Book, Line, and Sinker by L.J. LaBarthe
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on April 15, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)
Ash returns to his outback home of Quorn after seventeen years in the Australian Army looking for some peace. War didn’t leave him unscathed; he suffers from PTSD and occasional flashbacks. But he hopes that spending time with his family can help him. And there’s nothing like going home.
But home has changed since Ash was here last. And one of those changes has been the addition of Jaxon. Jaxon is the new librarian in Quorn, and he draws Ash’s attention right away. Not only is Jaxon attractive, there’s something about him that helps calm Ash. Jaxon makes him feel better.
One thing Ash knows, though, is that he needs to find something to keep himself occupied if he’s going to work past his issues. So he proposes starting a mobile library to bring books and other items to those in more rural parts of the local area. Although he shouldn’t be surprised, Ash is excited to find Jaxon is on board to help him. Which creates the added benefit of something the two of them can do together.
But Ash can’t just throw his past aside overnight. And he’s not sure if Jaxon can truly understand everything he’s been through. They both seem willing to try, and he just hopes trying is worth enough…
This book is not as angsty as I think my summary makes it sound. But I also feel the need to accurately portray where the characters and story are coming from. In actuality, I found it to be almost a bit of an inspiring read. While it’s not exactly easy for Ash, he uses his experience and his connections to create something meaningful for his community. Not only is this something that can help him, but it also helps others. There’s a selflessness of so many of the characters in this book that definitely made me smile. And it comes across as totally authentic at the same time.
A fun and unique romance novel. I definitely give this a strong recommendation.