Review: Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

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.

Disabilities are not defects.

Because they're not.

I jumped at the chance to take a chance on new author, Aidan Wayne after reading the blurb. And this story was more than either man's disability, it was more about letting someone in when you've had to fight harder to make your place in this world. This is a slow burn romance and more about opening yourself when you've learned it's better to be closed off...but there is something about the other man that made them give a chance.

Dyslexic cab driver Jaxon picks up an easy fare on a Tuesday night. His tipsy fare didn't talk much, wore a sexy business suit, appeared to have a cold demeanor and tipped well. This became a pattern, his routine fare nary saying a word until one Tuesday, Jaxon got a little written note on his receipt. Out of normal routine, Jaxon was curious about his Tuesday fare, who was intoxicated but never tried answering back at Jaxon's attempt at small talk. This pattern continued for several weeks until his handsome Tuesday fare cancelled his Tuesday night bar pick ups.

Jaxon's mind for memorizing comes in handy when he had a chance to save his Tuesday fare and thus begins a tentative friendship. When they discovered their communication issues, they didn't make a big stink or tried to ignore each other. They found middle ground and learned a few new things about themselves.

Loud and Clear isn't about their disabilities. They play background to both men who carry damaged baggage.I loved learning about them and their background (though I felt it could've went deeper for Caleb) Jaxon comes from humble beginnings, has low self esteem, think of himself as "stupid" since mostly everyone thinks he is and tells him. Caleb is a wealthy marketing and research developer who had specialists, went to expensive special schools and uses ASL to communicate when his stuttering is bad. Both men had barely anything in common except for their disabilities and people's perceptions of them.

Since the story was slow burn, the men take time to get to know one another and I felt it as believable. The author clearly did their research and didn't make it read like a manual. (If there was any incorrect facts, I didn't notice) I love that the story was light in tone, low angst, and basically let the characters be the stars. The setting could be any city really. The author didn't really give much detail in either main character's description, letting their personalities and actions be the driver. (Badda bing!)

Jaxon! He stole my heart in this story. He was so sweet, took the time to try to bridge the gap, even when he was filled with trepidation at points. He is a great character and good soul. I took slight longer to like Caleb but I got where he was coming from and sometimes resting bitch face can be misconstrued.

Were there any issues with the story? I didn't find much really. The story might've hit a lull in some spots. I questioned Caleb diagnosing Jaxon as quickly. (How'd he pinpoint dyslexia from one conversation?) Overall, reading this was infectious.

There wasn't any sex, this story didn't need it. It was mere kisses and sweet. It ends with a HFN, a starting point and though I wouldn't mind another chapter to the last scene, I think it ended in a good spot, where feelings are developing.

I will end this review with stating my beginning statement once more: disabilities are not defects. Loud and Clear showed that disabilties can help people develop a bond.

A copy provided via Netgalley and publisher for an honest review

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