Monday, April 23, 2018
Blind Man's Wolf by Amelia Faulkner
Author: Amelia Faulkner
Cover artist: Scarlet Cox
Buy at Amazon
Length: 70k est, 239 pages
Formats available: Mobi
A night-blind vampire. A werewolf with lousy self-confidence. And a whole hell of a lot of danger…
Tooth & Claw, Book 1.
Ellis O’Neill is an art dealer with too many problems: his eyesight has deteriorated to the point of night-blindness; he’s estranged from his family, to whom he owes a considerable sum of money; and his guide dog went right off him the night Ellis died. Without his dog, Ellis is trapped in a life bouncing between home and work, dependent on his personal assistant.
Werewolf Randall Carter has problems of his own. He loves his pack, he really does, but as their Omega he’s always the one to bear the brunt of their rage. It’s a role he can’t avoid, and Randall isn't sure he can take it for much longer, so he buries himself in his day job. Randall’s the best dog trainer in the city, and when he’s offered a client who needs him to work evenings he’d be a fool to turn it down.
Soon Randall is falling for someone he should despise. Everything about the undead is anathema to his kind, but Ellis is exactly the kind of guy Randall would want to ask out on a date – if he were still breathing. Worse, they may not have too long to figure their feelings out. Someone or something is gunning for Ellis and anyone else who gets in the way; they won’t rest until the vampire is destroyed.
I loved this take on the vampire and werewolf pairing, because both characters had the weaknesses of their kind, and were having a hard time getting to their strengths. In Amelia Faulkner’s hands, this means storytelling with terrific character arcs, and since it’s book one of a series, I expect it’s going to take a while to get to the kick ass and take names stage. Which is fine: good stuff to read!
Between blindness and being a vampire, Ellis has a lot to contend with. He manages fine with his guide dog, but when the dog becomes erratic, he needs to fix that right away. And Randall has the perfect qualifications for being a good trainer: gentleness, firmness, and being a wolf.
Poor Randall’s stuck in a pack that has some really awful ideas about how to be a pack. Seems they don’t understand being werewolves any more than Ellis understands being a vampire. It made me want someone to take them in hand and teach them manners.
Between figuring out what each the other is, and how to work together while identifying and dealing with the danger to Ellis, these guys have a lot on their plates. I loved how they learned to work with each other’s abilities, and if you ever wondered how a werewolf would do as a guide dog with all that intelligence, here’s how.
Sensory issues are front and center: Ellis isn’t completely blind, but very low vision when conditions are completely right, which isn’t often. He depends on all his other senses, which are well developed and portrayed. The reader isn’t bonked over the head with blindblindblind, but is invited to live in Ellis’s world and depend on other senses. Randall is a creature of scent on four feet.
Dealing with Ellis’s malevolent stalker leaves more problems behind, so I’m off to read more! The author has very thoughtfully priced this book at 99 cents, and it’ll be the best buck you spend all day. 5 marbles