Review: Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

love-andGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synLove is more than meets the eye.

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

review

3.5/5 Stars

Love and First Sight is an adorable and profound look at perception, the way we see the world, and what happens when someone who has never been able to see does for the first time. 

There’s a lot going on in this book but something I LOVED was the idea of beauty and how it starts beneath the surface. The main character, Will, is blind. He has never seen anything from birth, not even darkness. He has no perceptions, no stereotypes, nothing to work with because he has never seen it. Sure, he can know what something is, like a triangle or an apple, but he can’t envision it. What’s so compelling about this story is the many thought-provoking and inspired conversations on what it means to be beautiful and whether or not it matters if your physical appears fits the general construct and stereotypes of what beauty should be. Will has no basis. This is fascinating. His version of beauty is soul-deep and has to do with a number of components, the sound of someone’s voice, the feel of their skin, the way they treat others. He says that physical beauty, whether it’s there or not doesn’t matter. If only the world thought this way.

There are two sides of blindness, well three if you want to get philosophical. Blindness in terms of the everyday stereotypes and treatment towards blind people-they way people assume they need help, want it, or are helpless in general. Even the small things like they all wear sunglasses or like to be pulled along. Things that the average person probably would not think about. The small part of me that enjoys science was intrigued and downright astounded by the research poured into this book. It discusses how the brain develops, which parts are used for each sense, and how disuse of one can affect the others.  Will has the opportunity to received life-changing surgery that could give him sight. Learning, adjusting to vision is startling. Everything that goes with it, from depth perception to colors to shapes. How do you focus when there are so many elements and when you have never learned how? Each step is connected with blindness and learning through that earlier condition to finally see. We take sight for granted. It never occurs to us that it’s amazing that we can look at so many things at once and recognize them as distinct from each other. For a blind person learning to see, this seems impossible and the brain needs to be trained to cope with the explosion of sensory overload. After I read this, I really thought about placement, perspective, and the incredible power of the human eye to define. 

I’m hesitant to call this a romance because it felt underdeveloped and rushed. What I felt more than anything was a genuine and powerful friendship. There wasn’t really room for anything else on top of all the other stuff going on. The was a point in the story where feelings are confessed and I was stunned. Not that they were there at all but that it was sudden and without enough time to build on the romantic elements. The whole time nothing but friendship, respect, and adoration, with hints of romance. 

Secondary characters were, for the most part, barely there. Even when they were there, it was small snippets that suggested overall personality, but even when there was space in the story to expand and cement these characters in the story, it was a whole bunch of telling. They go on a road trip. I cannot think of a more perfect time to get to know secondary characters than on car ride, cross-country, that days a number of days. And yet, this whole section was in the span of a handful of pages.  

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Thoughtful reading, 

Jordan

Advertisements

Release Day Blitz & ARC Review: Levi’s Blue by M. Leighton

Are you ready to #unzip #LevisBlue?

Levi’s Blue by M. Leighton is LIVE!

From the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, M. Leighton, comes a brand new super sexy standalone that is guaranteed to make you sweat and make you swoon.

“Amazing. Unique. Beautiful. Sexy. LEVI’S BLUE by M. Leighton is ALL THAT and MORE!” ~~ Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads

Amazon/UK/B&N/iBooks/Kobo/Goodreads

syn

Four beautiful days. Three steamy nights. One breathtaking love.

Levi Michaelson.

He wanted four dates. Four opportunities to prove I could trust him. Four chances to change my mind about him.

I agreed.

Probably not my smartest decision. He was everything I knew to avoid—gorgeous, charming, sexy as hell—but I couldn’t help myself. When he touched me the whole world disappeared. I should’ve known I could lose myself to him, that he could be the one man to destroy me.

I guess it’s true what they say—some things are too good to be true. And Levi Michaelson might just be one of them.

