What would you do if you woke up one morning and your identity was gone? Would you be the same person you are now? Can you forget love?
Memories are a crucial part of our identity. They shape us. They teach us patience and forbearance, or they haunt us with old pain.
In His Forgotten Fiancée, my heroine Liza was familiar with the pain of being abandoned. Her father left her behind when he went out to the Oregon Territory to claim land. Her fiancé left her to go to California and earn a fortune in the goldfields. At one point Liza started wondering if there is something wrong with her. There must be some reason why people kept leaving her. All she could do was keep going, holding on to the land her father had claimed for her outside Oregon City.
Then her fiancé, Matthew, came back into her life. On his arrival in town, he was attacked. He woke up with no memories of his life before that moment. And Liza felt abandoned all over again.
When I started to write this story, I knew how Matthew would react to being in this situation. He was cranky. He felt powerless, incomplete, and he didn’t like it.
What I hadn’t expected was the reaction of the heroine, Liza. She was hurt that Matthew didn’t remember her. It made her feel as if the love she thought they’d shared hadn’t meant very much to him. But even though Liza was hurt, she didn’t stop trying to help Matthew. She did not give up on him, even when he gave up on himself.
I don’t believe love is lost even when the person loses their memories. I don’t believe the memories are truly gone; they’re still buried in the back of the mind. We may forget where the memory has been stored, but it is the path to the memory that is lost. The love remains.
Matthew looked down at the girl, this petite stranger he had apparently promised to marry. She was a delicate little thing, dainty as a china doll, but with a stubborn streak as wide as the Mississippi. “How can you be so sure of me?” He was sure of nothing now, not the ground under his feet. “We hadn’t seen each other in almost a year.”
“People don’t change, not deep down. I trust you.”
He clenched his fists. “Don’t say that.” He had let down everyone he had cared for. He had even let her down. This was just the pattern repeating itself again.
“No,” Liza repeated. “I am not merely being stubborn. I know you better than you know yourself, apparently.” She took his hand in hers. He stilled, watching her intently without moving. She went on, earnestly, “You will have to take my word for this. You are not a man who would break a promise…. One day, you are going to regain your memory and find out the truth. Until then, you need to have faith.”
“I have no faith. Not in myself.”
“Well then, I’ll have faith enough for both of us.”
–His Forgotten Fiancée
Add His Forgotten Fiancée to your Goodreads list.
Follow the Author
According to family tradition, Evelyn M. Hill is descended from a long line of Texas horse thieves. (But when your family is not only Texan, but Irish, tall tales come with the territory.) This might explain why she devoted much of her childhood to writing stories about horses. Once she grew up, the stories naturally featured a tall, handsome cowboy as well.
She lives at the end of the Oregon Trail, where she gets to do all her historical research in person.
Matthew is attracted to the spirited Liza, and as she tries to help him regain his old memories, the new ones they’re creating together start to make him feel whole. Even as he falls for her again, though, someone’s determined to keep them apart. Will his memory return in time to save their future?