Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not

by Marliss Melton

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now


The first book in Marliss Melton's SEAL Team Twelve military romantic suspense series offers a riveting look at the hardships faced by both prisoners of war and the families they leave behind--and what happens when they finally come home.

Helen Renault has started her life over thinking that her Navy SEAL husband Gabe was dead, but when Gabe returns he seems different and more caring, until the memory of the past three years starts to come back to him.

A Hero's Nightmare.
Gabe Renault doesn't know why he was in a prison camp. He has no memory of the past three years or of the Navy Seal mission that went wrong. Only two things kept him going: thoughts of his wife and the certainty that he must escape.

A Sudden Homecoming.
After Gabe is presumed dead, Helen pulls the tattered pieces of her and her daughter's lives back together. Married young and for all the wrong reasons, she's standing on her own two feet at last-and proud of it. Then comes the biggest shock of all--Gabe returns home. Gone is the distant, secretive husband he once was. This new Gabe is a man she could easily, finally, lose her heart to. But his memory is slowly returning, exposing a trail of government treachery...and jeopardizing his and Helen's second chance at love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446550369
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 11/15/2008
Series: Navy SEALs , #1
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 204,646
File size: 571 KB

About the Author

Marliss Melton enjoyed an exotic childhood growing up overseas where entertainment meant riding on elephants in Laos, visiting museums in Paris, and tracking tigers in northern Thailand. Her experiences traveling the world led to her love of language, music, and storytelling. She has taught English and Spanish at the high school level and linguistics at the College of William and Mary, her alma mater. A Golden Heart and RITA finalist, she has written ten books since first becoming published in 2002. The wife of a retired Navy veteran, Marliss finds writing military romantic suspense to be a perfect fit. She lives with her husband and many children near Virginia Beach, where she is inspired by real-life stories of Navy SEAL's sacrifices and their struggles to combat terrorism. You can check out her website at

Read an Excerpt

Forget Me Not

By Marliss Melton

Warner Forever

Copyright © 2004 Marliss Arruda
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61482-3

Chapter One

Helen immersed herself in the bath so that only her eyes and nose cleared the layer of bubbles. Gazing down the length of the tub, she studied Gabe's picture, standing amid a ring of dancing candles. Mixed emotions stormed her heart as she stared into his eyes.

Even from a distance of a few feet, the eyes in the eight-by-ten portrait mesmerized her, just as they had when she and Gabe first met. Light green with a gold starburst at the center, Gabe's eyes had given him his code name, Jaguar. They were uncannily direct, making her blush whenever he'd stared at her, which had been quite often in the beginning. But by the time he'd disappeared last year, only two years into their marriage, he'd scarcely given her the time of day. He was too wrapped up in being a SEAL platoon leader and in saving the world.

Helen blew the encroaching suds away from her mouth, sending a bubble into the air. It drifted a moment and then disintegrated. Like my love for you, she thought, addressing the man in the picture.

He'd disappeared a year ago. The Navy wouldn't reveal where he'd been or the circumstances surrounding his disappearance. For twelve long months, they'd referred to him as MIA, missing-in-action, never as deceased. But all that changed last week when a young officer appeared on herdoorstep bearing a flag.

With twelve full months gone by, the Navy was ready to declare Gabe dead. The flag made it official. Strange that a brand-new banner with crisp red stripes and bold stars would send Helen into shock. Not that she'd expected Gabe ever to return, but the way the flag had been folded in military fashion drove home the reality of his death like nothing else. Seeing the flag so tightly bound made it possible to imagine that Gabe's vitality had also been subdued.

Yet, on the heels of her shock came an inordinate sense of relief. She wouldn't have to surrender the newfound independence she'd discovered in recent months. She wouldn't have to give up the job that gave her so much satisfaction. She would raise her thirteen-year-old daughter alone, as she should have done in the first place.

It wasn't easy to admit, but her marriage to Gabe had been a mistake, an unnecessary detour. She'd thought she needed him to redeem herself in her parents' eyes. She'd wanted Mallory to have a father. But Gabe, with his drive to save the world, hadn't had time for a wife, let alone a stepdaughter.

Within a year of their marriage, the man who should have been her knight in shining armor had practically forgotten her. Three years in, he was dead.

So now it was over.