#LevisBlue #Unzipped #Sept19 #NewRelease #ComingSoon #MLeighton

review

4.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author 

Levi’s Blue is a mesmerizing and vibrant love story. Full of bold and beautiful descriptions, sensory details, and scorching chemistry, you’ll fall hard for Levi and Evie.

I hardly know where to begin with this review. There’s so much I want to say, but let me start with what makes this story so special: the voice. Evie is a strong, courageous woman who hasn’t let her disability and the tragic circumstances behind her accident break her. Instead of wallowing in her pain, she found herself. Her loss became her saving grace. She embraced her blindness with her whole heart and learned to listen to all of her senses. Evie is a little sassy, flirty, and has such warmth within her that she glows right off the page. There are scenes where she’s teaching art to others with disabilities and it’s incredibly uplifting. She makes them feel hope and that nothing can stop them, despite what they’ve been through. Seeing how the children respond to her will make your heart happy. Get ready for big smiles. That being said, Evie doesn’t take abuse from anyone. She hates pity, but actively tries to understand how awkward it can be to find the words. I loved that about her, how conscious she was of everyone’s feelings-she focused on how to make others happy, even above herself.

The sensory details are out of this world. The way colors and images and associations are made between what she remembers and what she can only imagine is fantastic. I wish I could see these paintings. The combination of smell and texture and sound all combine to give Evie this almost otherworldly perception, she sees things more clearly without her sight than those around her. AND when Levi describes things for Evie. Your heart will EXPLODE. That man.

Levi is smitten. That’s the best word for the single-minded way he absolutely adores, admires, and worships Evie. Everything she does is magical to him. Sometimes he just watches her and the emotions swell. Fluttery heart and palms sweating adorable.

Levi is sexy. He almost growls his words and it’s pure, primal fire, the want. He’s attentive, hyper aware of Evie, and is constantly touching her. The chemistry just builds and builds. It’s inevitable. The dates are just…jaw dropping, so so perfect and considerate. He wants to wow her as much as she wows him.

Cherelyn is a best friend everyone should want to have. She’s feisty, she speaks her mind, and loves Evie so much. Her accent, her big personality leaps off the pages and make you want to hang out with her.

The story goes by SO FAST. It takes place over a short period of time, some parts feel a little rushed, but the story is powerful and builds.

The catty, jealous female as antagonist was expected, but even I was shocked by some of the stuff she said. Jeez.

Those sex scenes. It takes a bit, but so worth the wait. Grab a glass of wine and get ready to fan yourself, because it’s hot, to put it mildly.

That ending. Swoon times infinity. Oh my cuteness.

authorm.leighton

New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, M. Leighton lives in the deep South with her super-hero husband and super-smart maltipoo. She has a fondness for coffee and chocolate, loves the color red, laughs at almost anything and often stares out her window, daydreaming of far-away places.

Get all the exclusives with my Newsletter
See things you can’t unsee on Instagram
Catch me saying something inappropriate on Facebook
Come hang out with me in my Facebook reader group
Get all your questions answered on my Website
Romantic reading, 
Jordan

ARC Review: Not If I See You First-Eric Lindstrom

not if iGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synThe Rules:

Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened–both with Scott, and her dad–the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

review2.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Poppy

Not If I See You First impressed me from the first page. The author does an amazing job getting you into the mindset of someone who is blind. From the little ways that Parker has had to adjust and the issues that she faces, especially the part about being unable to read and listening to books to learn things like trig, to the various ways in which people make assumptions about blindness, it’s the kind of story that makes you think and might give you some perspective. 

That being said, there are so many issues that took my star rating from 5 to 3.The story is about a girl who is mourning. Not only has she lost her father recently to what may or may not be suicide, her mother made a mistake that caused her blindness and died in the process, and she’s lamenting the loss of her best friend/ex-boyfriend. Parker is made of loss but she doesn’t let it get to her. Her blindness is something she’s mastered and she refuses to let anyone treat her like she has a disability. She embraces her blindness as if it were an accessory that only adds to her uniqueness. I LOVED that about her. She’s quirky and blunt, she tells it like it is without fear of repercussion because in her mind, what more does she have to lose?

