Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

Loud and ClearRate: 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary
Publication day: May 23, 2016
Length:  93 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing

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.

My View: Loud and Clear is a lovely short story with two intriguing main characters. It breaks with the normative of “perfect” characters and “torture” souls. Both characters struggle with disabilities, but instead of wallow in them, they learned to raise above them and have fulfilling lives.

Their relationship is a slow-burn with lots of chemistry and zero on page sex. Even so, the connection between the characters is evident and their time together fulfilling. The more they get to know each other, the more you will want to see them happy. There’s little angst in the story, but plenty in the MCs’ lives.

Their interactions with others are limited but gave us enough information to learn more about their personal and work relationships. They have pretty routine lives with nothing more than lack of companionship to interfere with their happiness. Yes, Jaxon’s dyslexia and Caleb’s stutter make their lives more challenging, but it’s nothing they don’t see as part of their every day. Thier blossoming relationship is almost a reward of moving ahead with their lives against all odds.

The writing is done well, and the short format fits the fast pace of the book and the relationship. If anything, the reader will want to know more about the MCs after the ending of the book. The small details, notes, and conversations are the important aspects of the book. Their relationship is built on the little things in life.

Overall, this story is sweet, easy read, but it’s filled with hope and a lovely friendship.

What I liked the most: How easy their casual acquaintance turned into a friendship, and then, a relationship.

I wanted more: Of Caleb and Jaxon interacting with others. And perhaps, what happens after the book’s ending.

Who should read it: Fans of sweet contemporary stories.

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

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