Rainbow's Promise by Marcy Gray
Modern-day romance. This is actually the same author as Taste of Love, Elizabeth Glenn, writing under a different name, so I had high hopes for this one, but sadly, it's not nearly as good. Like her other books, it's set in small towns around the Great Plains. The characters are a weird mix of ordinary and glamorous. Lily Ann is the adult daughter of an alcoholic, working as a data entry clerk but with no ambition in life, and afraid to love anyone. Josh was an internationally renowned, bestselling mystery author until he was blinded in a car accident 5 years ago. Now he's also struggling to raise his niece and nephew, after their parents were killed in a plane crash.
Part of the problem is that this whole situation feels completely forced, and the characters behave like no real humans ever would. Lily Ann finds after her father's death that he had been paying Josh money. Thinking Josh had been blackmailing him, she immediately drives from Kansas to Oklahoma to confront Josh, whom she has never met before. She discovers that he's blind, and in desperate need of a housekeeper, not only to cook and clean, but to keep a mean social worker from taking away custody of the kids. Lily Ann decides on the spot to give up her old job and move in with Josh permanently, but she lies about who she is. The rest of the plot continues in this unlikely fashion, with characters doing things seemingly at random to keep the story moving forward. Also it's clear from the very beginning that Lily Ann's father caused Josh's accident, but it's treated like some big revelation.
The characters just didn't grab me. Lily Ann seems to find her life's calling in doing housework for Josh. The kids are perfect little angels, who spout precious lines from Sunday school. Josh is handsome and appealing, but the author can't seem to decide if he's adjusted to his blindness or not. One minute he's perfectly in control, and the next he's freaking out because he tripped over something. Also he's decided he can't go back to writing novels because he's blind. Seriously? That's one of the few occupations you could go back to easily. In five years, he's never turned on his computer, but even in 1993, when this book was written, speech software was widely available.
The writing is also not great. There's too much telling and not enough showing: all the major psychological developments happen in the exposition, rather than in what the characters do or say. And it's very chaste, there's hardly any sex, unlike in some of her other books. Maybe it was the imprint. Read Taste of Love instead.
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