Title: Running Blind
Authors: Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Running Blind is a sweet story about the triumph of the human spirit.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Kyle Green is on top of the world. He and Matt have been together for ten years, and—as the voice of Ecos, the wildly popular anime character—Kyle is treated like a rock star in anime circles. But in an instant, a stroke leaves him blind. When photographer Matt gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Kyle reexamines their relationship, discovers it has been a safety net rather than a true romance, and sets Matt free to pursue his dream. Kyle’s life and career as he knew them are gone, and he must now find the courage and creativity to draft a new plan.
After being away for fifteen years, Seth Caplan comes home to Chicago to care for his mother and to partner with a small start-up tech company. He and Kyle meet after Kyle’s collision with a child’s sidewalk toy, and they hit it off. Kyle wants to get back into running, and Seth becomes his guide. As they get to know each other, they start seeing each other beyond their three-times-a-week runs. But Seth’s revelation of the dark reason why he left his career in California sends the relationship into a tailspin and leaves both men running blind
Review: Authors Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes team up to give us a romantic story of second chances that blends a near tragic life event with a new beginning for not one man but two in their novel, Running Blind. Kyle Green is a successful voice character for one of the hottest anime shows around, when a freak stroke leaves him blind. While many professions could weather such a tragedy, when your job is dependent on seeing what you are voicing, being forced into total darkness spells disaster. If that is not enough for Kyle to grapple with, his long-term relationship has gone sour—both he and his partner had fallen into a complacent, comfortable relationship that was not satisfying either of them. Hence, on top of one life-changing event, Kyle opts to release his long-term partner, Matt, and go it alone. But for the help of his sister, Lily, our main character would have silently faded away—never to force himself beyond the safety of his own fears or the comfort of his own limitations.
However, with Lily pushing him, and his own need to somehow support himself, Kyle plunges into the world of audiobooks, and begins to make a new life for himself. Having always loved running, Kyle discovers that if he moves quickly enough, he can actually see images around him and decides to try jogging on his own. Unfortunately, he also realizes that there are hidden dangers all around him and takes a tumble–only to be rescued by a warm and caring voice who reaches into Kyle’s heart and gives it a small tug. This voice belongs to a man who also carries a heavy burden—one that will be a stumbling block for him when it comes to committing to any type of relationship with Kyle. But Kyle really likes Seth, and if he can step beyond his comfort zone to take a chance, then Seth must be willing to do the same. But will the man also be willing to run blindly into love?
This novel has so many positive things going for it. First and foremost was the fact that there was no quick fix to Kyle’s blindness; in fact, there was no fix at all. We watched as he learned to adapt to a whole new life, and it was not always pretty or happy. But, these two authors never let their man fall too far into despair. He had a good support system which included parents who pushed him to be the daring and innovative man he had always been, taking chances when all he wanted to do was curl up and remain safely cocooned in his home. Along with this focus on realistic recovery from a life altering illness, Kyle had to also grapple with the fact that he now was no longer marketable as a voice over star. This was really a crushing blow, and I was keen to see how far the writers would take this setback. The innovative way in which they gave Kyle a second chance at doing something he loved was both believable and an exiting climax to the story; again, just enough fairy tale mixed with science to let us comfortably go along with this handy resolution to a major problem in Kyle’s life.
Then, there was the unmistakable chemistry between Seth and Kyle. Theirs was a slow building relationship that had its definite hitches. I enjoyed reading about these two getting to know each other before they fell into bed together, and the way in which they treated each other with as much honesty as possible gave this novel real grounding. I think the only drawback I saw in the entire story was Seth’s reluctance to begin something with Kyle. I felt his reasoning was a bit weak–using his mother’s illness as a cause for not investing his heart seemed a bit too easy to me, but, in the end, it was revealed that this was just the tip of the problem, that Seth had much more than just his mother’s health on his mind.
In the end, Running Blind is a sweet story about the triumph of the human spirit and the way in which love can make even the darkest moments in our life respond to its light.
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