Monday Book Review: To Hear You Smile

To Hear You Smile by Gina Rossi



Olivia is ready for some time away from London. Her job and the upcoming Olympics are making things too stressful. So she leaps at the chance to dog sit for a friend in the small village of Chapel Hill. Her friend tries to mention the cute boy who lives down the road, but Olivia is off men and not interested in hearing about him, not even to get the warning that Ruth tries to give about what she really ought to know about Zac. When Olivia does meet Zac, he comes across as gorgeous, but creepy. There’s something odd about him that she just can’t put her finger on and by the time she realizes what it really is, she’s already knocked him out with a teacup to his head.

The Good:

The writing is great. It’s charming and sweet. Olivia is endearing and easy to relate to. A lot of the characters around Chapel Hill are hilarious. The story has a really fun tone of chick lit flavor (which I love!) I’m definitely interested in reading other books from this author.

The Bad:

The only trouble I had with this book is one element stretches credibility beyond the breaking point for me. The author wants to keep the reader as much in the dark as Oliva, hence the very vague and unhelpful book description, so this is a bit of a spoiler, but it has to do with why I am writing about this book. Is it a story with a disabled hero? It is, but Olivia doesn’t know that and apparently the reader isn’t supposed to know it until half way through.

Olivia does not realize that Zac is blind. How is that possible? I don’t know. I can’t really imagine any way in which this could ever happen in real life. The first time they meet he isn’t wearing sunglasses or anything. They even go on a lengthy date and she never figures it out (well, it felt lengthy to me, but I have a hard time imagining that you could spend thirty seconds with a blind man and not know it. I could be wrong. Perhaps there are people who would not figure that out, but it’s just very difficult for me to buy that). She describes his eyes as looking into hers at times, but I don’t think it could ever appear as though he were focusing on her eyes.

But that’s the entire tension in the story, so without that conceit there is no plot.

Yummy Hero Factor:

Zac is an athlete with a gorgeous body, plus he’s so charming that everyone in the village adores him and enjoys looking out for him.


If you can suspend your disbelief enough to go with the conceit that Olivia is so dense that she meets Zac several times without realizing how he is “different,” then you should pick up this novella. It is light, fun, and easy to read as well as being sweetly romantic. It makes me want to pack up and move to a little English village!


If you’ve written a book or know of a book that features a character with a physical disability, send me an email with “review” in the subject line:

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review after I contacted the author to ask for an interview. But ya’ll know that it’s an honest one and I don’t hesitate to leave negative reviews on books I think deserve it!

Submit a Comment