Title: 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.
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
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.