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Loud and Clear

Friday, January 1, 2021

Loud and Clear (2016) Aidan Wayne

Loud and ClearLet me state first that the cover may be innocuous, but it also gives you completely the wrong idea about the book. There are no car chases are action scenes, it’s just that one character is a cab driver in the city.

Jaxon may be a high school drop out, but he enjoys being a cab drive–and is good at it, despite the fact he can’t read. When he picks up a handsome fare who doesn’t talk, he doesn’t think much about it (after all, he’s a good tipper, and fares are not require to speak) but there’s something about him…

Caleb has such a severe stutter, than he prefers to converse in ASL except when he has practiced and prepared himself. So he’s not sure how to thank his kind cab driver–except that he feels he really should after a night out gone wrong.

There is so much that happens in this story, and it’s all so well done I just want to squeal.

Jaxon is dyslexic, but because he is a poor POC, no one ever took the time to discover why he couldn’t read, so he failed out of school.

Caleb has a stutter so severe that he prefers to us ASL to communicate, but because he is white and wealthy, he was able to get an excellent education, and fight the stereotypes that kept everyone thinking that he, too, was stupid.

We the reader know that Jaxon isn’t stupid–far from it since he memorized the city so he could be a successful cab driver–but he assumes that he is stupid because he can’t read, because the system failed him.

But all of that is between the lines of the story, excluding one single paragraph.

Caleb fought the urge to clench a fist. Jaxon always acted like he’d done something wrong when he didn’t know a sign, like he was stupid for not learning an entire language in a weekend. Caleb really wanted to find Jaxon’s old teachers and punch them all in the face.

It is amazingly well done how we see how these two men were shaped by their pasts.

ALSO Jaxon’s sister is marvelous.

He was simply waiting for the other shoe to drop, and he was worried it was going to trip him up somehow. He’d said as much to Tatyana, who’d yelled at him over the phone to suck it up and just enjoy a good thing now that he had it.

Again, you can read between the lines how much she adores her older brother, but can’t convince him of his worth.

And Jaxon is just the sweetest cinnamon roll, whom you want only the best for.

Okay to try learning the language Caleb was most comfortable speaking? Okay? This was already the best date of Caleb’s life, and they hadn’t even ordered dinner yet.

It’s a lovely story, and I can’t believe I waited this long to read a second Aidan Wayne story considering how much I adored Play It Again.

Publisher : Riptide Publishing
Rating: 9/10

Categories: 9/10, LGBT, Novella, Romance     Comments (0)    



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