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Signs of Attraction

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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.

367 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 14, 2016

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About the author

Laura Brown

10 books338 followers
After spending her childhood coming up with new episodes to her favorite sitcoms instead of sleeping, Laura Brown decided to try her hand at writing and never looked back. A hopeless romantic, she’s been drawn to love stories since a young age. She lives in Massachusetts with her family, and yes, that includes feline members! Laura’s been hard of hearing her entire life but didn’t start learning ASL until college, when her disability morphed from an inconvenience to a positive part of her identity. It’s important to her to create strong, competent characters with disabilities, as she didn’t have that growing up. At home the closed captioning is always on, lights flash with the doorbell, and hearing aids are sometimes optional.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 161 reviews
June 14, 2016

She looked at me, and I didn't know what to do. What could I possibly do to make up for what she'd been through? I kissed her, soft and sweet, doing my damnedest to let her know she was loved, cared for.

I had no idea this was gonna be one of those books.
You know the ones I mean. The one that slowly creeps up on you and suddenly you're sobbing and then smiling on a loop. Yes, you're an emotional mess. I started this book with absolutely no expectations. Firstly let me explain that I love this kind trope: I've read a few books where the main character has a disability. But I've never read one when both the main characters have a disability. In this case an auditory one. Carli is hard of hearing and Reed is deaf.

As with every book I've read you get to a point in the book where you think you know what's happening regardless and all that's left is watching it all play out. So that was me, I had it all figured out. I'm tempted to add spoilers but I know how tempting it can be to click on them and I honestly feel like that would ruin the entire book but lets just say... I was surprised.

Carli wears hearing aids, she's self conscious about them so she hides them behide her hair. She basically hides her hearing problem from everyone around her. This was a bit of an eye opener for me because my dad has hearing aids and by no means is this the same scenario but I always thought that hearing aids were a perfect fix, that they helped you hear like everyone else. Which is not the case. But I'm moving away from the story here.

Reed is that guy for Carli, the one that shows up just when you needed him. The one who's there for you when you feel as if you're alone. Carli's hearing loss is her dirty little secret, in fact Carli's entire life is a secret. Her family who have never shown her love is also part of that secret and when Reed steps into her life she sees and begins to feel an entirely new side to life.

This book was so touching and sweet yet so heartbreaking at the same time. Carli and Reed's relationship was full of ups and downs, there was angst and steam but this was mostly a story about self acceptance and letting go of the past.

Carli wasn't instantaneous, but she wasn't slow and cautious either. She was fire, burning through my resolve.

ARC kindly provided by publisher in return for an honest review
Profile Image for Kristiej.
1,268 reviews78 followers
February 27, 2022
5+ out of 5

I got an email very recently that someone liked the review of this book. At first I couldn’t remember but once I read the review, it came back to me as well as the need for a reread. I loved it all over again.


I really have been enjoying so many books lately that I’m looking for alternative superlatives other than ‘I really enjoyed this one’ or ‘I loved this book’ or this book is really good’ so this is my lead of sentence for this one.

This book is the BOMB! I’m not quite sure who I found this one, I troll through so many different places now, AAR, GoodReads, Amazon, following up on what other readers with similar tastes have enjoyed and a lot of inexpensive books. But I bow down to whoever or however I heard about this one.

I don’t often start this way but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the hero Reed. I have to say this first off as he’s a special hero and a hero by every definition of the word. Now onto the review.

Carli, our heroine is very hearing impaired. She has hearing aids but they are sometimes more of a hindrance than a help. The batteries die at the most inopportune times and she often experiences almost painful feedback if the sound isn’t adjusted just right. She is having difficulty on her first day of a new class. On top of the issues just mentioned, her professor has a mustache, which doesn’t help in hearing and he has an accent. Adding all these together, Cali is feeling almost helpless. She needs this course but understanding anything is impossible. That is until Reed shows up in class and comes to her rescue. Reed is not hearing impaired, he is deaf. He has a couple of interpreters’ helping him in this class. He stays after class with her to help her. He can’t hear and she has never learned ASL – American Sign Language, so they communicate through notes. He offers her all kinds of ideas to help her in this class and with her hearing impairment in general. He realizes that her life is so lonely, never having learned to sign and not hearing very well. He also sees she suffers from debilitating headaches. He takes her under his wing and introduces her to a world she never knew. He’s a teacher of the deaf himself, Cali is in school to be a teacher. He brings her into his own world and although Cali doesn’t sign, he convinces her to start learning.
He is very attracted to her, but takes things very slow in building a romantic relationship, first because that’s just the kind of guy he is and also because he was badly burned in the past.

