If you’re looking for a short and sweet little m/m romance, this one fits the bill. It features two men who are each struggling with their own disabilities, yet somehow manage to make an unlikely connection with one another. I enjoy stories where the hero has odds to overcome, and here, the issues are exponential, because of what these men are struggling with: one can barely speak, due to a terrible stutter, while the other can’t read, because of major dyslexia. Communication is a serious challenge, yet somehow, these two make it work.
Jaxon is a cab driver, who considers himself stupid because he can’t read. Caleb is the high-powered ad exec who has become his regular Tuesday night fare. At first, they ride in silence, but over time, Jaxon’s easy charm and solicitous nature prompt Caleb to start passing him short notes. Of course, Jaxon has to get help to read them, but he makes the effort –and slowly, these two strike up a tentative relationship.
This is very short, but I didn’t mind because I felt like this was just the slice of life story about how these two found their way to one another. There aren’t any external conflicts beyond their language barriers… not even their huge class difference… or maybe that theirs was an interracial relationship. (I say “maybe” on that because there’s not a lot of physical description of our main characters. Jaxon does refer to a “white guy” once, though, leading me to believe he’s a minority.) But this is less about what gets in their way than how they overcome their obstacles with patience and persistence.
This is a pretty “clean” romance. A few kisses here and there, but no on page sex. Like I said, it’s sweet.
Don’t expect to be over-engaged emotionally. It’s too short, but it’s a pleasant read. I liked it.
*ARC provided by publisher
Loud and Clear
by Aidan Wayne
Release Date: May 23, 2016