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Mary Frame
Mary Frame, author
The plan is simple: stay in Blue Falls, Texas, for a few months to lick my wounds, search for work, and save up money to move back to New York. Then breeze back into town with a great job and a new plan for my life, and show my ex and everyone else what I’m made of. Like the Punisher, but you know, without all the violence and eternal vengeance. So when a silent giant of a man known only as Beast asks me to help him with dating of all things, the simple plan gets a little complicated. Everyone else in this town might fail to notice the intense, talented man beneath the wordless Hulk exterior, but before long, I’m sucked into his quiet world. His washboard abs and Captain America–worthy smiles don’t hurt, but it’s his heart that makes it impossible to stay away. He’s sacrificed his dreams to care for those closest to him. Yet my own dreams will push us apart if I can’t find a way to change the script. I’m only a visitor in Blue Falls, and New York City is calling. If I’m ever going to be the superhero in my own story, I’ll have to give up the one person who makes me see that I’m worth the effort. I’ll have to give up my heart . . . unless I can convince Beast to leave his own behind.
This refreshing standalone companion novel to Frame’s Dorky Duet series charms with unforgettable characters and an expert balance of wry humor and tender moments. Fredericka Klein escapes New York for Blue Falls, Tex., to get back on her feet after a breakup. Six months later, she’s still bunking with her best friend’s grandmother, surrounded by the town’s odd but endearing misfits. Fred’s frequent habit of referencing nerd culture combined with the fact that she’s “the most socially graceless person on the planet” tends to put people off. But Beast, a gentle giant who lost the ability to speak following a traumatic event, doesn’t mind Fred’s endless chatter. Though opposites, they’re drawn to each other, finding a unique way of communicating that combines written word, technology, and sign language. Unlike her unsupportive ex, Beast reminds Fred that she’s the main character of her own story, and that her passion is what sets her apart. But Fred knows she’ll have to return to New York eventually and worries she won’t survive another heartbreak. The story is relatively simple, allowing the eccentricities of the townsfolk and the heartwarming exchanges between awkward but charming Fred and earnest Beast to take center stage. Combining sparkling wit and sensitivity, this is sure to sweep readers away. (Self-published)