Bad-boy rock star Seger Hughes hit rock bottom after a near-fatal tragedy at his concert. He hates how his life has spun out of control. After changing his appearance and his name, he transforms into a different man: Mel Summers. Now he just needs a place to hide out from rabid fans and paparazzi.
An isolated cliffside mansion is perfect. Ashley Bristol, his only neighbor, is blind—and her assistant is a classical music fan. They have no clue who he really is, but someone else does and she’s waited her whole life to be with him.
Struggling to find her way after an accident that took her sight, Ashley is determined not to feel anything. Yet she gets to know Mel and can’t help falling for him. When her assistant mysteriously disappears, Ashley must rely on Mel more than ever. But then his past comes back to haunt them both, and just when they must pull together to avoid danger, betrayal and lies threaten to tear them apart…
I wish I could say I was disappointed, but I’m really not. I got what I expected to get after reading the first chapter:
A bunch of deus ex machinas tied together and with a nice bow on top starting with Ashley’s blindness.
I was positively surprised that Adams at least appeared to have done her research into blindness. There were two institutions mentioned and the way Ashley and her assistant, Lizzie, behaved rang true to me. Still, reading about spotty vision or hazy peripheral vision made it clear that Ashley wasn’t going to stay blind forever. That didn’t stop me from hoping that the author would surprise me.
There’s a slow build romance with the neighbours, Ashley and Mel, getting to know each other and become friends first. They’re both hiding from the world and trying to learn to cope with their new selves. Ashley at least was being mostly honest with herself, while Mel’s tendency to speak of himself in the third person was understandable but distracting. He had a secret to keep, but it felt more complicated than that; it felt like the character or the author didn’t really know who he was. I think this is why I found the couple’s chemistry lacking.
The writing, I mostly liked. Some plot details like Roamer felt more contrived than others like the initial avoidance of Ashley’s accident and the cause to her temporary blindness as well as the final confrontation. If the characters had acted naturally instead of being driven by plot points, Mel would have told the truth to Ashley before leaving. That would have only shifted the emphasis of their argument spoiler and there wouldn’t have been need for that awkward moment where Ashley recognizes Mel from his picture before ever seeing him spoiler.
I hesitate too mention this because I’m not a native English speaker and I could be completely wrong, but some of the expressions used in the book sounded childish to me. Like Ashley’s comments about something being wowie zowie or aces or her and Mel’s nickname for Paula—Smelly.
The sex scenes did take a good portion of the book when they finally got into bed together, but luckily they weren’t gruelling. Not worst I’ve read, but not the best either. I was glad to see the unprotected sex addressed though I wasn’t very happy with the conclusion either.
If Ashley spoiler hadn’t regained her vision spoiler, I would be giving this book three stars.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Series: Adrenaline Heighs #3
Pages: 322 (paperback)
Publisher: Carina Press
Published: July 23rd 2012