Saturday, May 21, 2016

ARC Review: Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

Loud and Clear
From the blurb:

Jaxon is getting by fine, severe dyslexia or not. Being a cab driver means he doesn’t need to read much, and the job has its perks. The pay isn’t bad, the people can be interesting, and having memorized the city streets keeps him from feeling too stupid.

When he picks up Caleb, a quiet fare in a nice suit, Jaxon doesn't think anything of it. Then he ends up driving Caleb home the next week too, and the next, and the next. Eventually Caleb tries to communicate—by writing things down. Turns out that Caleb has such a bad stutter he spends most of his time mute.

If only Jaxon had an easier time reading what Caleb had to say. But he’s interested in trying, and Caleb seems interested back. They discover that, with a little bit of effort, it isn’t so hard to make themselves understood. Especially when what’s growing between them is definitely worth talking about

Heather's rating:

Welcome to the world of published authors, Aidan Wayne! I, for one, was NOT expecting much (yeah, I've been burned by newbie authors time and time again), but Aidan Wayne really delivered with a sweet, well-written novella.

I've mentioned this before in a number of reviews, but I'm a HUGE sucker for a stuttering MC. Stuttering runs in my family, and my brother has been in speech therapy his entire life to deal with his stuttering issues. I have a serious weak spot for a stutterer, and I know well some of the struggles that they face. When I saw that one of the MCs was a stutterer in the blurb, I KNEW I needed this book. The blurb also mentions Jaxon's (hate that spelling of the name, but I'll go with it) dyslexia, another thing that is a magnet for me in romance.

Right off the bat, I felt really connected to the two MCs. I'm not sure if it was their physical struggles that fast-tracked my bonding with Jaxon and Caleb, but I was rooting for them SOOOO hard, right from the start. Also, for a novella, there is a surprising amount of build up and slow-burn, which I adored. We really got to know these two men and how they ticked, even before the romance started. I really loved how Aidan Wayne gave these two the time and space to get to know one another. It felt much more organic that way.

This book is relatively low angst, though the two MCs have certainly faced obstacles in the past, ones that they are still struggling with. However, the main focus of this story is the chemistry between Caleb and Jaxon, and how well they communicate, which is a MIRACLE considering the nature of their disabilities. There is also zero sex content, in case any readers are wondering.

I wish we got more of the relationship after it became official, because time sort of skips and jumps forward at that point. The story also ends rather abruptly, which may be a sticking point for some readers. I really wanted MORE from this story, which can only be a good thing because I enjoyed the characters so much.

This was a very impressive debut story, and I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I'll be looking for more from this author in the future.

**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review**

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