Signs of Attraction is just all kinds of wonderful starting with Reed. He’s thoughtful, patient, kind, romantic, caring, very sexy – he’s just, well – all kinds of wonderful and in my top hero list now. Cali is an equally well-developed character. She has horrific family dynamics. Her father is abusive and refuses to acknowledge that Cali really has hearing issues. He just calls her lazy and inattentive and makes her feel terrible about herself in general. Her mother is living in the world of denial and her sisters seem to have left her out of their lives due to her inability to hear much. This is a good deal why she has had no support network until she meets Reed. Her world is rocked after a sickening incident occurs that exposes ugly family secrets that sends Cali into a deadly spiral that not even Reed may be able to pull her out of.

I found this book very moving and emotional and real. At the end of the book the author, Laura Brown, gives us some of her life experiences and why the book is so believable. She is hard of hearing herself and has really invested much of herself into this story. This makes it even more ‘real’ for me.

Told from alternating first person points of view, I know this is a book I know I’m going to reading and rereading often it’s that good. In fact, even though I just read it on the weekend, doing this review makes me want to read it again tonight. That doesn’t happen that often.
Profile Image for Shanny.
186 reviews175 followers
June 20, 2016
What wonderful, beautiful and inspiring story this was.
This story was interesting and unique as both of the main character had hearing problems.
Carli and Reed were really great characters, their story was really emotional and beautiful.
Laura Brown did absolute amazing job with the writhing, she made me care and the more I read the more invested I became.
If you're a fan of romance and are looking for something different then should give this one a try!
Profile Image for julia.
859 reviews156 followers
November 16, 2021
❛Signs of Attraction❜ is one of those books where … I don't know … I feel like I almost read two different books?

The first half was this lighthearted fluffy romance between Reed and Carli. We got to see them fall in love and witnessed Carli discover the language of ASL (American Sign Language) and Deaf culture.

And then the second half happened … 😮‍💨

I really didn’t deserve this sweet man. Especially when I had nothing to give him. Not my mind, not my heart, nothing.

♥ You know, I really liked this girl. She was a sweet heroine and I really empathized with her struggle to fully gain confidence in herself. I liked seeing her discover ASL, realize that she can make her life easier, and watching her find her people was incredibly heartwarming.

♥ Now, despite my issues with the second half of the book I was consistently invested in Carli's story. While the angsty turn the book took, was … not it, I still liked seeing Carli fight to overcome her TBI and the disillusionment of her childhood.

🅾🅺 Hm. I'm honestly conflicted. On the one hand, I really liked him in the first half of this book. He was sweet, kind, and you could see that he really meant well when it came to Carli. I liked the way he softly encouraged her to learn ASL and introduced her to his deaf and hard of hearing friends.

✘ That said … Ugh. The second half was not the best look for Reed. I think my main issue with him was that he was very clearly projecting his issues onto Carli.

✘ If anything, it almost felt like he wanted to constantlyfix Carli, and I don't know … His attitude towards her (in the second half of the book) left a bad taste in my mouth.

♥ By far my favorite aspect of ❛Signs of Attraction❜ was the representation of the Deaf and hard of hearing community. There was a real authenticity in Reed and Carli's story, and this book proves why own voices romances are so important.

❝Could he really be falling for me?❞
❝Don’t sound so surprised.❞
❝I am. I’m not the girl who guys like.❞
❝Why, because of your ears?❞ Willow smirked. ❝Think about it. You’re not disabled to him, or to us.❞
❝I don’t feel disabled around him. Or you two.❞

♥ Moreover, I liked that this book never seemed to be talking at me. Instead, I felt like I was going on a journey with Carli as she was introduced to ASL and the Deaf community.

ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴏᴍᴀɴᴄᴇ.
🅾🅺 I've gotta admit, I'm a bit conflicted. On the one hand, Carli and Reed were super cute in the first half of this story. They seemed to have this instant connection and we got to witness their relationship progress in a nice and easy way. Then the second half hit, and … ughhhh.

✘ In my opinion, Reed and Carli should have ended up as friends. There, I said it. I mostly got friend vibes from them anyway, sooo. AND, it was clear by the end of the book that neither Carli, nor Reed, were ready for a full blown relationship.

✘ To me, it always seemed like Reed wanted so much more from Carli then she was ready to give him. My mans was out here confessing his love to her after a month of dating her. Bro bro, slow the fuck down please. Moreover, he's going around telling everyone and their Great Aunt Ethel that he's gonna marry her someday. Again I say, slow your roll Reed.

✘ The romance felt very lopsided, especially towards the end. It felt like Reed was ready for the two and a half kids and white picket fence, while Carli was struggling to pick herself up again. I also HATED the way he just walked out on her when she was feeling suicidal. Like … bruh. I'm not saying he was obligated to stay with her, but what I am saying is that he should've at least made sure her support system knew what mental state she was in.

❝You have some nerve, you know that? You saw her after the attack. You stood by her side. You were there for her in ways the rest of us couldn’t be, giving her everything she needed. And now you cut out, like she’s the damaged goods she was beat into being. One day you were gone, and Carli is struggling on her own.❞ ...

snaps for Carli's sister. the only woman in this entire book to call Reed out on his white knight tendencies 👏👏

🅾🅺 All in all, the romance in this book was … OKAY. There were some pretty cute moments in the first half of the book, I will say. By the end, though, I really disliked the way Reed kept heavily projecting his past onto Carli.

✖ i didn't like how fast they got back together.
✖ the lack of an epilogue irked me (tbh it's probably cause they broke up).
✖ Carli being the only to apologize was no bueno.
✖ tbh, i was #teamReedCarlibreakupandbefriends, which yeah … speaks volumes doesn't it?

ᴀɴɢꜱᴛ ᴄɪᴛʏ, ʜᴇʀᴇ ᴡᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ.
🅾🅺 Look, I'm not opposed to angst in my romance novels. In fact, one of the best part of angst is watching the main characters overcome said angst. However, what I am not a fan of is intense ass tonal shifts.

☄︎ ꜱ ᴘ ᴏ ɪ ʟ ᴇ ʀ ꜱ ☄︎

🅾🅺 What happens is this,

🅾🅺 So, … Was this turn of events the most dramatic route possible? I mean … yes. Was I pissed that her sisters NEVER told her about any of this? Um, yes. Ignorance is not always bliss and while it may have protected her while she was growing up it obviously put her in harms way as a young adult. That said, I do appreciate angst in my stories and I always find it interesting to watch my characters overcome unexpected adversity. Therefore, I actually kinda liked watching Carli grapple with everything that was thrown at her. I think she handled it as best she could without any professional help.

Each day that passed with ten pills was another day I survived. It wasn’t normal. But it was me. Hearing loss, brain injury, both hands made up Carli. If I wanted my future to be mine—and not what my father created—then I needed to continue forward.

✘ What didn't work, in my opinion, was the shoehorning of the romance into this angsty as fuck turn. It just … didn't mesh. I'm Carli and even I was getting stressed the hell out by Reed's presence. I don't think the romance had enough of a strong foundation to survive the angst fest that was, Carli's family drama.




In summary, I am clearly indecisive as hell. Like, I can't fully write off this book, I really can't.

𝟭. For one thing, Carli was such a sweet heroine. She really was. Even when she was frustratingly naive I couldn't hate her (like girl. you NEVER thought to ask your sisters about their nightmares). I liked watching Carli navigate this newfound Deaf community, and I just wish she would have told Reed off for his well-meaning bullshit.

𝟮. Secondly, despite me trashing the romance for a majority of this rant review I didn't full on hate it. In fact, I actually really liked the romance, at first. I think the main issue I had was the integration of the romance and the second-half angst.

𝟯. Lastly, I really liked the deaf representation in ❛Signs of Attraction.❜ It felt well researched and you can tell the author put her whole heart into this story (hence why I feel like shit for not liking this one). I especially liked the Laura Brown's note at the end of the story.

There were aspects of ❛Signs of Attraction❜ that I really enjoyed, and also there were clearly things I didn't enjoy. I'd say that the first half is a solid three-and-something stars. The second half, ehhh …

𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗳 - 𝟯.𝟳𝟱 ✩
𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗳 - 𝟮.𝟱 ✩
𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴 ~ 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲
Profile Image for Laura Brown.
Author 10 books338 followers
August 11, 2016
SIGNS OF ATTRACTION is a story from my heart. At its core, I wanted to write about the journey I went through, from being uncomfortable with my ears, to loving myself as is. I wanted to create a story depicting two different kinds of hearing loss, front and center, from an author who is part of this world.

The characters took over from there and I'm so glad I get to share them!
Profile Image for Julia's Book Haven.
726 reviews180 followers
July 27, 2016
This is probably one of the best books I've read this year. It has a unique story and characters and is incredibly well written. Carli and Reed over come so much and you are right there with them cheering them on. I loved every minute of this book and I would recommend it to everyone!

Seriously, read this book.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
May 30, 2018
Signs of Attraction was so freaking good! Hot damn, I am full of emotions right now and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with them. I'm like a hot mess right now.

Carli and Reed were MY everything. Yes, I say that a lot with couples that I fall in love with but with them, it's 100% true. Not that I'm lying about all the other ones but damn, their love was real, genuine, and utterly amazing. The writing was magical and beautiful as well.

Carli and Reed were amazing. Carli and is losing her hearing and Reed is deaf. They both had some shitty and terrible things happen in their lives. However, they had such a fantastic support group to help them through certain situations. Now for Carli, her dad was a straight up asshole and I hated him. I hated how he treated her and I wanted to punch him in the face or cut off his balls repeatedly. Her friends are what got her through each day and drugs, but that's another thing for another time.

