Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Architect Gregory Hampton’s son, Davey, is playing in a Little League softball game and having difficulties with pitching and hitting where he had none before. Then a stranger approaches Gregory with a startling suggestion…that Greg should take Davy to an eye doctor for an examination. The diagnosis is frightening. Davey has a genetic occular disease that has just kicked in with the result that Davey’s sight is degenerating rapidly, and eventually he’ll go blind. Suddenly life is all about helping Davey adjust to his impending loss of eyesight and a romance with the handsome businessman he just met has to be relegated to the background. Or does it?
Wealthy businessman Tom Spangler had no sooner met architect Gregory Hampton and arranged to go on a date when a call arrives to disrupt their evening. Sometime during the evening, Greg’s son Davey had completely lost his sight and a traumatized son is in need of his father. After ferrying them both home, Tom waits to hear from Greg. And while he waits, Tom researches how to help Greg and his son, Davey even though he is not even sure the man and his son will accept his help.
One of the things that Tom has researched is beep baseball. Here balls and bases make sounds to enable the visually impaired to participate in Little League. When Tom spearheads an effort to form a team so Davey can continue to play the game he loves, it draws Tom and Greg closer and brings Davey back to the game he thought he would never play again. But Greg’s ex wife has returned with a plan in mind for Davey that will reject everything that Greg, Tom and Davey have worked so hard to accomplish. With a threat to Davey’s happiness at stake, what will Tom and Greg do to ensure his safety and future?
Love Comes Home is the third story in the Senses series and it is a lovely one. The previous story focused on Howard who is blind and his lover, Gordy, both of whom are a strong presence here in Love Comes Home as part of the village of people who help Davey accept his blindness and move forward. Once again, Andrew Grey’s story is centered on someone who is blind but in this case it is a young boy who turns blind almost overnight due to a genetic ocular disease no one knew he had until puberty sets it off. Up until then Davey is a highly athletic, normal boy being raised by a single dad, Greg Hampton.
Andrew Grey’s characters comes across as totally believable human beings, albeit sometimes a little too nice given some of the circumstances they find themselves in. Gregory Hampton is high on my list of favorite characters here as a single dad who puts his son first, including his own wants and needs. His reactions when informed of his son’s diagnosis seems so authentic as he reels between denial and acceptance, not for himself at first but for Davey. Then later, Grey shows Greg’s own grief set in and its both wrenching and raw. Davey too feels all too authentic as a young boy who thinks his life is over until he is shown how to move forward with his disability by a close knit circle of friends. Tom, however, is a little more too, too everything. Too wealthy, too handsome, too great a boyfriend and potential stepfather to Davey. I just wish he had a tad more flaws to make him less a knight in shining armor and more a lonely man looking for love who finds a family as well. A flawed human being for me is always the more interesting and absorbing person to read about. Tom seems almost too perfect to be read and that lessens the romance for me as well.
Andrew Grey has indicated that he has done a mountain of research towards this book and it shows. From the classes that Davey is immersed in to teach himself how to read and write Braille or to simply function in every day life, the author moves his characters through the necessary steps towards Davey’s independence and acceptance at exactly the right pace for a family still trying to deal with Davey’s disease and altered lifestyle. It’s a wonderful journey and it culminates in Davey’s introduction to Beep Ball and the formation of a team of children like Davey in that they are sight impaired.
Ah, Beep Ball. What a splendid sport. And through Grey’s descriptions we are able to visualize how Davey and the other kids step forward with enthusiasm for some and trepidation for others to have fun, be a part of a group and play a sport that was thought impossible to participate in for some kids and parents. We get the laughter, the dropped balls and the tears that flow as parents realize just what it is that they are seeing. Be prepared for a sniffle or two yourself. This really made the story for me.
Romance is well represented here. There is the slowly evolving love between Greg and Tom, marked only by the hiccup arrival of Greg’s ex wife. That part of the story seemed odd and less realized. Absent for 2 years, she appears with demands about her son’s future. It never comes across as though that is her true reason for her appearance. The reader will keep wondering when “the other shoe” will drop and her hidden agenda will be revealed. But that aspect is dropped and the resolution between all the parties comes off as a little contrived. This is probably my biggest issue with this story.
But that element aside, I loved this story. Davey and his journey towards acceptance of his blindness, the manner in which Howard and Gordy helped Greg through the challenges they all faced, the realistic and heartwarming manner in which I felt I knew this group of friends by the end of the story….those are all terrific reasons to buy this book. The romance too will keep you smiling as well as the picture of a new family formed by love at the end. So charming, so heartfelt, and imminently enjoyable too.
Cover design is both lovely and relevant.
ebook, 200 pages
Published March 7th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 6th 2014)
ISBN 1627986626 (ISBN13: 9781627986625)
Books in the Senses series include:
Love Comes Silently (Senses, #1)
Love Comes in Darkness (Senses, #2) (Howard and Gordy)
Love Comes Home (Senses, #3)