Reese Walker is a reclusive, audiobook narrator who hates people and loves silence. She also needs money. Fast. If that means flying to New York for a chance at a job that would cover her sister’s rehab costs, she’ll take it. Even if it means leaving her apartment for the first time in almost a year.
Arden Abbott desperately needs this book to do well. It’s supposed to be her comeback book, but now she’s down one audiobook narrator. She needs to find one fast, and she needs them to be flawless.
When their working relationship gets off to a rocky start, it’s touch and go whether they can find a way to work together and get the book finished before one or both of them crack under the pressure.
I love reading novels where the characters feel like real people and they’re grappling with the kinds of issues many people face.
Reese’s anxiety is immediately relatable, even if it’s taken to a slightly more extreme place than most people experience. While her anxiety forms an important part of her character, it is never presented as something she needs to overcome. She has found ways to cope with the world and they work for her. Most of the time. She’s a little awkward, very funny, and also an incredibly empathetic person.
We never get to see inside Arden’s head because the novel follows Reese’s point of view, but Arden Abbott is presented as this no-nonsense business type with expectations of perfection. As Reese gets to know her, the layers of her personality unfold in a way that is entirely organic and realistic.
The sexual tension between these two is present right from their first scene together as Reese reads Arden’s own sexy writing back to her. Even when these two aren’t having sex, the fire between them is delightfully sexy.
The Writing Style
I love that this novel chose to follow Reese’s point of view exclusively because it made it feel a little like dating and getting to know Arden myself. The revelations of her character and why she behaves the way she does are delivered at perfect intervals throughout the novel, sometimes answering questions I hadn’t thought to ask yet.
The mix of very serious topics and hilarious quips made the style instantly recognizable as it’s exactly what you’ll see from Bexley on Twitter.
My Favourite Parts
I have a lot of favorite parts, not least of all, the window scene, which you’ll just have to believe me is hot.
Ranking right up there is Reese’s neighbor Judith. She likes to sing high-pitched opera very loudly, is constantly inviting Reese to canasta, and generally inserting herself into Reese’s life in ways Reese doesn’t want. She’s such a funny, little, side character who is everything Reese isn’t.
This novel definitely jumps into some difficult issues. I felt they were tackled in a very sensitive manner but proceed with caution if you’re working through any kind of addiction issues (especially alcohol) or agoraphobia.
I don’t give out my favorites tag easily. I enjoy a lot of books, but reading a lot has made me a little picky. That this book has a favorites tag tells you everything you need to know. From hilarious one-liners to perfectly, imperfect characters, it has it all.
Excerpt from Must Love Silence by Lucy Bexley
Reese watched her own traitor hand reach out and knock on the open door. It was a move straight out of an after school special. What was wrong wit her? At least she hadn’t said ‘knock, knock.’ There would have been no coming back from that. Get it together, babe.
Ten bodies swiveled in their seats in unison to look at her, she expected them to creak like a creepy animatronic band at a now defunct pizza parlor but someone must have oiled them recently.
“Hello Ms. Walker.” A sultry voice with an undertone greeted her. Either harmless or lethal. She felt a thrill run down her spine.
“Hi, um, Reese is fine.” Well, she should just turn around and go back to Detroit now. No one was going to give a speaking job to someone saying um, she might as well have walked in snapping her gum.
The woman who had spoken sat at one end of the oval table. Her glasses were giving off a very hot retro librarian vibe. She was the kind of beautiful that romcoms were always ruining with a makeover. The dark eyes behind the frames stared back at her like the lenses were the only thing keeping them from lasering her to ash.
Reese’s mouth was so dry she had to suppress a cough. Had this woman actually lit her on fire and now she had lungs full of smoke? Heat blazed on her face.
A motion next to the stunning woman caught Reese’s eye, breaking her trance. David gave her a royal wave then put up his hand. How badly would he embarrass her? He could definitely trust her to check the public humiliation box on her own. David discreetly pushed his mouth closed with his index finger as he nodded in her direction. Reese snapped her mouth shut and gave him a grateful smile. Thank God that’s all it was, no childhood nicknames to make this situation worse.
“Glad you could join us, Reese.”
The way she said Reese’s name sent a current through her that was somewhere between anxiety and arousal. It burned down her spine like a sparkler. Reese was in trouble, and she kind of liked it.
“If you’re ready we’re all desperate to be freed from the suspense we’ve been in all day. Why don’t you have a seat so we can get started?”
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Bits and Bobs
- Publisher: Indie author
- Lucy Bexley Online
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