The mighty, indomitable Jaguar was gone, taken out by some faceless enemy. The flag made it evident. It was time to put the past behind her and to let it go. She didn't need Gabe Renault to make her whole. She'd done just fine this past year on her own. Better than fine. And yet ...

Even with her ears underwater, the words of the Natalie Cole CD playing in her bedroom reached her clearly. "Unforgettable, that's what you are ..." A pang of regret pierced Helen's heart.

She missed him from time to time. Closing her eyes, she could still feel his hands on her, his hot, scandalous tongue. He'd known every pleasure point on her body and used his knowledge to his advantage, calling her back to him whenever her heart began to drift away.

"Unforgettable, in every way ..."

He wasn't here to call her back now. She was free to go, to live her own life. With a deep sigh, she released her regret and sank into the water. Emerging moments later, she reached for the shampoo.

The telephone rang in another part of the house. Helen waited for Mallory to pick it up. She'd taught a step class in the morning and body sculpting in the afternoon. Arriving home this evening, she'd desperately craved a long, hot soak in the tub.

"Mom, it's for you." The bathroom door slammed open as Mallory marched in without knocking. In the light of the candles, her face looked waxen. Maybe it was just her complexion against the dye job she'd just given herself.

Black? "Oh, Mal," Helen cried, "what have you-"

"It's urgent," Mallory said, holding the phone out.

The size of Mallory's green eyes made Helen hesitate. She took the phone and leaned out over the edge of the tub. "This is Helen," she said quickly.

"Mrs. Renault, this is Commander Shafer over at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, Traumatology."

Helen lifted her gaze to her daughter's shocked face. This had to be about Mallory. She'd acted out again, had to be.

"Ma'am, I'm calling to let you know that we've got your husband here. It's a remarkable story, actually. He washed ashore in South Korea, just below the DMZ. He was in pretty bad shape considering ..."

The commander kept talking, but Helen couldn't hear him over the ringing in her ears. "I'm sorry, I think you've made a mistake," she said, cutting him off. "My husband's dead. He's been missing for a year."

"He's not dead, ma'am. The man we have is Lieutenant Gabriel Renault. He's been in North Korea all this time."

It couldn't be Gabe. Her mind flashed to the officer giving her the flag. It had been folded so tightly, so permanently. "Have you positively identified him? How can you be sure?"

"I understand that this is coming as a shock," the commander soothed. "But you can rest assured we IDed him thoroughly before making this call. His commander has been in to see him. All that's left is for a family member to do the same. He is alive, ma'am, and in pretty good condition, considering what he's been through."

Helen swallowed convulsively. Shock and amazement competed with powerful denial. The freedom she'd relished this last week was an illusion. Gabe was back. He'd been alive all this time!

"I'm sure you'll want to get down here right away," the commander prompted.

"Of course," she said, though she wasn't nearly as sure as he was.

Maybe they'd made a mistake. How could Gabe have survived a year in North Korea, of all places?

"There's something you should know, ma'am, before you see him."

She braced herself for awful news. He'd tell her now that Gabe had been tortured or mutilated.

"He's lost a portion of his memory, apparently. He doesn't have any recollection of a family of any kind. This sort of thing is normal, I want you to understand. It's an indication of post-traumatic stress disorder, nothing that can't be dealt with. We've got him on meds that keep him calm. Why don't you come down to the hospital tonight, and I'll go into more detail with you?"

Shocked into silence, Helen stared up at her pale-faced daughter. He doesn't remember them?


"Yes." She forced herself to say. "I'll be there in about an hour."

"Great. We're on the third floor. Just ask for Commander Shafer, and I'll escort you in to see your husband. Maybe someone should come with you?" he suggested.

"I'll bring my daughter."

The commander hesitated, no doubt picturing a young child. "Okay, we'll see you soon."

The phone clicked in Helen's ear. It fell out of her numb fingers and hit the bath mat with a thud. The flames of the candles seemed to bleed together. Maybe she'd drowned in the tub and was experiencing some kind of hallucination.

"Mom!" It was Mallory, bending over her with midnight hair instead of chestnut. "It's Dad, isn't it?" she demanded. Her pasty complexion wasn't solely a result of the dye job. "He's back, isn't he?" Mal asked in a tight voice. Helen couldn't tell if she was overjoyed or upset. It probably wasn't that simple.

Poor Mallory. When Helen and Gabe were married, she'd been euphoric with the expectation of finally having a father. It had been a painful disillusion to discover that her new father had no time for an adolescent daughter.

