Sunday, 4 August 2013

Love Comes in Darkness (Senses #2) by Andrew Grey

"You're not funny, Uncle Howard. You're special, like Daddy Patrick. He doesn't talk, but he uses his hands to speak. You're blind, but you use your hands to see." - Hanna

- Review by Cindi

5 out of 5 stars

Love Comes in Darkness
Howard Justinian is blind and has always had to fight for his independence. It started with his parents (most notably his mother) then went on to his sister and then others. Sure, he's blind but he didn't want to have to depend on other people for the rest of his life so he went to college, graduated, moved to his own place, started a very lucrative business and lived his life according to Howard, not anyone else. He has great friends, Ken and Patrick (and their little girl), and he doesn't want for anything. He admits to needing help on occasion but he doesn't need to be coddled. Just let him live his life according to Howard and he'll be just fine.  

Howard has been in a relationship with Cedric, a neighbor, for a few months. Cedric has always been all about control and has spent the entire relationship trying to control every aspect of Howard's life from day-to-day things to what goes on in the bedroom. While on the way to a party at Ken and Patrick's house there is an argument between the two men (once again about Cedric's control issues) and in a fit of anger, Cedric pulls the car over and leaves Howard on the side of the road completely helpless.  

"You think you're so independent and don't need me, then you can find your own way to the party. Now open the damn door and get the hell out."
"Are you serious?" Howard asked, scared.
"Get the fuck out!" Cedric screamed, and suddenly Howard was more afraid of Cedric than anything else.

Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, Gordon Jarrett (Gordy), he is kept safe until Ken and Patrick arrive. It turns out that the party had been rescheduled and that Cedric knew this. He left Howard helpless as an act to finally get him to see things his way. Thankfully, Cedric had already shown his true colors before this incident so the relationship had already ended, at least in Howard's eyes.

The next day Howard gets the chance to see Gordy again and this starts the slow build of a new relationship. Gordy has his own issues from his past but he still moves forward in order to build something with Howard. There is a bit of stubbornness on both men's parts (Howard's especially) but after a misunderstanding and facing a few fears the two begin dating, which leads to a sexual relationship. Howard is still fiercely independent but yet he allows Gordy to help when he can. The introduction of service dog, Token, makes his life even easier. 

The reader is introduced to Howard's sister Lizzy and her six-year-old little girl, Sophia. Sophia is a treat immediately. She adores her "Uncle Howie" and his blindness means nothing to the little girl. Lizzy, on the other hand, is the typical protective sister who only wants what is best for her brother and sometimes her tone comes across as mean but the reader can easily see that it is all out of love.

As Howard and Gordy are working on building their relationship, tragedy happens and Howard loses his sister. He is listed in her will as the guardian for Sophia which terrifies him, with good reason. He is blind. He can barely take care of himself. How can he take care of a six-year-old little girl? And what about Gordy? His dependence on Gordy is bad enough but what happens to their relationship when a little girl is brought into the mix?  They haven't been together long enough for the "L" word to even be spoken so Howard is convinced that Gordy will disappear because of Howard's added responsibilities. During a couple of pages there I could see where Howard was coming from because of Gordy's actions. But this is Andrew Grey and we know he will give us the happily-ever-after even if it takes a little while for the two men to get their act together.  With everything, one thing the reader knows is that Howard and Gordy love each other deeply and that they want to be together for the long haul. It takes some time to get to that point but when they do it is well-earned. I fell in love with Gordy immediately.  Howard as well though I wanted to bop him in the head a few times because of his stubbornness. Token is the perfect service dog and companion. Sophia is written as a typical six-year-old little girl and I simply adored her.

Your heart will break over the loss of Lizzy. Not only is Howard forced to mourn his sister but he is forced to do so while taking on the responsibility of a little girl who has just lost her mother. This is all written very well; the fears, the tears, Sophia's reactions, all of it. You feel what Howard is feeling and you cry for the little girl who is only six and does not yet understand what death means and that her mommy will not be coming home.

"Sophia," he said softly, and she came over. Howard lifted her back onto his lap.
"Where's Mommy?" Sophia asked.
"That's what I need to talk to you about." God, how do I do this?  How do I tell a little girl that her mommy's gone and never coming back?

"I'm sorry, Soph, but she's not coming back. That's why I'm here.  Because your mommy is gone and she's not coming back...." Howard could barely get the words out, and he could hardly believe he was actually telling Sophia that her mother... his sister... was dead. This wasn't fucking fair.
"But she has to," Sophia said, and then the tears started. "Mommy has to come back." Howard held her tight as tears came from both of them.  This time he made no effort to stop them. "She has to," Sophia gasped between her tears.

One of the first reviews I ever did for On Top Down Under Book Reviews was for Love Comes Silently, the first Senses story by Andrew Grey. You can find my review here. I remember ending that book thinking that Andrew Grey had seriously outdone himself with that story. You are introduced to Ken and his six-year-old daughter, Hanna, who had just been diagnosed with cancer. You were also introduced to their neighbor Patrick who had been on the verge of taking the world by storm when he was involved in a horrible accident that left him unable to speak. I fell in love with all three characters but mostly I fell in love with the way the story was written.  While it was a love story, the center was really Hanna. I smiled a lot but I also shed a lot of tears. When I found out that the author was writing another story with the same characters, I was eager to read it as soon as I could get my hands on it.  Love Comes in Darkness centers on other main characters but I was thrilled to know that I would see my favorite little girl again and I was not disappointed. Hanna is in this book quite a bit and it was a pleasure to see her farther down the road after Love Comes Silently. It was also wonderful to see her two daddies again, Ken and Patrick.

I shed quite a few tears reading Love Comes In Darkness. Howard has a lot thrown at him and he must find a way to overcome it all before he can move forward and do what's right for his niece. Gordy is there every step of the way, though he has understandable fears.

Overall, this is an outstanding book. I smiled at the antics of Sophia and Hanna and Token. I love how the author wrote Howard's story in a real way where the reader can feel what he is feeling in regards to his blindness. I like how Cedric was written and Gordy's angry reaction to him. I loved revisiting the characters from the first book and once again being able to see how Hanna is doing down the road.  All in all, I simply loved this book. While you do not have to read Love Comes Silently to get a feel for the characters as it is a great stand-alone, I do recommend it because it is simply an amazing story. Love Comes in Darkness is the perfect addition to the series. 

This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.


  1. I was teary just reading your review. Great review, Cindi.It sounds lovely. This is a Cindi book :D

    1. Thank you and I completely agree that it is definitely a Cindi book. :) I got teary all over again typing some of the quotes. It's a great book.

  2. Thank you Cindi. You moved me with your review and I wrote the story. Hugs. (I'm working on Love Comes Home now.)

    1. You're very welcome, Andrew. I absolutely love this story as much as I did Love Comes Silently. I look so forward to reading Love Comes Home and I will definitely be one of the first to read it.

      Love Comes Silently was actually my first original review on On Top Down Under and Love Comes in Darkness was my last for this particular site (which was a strange coincidence). On Top Down Under Book Reviews has since moved (this week) and can be found at where Love Comes In Darkness can be found as well.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I hope I was able to do your story justice.