A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Sometimes even when done well, less is just not enough- for me these fully imagined characters would have been better served by a full length novel and a more detailed steampunk world.
Blurb: For three years, Cap Kaufman has been trying to make amends to his war buddy’s orphaned daughter—building her a safe home, and even finding her the best nanny. Now, he’s kidnapped the man her doctor says is the best bet for fixing her blindness.
When Hector Gabourel wakes up on a boat in the middle of nowhere, he’s confronted by a man determined to get his own way. He has no choice but to play along and wait for a chance to escape. What he doesn’t count on, however, is learning to respect the man who uprooted him from everything he knew, all for the love of a child.
For Hector, it’s a challenge. For Cap, it’s penance. For both of them, it’s a chance for love. All it takes is opening their eyes to see what’s right in front of them…
Once I got over Cap’s outrageous plan of kidnapping Hector in order to make him help restore his adopted daughter’s sight- asking and / or negotiation seems to have been disregarded- this warm hearted and quirky story was a pleasant read.
I liked the main characters with their various idiosyncrasies. Hector’s concerns about his job in the film industry was used to give a brief glimpse of political world building, which was done with a subtle touch, but I would have enjoyed a lot more detail. Likewise the war that injured Cap, killed his friend, and stole Diana’s sight could have been expanded on. I actually felt a bit locked out. Cap and Hector’s relationship built at a believable pace. Their sexual relationship was very well developed and with some real heat. I thought the later tension between them felt contrived and was an unnecessary authorial twitch.
Aside from the enjoyable romance between mature men the main element of the story concerns the ambitious engineering struggle to give Diana back her sight. I was disconcerted by Cap’s lack of concern about Doc’s alcohol problems given he was going to be his surgeon of choice. Hector’s interactions with Diana were sweetly done if not particularly surprising. The main theme, interwoven with the concerns about Diana’s upbringing, was of building a family from the individuals that are sharing her home.
I liked the broken world, steampunk feel to this work and I particularly enjoyed Cap and Hector together. The description of Cap’s home made it very appealing. However even allowing for the idea of these characters finding their own safe haven, I felt there was a need to expand the boundaries of what was an intriguing but slight slice of story. Basically I just wanted a bigger…..and more ambitious bit.