Author: Aidan Wayne
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/23/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, 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.
This author’s writing has an easy feeling to it, a comfortable flow. Nothing fussy or extraneous. Before I knew it, I was starting chapter four and enjoying these journeys of Jaxon and Caleb. I wanted to know what was in store for them, both in their individual growth and as possibly a couple. Neither of them were specifically looking for someone, and they definitely weren’t expecting each other.
Sometimes, you just never know who might cross your path and the impact they can have on your life, the possibilities they make available, things about which you never really allowed yourself to contemplate for more than a minute.
This is a deceptively simple story about two not at all simple people. Both Jaxon and Caleb have hopes, moments of triumph, burdens they’ve been carrying since childhood, worries about what might be beyond their current status quo, and both of them are somewhat content with their current situations. Sure, certain things could be better but they aren’t too bad, either. But is this all there is? Could there be more out there?
As I said initially, this writing is engaging and wonderfully uncomplicated, not getting in its own way. There are some moments of “statement of the obvious”, and a few others that feel to go against the characters’ points of view – though those could be accounted for by those very positions, as no one is perfect, no matter how perceptive – and there is overuse of italics. You don’t have to highlight where the emphasis should be if your characters’ voices are coming through loud and clear, and they are here. Otherwise, this author makes it feel like they delighted in relating this story about Jaxon and Caleb. It feels like a “how we first met” kind of situation is being passed onto us and that’s magical.
The pace of the story overall, and especially how things develop between Caleb and Jaxon feels authentic, in no way forced. The things you have in common with someone else can surprise you, especially when it’s a deeply ingrained belief about yourself that’s caused you to live life a certain way, to expect or not expect certain opportunities. Emotionally, it can change you forever, the sharing of the challenges that you face 24-7. In Jaxon and Caleb, we have particular attributes that are rarely included in stories. Even better, they’re portrayed as one part of their whole beings, not the entirety of their everyday existence. These things do not define these men.
Together, they exemplify how sometimes our challenges can feel like blessings when we’re with the right person, the one who helps us see the world from a different angle. The one who opens the door to another way of thinking about who we are and what we’ve already accomplished, let alone what we can do in the future.
Plain and simple: I adore this. I dig it, and this writer has some dern serious talent. I’m excited for whatever else they decide to share with us. I recommend this unreservedly. This is one of those that I want everyone to experience. 🙂
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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