"He doesn't remember us." Helen related what the doctor had just told her. "He's suffering some kind of amnesia from being ... um ..." She couldn't bring herself to say it.

"Tortured?" Mallory supplied.

"I think so. We need to get to the hospital." Helen levered herself upward.

"Mom, your hair's full of soap."

Helen cranked on the faucet and stuck her head under cold water. She dressed in record time, brushed the tangles out of her hair, and jammed her feet into her tennis shoes while Mallory waited on her bed.

"You want me to drive?" Mal asked, looking suspiciously composed.

"Yeah, right." Helen forced a laugh. For someone who wasn't even related to Gabe, Mallory was a lot like him. She took blows without a blink, seemingly unaffected by the harsh realities of life. But then the stress manifested itself in some self-destructive behavior that sent Helen scrambling for a counselor.

"It's not that hard to drive," Mallory insisted, following her down the hall and out the front door.

Helen drove the silver Jaguar that had been Gabe's exclusive property. It was nearly nine o'clock on a gorgeous August night. They chased the sun that was sinking fast behind the trees. Helen took Route 264 at eighty miles an hour, her fingers so tight on the steering wheel she had to pry them loose to turn up the radio.

Just pretend everything is normal, she told herself. She was aware of the fact that she wasn't feeling grateful. It wasn't every day that a missing serviceman reappeared. What kind of wife was she not to be thrilled?

She was wary, that was all. She didn't know what to expect. Gabe had been held captive for a year, caught by the enemy in what must have been a weapons seizure gone bad. North Koreans were notoriously unfriendly to outsiders. No doubt they'd worked him over good for information that could be used against the U.S.A. God knew what kind of effect that would have on his personality.

She glanced at Mallory and wondered if her daughter felt as tumultuous as she. Mallory looked composed, staring out the window at the Norfolk and Portsmouth skylines. It was impossible to tell what she was thinking.

"It's going to be all right, Mal," she said, if only to keep them on line and communicating. The counselors had all stressed the importance of communication.

Mallory said nothing. Glancing down at her lap, Helen saw that Mallory's fingers on both hands were crossed for luck. She tore her gaze away, wondering what Mallory was wishing for-that Gabe would be okay? That he'd remember them? Surely she wasn't naive enough to wish for more than that.

How awfully he must have suffered, so badly that he'd repressed his memories! She quailed to think of his agony. More than that, she shuddered to think how he must be now, a terrorized, mental wreck.

She could see her newfound freedom flying out the window. Just an hour ago, she'd admitted to herself that her marriage to Gabe had died of neglect. How ironic that the moment she'd put his memory to rest, he returned to her, perhaps to wring that last drop of commitment out of her before he shook her off again.

She wouldn't turn her back on him, not in his time of need. She'd do everything in her power to see Gabe healthy again. And when he was finally whole, she'd give him back to Uncle Sam, who owned him anyway. She'd tell him then that their marriage was over.

It wasn't like the news was going to destroy him. Gabe didn't need her any more than she now needed him. It'd hurt his pride more than it would his feelings.

Blowing out a long, steadying breath, Helen felt better for having made a decision. This reunion was just temporary.

The knock on the door startled Gabe out of a drug-induced lethargy. He'd been staring at the empty TV screen envisioning a baseball game he remembered watching four years ago, wondering how he could remember that and not remember the three years in between. "Yeah," he called, pushing himself into a sitting position.

The knock had been charged with purpose. Gabe held his breath, thinking it just might be his wife and kid-the ones he couldn't remember. Dr. Shafer had warned him they were on their way. He'd bathed and shaved for the occasion, but he still didn't feel ready. How did a guy prepare for that kind of thing anyway?

A bouquet of flowers preceded his visitor through the door. Over a bright orange spray of lilies, he recognized the leader of SEAL Team Twelve, Commander Lovitt, and he started struggling out of bed to salute him.

"At ease, Lieutenant," Lovitt called, making formality unnecessary. Marching in, he deposited the flowers on Gabe's bedside bureau. "From the office," he explained, dusting a few fallen petals off his dress whites, as meticulous as ever. Obviously, Lovitt was on his way to some function. "How's the patient today?"

Lovitt had asked the same question yesterday, only Gabe had been too tranquilized to answer. "Better, sir," he said. "I apologize for not responding yesterday ..."

