Blind Faith (Blind Faith #1)

BlindFaithNRWalker300Title: Blind Faith (Blind Faith #1)
Author: N.R. Walker
Cover Artist N/A
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella/144 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Review Summary: Well written romance with both MCs having to make adjustments in their attitudes and lives for each other.

The Blurb

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece, makes a house call to a very special client.

Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn’t going well.

Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading whom?

Blind Faith Series

The Review

Isaac had been blinded as a child in a car accident that killed his mother, and he spent months in hospital after waking up from a coma. His life was full of pain, starting with the death of his mother and its impact on his father who couldn’t cope with a dead wife and blind son and became an alcoholic, drinking himself into an early grave when Isaac was 18. Isaac’s first guide dog passed away when he was 14 and his next guide dog, Rosie, to whom he was very attached, died two years ago which left him inconsolable and devastated.  His only anchor was his older sister Hannah who supported him throughout his life by loving him and caring for his physical needs. Isaac has a new guide dog, Brady, but he had been hurt so many times by life that he refuses to become emotionally attached to Brady and doesn’t show him any affection because he feels it would be disloyal to Rosie’s memory.

Carter moved to Boston to take over the practice of the previous veterinarian who was retiring. Brady was  his first patient, and initially Carter seemed more concerned with the dog’s welfare and Isaac’s lack of affection for him than in the man, although he was drawn to him physically because Isaac was very attractive. It took a while for Isaac to warm up to Carter but he did eventually as they got to know and trust each other and I loved how their romance took time to blossom as Carter patiently wooed the man he was beginning to care for. He realized that Isaac’s reticence and issues regarding attachment to others was because he was afraid to love due to the many brickbats he had experienced in his short life, so he tried to compensate by being especially loving. But Carter had also been hurt by a previous lover and it took a while for him to admit his softer feelings for Isaac and for Isaac to reciprocate. This resulted in some growing pains in their relationship as each MC had to make adjustments in his thinking. In addition, Isaac was very moody when there was a setback, which made him appear to be spoiled.

What I was hoping to find in this story was how Isaac coped with everyday life as a blind man who lived on his own and had to fend for himself: finding a job, renting an apartment and doing all the daily things that other blind people have to do to integrate into the sighted world. He had enough money to live comfortably, he was a teacher at a school for the blind, and his sister took care of his personal needs such as helping with the initial prep for his meals and shopping for his clothes, even doing his laundry. He also didn’t have to deal with the discrimination most blind people face in a sighted world. My first job was at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and I saw first hand how difficult it was for blind people to learn how to cope with their disability (especially if they were blinded later in life and not born blind) and assimilate into the sighted world where others might resent making the smallest accommodation or concession for them. Isaac didn’t seem to exhibit any frustration at his disability, apart from minor mishaps, and I thought he could have shown more emotion and anger – he just seemed to go with the flow..

A lot of the story revolved around Isaac’s treatment of Brady, and in response Carter lavished attention on the dog while at the same time trying not to be obvious because Isaac seemed to resent anyone else being demonstrative towards his guide dog. I thought that a little less of this aspect of the book and more together time with Carter and Isaac dealing with their issues might have worked better. However I couldn’t fault the writing which I thought was crisp, funny at times especially when Carter’s friend Mark was around as he took no prisoners, made no apologies for his approach to sex, was irreverent and made fun of everything and everyone. Hannah was also very funny and didn’t treat her brother with kid gloves.

This book has a range of rating stars on Amazon- from 5 stars to 2, depending on how readers reacted to Isaac’s character, as many of them found him to be obnoxious. It took me a while to warm up to him because he was cold towards Brady, but after I saw his interaction with his sister and Carter I realized that he was only trying to protect himself from further hurt.

This is the first book I’ve read from this author and I just finished a free story that she wrote sometime ago, Sixty Five Hours, that I liked a lot. You can download it from her website. I may review it in a few weeks.

I think you’ll enjoy Blind Faith despite the emphasis on Brady’s care, as the characters are fully three dimensional and the courtship was done well. While much of the conflict in the book revolved around Isaac’s treatment of Brady, the issues between Isaac and Carter were also front and centre. The story is told from Carter’s first person POV but Isaac made his presence felt whenever he was on the page. I ended up liking him almost as much as Carter – whether you do or not will depend on your perspective about how he treated Brady. However there is another book that has just been released, called Through these Eyes, about the further adventures of Carter and Isaac and I’m looking forward to seeing where N.R. Walker takes her characters in this new story.

Recommended.

 

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

14 comments

  • Thanks, her heart got too weak but at least she was never in pain
    We still have her daughter, that’s a great comfort

  • Having just had to put a beloved dog to sleep, I’ll wait with this one, it does sound like my thing, but I’m not in a place where I can read it right now

    • Majken
      I’m so sorry about your dog. I feel the hurt just as deeply today about my Jesse and it has been almost 9 years since I had to put him down. So take your time. I know a very funny book with a dog as the main character – when you’re ready let me know and I’ll tell you the name.

  • I thought I would like it more. It started more promising for me that it delivered in the end. So I ended up rating it 3 stars om GR.

    It’s difficult to get the finger on the things that bugged me, it’s probably that it just didn’t click with me.

    Carter is a nice guy…without any character traits that would make him remarkable. He is nice, he loves pets, he is patient but not always. I wrack my brain to think of more…but that’s it. For that it’s written in his POV we don’t get to know him very well.
    Isaac at least is a bit more fleshed out as a moody character….which didn’t endear him to me so much.

