Author ~ Aidan Wayne
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 23rd May 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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.
I absolutely loved this little gem of a read! Fabulous writing, terrific concept and the most adorable characters. What a great combination these two men are together. A dyslexic cabbie a bit rough around the edges and a successful marketing strategist all polish and shine with a severe stutter. There is so much to savour in Loud and Clear, it’s impossible not to enjoy.
Jaxon is such an unassuming character and my heart went out to him. Having struggled all his life with dyslexia and the stigma attached to that disability, he thinks of himself as stupid. Yet despite the fact he finds it difficult to read, he works as a taxi driver and doesn’t realise it’s his strengths that enable him to do so.
Caleb is a successful professional and outwardly his appearance suggests he plays the part to perfection. With his suits as his armour and his demeanour a mask, they combine to give the illusion of confidence. But inside, poor Caleb is in constant turmoil trying to compose and articulate the words he needs to express himself coherently. Falling back on sign language when his internal control starts to fall apart.
Both Caleb and Jaxon have and still do suffer from peoples’ cruel, misconstrued perceptions, making everyday a battle for Caleb living in the limelight, and with Jaxon suffering from low self esteem, he just tries to make himself invisible.
But their story together, their attraction, getting to know each other and learning to communicate with kindness and consideration and the simple understanding of each other’s needs was just beautiful to see. Together they have a much wider view of the world, not being defined by their disabilities and no longer alone.
I had such a stupid grin on my face reading this, with that sensation of those prickly happy tears that start to burn your eyes. It’s an emotional and sweet tale, not sappy, not contrived, just a natural and honest progression of an endearing relationship, with no sex. In fact, sex would have detracted from the composition and flow of the story and the enjoyment of this fresh and uplifting novella would have been diminished.
Aidan Wayne delivered a funny and poignant little gem you do not want to miss, Loud and Clear is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and I will most definitely be checking out future releases!
Meet Aidan Wayne
Aidan Wayne is a big believer in character-driven stories with happy endings. This is not to say that stories can’t contain a little (or a lot) of grief, just that at the end of it all expect there to be bandages and hugs. They particularly like to write about minority characters because damn it, they deserve happy endings too.
When not writing, Aidan enjoys practicing aerial, martial arts, and ASL, and watching reality cooking shows. They are probably in the middle of twelve projects as you read this.