Here’s the thing, while Parker does have some amazing one liners, she’s a sarcastic, brash, and extremely rude person on several occasions. She spazes out and makes assumptions NONSTOP while judging everyone else for being SO judgy. It’s irritating and takes away from her character. She misses so much that’s right in front of her not because of her physical blindness but the mental kind. For someone who claims to be there to listen, she doesn’t hear anything. She makes up her mind and runs with it in a very self-involved way. 

The whole deal with Jason. I don’t even know where to begin. There’s a light love triangle but really it shouldn’t qualify because it’s so obvious what will happen. She really likes this guy, they have great chemistry, and yet, she’s dismissive, judgmental, and barely gives the guy a chance. She’s mean to him, cuts him off, and pushes him away in a really horrible way. 

The clichéd mean girl. It wasn’t anywhere near necessary and felt like filler. 

Secondary characters that could have been an asset to the plot faded into the background and had barely any involvement in the storyline. Just when they start to get interesting, bringing in diversity and issues like neglect, depression, etc., they’re dismissed for Parker’s “problems”. 

Parker was dealing with serious issues, the loss of her best friend/father and in the beginning, you feel that emotional pull. She talks to him, she asks him things, and the loss is potent, but as the story progresses that too fizzles out in favor of a love story. 

Scott is a sweetheart. He’s incredibly swoon-worthy, the way he looks out for Parker is adorable and so thoughtful. He’s attentive and sees beyond her blindness to the best friend and girl he fell in love with. Scott is also realistic, he understands the difference between nostalgia and reality. Sometimes, something we think is there is a memory and others, it’s something buried that can be rekindled. He’s the rational one that will have you reevaluting everything you think you know. 

What started as something special and important about loss and blindness, self discovery, growing, and appreciating friendship turned into a lukewarm romance that missed the original point entirely.

Keep reading, 

Jordan 

 

 

Promo & Excerpt: Blind Passion-Bonnie Dee

Bonnie Dee

Blind Passion_300dpiGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kobo/iBooks

Blind Passion by Bonnie Dee
Series: Wyatt Brothers, #1
Publication Date: December 26, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Romance

cooltext1790897456 copyThrough personal darkness, two strangers find their way to each other.

Leah Schaeffer has come a long way since an accident took her sight. She ís finally ready for independence, but convincing her wealthy parents she’ll be safe on her own isn’t easy. The first night in her own place at last, she encounters her neighbor with the midnight velvet voice and her world shifts again.

Since finishing a military tour, J.D. Wyatt has struggled both financially and emotionally. When Leah’s parents hire him to act as her bodyguard, he seizes the opportunity. The catch is she can’t know she’s being followed. As he grows closer to the intriguing woman and begins to have feelings for her, the burden of this secret grows heavier.

Although Leah and J.D. have suffered different types of trauma, their mutual understanding of each other’s pain bonds them. But their relationship, dependent on absolute trust, is rooted in lies which will detonate like an IED when exposed.

cooltext1790890114 copyI was nearly asleep, the plot of the CSI show lost on me, when my doorbell rang. I literally jumped to my feet, my heart pumping so hard and fast it hurt. Who would be at my door tonight? If Bets had changed her mind and decided to come over, she’d have phoned first. Maybe my parents had forgotten something and come back for it.

I muted the TV, moved to the door, and leaned close. “Who’s there?”

“J.D. Wyatt.” He added to jog my memory, “From across the hall.”

“Yeah. Just a minute.” I hurried into my bedroom, found a cardigan, and wrapped it around me to hide my braless state, then returned to open the door.

“Hi. Whatís up?” My voice sounded breathless, as if I’d sprinted and I was sweating a little.