    Their chemistry? Hm…I’ve probably read to much m/m to find it in any way special. I really think that the author could have worked more with the blindness and the inexperience. It was kept in mind and worked in but wasn’t enough to elevate the lovescenes from being like so many others.

    And don’t even ask me about Carter’s dog. Yeah – such a great vet…leaving his dog alone at home the whole day…a Border Collie of all dogs. That bugged me to no end but I have to admit it – it’s one of my pet-peeves in books, all these dogs alone at home the whole day….annoying.

    So….I’ve read a lot of enthusastic reviews (that was the reason I bought it) and I feel like I should say “It’s me, it’s not you.” But for me it was just a nice to read but average book – like there are hundreds more. So…I’m not going to read the second one (yeah…blurb just made me want to hit Isaac…so..not my thing) but that’s just me. 😉

    • Hi Sunne
      As I said in the review, it took me a while to respond to Isaac who I thought lived in an unreal world for a blind person. He was very pampered but that was not entirely his fault because he did try to be independent. I hope that the new book will show him in that light a lot more and answer a lot of my questions.

      With regard to Carter’s dog Missy, Carter worked all day so he could not be with her during that time. I can’t remember the specifics, but I thought he went home for Missy on several occasions when he was with Isaac at his house. I’m not sure I felt he mistreated her by leaving her alone while he was at work or with Isaac. He also included her in their outdoors trips

      This is a book that divided a lot of readers, going by the comments on Amazon and even from the few comments on this post. Readers either love Isaac or hate him. I had my own reservations as I expressed in the review, and I hope that the new book will answer some of my questions.

      • Hi Wave,

        My problem with the book wasn’t so much Isaac but the missing chemistry between them. I could understand where Isaac’s moodiness came from but he and Carter didn’t work as a couple for me – no spark I could see.

        And about Missy, that is exactly what I meant. If you are a Vet you don’t have a Border Collie and leave it at home all day – this is a breed that needs to work, to do something.
        I know he fetched her after work but that wouldn’t be enough. Keeping a dog at home the whole day while working is just not right, especially not a breed that suffers when it is not challenged. As a vet he should know that.
        I have encountered this problem in more books, large dogs at home the whole day, then a quick run around the blog or in the garden. As I mentioned, it is my pet-peeve. It’s not fitting to the dog’s needs. Maybe dogs are kept different in America – I know no real life people here who love their dog and leave it at home for more than half a day. Dogs have needs and a Border Collie needs more than a walk in the evening to be a content dog. And if the MC then is a vet and doesn’t deliver…..I think you get what I mean.

        • Hi Sunny

          I’m afraid I don’t know much about Border Collies so at first I didn’t understand your concern — now I do. Writers who have dogs as characters in their books probably aren’t aware how many of their readers are dog lovers and know a lot about the breeds, and consequently are concerned when the dogs are not treated in the manner that the breed should be treated. One would think that a vet would know something about the breed. I had a Doberman for 11 1/2 years, which is a long time for a Dobe to live, and he needed A LOT of exercise so I would have been upset if a Dobe in a book was kept locked up in a house most of the day. To answer your question: no, dogs are not treated any differently in North America. We treat them just as lovingly as our European friends. 🙂

          • Sorry about your dog – mine is just 5 so I hopefully will have him for a long time to come.

            But I can see you now understand what I mean – it’s that basics are not properly covered. A vet would never leave a Border Collie at home the whole day (and any other dog in my opinion). So it was either sloppy research on the authors side or Carter isn’t very competent in his profession…and since it’s a book I’d say sloppy research/thinking. 😀

  • I too enjoyed this book., even though I hated the way Isaac treated his helpmate, Brady. That poor dog! I was also annoyed with the fact that he was angry when other people were nice to Brady! Boo! It is a tribute to the authors skill that she actually made me like Isaac in the end. Even though he was blind and hot,he was lucky that Carter had the fortitude to persevere with his courtship! The secondary characters really helped round the story out. In addition to the two you mentioned, I also liked The retiring vet, and his other house call patient. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, AND taking my 2 dogs out for a good, long walk!

    • Hi Lisa

      Isaac’s character was very flawed. He took out his anger at Rosie’s passing on Brady who only wanted to help his master. I ended up liking Isaac in the end but it took a lot for me to do so.

      I loved the old lady whose cat had passed away. One of the reasons Carter was my favourite MC was because of the way he handled the burial and her grief. There were many vignettes in the book that made up for Isaac and this was one of them.

  • I really loved these books. Blind Faith (book 1) was a solid B for me, but the sequel, Through These Eyes was an A! Based on some of the reviews, I thought it might be on the sweet side, but I loved the characters, and even though Isaac could be difficult, he had a lot to deal with and overcome, so I cut him some slack.

    • Hi Annie
      Thanks for commenting. I must admit it took me a while to “love” Blind Faith mainly because of the way Isaac’s character treated Brady. I’m a huge dog lover; as a matter of fact the name of this site is partly an homage to my dog Jesse who passed away almost 9 years ago, so I couldn’t imagine an author using that type of conflict between an MC and his dog in the book. It was original but it was bound to make some readers hate Isaac and Blind Faith. I don’t know why N.R. Walker didn’t see that …. or maybe she did and thought it was a worthwhile conflict anyway.

      I’m looking forward to reading Through These Eyes which I hope will be a first person POV from Isaac’s perspective.

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