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