Lovitt waved away his apology. "There's no need to explain, Lieutenant. You'll have bad days and good days. At least you remembered me." Lovitt's gray eyes sharpened, an implied question in his statement.

"Yes, sir. I remember being stationed here, working primarily with Echo Platoon, but that was three years ago."

Lovitt's long stare struck Gabe as grave. "Mind if I draw up a chair?" he asked.

Gabe's heart sank. "No, sir. Please do." Lovitt's somber expression made him nervous. It made him think his commanding officer was going to cut him from the team without giving him a chance to get his memory back.

Lovitt hitched up his perfectly creased trouser legs and sat, military straight, in the visitor's chair. "Tell me what you remember, son," he exhorted.

Gabe swallowed hard. "Of the mission, sir?" He'd been through this just yesterday, with an analyst from the Defense Intelligence Agency, a man whose questions had worked him into such a state of anxiety he'd had to be tranquilized. Gabe didn't want to be put through that particular wringer again.

"No, no," Lovitt corrected. "I mean everything. Start with the beginning. Where were you born?"

The tension in Gabe's shoulders eased. He had no problems with his long-term memories. His childhood-as much as he'd like to forget it-seemed like only yesterday. "I was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1968."

"Go on," Lovitt prompted, giving him a patient nod.

"My grandmother raised me," Gabe continued, wondering just how much detail the CO wanted. Did he need to know that his young mother had died in a car accident when he was just six, that he'd never known his dad?

"We, ah, we lived in a tenement house on Acushnet Street." His grandmother had been an alcoholic who lived off her dead husband's pension. As far as parenting was concerned, she was about as influential in Gabe's life as Santa Claus. Gabe had bluffed his way through school and was heavily into street crime when his first real father-figure interceded-Sergeant O'Mally of the New Bedford Police.

Gabe was certain Commander Lovitt didn't need to hear about Sergeant O'Mally, but it was chiefly due to him that Gabe had joined the Navy in the first place.


