Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review of Blinded By Our Eyes by Clare London

Clare London
Blinded By Our Eyes
Carina Press, 2010

London art dealer Charles Garrett has devoted his life to appreciating and acquiring beauty, both in art and in his companions. His fashionable life is rocked to the core when he discovers the body of a young artist, Paolo Valero, in a pool of blood in his gallery. As Paolo-s mentor, Charles is haunted by the horror of his violent death. Seeking closure, he investigates Paolo-s past and soon discovers a tangled web of motives and potential suspects, some closer to home than he ever imagined. He’s drawn to Antony Walker, an aggressive, handsome sculptor with unsavory ties to Paolo. Charles is unsettled by Antony’s forceful nature but irresistibly attracted to his passion and his art. When the evidence points toward Antony-s guilt, Charles is thrown into emotional turmoil. Has he lost his heart to a killer?

Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Contemporary, Murder mystery, Art

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

Why I read it:
I received a review copy from the publisher through Netgalley

I’ve read Blinded By Our Eyes before I went on vacation and almost forgot to write a review about it. That would be a shame because this excellent short novel deserves to get some attention. So, let me try to make some sense of the notes that I took a long while ago.

The first thing that I remember is how I enjoyed the writing style. It wasn’t the first book I’ve read by Ms London, and I had the same experience then (with the short story Upwardly Mobile). Her writing is evocative and beautiful; the cadence of the first sentences sucked me in effortlessly. This is how the book opens:

The sound of a man crying was the first shock. Deep, racking sobs echoing off the smooth walls of my showroom. The whole gallery was usually deserted and cool at this late hour, despite the urban truth that London never slept. Yet tonight something in the air resonated with tension. And huddled in the far corner was a slender, pale young man. Arms clenched around his drawn-up knees, his eyes hot and wet, staring at me through a fringe of bedraggled dark curls. He looked angry and scared, and for the first few seconds it was all directed at me.

And this first paragraph not only grabbed my attention because of the wonderful language, in addition it already foreshadows the suspense that was going to keep me invested in this story as well. Because Blinded By Our Eyes is foremost a murder mystery, and the romance takes place in the backseat, so to speak. Gallery owner Charles is trying to figure out who killed one of his most promising artists in his gallery and because the story is told in first person from his point of view solely, we don’t know who to trust or not, along with him. This adds to the suspense, especially when he meets Anthony to whom he feels attracted. Because as far as he knows Anthony could be the killer.

This rather intriguing but simple premise worked very well for me. Although despite of the presence of the murder mystery Blinded By Our Eyes is not really a plot driven but more a character driven story and everything takes place in just a few settings (mainly the art gallery and Anthony’s atelier). The backdrop of the mystery is revealed by bits and pieces of conversation and a nice cast of secondary characters keeps you guessing about the murderer until nearly the end. The only small complaint I have is that the romance between Charles and Anthony played second fiddle because I loved Charles' and Anthony's explosive chemistry. Their HEA came a bit unexpected and too quick.

But overall I loved this well-paced, character driven and beautifully written mystery, that had some hot romance added to the mix.

Favorite quote:
He stepped back but swayed toward me at the same time, as if his body were confused between what it should and what it wanted to do. His eyes kept flickering over my mouth; his tongue darted out and licked at his own, like he was still tasting me.
“I had to do that. I had to…” He grunted. “What is this? I want to touch you so fucking badly. So much. Can you believe it?”

Clare London’s website | weblog | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy Blinded By Our Eyes here
Read an excerpt here



  1. I hear you on the intriguing opening Janna, I would want to know more about the crying man! Is it still up on NetGalley?

    BTW Talking about crying, I'm in the final pages of Kate Sherwoods dark Horse and this morning I cried for 3 chapters long...jeez what an emotionally, heart-wrenching story is that! My PJ sleeve was soaked and i wasn't a pretty sight to look at LOL I think it will end with a HFN so I NEED to have the sequel like, NOW :)

  2. I really liked this book, too! Have you picked up 72 Hours? Another good read from Clare. :)

  3. I've got this one on my TBB. Looking forward to it. Great review! :)

  4. I'm so mad at myself! I was eyeballing this one a few weeks ago and didn't request a review. Shame on me!

    Nice review Janna!!!

  5. Nice review Janna :)
    You know what...ok I really should try m/m, do you know a great short one from Samhain, something light for a newbie?

  6. Very intriguing first paragraph! I see what you mean, Janna. I'm going to have to move this up the TBR list.

    Blodeuedd, I've heard good things about Pricks and Pragmatism, which is a short, light read from Samhain. Here's the link to the product page and here's a review

  7. @Leontine: I checked Netgalley and yep, it's still up on there. So, go get it! :)
    I'm glad you're enjoying the book you won! I bet the sequel won't be the only book that'll end up in your shopping cart when you're heading over to the Dreamspinners site. ;D

    @Chris: Yes, I really like her writing, so 72 hours is on my ereader and I'll read it very soon! :D

    @Lily: Thanks, Lily. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did! :)

    @KC: Why not?! You can still request it btw, so what are you waiting for? ;)

    @Blodeuedd: *gasp* Are you serious?! I almost fell of my chair! *grin* This is so very brave of you! At Samhain... let me see... actually one of the first m/m books I read was a short from Samhain and I really liked it, because it was a GFY (Gay For You) story -> one of the guys thinks he's straight but falls in love with his friend/roommate and they start to discover things together. It was pretty hot. It's Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson.
    And the one Val recommends you looks pretty good too. I'm going to check it out myself!

    Maybe Chris, Lily, KC or Leontine have some other recs for you too??

    @Val: I'm curious what you'll think of this one, Val!
    Thanks for the rec for Blodeuedd, I'll check it out too, because Kassa's review was really positive.

  8. Great review Janna - thank you! Loved the opening paragraph and I'm a huge fan of character-based novels so I'm definitely intrigued :)

  9. Lol, don't be too shocked now ;)

    Perhaps it was destiny, I have my GC so I should buy a short m/m story with it, with something else of course.

    I'll have a look at them both. Cos I totally need something light or I will be too scared to read it

  10. @orannia: You'll love this one then. :)

    @Blodeuedd: *grin* I am a bit shocked yes. Let me how it went, okay? :)

  11. Great review Janna. I'm looking forward to checking this one out.

    I have an award for you. Check it out


  12. @Tyhada: Yay, thank you very much, Christy! I love it! :D

  13. Thanks so much for the great review - I'm glad you enjoyed it, it was great to share the book with you :).

  14. @Clare: I'm happy that you liked it! Thanks for hopping by. :)


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