My next book, Sounds of Love, published by Dreamspinner Press in March 2012, is a contemporary M/M cop romance, available as an eBook and paperback from the title link above, and the same formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. This is also available in German by Cursed Side under the title of Aus der Stille.
Beneath the promo are a few observations...
"What does love sound like? If you hear it, will you heed its call?
Police officer Jordan Waters is recovering from a shooting by moving to a new apartment in a new town and taking a new job. In other words, he’s lonely. His first instinct is to relieve his anxiety through uncomplicated sex—until he meets a man so far out of his league and experience that he stumbles for the first time.
Police volunteer Sebastian Sumner may be deaf, but his spirit, openness, and sense of humor give him the strength to get through anything—even the emotional defenses of Jordan Waters. But it’s his own family history that poses the biggest challenge. Can he learn to trust Jordan with his heart, or will his upbringing blind him to the sounds of love?"
In this book I wanted to explore the idea that a particular feature the world views as a disability is just one facet of a person, not the most defining characteristic.
Sebastian is deaf, yes, but that is merely one of his many qualities. I didn't want Sebastian's deafness to overwhelm the story - or to be the story. Like color-blindness, or a great sense of smell, or any kind of sensory difference, is not the story - just a bit of spice to the dish.
I have a tendency to write about men who are not very likable - at first. They may have attitude problems, or overtly sexually aggressive manners, or a habit of taking charge when it's inappropriate. Jordan is used to being the one who calls the shots, and he's sexually aggressive.
Sebastian has a different kind of control. One that comes from his sensitivity, and kindness, and friendliness.
Naturally, these two personalities clash - despite the less-than immediate attraction.
Oh, for those who might be interested, the first chapter is available for free viewing from the publisher's book link at the top of this page.
Five Star Review by Top 2 Bottom Reviews:
"Sounds of Love is the first book I’ve read by Susan Laine and it definitely won’t be my last! I loved the fast-paced storyline and the strong emotional bond between the two main heroes. When I started this book last night, I had intentions of reading a few chapters and finishing it the next morning. Wrong! Once I started Sounds of Love I was immediately drawn into the lives of these very interesting and likeable characters, and I wasn’t able to put the book down until I finished the last word. -- I loved how enthralled Jordan became with Sebastian and how Sebastian made him leave his comfort zone of pushing people away, to wanting to be part of a family with Sebastian. His character really evolves throughout the book, but he still keeps some of that naughty arrogance that I came to love. I absolutely adored Sebastian too! His determination to survive in a hearing world and his inner sweetness captivated me as much as it did Jordan! -- All of the characters in this book are well written and likeable people. I hope that Ms. Laine takes pity on his reader and writes a sequel featuring more of these characters because I’m definitely pining on reading more about them. Sounds of Love has a firm place on my keeper shelf, and I know any time I’m hankering for a sweet, sexy and emotionally charged read, I’ll reach for it time and time again."
A Five Star Review from The Romance Reviews:
"There's something so rewarding about stories highlighting that people are different and others may perceive them in different ways. SOUNDS OF LOVE is both powerful and rich in this regard. This is the story of Jordan Waters, a detective in the police department in Washington DC, and Sebastian Sumner, a police volunteer in the same department.
Jordan is recovering from a work related shooting and is trying to start over with a new job and a new home. When he meets Sebastian for the first time at a poker game, he just knows this man is something special. And when Sebastian speaks for the first time, Jordan is completely smitten. Sebastian is deaf and his voice is like nothing Jordan has heard before. He decides there and then he wants to make this man his.
And so begins a game of give and take, flirtation and seduction with both men deciding they like the way it's playing out. I enjoyed Susan Laine's writing, her way of making the characters so believable and human. Her dialogue flows smoothly, there's humour in certain parts and a definite wickedness in Jordan's pursuit of a man who can certainly hold his own against him. The chemistry between Jordan and Sebastian is immense, their attraction to each other pure scorching heat and I found the relationship and the way it develops tender, extremely sexy and downright beautiful.
I also loved Jordan's partner, Kevin Thompson. In Jordan's words, Kevin was a 'good guy'. Kevin knows Jordan's reputation as a player and he doesn't want to see his young work colleague, Sebastian, get hurt. And in this view lies one of the major strengths of this book. Susan Laine makes sure we understand that while Sebastian is deaf, he's still strong, capable of making his own decisions and by no means disabled or different in his own eyes. There's conflict in the way Sebastian's family treat him like spun sugar, something that aggravates Jordan no end. Jordan sees Sebastian as an equal and this is all Sebastian has ever wanted.
The plot is rich with different facets--family, friendship, the discovery of sexuality, heartbreak and love, delight and pleasure, and Jordan and Sebastian coming to terms with each other.