Excerpted from Forget Me Not by Marliss Melton Copyright © 2004 by Marliss Arruda . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Forget Me Not 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by Marliss Melton and I was kind of let down by it. The storyline itself is imaginative and definitely keeps you guessing right up until its final twist. But as much as I liked that element, I could not stand the wife for about the first half to three quarters of the book. I understand tge sentiment of self-preservation, but she took it too far in many cases. I became so annoyed with her at one point that I set the book down and almost didn't pick it back up. The only reason I did was to see what happened to Gabe, his daughter, and his SEAL team. Will I ever read another Melton book again? I'd like to give her one more shot, as I loved all of the SEALs in this installation. Hopefully her characters are not this frustratingly obtuse in the rest of this series...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Good read. I enjoyed this book for the most part. The writing style was good and I do love stories about Seals or other Special Forces. The intrigue and action was superb. SPOILER ALERT: Here's what I didn't like: During the 1st half of the book the wife was portrayed as a stone cold b*tch, so I found it difficult to connect with her character as a heroine. I mean, really: her Navy Seal husband who was presumed dead is returned to her alive, after having been captured and tortured for a year. Yes, their marriage wasn't the greatest but anything short of physical abuse is no excuse for not helping your man through this uphill battle of recovery. She actually felt relieved when he was declared dead because she wouldn't have to give up her newly independent life. Come again? Wow. Why he even wanted her at this point was a mystery to me. Anyway, good but not the best.
Yvette4 More than 1 year ago
If you like Navy SEALS, this book is pretty good. Support characters are interesting enough to keep me continuing this series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
While in North Korea on a mission to steal four SAMs, a SEALS teammate attacks Gabe Renault, leaving him to die. Gabe¿s only regret is not telling his wife Helen that he loves her. That thought and seeing his teenage stepdaughter Mallory keeps Gave alive in a North Korean prison................ One year later Gabe escapes and comes home with partial amnesia of the last few years including not recognizing his wife. He vows to be a good husband, but Helen does not want him back as the SEALS always came middle and last with Gabe. As he heals and danger mounts from those who fear her will recover his memory and point out who assaulted him and left one SAM behind, Gabe campaigns to be all he can be to his wife and stepchild as he loves both and knows they kept him alive during his ordeal........................ This intriguing romantic suspense for the most part concentrates on the relationship between Gabe and his two women especially his spouse. The story line contains an intrigue element with the attempts on his life, but that takes a backseat to Gabe¿s campaign to re-win the heart and soul of Helen and to be a true father to Mallory. Readers will take great delight as Gabe struggles to overcome his own neglectful past succeeding with Mallory, but seemingly failing with Helen who does not believe a leopard can change its spots................... Harriet Klausner
lg4154 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
great book, really loved the characters
reading_crystal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Helen Renault has finally decided to move on with her life, almost a year after her husband was declared missing after a SEAL mission gone wrong. The truth is he was gone from her life long before that so she is through with her mourning when he is officially declared dead. On the night she makes the decision to move on, she gets a phone call that her husband is still alive but he can't remember the last year or the two before that - the whole time that Helen and her daughter Mallory were in his life. She tentatively goes to see him sure she has the resolve to not fall for the cold, emotionally devoid man he had become before that mission.Gabe has had a rough past but thankfully through some great role models he really made something of himself. Part of a SEAL team that were as close as family to him and he finally settles down with a woman. But because of his past he has remained somewhat aloof to his wife and step-daughter. Now sitting in a hospital bed, his wife and step-daughter step back into his life though he has no recollection of them.Through time the memories start to come back and Helen is somewhat surprised that the man who her husband was before is not the man who has returned to her.I'm never really sure how I like the husband/wife thing in romance books, I mean they are already together. This one it worked really well. Both sides had some giving to do and you really get to watch both of them grow. The daughter Mallory is a nice additional primary character. She really adds to the story. I also liked getting to know the other members of Gabe's SEAL team whose books will follow. Also the storyline is finalized enough for the end of the book, but there are some unanswered questions that lead into the next book.A great start to a series and I can't wait to read more about this SEAL team. With real characters and a plausible scenario, the romance touches you and the action never stops. This book was a joy to read and I highly recommend it.
christalvp More than 1 year ago
orget Me Not is a good start to a great series. I particularly enjoyed reading it this 2nd time around, already knowing all of the characters from it and the following books in the series. For me, this book has an intriguing and action packed storyline. I liked the balance of romance and suspense, and really enjoyed the character of Gabe Renault. I liked the way that after suffering something horrific, he came back determined to be a better husband and father, even though he didn't remember his family. His wife, Helen, was much harder for me to connect with. When her husband, who she has thought has been dead for the last year, suddenly turns up alive, she finds it an inconvenience to her new lifestyle. I had a hard time forgiving her for that. Even though he wasn't a model husband or father, I could have understood her reluctance to take him back in her life, but not her seeming disappointment that he was alive. After a mission goes wrong for SEAL Team 12, Gabe Renault is missing and presumed dead. In actuality, he is being held captive. It is a year later before he manages to escape. Gave had a deep seated fear of intimacy, which caused him to give his all to his team, while virtually ignoring his wife and stepdaughter. After two years of an marriage with an emotionally distanced husband, Helen is unhappy and ready to call it quits. When Gabe doesn't come back after the failed mission, she makes a new life for herself and her daughter. A year later, she is not overjoyed when Gabe turns up alive. Although very reluctant to have him in her life at all, Helen takes Gabe home to help him recover, planning to end their marriage once he has improved. While he has memories of earlier in his life, Gabe remembers nothing of the past three years, which includes all of the time that he has known Helen. Once at home, Gabe seems to be a completely man from the one Helen knew in the past. He is much more open and approachable, and actually seems to want to be part of her life and that of her daughter. As Gabe realizes his life is in danger, Helen must decide if they could have a future together. While I believe this to be the weakest book in the series, it is still a good one. All of my issues with the book come down to feeling like Helen is heartless for not being thankful that her husband is alive. I do like the way their relationship is resolved, and I believe Helen ends up with the appropriate feeling sfor Gabe. However, it is very difficult to get past my initial dislike of her, even upon this re-read of the book. Gave, on the other hand, is a character who tried to be a better man, and I admired him greatly.
I_Want_To_Be_Sam More than 1 year ago
If you love Breckman trouble shooters or Banks KGI than this is a sereis for you. Navy SEal Team 12 won't let you down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
zarb More than 1 year ago
I really love this author. Would recommend to those who love action and emotion in a military related story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Katey_37 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. Couldn't put it down. The characters are likeable and I'm definitely checking out the rest of the series. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago