Book Review: In the Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder

9 Apr 2015

Book Title: In the Absence of Light
Author: Adrienne Wilder
Series: Standalone
Release Date: March 25th, 2015
Genres: M/M Romance
For years Grant Kessler has smuggled goods from one end of the world to the next. When business turns in a direction Grant isn’t willing to follow he decides to retire and by all appearances he settles down in a nowhere town called Durstrand. But his real plan is to wait a few years and let the FBI lose interest, then move on to the distant coastal life he’s always dreamed of.

Severely autistic, Morgan cannot look people in the eye, tell left from right, and has uncontrolled tics. Yet he’s beaten every obstacle life has thrown his way. And when Grant Kessler moves into town Morgan isn’t a bit shy in letting the man know how much he wants him.

While the attraction is mutual, Grant pushes Morgan away. Like the rest of the world he can’t see past Morgan’s odd behaviors.

Then Morgan shows Grant how light lets you see but it also leaves you blind. And once Grant opens his eyes, he loses his heart to the beautiful enigma of a man who changes the course of his life.



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 The Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder is one of those books I went into fairly blind. I'd known a friend loved it but I'd hadn't read many reviews. What I DID know is that within a very few pages, I knew this was going to be a book that touched me profoundly. Touched me in a way not many books do. The characters grabbed ahold of my heart and I felt personally invested in their story. That, my friends, is WRITING. 

 Grant Kessler is a Chicago "transplant." Avoiding the Feds, he's what a friend accurately termed a "moral criminal." He chooses to move to a sleepy southern town called Durstrand, buys a local "fixer upper" and begins biding his time until he can get outa Dodge. One night while having a beer in the only local tavern, he spots the busboy, Morgan. He observes Morgan being harassed by local assholes drunks. Morgan clearly has issues and Morgan just stood there using odd hand gestures (tics) and didn't to defend himself. So Grant steps in... 

 The book blurb clearly states this is a story about a severely autistic man. What it doesn't tell us is how completely the reader will fall in love with this man...Morgan. Yes, he has severe tics, fails to make eye contact with most people, but he's as smart as a whip and endearing as hell. Who wouldn't fall for him? Oh yes, the local bigots...people who don't tolerate "different." But his different was FABULOUS! Above all things, Morgan has a fascination with light. Almost a sixth sense...he can hear it. 

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  In the Absence of Light has so many components of a good read, I couldn't help but immerse myself in their love story. Original plot, endearing MCs, and fantastic secondary characters- the townspeople were hysterical! What town has a drive-in movie theatre in the middle of a cow pasture - for cows? Because happy cows equal better tasting meat! Makes sense to me. Although there were bigots amongst them, the town as a whole was such a huge support for Morgan and I couldn't help but feel warm and fuzzy in their loyalty. Oh, and I can't forget to mention STEAM, I cannot forget steam! I was seriously questioning whether I'd find a book with this particular storyline hot but let's just say, Morgan has special talents and it was scorching. The buildup was slow and made it all the more FUCKHOT. But I digress... 

 Morgan was wise. When Grant would think Morgan was simple, Morgan would prove just how special he was... 

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 It was the love story within this book that captured me the most. I commend the author for writing a subject that isn't easy to depict yet display it without negativity and bring to light just how much of a struggle people with autism endure yet in so many ways are so wise, we underestimate their true inner brilliance. 

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 So, if you're in the market for a book that promises an original plot, is chock full of EVERYTHING- drama, angst, humor, suspense, steam, and endearing characters then this book is for you! In the Absence of Light is the first book I've read from this author but surely won't be my last. Thanks for the fabulous recommendation, Baba. 

 I can't NOT post this dedication in my review.- Perfect! 
"This book is dedicated to: Anyone and everyone who has ever been misunderstood, cast out, or ostracized for simply being who you are. Forgive the ignorant. They know not what lies within the layers of our reality."
In the Absence of Light is a standalone M/M romance read.


  1. I hadn't heard of this one before but i'm so happy you enjoyed this one! I definitely like your casting choices in the picture ;)

    1. Thanks so much! It's one of those books that'll stay with me for a long time. The story was so well written. Thanks again for your comments!