A few weeks ago I reviewed “True Colours“ by Karen A. Surtees and PruferBlue as part of a list on stories with a less than physically perfect protagonist. I’ve been adding to the list since then, so here is an update.
You’re probably already familiar with the very productive pen of Kim Pritekel, a number of her stories have already been reviewed at this site, but I don’t think anyone has mentioned “Eye of the Beholder”. In “Eye of the Beholder” we meet a young blind journalist, who has been assigned to do an article on a beautiful and rather bitchy former model. Kim Pritekel also penned the touching story “Again” about Laurel, who returns to Boston after 10 years, to see her former lover, Caden, who is suffering from brain cancer and wants to see Laurel again before she goes into surgery. This is one of those classic romances of young love that never dies, so rest assured - even if it’s a bit tragic at times - I guarantee a happy end.
In the short story “Sheridans Fate” by Gun Brooke, we meet Sheridan Ward as she opens the yearly stockholders’ convention of Ward Enterprises. This is Sheridans first public appearance after she contracted bacterial meningitis 11 months earlier, now she is bound to a wheelchair and dependent on her personal assistant and nurse - Lark. This is a short, but catching tale of a tough and bitchy executive with a heart longing for love. I understand that the story has been turned into a novel published by Bold Strokes Books.
While we are at it, I think I should also mention “Love’s Melody Lost” by Radclyffe, a novel sporting a concert pianist and composer, who has isolated herself in her home after a car accident that left her blind and without her former feel for music. Anna enters into this bleak house as a “house manager” for the pianist, and manages to put the spark back in her eyes, but love is something that Graham – the pianist - is not yet ready to embrace. Even though the story is well written, I’m not too keen on it, as Graham is portrayed a bit too transgendered for my taste, but it’s well rated on The Athenaeum so – surprise – not everyone agrees with me :-)
The last story to be added to my list of stories with less than perfect protagonists is “Something I Said” by Denic, and this is really something else as the protagonist Conner suffers from Tourette's syndrome. This is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by tics, but in the case of Conner, the tics are mostly vocal and take the form of exclamation of obscene words.
When we meet Conner, the Tourette's has yet again caused her to lose a job, she is banned from shopping in the nearby grocery store, and virtually friendless. Wandering the streets, she encounters the neighbourhood toughs, who don’t take too kindly to her mouthing her thoughts on their mothers and that lands her with a bloodied lip and a black eye. You want me to go on, or do you get the idea ? Conner is at a low point in her life and this is when she starts a string of encounters with a beautiful blond who seems to be stalking her.
Conner’s life turns for the better when she strikes up a friendship with her neighbour, Elmer, an older man who doesn’t seem to take offence by her cuss words, and eventually the friendship with Elmer leads her to meet her blond stalker - Ellison.
Basically “Something I Said” is an ordinary romance, with two woman both reluctant to believe in love, but I must say that Denic has found an original setting for this one. I’ve no idea if the story is true to the plights of someone suffering from Tourette's, but I hope that it won’t offend anyone. When you cut out all the cuss words, you've got a sweet romance and a number of episodes that can put a smile on your face. So don’t hesitate to look up this story even if it is a bit out of the ordinary.