Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review - - Blind Man's Bluff

Blind Man's Bluff
A Stone Gap Mountain Novel
By Kay Stockham
Self-Published (paperback and digital)
October 5, 2013




Being a SEAL isn't what Ian MacGregor does.  It's who he is.  What defines him as a person.  Protect and serve; it's as natural to him as breathing. Or, it was.  Until he accompanied his brother Duncan's security team into Mexico to rescue a kidnapped girl.  Now, medically discharged from the military, Ian is bitter, enraged, scared as hell...and blind.  He's going to drink himself into oblivion if Duncan can't find someone to teach Ian how to cope with his new reality.  But Duncan doesn't know Ian's secret:  that he's a severely claustrophobic man living in perpetual darkness. How in the world can anyone help him learn to live with that?

Emma Wyatt knows what it's like to live in a world of darkness.  Blinded at the age of fourteen, in the same auto accident that took her mother's life, she knows  intimately the emotions and the fears that are bombarding Ian.  Emma, however, has had fourteen years to learn how to live a full and productive, if not yet independent, life. She has plans to change that and the money Duncan offers her to move into Ian's mountain estate and tutor him will enable her to live on her own, open a kennel and train service dogs full-time; basically, to make all her dreams come true.

Getting Ian to trust her is no easy task and the battle of wills between the two ebbs and flows while mutual desire simmers under the surface.  Ian is determined to fight her at every step but Emma is stronger than she seems.  Will she be able to help him step back from the brink, regain his confidence and find a new purpose in life?  Will they open their hearts to the possibility of love?  Will Ian be able to protect her when it becomes apparent that someone is willing to do whatever it takes to keep them apart or will he set her free to find love and protection in the arms of someone who lives in the light?

I discovered Kay Stockham in 2008 when I read her Harlequin Superromance, A Christmas to Remember.  I couldn't put it down and immediately began searching out her back list as soon as I turned the last page.  Stockham has a talent for developing complex characters and placing them in situations for which there are no easy resolutions.  This is an author who is not afraid to tackle the tough topics.  She delves deeply into characters' hearts and emotions, taking the reader along for the ride.  Her stories are compelling and always tug at my heartstrings, with situations that make me laugh and cry and endings that leave me deeply satisfied.  There's a reason I happily fork over my money for any book she writes.

Blind Man's Bluff kicks off Stockham's new Stone Gap Mountain series. (There's also a novella, "Secrets of a Summer Night" that tells Emma's sister's story.) Blind Man's Bluff is a riveting story that kept me enthralled from beginning to end, not only because of Emma and Ian but because of the sub-plots and richly populated cast of secondary characters as well.  There are Emma's complicated relationships with her father and sister, a beloved uncle facing the end of his life and a long-held family secret that shakes the foundation of everything Emma has spent her life believing to be true.  We are also introduced to Emma's "Besties," women with whom she has been best friends since first grade and whose stories I hope we'll be reading in future books.  Then there are the intriguing men who have Ian's back:  Duncan, Owen and Quinn.  There are some stories there, waiting to be told and I sincerely hope we'll be seeing much more of all three!

~PJ

12 comments:

  1. I just checked her books on Amazon and a few of the covers look familiar. I will have to Check to see if I have read any. She sounds like the type of author I enjoy reading. Life is complicated and over simplified stories and outcomes don't satisfy. This one certainly seems to challenge everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Librarypat, Stockham's books are complex and thought provoking and worth every moment spent between the pages. I've spotlighted her books before here at TRD. You can read more at these links:

      http://www.theromancedish.com/2010/11/holiday-treasures-tried-and-true.html

      http://www.theromancedish.com/2010/05/authors-who-put-super-in-superromance.html

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the review, PJ. I've enjoyed many of Kay Stockham's books in the past. I didn't know about this one, but just added it to my list. It sounds like a terrific read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, PJ, I'm so thrilled you enjoyed the book! Ian's story has been in the back of my mind for several years, begging to come out. He's a complicated hero, and I wasn't sure he was entirely likable or heroic in the beginning, or how readers would respond to him. I'm so, so happy to see my worries were for naught.

    Thanks you!

    Kay
    www.kaystockham.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was so much more I wanted to say about this book and these characters but I didn't want to venture into spoiler territory. Suffice it to say, I loved them (flaws and all) and am eagerly anticipating my next visit to Stone Gap Mountain.

      Delete
  4. I love Kay's books and would recomend them to anyone. Did you know she's a past RITA finalist? The girl can write! Wonderful review, PJ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you know she's a past RITA finalist?

      I did know that, Donna and I'm not a bit surprised. She's a very gifted writer.

      Delete
  5. I have never read any of her books thanks for introducing me to a new author will have to check her out...


    Donna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Donna. I love introducing people to new authors! :)

      Delete
  6. Great news! I've read all of Kay's books and have been waiting for her next release. I know I'll love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's even better, Angela is that it's the first book in a new series. More books from Kay! Yay! :)

      Delete