Then there's Reed, who still doesn't understand why his dad killed himself. His mom was amazing and I loved her. She made me laugh when they had their little text chats. Reed also didn't let being deaf define him or keep him held back from whatever he wanted to do. I loved that he was teacher because the kids he taught were adorable and just accepted him for him. They didn't care that he was deaf.

Now I will admit that this book defined a real relationship because it's based off of communication. Hell, communicating is the most important thing for any relationship or friendship to survive. Plus, their conversations basically gave me life because of how deep they went into them. They weren't all just fluffy and cute. These two dug into the real and super deep shit. Pretty sure that's why I fell in love with them so quickly.

Overall, I loved this book. All of the characters were amazingly written, except for Carli's douche of a dad. Yes, still salty AF about him. I really enjoyed this book and was super glad that my library had the ebook available. Still highly emotional too and I'm in need of food to deal with what I just read.
Profile Image for SmartBitches.
491 reviews630 followers
August 3, 2016
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Signs of Attraction is about two college students who have very different histories and experiences with hearing loss. When Reed notices Carli struggling in class, he befriends her and introduces her to his Deaf friends. Carli and Reed quickly become a couple, but Carli’s struggles to accept her hearing loss might undo everything.

The main characters have not only different levels of hearing loss but also different family histories and means of coping.

I found this book to be tough reading because of the high level of angst, but I thought that for the most part (how could someone not know about closed captioning?) it was very realistic in showing Carli’s insecurities and sense of shame, and her journey to acceptance and a more creative, resourceful, and confident approach to her life. The book contains discussions about suicide and abuse, and also contains a scene of abuse that is quite graphic, so be prepared.

My most serious problem with the book involves Reed’s back-story. Initially, Reed is nervous about starting a relationship with Carli. His friends end up telling Carli that Reed is nervous because the last woman that he dated falsely claimed that he raped her, although she backed down on the claim almost immediately.

Not only does this reinforce inaccurate and damaging stereotypes about women falsely reporting rape, it’s not even necessary to the story. It adds a level of distrust between Reed and Carli because Reed is afraid of being betrayed again, but they already have plenty of problems and plenty of angst. The extra level of conflict is unnecessary. It adds to Reed’s fears about being perceived as broken, but the story already established those fears because of his birth parents. If it does anything, it makes Reed, who otherwise seems like a pretty OK guy, seem like the kind of sexist asshole who thinks that all women are the same, so that if one woman treats him badly he can’t trust any other women. It’s tasteless and gratuitous and I’m knocking the book down a whole grade for it (from B+ to C+).

I was so sad to see this element thrown into a story that was otherwise so positive. I loved the fact that hearing loss was not presented as a uniform thing, but rather something that would affect every individual differently (in addition to Reed and Carli, we meet Reed’s friends who also have various degrees of hearing loss). However, I did feel that this story needed one more round of editing – between Reed’s back-story with the evil girlfriend, and Reed’s adoption issues, and Reed’s dad’s death, and Carli’s issues, there was a lot of emotional stuff going on and these storylines tended to suddenly drop out of sight to make way for the next round of angst. At its best, this was a good story about thriving with hearing loss.

- Carrie S.
Profile Image for Izy.
838 reviews77 followers
June 21, 2016
ARC was provided by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Carli is a senior at university and is learning to be a teacher. She’s hard of hearing. All her life her father/her family to an extend has treated her like she was a freak. They made her feel like she didn’t belong with them. Which is why Carli never learned ASL or got any other help/support for her needs. She basically hides herself, her disability, her problems from everyone around her. She has been striving to look perfect even if she feels she is not to the outside world.

Reed was born deaf. After being adopted by wonderful parents at the age of three when his biological parents abandoned him. He had a pretty good childhood considering that. He grew up to be a pretty wonderful guy that has great friends and loving family who supported and loved him. He is however every reluctant to starting making new friends or start a relationship now after what his ex did to him.

Carli and Reed meet on the first day of their senior year in linguistics class. They meet due to Carli’s hearing aid’s battery running out. They are both smitten with each other. I really enjoyed them together, they had good chemistry. They were sweet and adorable together. They both had no idea how to actually proceed or approach the idea of them dating. They are both guarded and vulnerable at the same time to each other. Reed was a pretty great hero to be honest.

As sweet and fun the first part of the book is. The later part of the book is heartbreaking and made me teary. Seriously I was crying because it’s difficult to see someone so bright and a good person who through so much pain. Carli goes through quite a lot. She finds out some truths that hurt her and leave her feeling very lost in the face of the future. And what happens when they guy who’s been there for her all along and loved her is no longer there…read to find out.

Quibbles: Why not 5 stars?

