Title: Running Blind
Author: Venona Keyes, Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 7th 2016
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
Kyle Green is on top of the world. He and Matt have been together for ten years, and—as the voice of Ecos, the wildly popular anime character—Kyle is treated like a rock star in anime circles. But in an instant, a stroke leaves him blind. When photographer Matt gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Kyle reexamines their relationship, discovers it has been a safety net rather than a true romance, and sets Matt free to pursue his dream. Kyle’s life and career as he knew them are gone, and he must now find the courage and creativity to draft a new plan.
After being away for fifteen years, Seth Caplan comes home to Chicago to care for his mother and to partner with a small start-up tech company. He and Kyle meet after Kyle’s collision with a child’s sidewalk toy, and they hit it off. Kyle wants to get back into running, and Seth becomes his guide. As they get to know each other, they start seeing each other beyond their three-times-a-week runs. But Seth’s revelation of the dark reason why he left his career in California sends the relationship into a tailspin and leaves both men running blind.
“He turned too quickly and, disoriented, felt the floor tilt beneath his feet. He sank down onto his ass.
“Don’t let me fall off the world,” he prayed to nobody in particular.”
Kyle Green had it all: the amazing boyfriend, the successful job, the four-bedroom house, the supportive family. And in an instant, everything changes. A stroke (or, in his words, “…just a random fucking by fate”) leaves him blind. To be more precise, it leaves him with Riddoch syndrome, which, in a few words, is the ability to distinguish objects only while moving. Like using a rocking chair, or like running.
Enter Seth Caplan. Seth came to town to take care of his mother, but has his own demons to deal with. After a chance encounter and some luck, Seth becomes Kyle’s running guide.
I loved this story for everything that it wasn’t. You know how in this type of stories the disabled person becomes the asshole that refuses to get help, all while being rude and disrespective to his helpers? This story is not that cliché , and Kyle is not that man. He hurts and struggles and reaches his breaking point. But he’s also kind and funny and accepts all the help he can get, until he’s back on his feet.
Matt becomes an ex-boyfriend in this book, but he’s not the evil ex who dumped his partner after he became blind. Also, this book is not an angstfest. It’s not a light story, but not the heaviest either, considering the subject matter.
The steam level is pretty low in this one, but I didn’t really mind (surprisingly!). Kyle and Seth are honest with each other, and agree that they want to take things slow. They actually court each other first! So yes, it takes a while to get to the one existing sex scene, which isn’t overly descriptive.
My few niggles: I did feel that some parts were slow. Kyle is an audio book narrator and there are a lot of details about his job and the way he adapts after the stroke. BUT audiobooks are not my thing. If it’s yours, you might love this part of the story. Also, Seth’s behavior at some point seemed a little OTT, and I needed to have his POV.
Thumbs up for the most wonderful and adorable scene at 95%. It put a huge smile on my face. The writing is stellar and the HEA is pretty strong. Recommended!
“No longer running blind.”