Natalie Jones is the lucky survivor of an elusive killer who preys on young women and then disappears from view. And since her harrowing ordeal, the once gutsy photojournalist has remained isolated in her home, paralyzed by fear and her failing vision.
Special Agent Liam "Mac" McKenzie has scars of his own. But despite his efforts to ignore the attraction that simmers between him and Natalie, he needs her help to catch a predator.
Soon, they will forge a tentative alliance - charged with desire. Through a soft-focus lens, Natalie dares to envision a future with Mac beyond the investigation … never guessing that the clues hidden within her photographs are drawing them into an explosive confrontation with a madman.
Natalie Jones was once a famous photographer ~ but now, paralyzed by blindness that was brought on by a degenerative eye disease, Natalie is pretty much at a stand still in her life. Denying to herself that her blindness might be forever and that she's going to have change her way of living, Natalie has pretty much isolated herself ~~ until she walks in to her own home on what appears to be a burglary in progress and is almost killed.
State Special Agent Liam “Mac” McKenzie and his partner show up to interview Natalie when certain things about her case click with a case they've been working ~ a murder case. When Mac meets Natalie he's instantly and forcefully attracted to her ~ to the point he can't focus on anything else. Not realizing she's blind at first, he's suspicious why this woman is holding back and so abrasive w/ the cops.
The sparks fly instantly ~ while Natalie can't 'see' Mac, she drawn to his voice, but she's scared and confused as to why the cops are back ~~ until she realizes there is more to the simple break in that what she'd first thought.
This book was SO good ~ I listened to the audio version, and the narrator was a little slow in the narration, so I had to speed the narration up to 1.25, but then it was perfect! I so felt for Natalie, who had had her world turned upside down on her...then flipped on it's side. First, the blindness, then the break in and attempt on her life, then meeting this man she feels such a compelling pull towards. And she hadn't even begun to accept her blindness yet.
Mac is a gruff, in your face kind of guy ~ and his protective instincts have flared to life with Natalie, and it's hard for him to separate her as woman from her as a case. I LOVE that ~ and while he's really gruff at times, it was clear to me that even if he couldn't admit it to himself, he'd already decided on some level that Natalie was HIS.
When he discovers that there is actually a murderer trying to kill her, he just can't control his overbearing maleness, for lack of a better way to put it. He's a total Alpha in every sense of the word ~ And Natalie has teach him that he can't run her life.
I enjoyed this book immensely, and cannot WAIT for book 2 ~~ if you're a fan of romantic suspense, Alpha heroes, and sexy romance, READ THIS!!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Where does Shades of Desire rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
The story was greaat, for one thing, the author was very, very good at potraying a newly blind person who wasn't born that way. I know this because I am legally blind myself and know a lot of blind people. The story was good, and didn't have the heroine magically able to defend herself thank god. Also, the author delved into the issues of blindness and relationships to a great degee. The mystery wasn't much of a who-dunnit, it was more of a how-did-it.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I liked Mac, because he was willing to open up and accept someone with a disability, and he was a good cop, though he could lay on the jerk rather thickly.
I liked Natalie too, even her rudeness is quite normal, at least from what I've seen, so to some she might seem very unpleasant, but few people are when they are coming to terms with blindness.
What aspect of Ashley Adlon’s performance would you have changed?
I'd have liked a bit more differentiation between the voices of characters.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
I was frankly stunned at how well the author did handling the blindness in this book. I thought the story was believable and not over the top. I know there is to be a sequel to this book, but I wish the main characters would stay the same.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is in most ways a very traditional contemporary suspense romance. One thing makes it different - the heroines disability. What makes it stand out isn't that the heroine is blind. Unfortunately there aren't that many romances written with a heroine with a disability that affects their character so profoundly. There should be more. But what makes the heroine and her disability so unique is that the book covers a space in time when she actually loses her vision, something she has known would happen someday, something she watched her mother go through and something that will not only change how she moves through life but spells the end of a career she loves. And just when she is at her most vulnerable, when she is just learning how to survive, she is unwittingly embroiled in a crime solely because of something she may or may not have even seen.
I am not sure if the author meant to include so much symbolism and synchronicity into what on the surface is a romance novel. The chosen profession of a woman who knew the one physical characteristic necessary to perform that profession would soon desert her, the debate about what the photographer actually "sees" when they take a picture, what people miss when nothing ever "stares them in the face" and the undesired attraction between a man who is certain he never wants to be in a relationship with a dependent woman again, and a woman who never wants to depend on anyone, but has no choice but to do so. Most importantly, in the world this genre exists within, "love-at-first-sight" is always based on immediate physical attraction. It is kind of hard to believe in this phenomenon when one of the two parties involved has no sight.
Other than the conflict created by the loss of sight, this is a pretty formulaic romance. The secondary characters, and even the main male character are underdeveloped and there are so many potential plot lines introduced but never expanded upon that I have no idea why they were introduced in the first place. Why did the main protagonist never know he had a brother until he was in prison? Why were the heroines therapists telling her it was OK to hide herself off from the rest of the world and live such a solitary life, and why did she listen to such stupid advice? And why did the hero and secondary characters keep talking to or about other blind people but nothing ever progressed beyond their conversation.
I've obviously thought too much about this book and this plot. And while I can't say it was a great story, great plot or extremely well written, the fact that I have thought about it so much must mean something. So, I think that I am rather surprisingly recommending this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What was most disappointing about Virna DePaul’s story?
Dumb, dumb woman as the lead. While I could appreciate the way that she wrote about the woman's blindness - it was hard to overlook the woman's sheer stupidity in continually putting herself in harms way in her quest to be "independent." I am all for independence - but there is nothing more annoying that stupidity in the guise of independence. Plus - she was just hateful at times.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ashley Adlon?
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Shades of Desire?
There wouldn't be much book left....
Any additional comments?
Wasted my money on this one. I couldn't even finish it - I just got so annoyed trying to listen to it - I finally gave up.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed this story - the protagonist is blind and this gives the standard romantic suspense story an interesting and different angle. The story has a bit of everything - excitement, mystery, romance and the pacing is just right. Natalie survives a few attempts on her life, an intruder in her house and an attempted kidnapping, all of which would be terrifying enough for a sighted person but she seems to just shrug them of in a bit of a cavalier fashion, being more concerned about inherited insanity. Other than that, though, the characters were engaging and just flawed enough to be likeable.
The narrator though, not so much. The mark of a good narrator is one that you can't "hear", whose own voice doesn't intrude on the story. This narrator has a melodramatic downturn inflexion in her voice at the end of EVERY sentence, which I found very intrusive. Although she managed to differentiate the womens' voices a little bit, the men, especially Mac, she read in the same bored, monotone as she did the narrative parts. Mac sounded like an automaton - no passion, no interest, no personality. If this book had been narrated by, say, Johanna Parker or Gabra Zachman it would have been a much better read.
I'd definitely look for another book by Virna DePaul but I'd be looking for a different narrator.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
the narrator could have read a little faster. I had to put the book on faster speed. I wish the story had more romance in it. I felt like the romance was rushed. The character did not even know each other that much before they fell in love. I like the suspense in the plot was very good and different.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about this story?
Whole experience was good.
Any additional comments?
Narration was a bit shakey, after I got used to it, it was fine.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful