New Release Review! WITHOUT WORDS by Delancey Stewart



About WITHOUT WORDS:

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?

Add WITHOUT WORDS to your Goodreads TBR list here!

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Excerpt:

I caught Trent’s attention at the bar, putting my back to the girl and focusing on getting my heart to slow down, letting my blood cool.

And just when I’d gotten control of myself again, she was right fucking next to me, and my mind went blank.

Or most parts of my mind, at least. The parts in charge of caveman stuff—the parts that screamed at me to pick her up, throw her over my shoulder, and find a wall to fuck her against—those parts were working fine. Unfortunately.

“Hi,” she said.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

I stared at her. I was blank. I reached for a word to give her and my mind was empty. Even the one word she’d said would have been fine. I could have parroted it back to her. But it had fluttered up into the noise and light inside the bar and evaporated. Even that one simple word was out of my reach.

I watched her expression change. She’d said “hi” like she was extending a bridge, a thin filament I might just be able to risk stepping onto. But as she waited for me to return her greeting, to say fucking anything at all, the bridge dissolved.

And her face closed up. The sparkle in her bright eyes faded, and her energy pulled back inside her, leaving me cold again. A mixture of fear and surprise replaced the glow on her face, and I felt both guilty and monstrous as I watched what it did to her. She let other words fall between us. Nonsense, really. I’d made her uncomfortable, unhappy. And I already knew she was a girl I never wanted to see unhappy.

Finally, she turned around and went back to her table, pulled the other girl toward the door, and disappeared into the night beyond. And the strange light that had filled the club was extinguished.

 

Review:

Without Words is a sweet story about starting over. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read, and Rob and Dani are likable characters. The way they’d get out of actual communication, though, made me more than a little nuts. Some miscommunication/hesitation to speak can work. And yes, I know it’s called Without Words and that Rob’s traumatic brain injury affects his speech, but still, it goes way too far here. I spent a good 50% of the book shouting jeez, would you two just talk it out already? every time the two of them got close and then (often literally) ran away from each other.

Still, it did keep me turning the pages. I could definitely see myself trying another book from this author in the future.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Delancey Stewart

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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