I want to thank Emma Scott and SocialButterflyPR for the advanced reader copy of A Five-Minute Life.
Check out the Goodreads synopsis below…
“Thea Hughes has five minutes to live.
A car accident stole her parents and left her with the second-worst documented case of amnesia in the world. She now has only minutes of experiences, of consciousness, of life…before her memory is wiped clean. The once effervescent artist with a promising future is reduced to scribbling with pens and paper, living an empty, quiet life, three hundred seconds at a time.
Jim Whelan is on autopilot.
A foster kid shuffled around the system since birth, he’s lived his entire life without knowing love…and it’s taken its toll—until he learned to fight back, carry his armor, and keep his head down.
Working as an orderly in the Blue Ridge Sanitarium, deep in Virginia countryside, Jim looked up…and found Thea.
When Thea has the chance to break free of her five-minute prison with a risky, experimental surgery, it could lead them both to an epic love they never thought possible… or one that could require the ultimate sacrifice.”
A stand-alone, new adult romance.
Here are my more detailed thoughts…
- Characters: Thea and Jim are the main characters in Emma’s latest novel. Jim was a compassionate character, with a backstory to make him so deserving of a happy and joyous life. Thea’s character is always apparent no matter her circumstances. Thea is exuberant, creative, and passionate.
- Pacing: The story is separated into three parts, and this was very purposefully done.
- Romance: Watching Jim fall in love with Thea was painfully beautiful. This heart-wrenching style is synonymous with Emma Scott and makes for huge tears from me every time.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, check out this excerpt below…
“Marc Antony,” I said and nodded at her drawing. “Part of your Egyptian studies?”
Thea leaned her cheek on her folded hands like she was warming herself before a fire. “Marc Antony is part of the romance. A love story with Cleopatra. He went to war for her. Died for her. When they told her he was dead, she put her hand in a basket with an asp. Can you imagine? Loving someone so much that the thought of life without them is too unbearable?”
“No,” I said. “I can’t.”
Her gaze dropped to my hand on the table and her fingers reached to trace the scars on my knuckles.
These tell a story, don’t they?” She traced one of the fine lines. “You put your hand in with the snakes, too.”
I nodded slowly, savoring the feel of her warm skin on mine. “So the bullies would leave me alone.”
“And did they?”
“I’m glad.” She put her hand in mine completely, her fingers wrapping around and holding tight. “I’m being too… something. Personal. Delia would throw a fit, but I feel like…”
“Like what, Thea?”
“Like I have to hold on to this moment, you know? Or you… I don’t even know you and yet I don’t want to stop talking to you.” Her hand squeezed mine. “I don’t care if you have a stutter, but please keep talking to me, Jimmy. Okay?”
My mouth went dry at the nameless desperation in her eyes.
Jesus, does she know she’s trapped? She can’t. Impossible…
“I won’t,” I said. “I’ll talk to you every day. I promise.”
Thea breathed a small sigh of relief and released my hand. “Thank you, Jimmy. That makes me feel better.”
With a final smile—a parting smile, I realized—she took up her pen and then froze.
Confusion passed over her features. She looked up at me, flinching a little to see a big man in close proximity. I instantly leaned back to give her space.
“How long has it been?” she asked.
“Two years,” I said, my voice hardly more than a whisper. “But the doctors are working on your case.”
“Yes, they are.” She smiled hesitantly and found my nametag. “I’m Thea Hughes.”
Seven. Seven times now.
“Jim Whelan,” I said.
She offered her hand. Again. I took it robotically, enduring her one-pump shake. Again. Her fingers didn’t linger in mine but released immediately, the way you do with a stranger. Again.
“Nice to meet you, Jim Whelan.”
Fuck. I can’t do this.
I rose to my feet. “I have to get to work.”
Her face fell. “Oh. Bummer. Will I see you again?”
I could promise her I would, but she wouldn’t remember. There was no promise. I could tell her the sky was falling or my name was Abraham Lincoln and she wouldn’t know the damn difference. It’d vanish, like every other word we’d ever spoken to each other. I vanished every time her reset hit and was recreated over again in Thea’s eyes. I could be whatever I wanted; whomever I wanted. And yet she was the one woman I might’ve had a chance to be myself with.
The terrible irony of it was like copper in my mouth. “Sure, Miss Hughes,” I said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
A Five-Minute Life receives five out of five stars.
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Thank you again to Emma Scott and SocialButterflyPR for the opportunity. Thank you for reading this review!