Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Jake Manning needs another job and needs it desperately. He’s paying off his mother’s loans and keeping his sisters fed and on track with their lives but the job he’s working at isn’t enough and he just got fired from the last job he had. Housekeeping? A piece of cake as that’s all he’s done all his life as the parent figure to his kids sisters. So any housekeeping job, even one with a person who makes the other housekeepers quit, is great. But nothing in Jake Manning’s life has prepared him for Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man.
Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, and his demands had his previous housekeepers quitting in large numbers. But in Jake, Patrick has met his match. Jake makes his house spotless, finds his demanding notes amusing and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves. And what’s more, Jake doesn’t act as though being blind means living a restricted life.
Patrick finds Jake’s scent irresistible, Jake finds Patrick gorgeous and they love being together. His sisters are starting to life their own lives, Jake’s mom looks to be on the path to sobriety, after all his sacrifices, can it be that Jake will finally be able to live his own life and have the future he wants?
The Blinding Light is another terrific tale from Renae Kaye. Her complicated main characters of The Blinding Light are Patrick Stanford, a “nose” for a high priced perfume company with degrees in Chemistry, a guide dog and not much else in his life. Patrick has been blind from birth and Kaye takes us directly into his home and the typical life he leads with furniture and objects that must staying exactly where they are, braille readers, and the adjustments that people without sight have to make in their lives. It’s straightforward, fascinating, and full of insights (no pun intended). His backstory is as complicated and layered as Patrick himself. I really liked that dimension to this character. He was real, snarky, intelligent, and finally pretty open hearted in his outlook.
Then there’s Jake Manning. Forced by his mother’s continued irresponsibility and bad parenting, combined with her substance abuse problems, Jake has been the glue that holds his family together. With sisters at all ages including a baby, Jake has been their parent, their means of support, their everything…to an extent they are not even aware of. That’s where the loan comes in. Kaye has burdened Jake with a load of family complications and issues and yet he is still a positive, aggressively happy young man. And I think that’s my only problem with Jake. Where’s the frustration and anger? Jake just takes the pounding that life is giving him and continues to make ice cream floats instead of dents in walls. I loved his character, don’t get me wrong. But he just felt too good, too forgiving and that bothered me.
The side characters are as good as the main ones, although they really only exist to lightly support the relationship between Patrick and Jake and Jake and his family. How it all comes together works, although again, that ending just felt a little forced. Still, I found their relationship and the snappy, funny dialog between them charming and delightful. That goes especially at the beginning when Jake and Patrick are just trading notes to each other, parts of that is hilarious.
The Blinding Light is well written and a lovely read. It flows easily and quickly to the resolution. And for all that I wanted there to be a tad more reality in Jake’s reactions to his family’s situation, I enjoyed watching them come together and their HEA at the end.
I recommend The Blinding Light, along with The Shearing Gun and Safe in His Arms. You can’t go wrong with a Renae Kaye story. Happy Reading.
Cover Artist Bree Archer. I get where the artist is going with this design but it is just too hazy to be a great cover. Covers should pull you in with a compelling design. While the elements sort of go with the story, it just doesn’t do the job well. And actually the models don’t resemble in clothing or age at all.
ebook, 212 pages
Published July 14th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 13th 2014)