Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Tour for Without Words by Delancey Stewart (REVIEW)

Readers drawn to characters who are far from perfect will find themselves quickly consumed by this romance between a bubbly and kindhearted woman and a former firefighter dealing with a brain injury.  As both of them try to make lives for themselves readers will be left rooting for them every step of the way.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Without Words by Delancey Stewart, along with getting my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf!

Sometimes love speaks for itself...
After an accident in the line of duty, firefighter Roberto DeRosa’s life is turned upside down. His career fighting fires is over, and he’s left with an uncertain future and an injury that makes communicating difficult for him. The only time words flow easily is when they’re lyrics and he has a guitar in his hands. Talking to women is definitely out, especially if they have bright blue eyes that seem to see right into his soul.
Dani Hodge is on the brink of realizing her dream of opening a small combination wine and book store in San Diego’s funky Ocean Beach neighborhood. But before she can open the doors, there’s work to be done, more work than she can do herself.
When the tattooed guy who completely ignored her at a bar walks by and offers her a hand wrangling a tile saw, Dani can’t afford to say no—and why would she say no to Mr. Strong and Silent when his stare conveys more than words could?




Readers looking for a straightforward tale of two people trying to be independent after arising from adversity will get all that and more with this charming contemporary romance.  It's a story full of instantly likable characters dealing with issues that are easy to relate to and which had me furiously turning the pages to see what happens next.

Rob DeRosa's always felt lacking.  From his father's careless treatment of him, to his stepfather's constant criticism, Rob's never felt that he ever measured up. Living in an affluent neighborhood, with his different ethnicity, further alienated him and had him desperate to make something of himself.  When a life-altering firefighting accident leaves him with brain damage all those negative feelings are compounded and leave him feeling uncertain of his future.  With anger management issues and problems forming sentences he doesn't feel he has anything to offer but once he locks eyes with the bubbly Dani Hodge he starts seeing himself in a whole new light.  With her he sees possibilities, a sense of peace and contentment that has him feeling worthy once again, until fears and misunderstandings get in the way.  Rob's immensely appealing with a kind heart and though he speaks few words he was still utterly charming.  It's clear he's lonely, with his dog Sampson one of his closest companions, which had me feeling sympathetic towards his plight.  He tended to overthink things though, worried about things he didn't need to and always assumed he was the problem. For such a big, strong guy I was sad to see his self-esteem brought so low.

Dani's childhood was one of neglect with her sister her main form of support and protection until the day their Nan took them in.  All her negative past experiences have taught her to doubt love and assume that she'll always be left behind when she puts her heart on the line.  To keep from being hurt again she focuses on starting up her own business, closing off her heart until she hears Rob's haunting voice.  That chance encounter leads to an even closer connection that has her falling for him just as life takes another unexpected turn for him. Dani's a very likable heroine whose joy is infectious.  Her and her sister Amy are a supportive sisterly duo whose interactions are caring and playful.  They may be opposites in many ways but are always there for each other when they need help most which endeared both of them to me.  A previous bad break-up has her leery of the instant intense feelings she has for Rob and has her jumping to conclusions that end up hurting both of them.  Her attitude frustrated me at times, created problems where they didn't need to exist.  For all the joy and serenity she brought Rob though I found myself liking her.

This was a sweet story overall with a few steamy encounters late in the story. It was a slow burn that kept me turning the pages, rooting for these two bruised souls to embrace their love for each other.  That slow burn was full of cuteness that had me smiling as they danced around each other like grade schoolers. The angst in this story was internal, doubts that each carried, but there were familial issues overshadowing Dani and Rob too.  These issues seemed to come out of nowhere and in dealing with them I felt myself being dragged away from the loving cocoon of Dani and Rob's romance.  Despite that I still found myself drawn to this couple and cheering them on as they worked past their doubts and misunderstandings.  Rob's brain damage was depicted realistically and with a gentle hand.  His frustrations were heartbreaking and made his hard-fought HEA all the richer.  Surrounding this likable couple were an equally likable cast of secondary characters from Amy to Rob's firefighter best friend Trent, who are pairing off themselves in a relationship I would've loved to see play out in greater detail.  Add in a slew of other supportive firefighter friends and readers are left with all sorts of hopes for the future.  Though this book acts as a standalone I'd definitely love to come back to this world with all its sexy firefighters running to the rescue! 

My rating for this is a B-

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


Delancey Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She's been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a wine seller. Despite lots of other interests, she has always been a writer.
A military spouse and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler, story reader, and tech writer. She tackles all these efforts from her current home outside Washington DC.


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