Title: Book, Line, and Sinker
Author: L.J. LaBarthe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 15th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 200 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
After seventeen years serving in the Australian Army, Ash returns to his childhood home in the outback town of Quorn. Filled with the desire to live a happy life in peace and with loved ones, Ash is grimly determined to beat his PTSD and tackle his flashbacks.
What Ash isn’t prepared for is Jaxon, the new librarian in Quorn. Jaxon is calm, gentle, kind, and a rock for Ash’s battered psyche. Ash finds himself falling for the handsome newcomer, even as his mind and memories of the past torment him.
When he has the idea for a mobile library to bring books and entertainment to remote communities in the far north, Ash is delighted that Jaxon is with him every step of the way. But though the library, called Book, Line, and Sinker, takes off, Ash’s past continues to plague him. Can Jaxon’s love be enough to keep them together until Ash is strong enough to stand on his own?
Ashley James Grainger has been away from Quorn, South Australia for seventeen years. After serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan he’s left the Army and come home.
His tours in Iraq and Afghanistan all seemed to blur into one long stretch of sand, smoke, grit, fear, and death. Ash had decided just after his thirty-fourth birthday that he was done. He’d seen enough misery and destruction to last him forever. He’d seen people die and get injured—not just his mates, but also those people he was supposed to be helping to protect, the citizens of the towns and villages he patrolled. He was grimly convinced that he would be seeing the worst of them in his dreams forever. It had been an easy decision in the end. Coming home was the perfect way to ensure he never endured firsthand grisly scenes of war and destruction again.
Greeted by his family and the town alike, Ash is learning to live with the shadows and pain of the past and assimilate into being home once again.
Ash had yearned to return to Quorn, to his family, to the familiar scenes of his childhood, but now it was evident that he’d returned to a town that was as foreign to him as anywhere else.
When Ash meets Quorn’s newest librarian, Jaxon Sellers, he falls smitten pretty quickly. Luckily the feeling is wholly mutual and the two strike up a friendship with an eye on moving slowly towards romance.
“Fuck, I’m lucky,” Ash said.
“Because you’re warm?”
“Because I have you.”
Jaxon reached out and touched Ash’s cheek. “You are the most wonderful man I’ve ever known.”
Ash turned his head slightly and kissed Jaxon’s palm. “Takes one to know one. You’re amazing.”
What really came across to me, even more than the love of the characters the author has, is the obvious love of the land and area that shines through in the story. I felt like I was really there in Quorn.
Book, Line, and Sinker is a sweet, no angst romance with some humor and an HFN/HEA. Mixed with likable characters, no big surprises or tense situations, and some sexy times it hit the spot for a nice afternoon read.
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