More Than Words by Mia Sheridan ~ Sarah A’s Review

No one lays open the heart and soul quite like New York Times bestselling author Mia Sheridan.

The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other’s refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed herJessica’s first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.

Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen’s music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It’s only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.

But they don’t belong in each other’s worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.

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I can’t express how excited I was to get my hands on this book, Mia Sheridan has long been one of very few authors who’ve never disappointed me, and I eagerly anticipate each of her new releases.  Sometimes some things are just too good to continue indefinitely, and that is what happened with More Than Words.  I was a miss for me, I nearly DNF’d it several times, but pushed on because I love Ms. Sheridan’s work so deeply. The last half of the book redeemed the first, somewhat, but I felt like this novel was missing the ‘Mia Magic’ I’ve come to expect from her work.

There were parts of this book that were absolutely perfect.  The beginning of Jessica and Callen’s relationship tore my heart out.  Both for the little boy who was obviously broken beyond repair and for the little girl who was left without a goodbye.  Part Three of their story was also wonderful.  I loved how Ms. Sheridan brought this story together and gave them the ending they both deserved.  Among my favorite aspects of More Than Words was the story Jessica had been hired to translate, it added such a phenomenal dimension to the book and mirror to Jessica and Callen’s story.

Callen called to my heart, between his love for music and how broken he was I found him highly endearing.  He was the reason I kept reading this book.  I needed to know why he was so broken, why he felt so badly of himself, why he refused to believe in himself.  The way he grew, matured, and healed throughout the novel was sublime.  That growth arc wouldn’t have been possible without Jessica, and for that, I loved her, even though I had a harder time connecting with her character.

I have so many wishes for this book, but my biggest would be that several of the scenes with supporting characters be reworked.  I’m not sure what was going on with them, but several interactions Jessica and Callen had with those characters felt forced and awkward, particularly the dialogue.  Secondly, I wish the connection between Jessica and Callen would have been stronger.  There were a few perfectly beautiful scenes between them where I could feel their love for one another, but a lot of it fell flat.  Finally, I wish the beginning of the book had been more quick-paced, it seemed like there was so much scene setting and history telling, I had a hard time connecting with the characters or wanting to know how their lives were going to play out.

More Than Words is a standalone novel and is not connected to any of Mia Sheridan’s other works.  It is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Jessica and Callen.

Mia Sheridan has always been at the top of my list of must-read authors.  Her stories are deeply emotional and profoundly romantic.  Her prose is usually flawless and poetic, lending an added layer of romanticism to her writing.  I don’t feel like More Than Words demonstrated the depth of her talent and I am heartbroken to have not seen her signature style and gift.

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.

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