“I brought you something.” A paper bag rattled, and he paused long enough for me to realize he’d held up whatever it was, forgetting I couldn’t see. “Ice cream. Or if you need something a little stronger after the big move, I’ve got whiskey too.”

I tried for clever. “How about whiskey floats?”

“Perfect.” He chuckled, and heat more potent than whiskey rippled through me.

“Come on in.”

I led the way into my apartment. For just a second, I doubted whether it was sensible to invite a complete stranger inside. Shouldn’t I get to know him for more than two minutes? But I shrugged off my mother’s voice whispering worry at me.

I gestured in the direction of the couch. “Sit down. I’ll get glasses.”

He stepped close and held the bag so my fingertips brushed paper.

I took the bag and went into my kitchenette where I shoved the ice cream in the freezer and opened the bottle of whiskey. I poured a couple of glasses and sipped mine to calm my nerves before returning to the living room. What did I look like? Was my hair a mess? My pjs too scruffy? How was I going to check my appearance every day without Mom there to give me the thumbs-up? At least the aide, Gina, would be around for a month.

I calmed myself but clung to the glasses too tightly as I returned to the living room and held out one.

“Thanks.” J.D. took it from me.

From the direction of his voice, I needed to correct a few paces the other way in order to reach one of the chairs facing the couch. I navigated slowly, and when my shin bumped the chair, I found the front of it and sat more awkward than I’d like in front of a guest, but not too bad.

My unexpected visitor clicked his glass against mine. “Cheers.”

The straight whiskey was far more potent than the microbrews I was used to. It burned my throat and baked my stomach, but a warm, relaxed sensation filled me soon after, and that was nice.

“Looks like you’re settling in,” J.D. said. I imagined what my apartment might look like, but for the first time, I was living someplace I hadn’t seen before my accident, so I couldn’t visualize it.

“My family helped put everything in order.” I searched for something else to add. “You mentioned you moved in recently too. Are you new to Chicago?”

“Yeah. I’m from Kentucky. Went into the army after high school. I just returned from a tour in Afghanistan and crashed at my brother’s place here for a while.”

Another military vet. There seemed to be a lot more of them these days.

“I’m juggling a couple of part-time jobs while I figure out what to do next,” J.D. added.

“Guess we’re both in transition. I’m all about figuring out my future too.”

“Change is hard.” His voice was slow and thoughtful. His Southern accent seemed more pronounced.

I loved the smooth, sexy drawl. Maybe it was the liquor percolating through me, sending tingly sex signals down between my legs, or maybe it was the hushed intimacy of the two of us sitting together in my apartment, but I was becoming aroused. Every time J.D. shifted or swallowed more of his drink, the quiet movements gave me a little shiver. Again a sense of familiarity tickled at the edge of my consciousness, as if I’d been here before. And I felt as if I was poised beside something big stirring and waking up.

“Change is hard,” I echoed. “Especially when itís forced on you and you donít know what direction to take next.”

I must sound pathetic. The alcohol loosened my tongue, making me talk too openly to a stranger.

“Sometimes it seems like I’m feeling my way blind…oh fuck, I did not just say that.” The horror in J.D.’s voice made me smile.

“It’s okay. Don’t sweat it. Honestly, it’s kind of nice to know I’m not the only one flailing around in the dark.”

He laughed, and what a sweet, rich sound that was. Little petals of attraction unfurled inside me. Or, to be more honest, it was petals of pure, primal, gut-level lust. I slowed down on sipping the whisky before it made me do things I might regret.

COMING SOON!

Dangerous Passion_300dpiAmazon Pre-Order

Dangerous Passion
Wyatt Brothers, Book 2
Available: February 11, 2015

cooltext1790891890 copy

I began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, I was the designated ghost tale teller. I still have a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

I enjoy reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When I couldn’t find enough books to suit my taste, I began to write them.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Keep reading,

cooltext1754437870 copy