Title: Loud and Clear
Author: Aidan Wayne
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 93 Pages
At a Glance: Honestly, Loud and Clear was just a lovely, lovely way to spend a couple of hours.
Reviewed By: Jules
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.
Review: Warning: I might gush a little bit in this review, because I really, really liked this one. First of all – it was cute. So cute and sweet. And, not in any kind of annoying omigosh-this-story-is-so-sweet-it’s-making-my-teeth-hurt kind of way; but in a that-was-exactly-what-my-heart-needed kind of way. Simply put, Loud and Clear, by new-to-me author Aidan Wayne, made my heart happy for so many reasons.
Jaxon and Caleb each seem content enough in their own lives when we meet them. Jaxon has his job to keep him busy, is close to his sister, who he talks to just about every day, and has figured out ways to keep his severe dyslexia from hindering his life too much. Caleb has his power suits and enough self-confidence at the office to keep his stuttering to a minimum much of the time. Neither one had any idea when they met how much they would enhance each other’s lives. Jaxon shows Caleb the patience and the kindness he deserves, and Caleb begins to show Jaxon how much smarter he is than he gives himself credit for.
I would have loved to see a bit more of Caleb showing Jaxon little tricks that might help make reading easier for him—the one little glimpse we got of him darkening the bottoms of his letters in one of his notes to make it simpler for Jaxon to break down was fascinating. In fact, I would have loved more of this story period, as I utterly adored both of these guys. The author did a fantastic job of making each of them instantly relatable and engrossing, which is a must in a story this length. I felt like I knew the guys immediately, and cared about what happened to them.
For this couple to make it even in the early days of dating, a breakdown of the communication barrier had to happen straight away. Caleb couldn’t rely on his typical go-to of writing notes when speaking became impractical, because that didn’t work for Jaxon. So, they began using speech to text/text to speech applications on their cell phones, and an ASL video interpreting service that Caleb used on his home phone. I loved all of the detail the author put into this process, and how this obstacle was so realistically handled and explained. I also loved how real Jaxon’s texts were. If any of you have used the speech to text feature for messaging on your phone, you know how screwed up the messages can get! Wayne captured this so brilliantly in their text conversations; it was fantastic.
Honestly, Loud and Clear was just a lovely, lovely way to spend a couple of hours. It was amazingly honest and sweet, super low drama, romantic and playful—really wonderful, heart-warming goodness (there was the gushing I warned you about). Go pick this one up, folks!
You can buy Loud and Clear here: