What Love Sounds Like
What Love Sounds Like was a tough book to grade. I debated for a long time between a B- and a C+, before finally settling on the lower grade. Was the book bad? No. But would I recommend it? Maybe not.
The book tells the story of a speech pathologist, a businessman, and his niece. Mia Windsor went into speech therapy after overcoming a stammer as a child, and feels an immediate kinship with Tilly Reid, her new patient. Tilly’s parents recently died in an accident, leaving her in the care of her uncle Kade. Kade Reid is a very successful business man, who was given stocks instead of toys as a child and taught that money is the most important thing in life. While he loves Tilly in his own way, he is not prepared to be a parent, particularly not to one who has a speech development disorder.
Kade is told that Mia is the best, so he goes to her supervisor and arranges for her to spend 2 weeks at his estate in the Australian Outback for intensive therapy. He expects Mia to stay confined to the space allotted for sessions and for the therapy to be formal and professional. Imagine his surprise when the first lesson involves making popcorn. Mia refuses to allow Kade’s formality and businesslike demeanor to weigh on Tilly’s spirits, and as the daughter of a cold businessman herself, Mia knows the challenges of having a parent value money over family. But Kade isn’t as heartless as she thinks.
The pacing of this book left a bit to be desired. Kade and Mia kept taking two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back, over and over again. It seemed like they weren’t going anywhere, but then suddenly they were in love. The result was that for a while, the book felt repetitive, and then it felt unbelievable.
That said, I liked Kade and Mia as characters. Both were raised by similar men, and evolved very differently, Mia by rejecting what her father taught her and Kade by embracing it. It’s clear that Kade isn’t heartless, as Mia suspects, but just out of his element. Maybe he has a few control issues, but for someone who is used to being in charge of everything in his life, it can be disorienting to suddenly realize you aren’t in control and to be thrown into the chaos that is a small child. That sort of shock can make many people overcompensate, and I think that’s what happens here. He comes around in the end, though. Unfortunately, Mia’s reactions are overdone and she holds back too long.
In the end, this is a sweet romance. I enjoyed many parts of the story, but the uneven pacing of the story keeps me from fully recommending it.