She doesn’t need a hero. But a sexy Marine…that’ll work.
Though Lauren Baxter’s world is a blurry mess of colors, she has no tolerance for pity. With the help of her guide dog, Jack Sparrow, she’s built a good life for herself. She has everything she wants: her PhD, a thriving counseling practice and her independence.
When she meets her new neighbor, the man’s warm Texas accent and clean male scent weaken her knees. Her attraction to the former Marine is mutual and, unfortunately, a complication she doesn’t need.
Gabriel Briggs carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has his reasons for indulging only in short-term flings, but the feisty, green-eyed Lauren makes him want to forget every one.
In a rare moment of fragility, Lauren winds up in Gabe’s arms. One night together can’t break their self-imposed rules, right? But when a woman from Gabe’s past is murdered, the reasons he should have stayed away become painfully clear, threatening innocent lives he may not be able to save—especially Lauren’s.
Warning: Contains a blind therapist who doesn’t consider herself impaired; a meddling, erotic-novel-writing best friend; a hot ex-Marine with a shady past; and a loyal guide dog that howls “I love you” and is probably the sanest one of the bunch.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
There is so much to like about this book, and not just because the heroine is blind. Lauren is a great character – she’s smart, funny, gutsy and so determined to be independent, not just because of her impaired vision but from men too. She has a hilariously sex-obsessed best friend and the best guide dog ever, not to mention a thriving therapy practise. She has neither the need nor the room for anything else in her life. Sure, she’s had a few knocks and it’s made her a little defensive and wary, but always in an understandable way. I really liked her.
However, regardless of what Lauren thinks she wants or needs, her new neighbour has other ideas. Gabe is sexy and rugged and strong and has even more issues and problems than Lauren. I loved how none of those things really mattered, though, when he and Lauren got to know each other. His looks, for obvious reasons, play no part in their attraction and although Gabe loves the way Lauren looks, he soon learns everything else about her is just as sexy, if not more so, than her body. And despite the way Lauren treats him, he’s so sweet in coming back for more. Yes, at first he’s a bit pushy, but soon he’s just adorable in the way he reveals all of himself to her.
Well, most of himself, because just when this story seems to be settling into a nice rhythm about the bad boy next door falling for the cool, independent woman who just wants him for his body, things take a sudden and unexpected swerve. Although I quickly connected the dots, it still came out of nowhere and changed the whole tone of the book. Suddenly there was a crime plot and a bit of a dark mystery and even though it was good and I enjoyed reading it, I might have liked a little more forewarning that the book was going to head that way. I also felt that Gabe’s Marine background was an empty prop put in place purely to give him the tools to play the hero. It doesn’t seem to have impacted on his life at all; he doesn’t talk about it, he doesn’t think about it – it’s as if it never even happened.
But to be honest the plot itself is secondary to the characters in this book. Not just Lauren and Gabe, but Sunny the erotic author best friend, and a scattering of other people from both Lauren and Gabe’s pasts. There’s also Jack Sparrow, Lauren’s wonderful dog. I loved how vital he was to her life, especially at first. However, I also had a few issues with him, mostly concerning Ben, the ex-husband.
Yes, the man helped to train him so there would have been a bond, but also Jack was trained to respond to Lauren’s emotional cues. You’d think that since being around Ben made her tense and nervous that Jack would have responded to that rather than jumping on the man. I also didn’t like the way the dog effectively abandons her towards the end of the book. Sure, it’s cute that Jack senses someone else needs him, but German Shepherds are loyal; I would have expected him to stick with Lauren more. As for the very end… yeah, not happy about the pointlessness of that. No emotional repercussions, nothing, it was just flat. Jack deserved more.
In all this is a good read with some great characters. The romance is lovely and absorbing, the plot has unexpected moments with a crime flavour, and Lauren is a nice, positive representation of a woman excelling at life regardless of the challenges she faces. One or two things aside, I really enjoyed this and will definitely look out for more from this author – especially if Sunny is involved.
Blind Love is out June 2nd!
Visit Kishan Paul for more details.