Title: Signs of Attraction by Laura Brown
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
Do you know what hearing loss sounds like? I do.
All my life I’ve tried to be like you. I’ve failed.
So I keep it hidden.
But on the day my world crashed down around me, Reed was there.
He showed me just how loud and vibrant silence can be, even when I struggled to understand.
He’s unlike anyone I’ve ever known. His soulful eyes and strong hands pulled me in before I knew what was happening.
And as I saw those hands sign, felt them sparking on me, I knew: imperfect could be perfect.
Reed makes me feel things I’ve never felt. It’s exciting . . . and terrifying.
Because he sees me like no one else has, and I’m afraid of what he’ll find if he looks too closely.
The only thing that scares me more than being with him? Letting him go.
An Avon Romance
Laura Brown’s debut novel, Signs of Attraction, is a new adult romance that provides an in-depth look into the world of a person who is Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing.
College student Carli Reynolds has been Hard of Hearing for as long as she can remember but she has still manages to make it through life with no help other than hearing aids. However, in one of her current classes, she is unable to understand a word her professor is saying. Assistance comes from an unexpected source when her Deaf classmate, Reed encourages her to look into the options available for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. After a lifetime of feeling ashamed of her hearing loss, Carli is surprised by how easily she fits into Reed’s world after they begin dating. Just as Carli is beginning to move past her insecurities, a visit with her family threatens to destroy everything she has been working for.
Carli does not let her doubts and uncertainties affect her dream of becoming a teacher. She does not let physical pain, her hearing loss or her unconventional way of studying stand in the way of accomplishing her goals. She tries not to dwell on her dysfunctional family but Carli still feels judged for her hearing loss. Although at first skeptical of Reed’s suggestions, she is pleasantly surprised by the difference these changes make in her day to day life. Carli is thrilled by the his friends’ acceptance and for the first time in her life, she feels like she belongs. While she does not believe in love, Carlo finds it impossible to say no when Reed asks her to go out with him.
Reed is fighting his own demons when he meets Carli and although his friends are concerned for him, he cannot resist offering her advice. He is a genuinely kind and caring young man and he wants to do everything he can to help her reach her full potential. Although Reed was betrayed by his last girlfriend, he does hesitate to risk his heart again. He is incredibly sweet and patient with Carli but he is eventually forced to walk away from their relationship when she begins coping with her problems in a very unhealthy manner.
The first half of Signs of Attraction is rather light-hearted and easygoing. Reed and Carli are a good fit for one another and their relationship easily flourishes despite their busy schedules. Both Carli and Reed are somewhat reluctant to discuss certain things from their pasts, but this does not seem to affect their blossoming romance too much. However, after the horrifying events of Carli’s visit with her family, these unresolved issues quickly derail their relationship. Carli is drowning in self-pity and her downward spiral affects every area of her life. Despite Reed’s continued efforts to reassure her she is experiencing a temporary setback, Carli’s self-destructive behavior becomes a major point of contention between them. At an impasse, Reed has no choice but to end their relationship. Will this be the wake-up call Carli needs? Or will she continue to self destruct?
Despite the somewhat angst-ridden second half, Signs of Attraction is an engaging romance that is quite compelling. The storyline is enlightening and educational and Laura Brown provides readers a insightful look into everyday life as a Dear or Hard of Hearing person. A heartfelt and emotional debut that fans of new adult contemporary romances are sure to enjoy.