Quibbles aside; I greatly enjoyed this book, I enjoyed the writing. The protagonists and the secondary characters were all multidimensional and the plot was interesting as was Reed and Carli’s relationship. It’s also emotional, touching and thought provoking. It deals with of issues including such as the aftermath of suicide, problems that special needs children/adults have to go through.

I’d recommend it to anyone who likes NA books with bit of angst and great story. There’s also the we need more books in with people with special needs, there are some and recently more books have come out but as many as there should be considering.

Laura Brown is new to me author so I went in blind not knowing anything. I had no particular expectations however this just turned out to be great read. I will be definitely be on the look out for her next book.
Profile Image for Jacque.
998 reviews23 followers
March 23, 2017
As lame as this sounds, I actually decided to read Signs of Attraction because of DWTS. I’ve seen the book pop up a few times in my feed and found the cover and blurb interesting. I passed on it because I usually don’t read NA or contemporary romances. However, after being trapped at my friend’s house watching DWTS, the subject of deafness was on the forefront of my brain. So once again, I checked out the blurb and decided to give it a chance.

Wow…just, wow. This was a fairly amazing read. The two main characters are Reed, who is Deaf, and Carli, she’s Hard of Hearing. Reed is sure of himself, comfortable in his Deafness, charming, funny, attractive…you get the picture. Carli, on the other hand, is struggling with her situation, trying to hide it, trying to fit in, and very uneducated in the world of hearing loss. She never felt she fit in with her hearing family, never had their support. The moment she lays eyes on him, she zinged! He’s coming off a bad relationship and is not sure if he’s ready to try again but there is something about her fragileness that draws him in.

I’m trying to put my finger on what was it about this book that did it for me and then it hits me, it has the whole package. Heartbreaking and honest, moments of funny intermixed with pain, the gradual building of their relationship, the inner pains they each face. This beautiful story is told from dual first person POVs so, we the reader, really get to experience all their pains and emotions. There a nice build-up in that lured me in, a quiet strength to these characters that makes it hard not to like them. There, of course, is plenty of angst (we are dealing with college students) but along the way there is steamy moments, enlightenment, romance that all climax into a HEA that even a non-NA reader like me can sigh over.

So I’m not going to lie and deny the whole Deaf and Hard of Hearing subjects weren’t a big draw for picking up Signs of Attraction. Yes, it had me curious. I’m always interested to see how authors tackle delicate subjects. I’m giving author Laura Brown a standing O for how she approached and presented the subject on top of giving me quite the education. In all honesty, I thought Deaf and Hard of Hearing were one and the same, just different ways of describing hearing loss. I’m not calling myself an expert but I now have a better understanding. A big thank you to Ms. Brown for giving me an education and a beautiful story to enjoy.

Make sure you pick up a copy for yourself. Signs of Attraction by Laura Brown is very much worth reading.

I received this book from the JeepDiva for the express purposes of an honest review. The opinions and rating of this review are solely mine.
Stars - 4, Flames - 3
Profile Image for Jess.
2,977 reviews5 followers
April 7, 2018
I had a really long and thought out by my standards review written and then goodreads ate it because the shelves weren't there, so this won't be that, but I do think it's important to try to recreate part of it.

This book was hard for me to read. There are a several reasons for this.

1) This is a very heavy book. At various points, the characters deal with suicide (being suicidal and dealing with being the survivor), domestic abuse, TBI, and drug abuse. I was not expecting that based on the blurb and frankly, I was not really read to read that.

2) I struggled with the narration and/or writing. It's hard to separate for me, because I have never read Laura Brown before, and I don't know how much is her and how much is how she chose to present the multiple communication techniques that her Deaf/Hard of Hearing characters utilize in communicating with others. Both characters were also suffering through quite a lot, so it didn't add to the enjoyment of spending time in the head of either Carli or Reed.

3) I'm not sure I buy a HEA here. Do they love each other? Sure. Do they want to have sex? Sure. But they're both EXTREMELY fucked up and I'm not sure I believe that they'll be able to make things work. Carli WAS a project to Reed, and while him introducing her to parts of his world were good for her, it also came across as very pushy a lot of the time. And over the course of the book, Carli goes from thinking she just has hearing loss to

I'd be interested in trying another work by the author, but only if I had personal assurances that the characters had about 50% less bad shit happen to them over the course of the book.
Profile Image for Lucie Paris.
751 reviews32 followers
June 12, 2016
Like looking through a beautiful window into the heart of two private strong people.

This love story is a sweet one, very well written, where you enter into the world of deaf and hard of hearing people. It's full of simple details of the daily life that help us to understand how it can be difficult to adapt into a system who is made for people with good hearing.

I've liked the close community who behaves like a second family for Carli and make her feel welcome. And Reed was really a wonderful character with depth and an amazing personnality. Willow and Val were cool and fun too. Laura Brown has a great simple fun way of pulling you into the world she has created. Very well done!
It's a touching story and I hadn't have time to get bored.
It was a really cute and sweet one!

