Off the bat, I’m going to say that the premise was good, but there were many things that went wrong before the end.
Blind Man’s Bluff (Stone Gap Mountain Series Book 2) by Ivy James released a few years back in the contemporary romance genre.
Can you love someone and still be free? Emma Wyatt agrees to tutor a recently blinded, embittered soldier because of the $50,000 paycheck his brother offers. Blind herself, Emma dreams of independence and freedom. She wants to own a large kennel and live away from her overprotective family. But when she’s attracted to her student, she fears falling for him means giving up her dreams.
Can you protect someone when you cannot see? Good soldiers show no weakness. Ian MacGregor holds his battle with claustrophobia close to his chest, unsuccessfully trying to cope on his own. He’s lost in the dark and struggling to accept his fate. Ian knows duty, honor, serving his country. But his desire for Emma is overshadowed by the danger lurking around them. Emma would be better off with someone else. Someone sighted.
Someone able to protect her from the person determined to keep them apart.
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It was okay.
And it gave me thoughts.
Mostly, because I enjoyed Ian’s path to accept blindness. Or, at the very least, live with it. I think it was well done, as I think the reasons to have Emma helping him are right considering they don’t live exactly downtown New York, where finding a therapist would be easy.
I liked her, although I’m not sure how much she was this positive for real, or she made herself be. You know, lemons and lemonade? And if she pushed it a little on the cheerful side, as sometimes I felt she was doing, is still understandable.
I don’t quite get why she’s attracted to, and later falls for, Ian. Okay, he’s hurt and mean with it (because, yeah), but his “neediness” seems like only thing they have in common.
I get him, although I feel like he dragged it too much, for too long, and then wen down at neck-breaking speed. His arc was kind of static until ¾ of the story and then, all of a sudden, he went all the way. But, again, I get him as a character.
It works. Nothing stood out, to me, as impossible. It flows.
So, why only 3 stars?
~ The soap opera revelations
The cheating within the family, the dads who knows, the lost son… A lot, where Emma and Ian’s story would have been enough. She could have helped the younger guy in trouble, and anything else could have followed in the same way as it does without making it so dramatic. It felt un-needed. It doesn’t add anything to the story, and I wouldn’t have felt like something was lacking.
~ The easy way out with her miracle.
Sorry, but for me, miracles and the likes are a no. It’s too much of an easy way out for the author. Now, I appreciate her getting her sigh back because it brings more complications. It puts a new spin on their relationship, definitely new problems. So, if I really liked that it happened, I didn’t like the explanation. Why don’t say that the pressure was the problem from the beginning and find some reason why they couldn’t operate? Or something else (not a doc here). There’s hardly ever the need of a miracle.
~ The hurry at the end.
The story felt like proceeding in first gear for more than half, then it hurries with one turn after another. The last chapter and epilogue felt like a TV show blurb.
~ My biggest problem was the dialogue, how, sometimes, I knew I was being fed info. I can’t say it was stilted. Exactly. But something didn’t flow and took me off the story. Also, dialogue tags are not necessarily a bad thing when used well. Having characters calling the person they are talking to so that the reader doesn’t get lost is, in my opinion, worse.
~ Is he okay?
He went down the cellar. Okay. Then… what? Considering claustrophobia was his issue, maybe even more than blindness itself, the resolution was far from satisfying. A paragraph would have been enough, if it showed us how he went back again with little to no trouble, or talking to whoever about hw was over it.
The other reviews.
Per usual, here’s what I think about other, lower, reviews.
Emma doing all the things she does was not a problem. She didn’t do all in one day. She had schedules, and the routine that was full but doable.
To me, Emma was even too nice to the needy girl. I couldn’t stand her after the second time she talked.
Yeah, not a fan of the cover. Those photoshopped abs… No need.