She doesn’t need a hero. But a sexy Marine…that’ll work.
Though Lauren Baxter’s world is a blurry mess of colors, she has no tolerance for pity. With the help of her guide dog, Jack Sparrow, she’s built a good life for herself. She has everything she wants: her PhD, a thriving counseling practice and her independence.
When she meets her new neighbor, the man’s warm Texas accent and clean male scent weaken her knees. Her attraction to the former Marine is mutual and, unfortunately, a complication she doesn’t need.
Gabriel Briggs carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has his reasons for indulging only in short-term flings, but the feisty, green-eyed Lauren makes him want to forget every one.
In a rare moment of fragility, Lauren winds up in Gabe’s arms. One night together can’t break their self-imposed rules, right? But when a woman from Gabe’s past is murdered, the reasons he should have stayed away become painfully clear, threatening innocent lives he may not be able to save—especially Lauren’s.
Warning: Contains a blind therapist who doesn’t consider herself impaired; a meddling, erotic-novel-writing best friend; a hot ex-Marine with a shady past; and a loyal guide dog that howls “I love you” and is probably the sanest one of the bunch.
WOW! That was so much more than I expected. Even with the vague references in the blurb of threats to innocent lives did not prepare me for just how intense Blind Love got when the romantic suspense angle was fully unveiled. I was expecting an angsty yet sweet romance in which our hero, Gabe, had to break down our heroine’s, Lauren’s, walls in order to convince her that her blindness didn’t affect his feelings for her. While there were some of those elements present in the story, the angst was minimal and the only thing sweet were the cookies Gabe shared with Evan. But the suspense – there was plenty of and it kept me glued to my Kindle to the point that I gave my dog a treat so she’d leave me alone when the action really ramped up.
Paul does a nice job of setting up the meet cute between Lauren and Gabe. Although we’re not aware of it at the time, Gabe has been lusting after his neighbor for the past several weeks since he bought the place next door. Because we don’t know this, his dinner invitation when they first meet seems a bit premature and I was just as shocked as Lauren was. But Paul presents the story from Lauren and Gabe’s points of view (Ben’s as well when needed) and it proves to be a bit entertaining as Gabe tries to figure out why he’s breaking his rule and pursuing a woman who is obviously not a one-night-stand kind of girl. Thanks to some not so gentle prodding by her best friend, Lauren begrudgingly allows Gabe into her life and fortunately her attempts to keep him at arm’s length fail. I will say that I was surprised with the morning-after freak-out, and even more so by the apology that followed later that day. While there is some back and forth regarding the relationship, it’s not too angsty and it felt realistic considering their situation … as we knew it to be. And yet when things started to get too serious, Gabe decides to take off and receives an unexpected phone call at the same time. THIS is when the romantic suspense elements first begin to appear in the story, but don’t be fooled by their seeming mildness because while the murder that sends Gabe back to Texas is disturbing, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg of where the book is headed.
The relationship between Gabe and Lauren begins as the distraction they each need but as it develops, the bond between the two strengthens even as neither is willing to admit it. Their interactions are at times heartwarming, at times full of humor, and certainly steamy as their attraction is palpable. I loved how Lauren’s profession was incorporated into the book and enabled her to help Evan. When the suspense elements really kicked in, I was on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could to find out how things would play out. There is an incident in the book that had me bawling and I was surprised the author took the realism that far – heartbroken, yet impressed. Fortunately Paul does a great job of breaking the intense moments with just the right amount of humor and I found myself laughing hysterically on more than one occasion, especially while reading the Epilogue. Blind Love was an unexpected surprise this evening and I loved it. I cannot wait to read more of Paul’s work.