Profile Image for Loz.
778 reviews
September 4, 2016
this was a cute, sweet romance. light but still had you connected and invested in the characters lives and choices. i liked both leads quite a bit. reed is deaf and is very comfortable in who he is in life. carli is hard of hearing and struggling in where she fits in. i felt for these two at times and watching them fall in love made me smile. it was a quick read. nice little romance. it's not an overly sexed up book full of drama for the sake of drama. it was pretty much just what i needed to clense my brain from the dark and twisted book that was my prior read. i liked it.
Profile Image for Heather Fleet.
Author 22 books427 followers
August 2, 2016
If you're looking for a new adult that steps beyond the normal, then you've looked in the right place. Signs of Attraction absolutely blew me away. So much sweetness, so much sexy, so much EVERYTHING. Endearing, diverse characters, a simplistic, yet amazing plot line. Carli and Reed are amazing characters and their story will suck you in like no other. I very much rec this emotional NA. It's one I know I won't soon forget.
Profile Image for Maggie (mugandnook).
91 reviews19 followers
August 1, 2018
Apparently it’s Read a Romance Month? Also, @diversebooksclub launched their new website and I was surprised to see my face front and center. I was featured a while back to share my story of being hard of hearing and wearing hearing aids. These two coincidences make this book review particularly well-timed.
@bookish_nel has been chatting quite a bit about reading romance and how there shouldn’t be any shame for what we choose to read. Romance continues to be the best selling genre of books, so there’s no reason to feel embarrassed about reading it. This got me thinking because like her, I read romantic fiction often, but I hardly ever read a true romance.
I went to the ole Google and searched for “romance books that are well written.�� I found this Huff Post article that suggested this book which caught my interest because the characters are deaf and hard of hearing.
Signs of Attraction by Laura Brown was just the book I was looking for in so many ways. I’d really never read fiction that felt so personal because of my own experience with hearing loss. @a_laurabrown is Hard of Hearing and really told the story in a way that felt so true to my own experience. Not only that, but these characters were full of depth, and the story was immersive and compelling and rich. **Trigger warning: abuse** Just when I thought I knew the direction this book was going, she would take a turn and go another way. It was anything but predictable, and I could not put it down. Because I don’t sign and I’m not an active member of the deaf community, this book taught me so much. There is a crew comprised of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and ASL translators, so you really get a good dose of the differences within the community. It is a fantastic read if you’re just looking for a good romance or if you want to know more about being deaf or hard of hearing.
Let me know if you’ll be joining in and reading a romance this month 👇🏻
Profile Image for Ashy Khaira.
366 reviews51 followers
May 21, 2018
carli and reed are both hard of hearing and different in so many ways imaginable.reeds hearing loss is natural.....carli's well lets just say hers is not a pretty story.makes me wish i can take something and knmock her parents hard on their head.like uh i get you dont want kids....not an excuse to stand by and let your husband abuse your kids numbnut.....but overall i love the story...made me cry but also reinforced my believe that love can change anything and everything and has the power to heal as well.i loved the book
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Catherine (The Sassy Bookster).
714 reviews62 followers
July 4, 2016
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book because the blurb really doesn't say much, but one thing is sure - this book should come with a warning label that requires a reader to keep a box of tissues handy because it left me in tears and gave me a new appreciation for the challenges faced by people with sensory limitations that we take for granted every day.

Carli Reynolds is a 21-year old college senior who uses hearing aids, but the lack of support from her family has left her feeling out of place and trying to fit in by hiding her impairment. Her newest class is very challenging, something her fellow student notices and he comes to her aid by guiding her through the process of getting the help she needs. But that's not all. He opens her eyes to a world where people like her find acceptance, understanding and support and he opens her heart to love, but will this be enough to overcome a lifetime of neglect?

Reed is struggling with his own demons when he meets Carli but the attraction between them and her need for help are the distraction he needs. Despite their hectic schedules and his romantic mishaps, he's willing to take another chance on a relationship with Carli and but when a visit home goes all wrong for Carli, secrets come out and Reed has to decide if he is willing to provide Carli the tough love she needs to overcome her self-destructive behavior of if he will cut his losses and walk away from her.

Reed was really a great guy, confident, nice, sweet and thoughtful and it had a lot to do with the acceptance his parents showed him and the way they raised him to always strive to be more in spite of his limitations. And it was clear to see that he brought that way of thinking to every new person he met who had similar limitations. Carli's family on the hand, personified dysfunction. With a father everyone was scared of and a mother lost in her own fantasy world, it's easy to see why she tried so hard to hide. Both Carli and Reed's backgrounds highlight the role family acceptance and support play, especially in the life of a child with an impairment.

