5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Boss/employee coming of age Contemporary DA Fade to black/No Steam Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse Little to no angst m/m Morgan NetGalley Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Opposites attract Riptide Publishing

Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

release day review

Riptide Presents



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.


Jaxon has been told his whole life that he’s “stupid” because he can’t read, so he memorizes everything and makes due the best he can. He’s lowered his expectations but still manages to think he’s got as good a life as he can expect.

Caleb has been told he’s stupid his whole life because he has trouble with speech. But Caleb had luxuries Jaxon never did and has since found a way around his difficulties to rise to the top of his profession.

When Caleb’s mandatory “drunken Tuesdays” put him in Jaxon’s cab multiple weeks in a row, the two begin a sort of friendship that – due to other events – leads to more.


This is a new author to me and I’m in love! I adored this book! It was sweet, sentimental, spoke to the heart and really touched me. It’s very low steam, low angst, and ends on a very hopeful HFN but I still found it to be very satisfying.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a story with heart and substance.

5 of 5 stars


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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

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