Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 2/25/14
Rating: 4 stars
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It takes a while to know who you really are. And when you lose your way, sometimes it’s hard to find it again.
Charlie Hudson was on the verge of figuring that out when her dad—the only parent and friend she ever had—died suddenly. She was barely 18, and she was alone. So she went for easy—playing life safe, running away from a home that harbored nothing but bad memories and challenges and loving a man who would take her away from it all forever.
It’s funny how chance takes over when you need it most. And that’s exactly what brought Cody Carmichael into her life. A former motocross super star, Cody was now happy to be living the blue collar life, spending his days finishing up school and his nights under the hood of some classic car, just trying to keep everything his father taught him alive. Cody and Charlie were living parallel lives, until they finally collided. And the moment he smiled at her, Charlie knew he was the one who would change everything. But was she willing to take the risk?
Cody saw through it all. He saw her—all of her. But would letting him in be too much to take? And if Charlie let herself love him—really love him—could he love her back?
"I choose you, Charlie. I'll always choose you. And I don't think I can sleep alone again, not knowing how your lips feel, or knowing how your heartbeat sounds. I can't do it, so please...let me choose you."
When I look at the cover of Blindness, I see a hot guy with tattoos. So right or wrong, I assume Blindness is a story about a bad boy and a good girl and a relationship that's a lot of work, what with his bad boy ways, but in the end is true and happy. But you know, this isn't that type of story at all. What Blindness is, is the story of a young woman who's looking to live, to find her way in the world, and the guy who helps bring her to life. It's also a story of missed chances, twisty opportunities, and fate landing these two exactly where they are supposed to be.
In Blindness, our heroine is twenty-one-year old Charlie Hudson. Charlie lived her early years with an addict mom, who then dumped her off with a man who didn't even know she existed. It was slow going, but Charlie and her dad eventually bonded, only for him to be murdered while she was still a teen. Charlie went away to college, met Trevor Appleton, and they were a good fit. Then. Trevor cared for her, and offered the safety and stability that comforted Charlie after the tumult she's survived. But as Charlie matures and became more sure of herself, she realizes that while Trevor might still offered safety and comfort, but he's also a bit stifling, consumed by his own goals for the future. He doesn't realize what is important to her, really. Trevor is still a good guy for her, but maybe not the right fit anymore.
Then, Charlie meets Cody Carmichael. Cody is her math-whiz tutor, a former Motocross champ recovering from a wicked injury, and doing his best to hold on to his deceased father's business. And... he's Trevor's step-brother. YEP. Not only is Charlie fighting feelings for another man, but also falling for her boyfriend's step-brother, and becoming tangled in a truly dysfunctional family. I really hated the Appletons, well, the parents. Cody. They all treated him like trash, even Trevor at the time, his step-father, and sadly, Cody's own mom, an addict with a death-grip on the social ladder. Seeing the way the family treated Cody broke not only Charlie's heart, it began to push her into his arms.
Charlie and Cody have a lot in common, a lot more than she has with Trevor. They both lost their fathers tragically. Both like a simpler lifestyle. His friends become her closest friends as well. Cody understands why certain items hold such significance for Charlie, while Trevor doesn't see their value. Charlie doesn't want to fall for Cody, neither wants to hurt Trevor, especially when he and Cody shockingly become closer. The two seem to be drawn together by fate, with missed opportunities being all that's kept them apart this long. Charlie and Cody's relationship isn't about the physical, there's no sense of them being simply consumed by lust. It's a relationship built on an emotional bond, a connection that is stronger than they've ever known. It wasn't always easy for me, knowing they would hurt Trevor if they took the next step, but to the author's credit, it wasn't easy for Charlie and Cody either.
Some might consider Blindness a cheating story. I can understand that, but I choose to call it a journey. I'm of the mind that people and relationships continuously change, particularly when you're Charlie's age of twenty-one. No offense to twenty-year olds, but I wouldn't want to be the same person now that I was then. I've learned a lot, made mistakes, I've changed in so many ways, and that was all due to experiences and lessons learned. My point is, sometimes a relationship ends, and that's a good thing. What works at twenty might not work when your twenty-five. It could be time to move on and have new experiences. Does it suck for both parties? Absolutely. Should you stay with someone the rest of your life if you don't feel happy, and therefore, they will not be happy? I don't think so.
I honestly don't know why I feel that I need to defend the story, because that is so not my job. It's just, I would hate for someone to miss out on a really sweet story because of this issue. But hey, we all have our issues. I won't read stories about teachers and high school students having affairs. (but that's actually illegal, so...)
Blindness was such a good love story, full of longing and hope and destiny. It's also a young woman's journey of coming into her own, becoming stronger on her own merit, and facing her future with courage and determination. Blindness was the right book at a perfect moment for me. I'm not sure why I picked it up just then, but I am so glad I did.
"Just stay," he says, his voice barely audible, and the air released from his words sends more chills around my neck and down my entire body.
"Just..." I hear him swallow, and even though I can't see him, I know he's struggling. I keep my eyes forward and watch his fingers curl into a fist on the door, clinching tightly. "I won't...I wouldn't make you uncomfortable. I'm not asking you to do anything. Please...please just stay."
"...And what's an asshat?"
Cody stares at me for a few seconds, his gaze hooded, trying to read me, and then he visibly relaxes, flopping his hands flat on the table in front of him. "An asshat is just that--it's a hat you wear on your ass," he says, his tone serious.
Gabe picks right back up where he leaves off, and I turn my attention his way. "Yes. Basically, someone has to earn the right to be an asshole. Asshat is like asshole in training."
"I want to look at you, and I want you to see me...what you do to me," he says, his voice cracking and his breathing heavy and ragged. "Your touch, Charlie, is it for me. You're the end of me--and the beginning. And I will fight for you; I will always fight for you."