The story started out light-hearted and exactly what I would expect from a New Adult romance, until the point things changed for Carli and it became an angst-filled drama, in a good way. Now, I'm not one for angst, but I make exceptions for a really moving tale such as this.

SIGNS OF ATTRACTION is an emotional roller-coaster of pain, triumph and love, and a unique experience for me as a reader, but is a book I highly recommend and I have to say kudos to Ms. Brown for sharing this touching story.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Profile Image for Stephanie.
116 reviews114 followers
August 6, 2017
This is a solid NA romance featuring Deaf and hard of hearing characters. It was given to me by some publishing friends who know I love Colleen Hoover, and I’d probably recommend it to other coho readers as well.

The writing flowed nicely and I sped right through it. It was a bit heavy on the soap opera angst— more than CoHo if that’s possible. We were already dealing with heavy issues, only to be pummeled with even heavier, darker drama. It began to detract from the relationship and my personal enjoyment of the story about halfway through.

I went into this book expecting a story about Reed helping Carli learn to accept herself and open up her world with new language and new connections— and we do get that to an extent. BUT it was overshadowed by the soap opera, which is why this lost me a little bit.

I enjoyed the first half far more than the angst-ridden second half, but overall it was a good read and just what I was looking for. Also Reed is a super lovable babe. A+ for him.
Profile Image for Haziqah Idris.
80 reviews20 followers
April 9, 2019
Reading this because i just went for free 2 hours class for Malaysian Sign Language.
I was search all across Goodreads site for the deaf characters and this book popped in the list, so, i just try and read it.

Overall the story is average. It open my mind on knowing the surrounding and environment of the deaf people. It is really interesting since Reed was deaf since small and Carli hard of hearing from her injury. Reed and Carli have kinda sad life stories and I was impressed with Carli to manage all of their injuries and attack from her fathers.

It also interesting since the italics word is actually people converse in ASL.

Profile Image for Evenusia.
824 reviews28 followers
January 15, 2018
Cette superbe romance, originale et émouvante, nous fait découvrir l'univers des malentendants. L'auteure, elle-même atteinte de problèmes d'audition, s'est servie de son expérience personnelle, pour écrire un roman fort et poignant. Avec Carli et Reed, deux héros super attachants, elle nous délivre un récit rempli d'amour, mais aussi d'amitié et de confiance.
Mon avis complet : http://evenusia.canalblog.com/archive...
Profile Image for Casey.
2,502 reviews37 followers
June 30, 2016
Find this review and more at Ramblings From This Chick

Signs of Attraction is the first book that I have read from Laura Brown and I loved that it was something so different from everything else out there. I have not come across many books where the main characters have hearing loss or are deaf, so I was really looking forward to experiencing that here. I think that the author did a great job in tackling the subject, and I think a lot of that came from her own experience with hearing loss which she shared with her readers here.

Carli is a senior working towards becoming a teacher. She has struggled with hearing loss since she was a child and when one of her new professors is impossible for her to understand, Reed steps in and helps her. Because of the way she was raised, Carli has never received the help she needed and Reed shows her that not only is she not broken, but that there are many others out there just like her with a lot of solutions available to them. But when an incident causes a huge setback on all the progress she has made, Carli finds herself struggling more than ever. Reed has a past that changed everything for him, and as strong as his feelings are for Carli he finds himself wondering if it would be better to walk away than risk his heart yet again.

I liked Carli and Reed. I loved that they had such an easy connection right from the start. They were a part of a small community that not many others would understand, and Carli had never been shown that she wasn't damaged goods until Reed came into her life. He introduced her to so much, and I really liked seeing her learn how to adapt and live a normal life. She was just getting by before, same as with Reed, but when they met each other everything changed and they both started living. Reed had his own struggles that he was working to overcome, and I really loved Carli for him as well. These two were so sweet together, and they had a ton of chemistry. I enjoyed their texting and that they spent time getting to know one another rather than just jumping right in. While their feelings did develop rather fast, it felt natural and was believable and they took their time to start acting on those feelings.

I also really loved Reed's group of friends and how they welcomed Carli. They were protective of him and wary of her after everything that he had been through, but once they started getting to know Carli, things clicked and she fit right in. They were all amazing, and I was so glad that they were such a big part of Carli and Reed's story. This book was emotional and well written, and I really loved these two together. I will say that at times things were a bit slow, but I think part of that is because this story is more about the texts between them and Carli learning ASL as well as how to cope with some huge changes in her life. There was at times not a lot of dialogue or interaction between the characters with more of this story being internal, and I think that it slowed the pace of the story down. I still really enjoyed it and I am glad that I didn't let that stop me from continuing this one. I look forward to reading more from Laura Brown in the future, and if you are looking for a different romance story this is definitely one worth checking out.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**
Profile Image for Alex (HEABookNerd).
1,743 reviews237 followers
August 7, 2021
This is only Laura Brown’s second book and I thought this was a great showing of her writing talents. I’m not really a New Adult fan (I tried it and couldn’t make it work) and I didn’t realize this was New Adult when I first picked it up. But I felt that this one avoids the parts of New Adult that I don’t like (over the top drama, womanizing jerks, and immature characters). There were times, especially in the beginning of the book where things were alluded to or hinted around, most likely to build tension, but they came across as confusing. I think sometimes an author has every little detail of a story in their head so their understanding of the characters and plot is so full that they sometimes forget that the reader doesn’t know these things. So there was some confusion in the beginning.

