Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Tour for Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a person with a disability I'm drawn to stories that reflect the ups and downs of our lives in a realistic way which this story does beautifully.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne, and its sweet and sensual romance between apparent opposites living with disabilities, then add it to your bookshelf.  You'll also learn five intriguing secrets about this book as well as learning my impressions about this m/m romance.  In honor of this book leave a comment letting us know of a book you read and enjoyed that featured a disabled character (I don't want to miss any) for the chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing GC and get even more entries by visiting the other sites hosting this tour too!


1:  I started writing the story barely a week after finishing a much longer novel that wrote up really quickly for me. After I finished it, essentially sat down and went, “I want to write something else fun and easy! I know, how about two people who have huge issue with being able to communicate! Figuring that out sounds like a breeze!” (I joke, for although Loud and Clear was a fun story to write, a breeze I never thought it would be.)
2:  Jaxon, who has dyslexia, uses a lot of speech-to-text and text-to-speech applications in order to read emails, send and receive text messages, that sort of thing. Every single message sent by Jaxon in this story was dictated by me into one such of these applications, so that I could more accurately write down what the translations from speech to text would look like, transcription errors included.
3:  Caleb, who has a bad stutter, uses ASL sometimes. When writing this, I often signed out loud in order to better work through his sentences--and also to remind myself which words were better easily understood in context, etc. Thing is, I wrote a large portion of Loud and Clear outside of the privacy of my own home. So when I was in the library, coffee shop, whathaveyou, every so often an outside observer would see me stop writing to sign furiously at my screen. Then again, that’s essentially the equivalent of talking out loud while you write. Which I also do without totally realizing what I’m doing. I’m doing it right this moment in fact. Self, self stop it.
4:  Later in the story, Jaxon takes Caleb on a driving tour on the area. Their first stop, The Mansion, has a massive collection of front yard blow-up decorations. This is based on a real house in a neighborhood near mine, though the collection of decorations for the real house were all Christmas themed and are only displayed during December.
Similarly, the front yard garden street is based, well, not on a street, but was inspired by my mother’s spectacular front yard garden. Made of aluminum poles and painted tires, found and recycled stone and glass, all manners of netting, and more fruits and vegetables than should really be able to fit in a front yard it is pretty much a subdivision landmark at this point. People will slow their cars on the drive-by to stare. Sometimes they’ll even idle in their cars to ask her questions. Usually these people get offered veg. Those last few facts don’t really have much to do with the book, I just like bragging about my mother. Anyway, I think a whole street of these gardens would be pretty incredible, so I wrote about it. (There, that was a good tie-in, right?)
5:  Finally, Caleb and his power suits… I did not actually intend Caleb’s choice of clothing to be part of his armor against the world; I just envisioned him a snappy dresser. Between one sentence and the next that got written in, and I really liked it, so it stayed. Sometimes that’s what happens with writing; you don’t know where one thing is going, and then suddenly it’s an important part of the story.

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.


When it comes to romances I normally like mine to have a bit of steam.  Occasionally you'll run across a story though with a romance so charming that you don't even notice the lack of steam, and that's exactly how this book made me feel.  It's ultimately a simple story of two men looking past their disabilities to find love and acceptance.  There's no angst, no melodrama, just pure unadulterated charm that put a goofy grin on my face from the first page to the last.

Cab driver Jaxon has been told his whole life how stupid he is that it's just become an accepted part of him.  With self-deprecating humor regarding his dyslexia he's made a life for himself that's satisfying, if a bit lonely.  When his Tuesday night fare becomes a regular, their recurring interactions take on a deeper meaning that has them going from friends to lovers in a sweet journey that's only just beginning. Jaxon is a kind-hearted person who's learned to live with his disability by hiding it.  There are moments where he dreams of more but his self-doubts hold him back. Interacting with Caleb though has him learning new things, like ASL and perhaps taking a college class, that had me cheering for him as he went outside his comfort zone to get to know the man he's slowly starting to care for.  Their relationship was not only one of romance but of building up each other's self-esteem, never letting the other think of themself as stupid.

Caleb's a successful man in the advertising world who has a severe stuttering problem when he's under stress.  In coping with it he uses ASL and a rigid way in talking that at first seems cold but quickly has him warming up to the cab driver who brings calm and comfort to his mandatory Tuesday night bar/work gathering.  Though Caleb's frustrated by his disability he's never let it define him and refuses to let Jaxon be defined by his either.  While he never pushes Jaxon or changes him (as he likes him just the way he is), he refuses to let him think badly of himself or mock his intelligence and in subtle ways he encourages and praises.  He's a man comfortable in his own skin who values Jaxon more than Jaxon values himself at times.

Theirs is an unconventional romance with a unique way of getting to know each other.  In spending time together Jaxon showed his ability to learn and memorize quickly and easily which belied the beliefs regarding his intelligence that others have leveled at him his whole life.  Caleb reinforced his confidence and discovered that love was shown in the subtlest of ways as Jaxon went out of his way and out of his comfort zone to be able to converse with Caleb in a way that put him at ease.  The disabilities of these two were vividly depicted and sensitively handled in a realistic way that made you feel a part of their conversations.  Their romance was sweet, morphing from friends to the early stage of lovers, through a bit of flirting and a memorable first kiss that was everything a true romantic would want it to be.  The overall writing style is a bit rough around the edges but it didn't at all take away from my overall enjoyment of this feel-good romance.  I would love to see this story expanded upon as their romance is just starting here and I long to see how their socio-economic differences, just hinted at here, will affect their relationship later on. On a whole, this was a delightful and charming romance with unforgettable characters that will remind readers that love doesn't discriminate!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


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.



-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE & you can increase your chances of winning by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.


  1. Thanks for the review!


  2. Gods, that first secret is me all over. I finish a writing project and I can't sit idle for more than a day or two before I'm going "I need something else to do!" Thankfully there's always more projects waiting in the wings. It's just usually an issue with choosing one, LOL. Glad I'm not the only one who works like that.


  3. Thank you for the review. Thank you for haring the five secrets about Loud and Clear =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Thank you for the review! One book I loved where one of the MCs was blind was Blind Faith by NR Walker.


    1. TYVM Jen for stopping by and for your book recommendation! I actually have this book on my wish list as I was drawn to its premise. I'll definitely try to get my hands on it much sooner now as you're a fan of it.

      Good luck in the giveaway!

      The Scarf Princess

  5. Thanks for the post and the review!
    Toni violet817(at)aol(dot)com

  6. OMG! I SO LOVE the sound of this book!
    Loving Jay by Renae Kaye is a book that has disabled character that I absolutely loved!! I loved it so hard! <3 lol...


    1. TYVM for the book recommendation as it's one I'd not heard of before! I definitely added it to my list though as the premise really drew me in.

      Good luck in the giveaway!

      The Scarf Princess

  7. Ienjoyed this entire post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Thanks for the post! I can't wait to read this book.