Renae Kaye became an auto buy for PizzyGirl and Beverley after reading her first book, Loving Jay. As many new authors lack that little something extra needed to become a true favorite, this doesn’t often happen. When Renae Kaye’s second release was announced, neither of us could wait to get hold of it. This is what we discovered on reading…
Title: The Blinding Light
Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars from Both Reviewers
Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it, he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man.
Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, but he’s met his match with Jake, who doesn’t take any of his crap and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves.
Jake gets a kick out of Patrick. Things are looking up: the girls are starting their own lives and his mum’s sobriety might stick this time. He’s sacrificed everything for his family; maybe it’s time for him to live his life and start a relationship with Patrick. When his mother needs him, guilt makes his choice between family and Patrick difficult, and Jake must realize he’s not alone anymore.
The Blinding Light is another reason I am impressed with Renae Kaye’s abilities as a writer. This story was well written, well thought out, and well executed. The writing style was easy to read and the content was not all fluff. The humor was perfectly done with Jake’s internal (and sometime external) commentary evoking many LOL moments and I adored the seven dwarves analogy that carried through the entire tale. The HEA was well done and highly satisfying.
Jake and Patrick were very likable characters and their interactions were wonderfully crafted.I connected with Jake from the very beginning. He won me over when he admitted he had a hard time keeping his mouth shut when co-workers were underperforming or being assholes. That is so like me! I also loved that there was more to him than met the eye. He was not just a poor man. He chose a life of hardship to care for his family. I like Patrick as well. It is not easy dealing with a disability and it accounts for some of his initial rudeness. But as the story progressed, he grew into his own and opened up to Jake. Once he opened up, he proved to be highly entertaining and gave Jake a run in the humor department. He and Jake fit perfectly together which made for a great read. I love that Ms. Kaye has characters with substance who grow and are developed throughout the story.
One thing I was very impressed with, was the way Ms. Kaye portrayed the blindness factor in this novel. She took the time to include facts of how blind people live including technology that makes life easier, accommodations that must be made for everyday functioning, as well as the more sensitive subjects such as ridicule and low self esteem. She did not turn this into a “love makes everything easy and perfect tale” and force a HEA with no troubles in the future. Instead, she wrote a “love accepts all flaws” tale with realistic acceptance of what life will be like with a blind partner. Jake understood what he was getting into, but chose to accept it as part of being with Patrick. I applaud Ms. Kaye for taking the time to research and include such detail.
In the end, I really enjoyed this story. There was some predictability in the storyline with Jake’s mother, but it in no way distracted from the overall feel of this book. I will not go into detail on this as I highly recommend everyone pick this up and find out for themselves what I am talking about. Ms. Kaye did an excellent job on her second novel and I am looking forward to more from her in the future.
Unusually for me, I will begin by saying why I did not give this novel a full 5* In fact it has already been said very well by my fellow reviewer PizzyGirl. It is just the rather neat and predictable ending. Whilst I love an HEA as much as the next person the particular twist to this was as I mentioned a little too engineered and easy for me.
Good that bit is out of the way because Renae Kaye can really write a good romance novel. I would go further to say that I think this lady could write a good novel in most genres. Her writing style is so easy to read there are no ‘fits and starts’, it flows beautifully. I will try not to repeat my buddy too much, as PizzyGirl’s review was spot on. The character of Jake was such a strong one. This is not a character who misunderstands and so throws a fit, or has so little self confidence he baulks at the first obstacle. He is loving and responsible no trace of bitterness and a really hard worker. His life has been anything but easy and yet he still has more to plenty of love to give and adores the family that has caused and continues to cause him great difficulties.
His meeting with the other main protagonist of this piece, Patrick, is amusing and written with a light touch. Patrick is talented, wealthy and blind. His upbringing has never really instilled the social niceties in him and this has caused many previous housekeepers to leave and complain. Rather than making Jake leave the job or complain he tries to understand things from Patrick’s point of view. Patrick’s issues are important if one is blind. He addresses Patrick’s terse instructive notes by answering them and reminding him of the importance of good manners. This form of ‘courtship by note’ has been done many times but here, when these notes to each other begin, Jake and Patrick have never met and both make rather inaccurate assumptions about each other.
Again as mentioned above, there is a seven dwarves analogy, which is very inventive, funny and strangely accurate. The humour in Renae Kaye’s work is appealing and I believe richly Australian, making her stories funny, no nonsense and hugely likeable. She addresses disability in ‘The Blinding Light’ with understanding, sensitivity and humour. I wanted to review this novel as ‘Loving Jay’ was one of my favourite reads when I started reviewing, and anyone who enjoyed Loving Jay as much as I did will not be disappointed by The Blinding Light.
I wonder if the ease of the ending will give rise to a sequel where we learn more about Jake and Patrick’s life and families?
We would like to thank the publisher for providing us with the eARC of this title in exchange for our honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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