Book Reviews

Finding the Words by Terry O'Reilly at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Disability / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 10-January-2019

Book Blurb

Ryan Phillips, a speech and language pathologist in the physical rehabilitation unit of a major university hospital, has recently been wounded by the ending of a relationship. He is called in to treat a patient suffering from a traumatic brain injury. In the course of his treatments, he begins to have feelings for the man.

But is he ready to be healed, and will the patient heal enough to be able to return the love growing between them? Can he find the words to express it?


Book Review

Losing the ability to speak and with it the possibility of communication at a meaningful level, is an extremely scary thought. On a simple level this story is about a man and his speech therapist, who get to know and love each other as André recovers. The depth of feeling, burning need to communicate, and the loving understanding Ryan develops for André despite all the issues goes far beyond that which most couples ever experience. It may be because these men are more conscious of the effects of no/bad communication, or it may just be because of who they are. Either way, their story touched me deeply.

Ryan is a speech and language pathologist who likes his job. He is very involved and clearly cares about all his patients. He has also just gone through a breakup with a cheating boyfriend and isn’t really ready for another relationship. He is lonely though, and when André comes along, something just clicks. Yes, he is attracted to his patient, but there is more to it than the physical side. André’s courageous way of fighting to get back to ‘normal’ has something to do with it, but the man’s ability to express his feelings without words also plays a major role, I think.

André suffers an Arteriovenous Anomaly in the brain, resulting in a loss of speech and partial paralysis; they occur when an artery and vein join with few or no capillaries between them. The result is, in his case, a loss of speech and partial paralysis. There is just enough technical ‘jargon’ to explain what is going on, but the focus of the story is on the effect this his on him, his already bad relationship with his ex-wife, and the developing affair and relationship with Ryan. André’s desperation when he cannot say the words he wants to speak, not being understood while his brain is fully functional is heartbreaking. I loved his determination and willpower to keep trying.

I read this book when it first came out in 2009 and loved it. I was really happy to have an ‘excuse’ to read it again when it was re-released a few weeks ago. In many ways the romance is almost secondary; this story is about two lonely souls finding a connection. If you like stories about real problems and the men who learn to overcome them, and if deep emotions are something you like in your romance, you will probably like this book as much as I did.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by JMS Books for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 76 pages/26541 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-March-2012
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link