as an international correspondent. Sydney’s life was terribly exciting as she goes from one global conflict to another, meeting her true love each time, only to be separated again by fate. Olivia has her own troubles with love, which her mother seeks to resolve.

I chose Lapses for this Mother’s Day event because the relationship between Sydney and Olivia is so special. They are close and affectionate, although Olivia thinks Sydney is just a tad interfering, but then that shows how much she loves her daughter, right?

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win. Runs May 9 – May 16, 2023. Winner will be drawn on May 17, 2023.

Author Biography:

Librarian, anthropologist, Congressional aide, speechwriter—M. S. Spencer has traveled the globe. She has published sixteen romantic suspense or murder mystery novels, with one more on the way. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Social Media Links:

Amazon Author Page:


May 14, 2023

Probably books or amazon gift card or a new kindle!


M. S. Spencer
May 09, 2023

I hope everyone has a wonderful mother's day and wish that everyone has/had as lively a mother as Sydney. Thanks for letting me share!


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
May 09, 2023

Thank you, M.S., for sharing your book in our Celebrate Mothers Bookish Event!

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