Taste of Love by Elizabeth Glenn ****
A modern-day romance, published 1983, featuring a blind hero. Not great writing, but remarkably satisfying. Briony has been in love all her life with her older brother’s best friend, Patrick, who was blinded in an accident when he was ten. He moved away to become a history professor, but now he’s back in town and Briony is determined to prove to him that she’s not a kid anymore. But a few things stand in their way, such as the fact that Briony is already engaged to someone else, and Patrick’s reputation as a player. The quality of the writing is not great, and there are a few unrealistic details, such as that Briony, the daughter of two college professors, would grow up to be Miss Texas (seriously), then give up the life of a beauty queen to become a professor herself, or that at 26 she would still be living with her parents. However, this is one of the best, most swoon-worthy blind heroes in all of romance fiction. Unlike most books where the hero is recently blinded, Patrick lost his sight as a child, and seems very confident and well-adjusted. The plot does not revolve around him regaining confidence or feeling emasculated. He’s already successful and clearly popular with the ladies, which is refreshing. Even better, he’s depicted as attractive not “in spite of” or “even though” but BECAUSE he’s blind. And he’s not angry or emotionally repressed, like so many romance heroes; he’s good-natured and charming. Briony does come off as rather childish, but she has a lot more spark than most romantic heroines, and I really like how aggressive she is in coming onto him. And the sex scenes are super hot. Even though it’s quite old, the writing does not seem dated. The author must surely be a devotee herself: the descriptions of Patrick, and the way Briony sees him, are exactly right. She even describes Briony feeling a “sweet ache” in the pit of her stomach when she looks at him. It’s almost uncanny. The author wrote several romances under the names Elizabeth Glenn and Marcy Gray, all featuring disabled heroes. Yes, definitely a devotee.