The author is also Hard of Hearing herself so both Carli and Reed and their experiences were very authentic. You can really see their struggles but also see how you can accomplish anything even when you’re Deaf/Hard of Hearing. The diversity in Deaf/Hard of Hearing characters was also great because just like people with hearing, no one is the same.

Reed was a wonderful hero who was smart, caring, mature, and a great source of support for Carli. He really had his life together and was a refreshing break from the usual player hero I’ve been seeing lately. As for Carli, she had more issues due to her upbringing under her abusive father, but she was also a great character. She was so determined to make it as a teacher and to be independent and strong even though she considered her hearing status as a disability. It was great to watch Carli grow into herself and begin to accept herself for who she was. There are some hard moments for these two especially after Carli is injured, but they both are willing to admit their mistakes and try to be better people.

There were a few plot holes that bothered me, in particular the issue surrounding Carli’s past abuse which she has no memory or knowledge of. The reveal of this information just didn’t seem to fit well into the story and didn’t completely make sense.

Content Warning: References past abuse
Profile Image for Andy.
2,527 reviews208 followers
May 25, 2018
WOW I have never seen so much of myself in a MC before. I absolutely loved Carli. The fact that she struggled with chronic pain and concentration issues struck such a deep chord with me. There were parts that had me crying because of how accurate it was and seeing that this author could actually understand what happens to you when you have chronic pain. Carli was lucky that drugs help, I'm not that lucky.

I absolutely loved Reed too. He was kind, patient and emotional. I loved that he expressed all kinds of emotions, I think we need to see more adult men expressing emotions like Reed did. Reed and Carli together had so much chemistry and I absolutely loved them together. One thing about their relationship that was so amazing was the emphasis on communication. Of course, since Reed is deaf they can't rely on talking. But the way they had conversations was amazing. They had such in depth conversations about things that mattered and I feel like that's not shown in a lot of books. Communication is key to every relationship.

The secondary characters in this were fantastic. Carli's sisters were a bit hard for me to like since but they truly cared for Carli. Plus all of Reed's friends and Carli's roommate. They were all so unbelievably amazing, I loved it.

Also, kudos to the author for using multiple deaf or Hard of Hearing characters. This is definitely a representation that is not mainstream in books. I think the author did an amazing job with portraying ASL and the vast sources deaf people have access to. I definitely learned a lot throughout this book and it was a fantastic story!
Profile Image for Heather.
Author 1 book22 followers
April 23, 2017
Signs of Attraction is easily the best romance novel I’ve read in a long time. This story features a Deaf character (Reed) and a hard of hearing character (Carli), and follows their journey as they not only fall in love but also learn to define themselves. The writing, with its mixed feel of literary and contemporary, grabbed me from the start. Reed and Carli each have a unique voice that jumps off the page and encourages the reader to continue. In addition to the swoony romance, I also love the dark edginess of this story. Signs of Attraction has a deep, well-rounded plot that is sure to hook all readers interested in contemporary romances. I will definitely read all of Laura Brown’s future works; she’s an author to watch!
Profile Image for Jade.
134 reviews
June 20, 2016
Holy cow, what a ride. This book did a really great job of putting the reader in the shoes of both a deaf person and a hard of hearing person, allowing us to see what their lives are like, how they differ, what problems they face, but also how capable they can be despite the "disabled" label. There were also some really heavy issues tackled like suicide, drug abuse, and family abuse. I wasn't expecting it to get as dark as it did, but that made the climb to the resolution all the more satisfying. The romance is kind of instant attraction but it felt like the relationship evolved naturally so by the time the L-word came out, it didn't feel like insta-love. A good read, even if Reed's friends grated on my nerves at times.
Profile Image for Emily.
205 reviews
September 5, 2019
Reed is an education grad student. He’s Deaf. He’s super hot. Carli is still in undergrad. She gets by wit her hearing aids. She’s hot too. :)

A lot of the drama veers into excessive, overwrought New Adult territory—but with compelling, real protagonists like these the story stays anchored. More Deaf and Hard of Hearing heroes and heroines, please, romance writers (and creators of all kinds)!
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