I loved this book and would recommend it as a great, heart warming, tender, sexy read."
Five Star Review by Man Oh Man Reviews:
"What a great story! It was nearly impossible to put it down. The characters in the story were all very lovable and engaging, and the story was well developed and well written. -- [Jordan and Sebastian] take their time in getting to know each other. At least there is no instantly hopping into the bed. And it's a really nice, steady, hot, slow build. They both have the art of the tease down really well and it's good fun to watch them both in action. And once they do get together... Wow! You'll be fanning yourself! They are smoking hot together. They don't just get right to it either. They know how to enjoy each other's bodies and work up to the good stuff. If you enjoy good foreplay and smoldering love scenes, then you've found your book. The dialogue is sharp and well paced. Sebastian is quick witted and humorous. Jordan does a lot of introspection but what I found interesting is that he analysed himself a lot which most people either can't or aren't willing to do. He seems to know what his demons are and understand then. It doesn't mean he handles them well but Sebastian, being deaf most of his life is capable of reading people very well and he knows exactly how to handles Jordan when he isn't saying what the problem is. -- Speaking of the other characters, Bro and Jack, Sebastian and Jordan's little brothers, respectively, made wonderful supporting characters and nearly stole the show themselves. -- The story is certainly written so that a sequel could be possible with a number of the secondary characters. Several of Jordan's police buddies turn out to be gay but that's nothing unusual seeing as how gay officers would naturally gravitate to each other and hang out together. I really hope Ms. Laine writes a sequel to this because I'll definitely be there to read it."
Hearts on Fire Reviews
The opening got my attention completely. I
absolutely enjoyed getting to know Sebastian, since I am Deaf, too. Sebastian
is a smart-ass, which made me chuckle because I do the same to my lover. I
really did enjoy the relationship development between Jordan and Sebastian. --
The sex scenes and secondary characters were fantastic. -- [T]he author did
great job describing deaf parts in the book since I’ve experienced some of
them. -- I still will read more of Susan Laine’s work, since I did enjoy it."
Review by Mrs. Condit Reads Books:
Susan Laine is a wordsmith and that is highly
evident in SOUNDS OF LOVE. -- Sebastian’s deafness is not really central to the
story, more like an aspect of him like his height, which would probably please
him very much. -- [T]he fact that Sebastian’s deafness is not the focus of the
book is accurate in the life of a deaf person. -- I enjoyed the book -- I loved
Sebastian and several times wanted to jump into the page and tell him he could
do better, but Jordan was who he wanted and the heart wants what it wants. -- SOUNDS
OF LOVE is a sweet, sometimes distressing, love story. Lots of people fall in
love in these pages, and that’s a good thing. I’m glad I read this book. It
reminded me of my deaf sweetheart, but even if you don’t know anyone with a
hearing loss, the romance of this book will be enough."
Review by Randy's Book Bag Reviews:
I wasn’t sure
what to think about a book with a main character who couldn’t hear because I
didn’t know how the author would handle the characterization. This author did it very, well indeed, she
either knows someone who is deaf or studied the ailment (I won’t call it a
disability; I have a friend that would kick my butt if I did.).
Sebastian and Jordan make such an incredibly adorable couple and that added with a fairly interesting sub-plot about Jordan’s police work which involves Sebastian who works in a clerical position with the police department. Then you have their brothers who join in the fun mid-way through the book which ads a bit more humor to the story than was already there.
It’s a good story with some mild to moderate sex and a lot of solid making out and heated romance, more than enough to please anyone’s need for excitement and love from their e-reader."
Review by MM Good Book Reviews:
"-- This is quite a sweet story about two emotional damaged men who must work through their feelings to come together fully. Sebastian has been treated like an invalid by his family because he is deaf, but he lives a fulfilling life in Washington away from his family. Jordan has for the most part felt abandoned by his family, who seem to be spread all over and rarely keep in touch. Jordan has a lot to work through before he can accept how he really feels for Sebastian, whereas Sebastian can accept it easily, he just needs to help out his brother.
I must admit that I was slightly confused at first as to Jordan’s own description of his own personality when compared to his actual thoughts and actions. But, then I realized that he was only mellow when it came to everything else except his own feelings. When his feelings became engaged, his calm went completely out the window and he became a manic in his own brain. Sebastian is a wonderful character who is so full of life and doesn’t let the fact that he is deaf affect him too much.
-- The high point with a bit of light relief is both Jordan’s brother, Jack and Sebastian’s brother, Bro, they are two great supporting characters and added some much-needed lightness to the book.
I will recommend this one to those who love sweet sexy men, emotionally distanced men, conflict, slight danger, hot erotic loving and a happy ending for all."