Candle in the Window came to my attention after reading The Arrangement, which piqued my curiosity on how authors handle blind protagonists. I had a bit of trouble getting my hands on a digital copy of this book, but lo and behold, once I got logged in with my shiny new Houston Public library card, there it was!
And it was well worth the wait. The story was lovely, the hero was first dark and brooding and then alpha without being alpha-hole (albeit a bit sneaky). The heroine was sweet and kind but perfectly willing to give someone a swift kick when called for, so not a Mary Sue. And it was warm and cozy and people cared about each other and were perfectly willing to show their emotions. It let me get all warm and snuggly with them. And I adore a good emotionally open and vulnerable hero. It trips all my good buttons.
The basic premise of the story is that William was blinded by battle and his father (who loves him very much) hires lady Saura to help him learn to manage his blindness as she has been blind since birth. She has her own issues with an unscrupulous step father that she needs to escape, so it should all work out. But there are nefarious plotting against them, and Saura has some emotional issues from time spent with her step-father to work out. I’m feeling rather quote-tastic about this, so in lieu of a long review, here’s my quote-review for this book.
“Please come. I know my William is there somewhere, buried beneath the mountain of anger and disgust. My son is still there, but only lost. Please help me find him.”
“But she is a woman, and a haughty woman at that.”
“That’s a bitter dose for haughty men to swallow,” Saura answered with humor.
“You show a formidable insight.” His humor acknowledged hers.”
“I’ve been a foul-mouthed knave.”
“Well, I don’t know.”
“A beetle-headed malfeasor.”
“A base, proud tottyhead.” He paused, but she said nothing. “Aren’t you going to object?”
“No,” she drawled the word. “Humility is so refreshing in a man.”
“He could plan an attack, prolong a siege; those abilities could be trained to deal with the female mind. She considered him her passionate lover. She consented to marry him as the protector of her lands. Yet there had to be a stratagem that directed Saura’s thoughts away from the practicalities of body and property and toward this melding of minds that William labeled love.”
“Tis knowing God created Eve from Adam’s rib, the spot that protected his heart. ’Tis knowing without that rib to protect him, a man is vulnerable. ’Tis knowing you’re created to be at my side, not under my feet. ’Tis knowing we’re one body, one mind.”
“I would. I could stand on my feet without you.”
“And the tide would still go out without my pushing it. The spring will still melt the snow without my warm breath nagging it. You’re a person, all on your own, with hopes and thoughts and dreams completely separate from mine. Do you think I want a woman who needs to lean on me to be complete? I don’t, dearling, I want only you, as whole and self-sufficient and tender as you are. I want to know that if I die tomorrow, you can support my father’s grief and raise my son to manhood.”
And there was just so much in there besides these few quotes. Really, it is a lovely story. Of course there’s some heavy wish fulfillment going on, but in the context, I didn’t really mind. I absolutely recommend this book. 5 stars
And I initially had no real interest in reading the second in this series, Castles in the Air…until I looked at that cover. Seriously, LOOK AT IT! Do you see it? If not look again.
Yes! That woman has three arms. I had to find out the deal with a three armed woman in Medieval times. But alas, there was no three armed Lady. This one I have a little less to say on. I read them back to back, so I think that is why it just wasn’t as successful for me. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it, and read it through in one sitting, but it is really hard to compete with William and Saura. So while I still highly recommend reading this one too, I do recommend taking a break between the two. Another point of note, this book relies rather heavily on the Big-Mis. There are actually a couple of them. But somehow in this particular story, they made sense. So, while that is one of my least favorite tropes, in this case it worked for the story. And overall, it was a sweet love story, with a man who legitimately appreciates woman, not just for being soft and sweet, hearth and home, but for their unique intelligence, and skills. You really have to take a look at Raymond’s squire to understand. 4 stars