Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Book, Line, and Sinker
AUTHOR: L.J. LaBarthe
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 15, 2016
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?
After nearly two decades, Ash is finally coming home but fitting into the mold of his old life isn’t as easy as expected. Crowds make him edgy, he finds himself having nightmares and just looking out over the sands of the outback can send him into a flashback. There is one bright spot on the horizon, however, and that would be Jaxon, the new librarian in town. The two hit it off fairly quickly but Ash is afraid to jump into a relationship to fast with everything else he’s dealing with. When an offhand conversation sparks the idea for a mobile library, Ash jumps in with both feet and while his goal is to help others, he may find he’s helping himself at the same time.
While I’ve read books by this author before, it was really nice to read a different genre. Ash spent 17 years in the military so he understandably has some issues to deal with when he resigns his commission and comes home. I thought it was great that he had such a good support system in the form of his family and also in Jaxon and it was nice to see the options he had for help. I will admit, however, that based on the blurb I thought there would actually be a bit more drama/angst in regards to Ash’s PTSD. You do get to see the problems he’s having but they weren’t as prevalent as they were in other stories I read that dealt with the same issues. Obviously everyone is going to deal with different things and in different ways but I went into the book with a certain expectation and it ended up feeling a little easy to me in the end.
Most of the book revolves around the setting up of Book, Line, and Sinker and the relationship that Ash is slowly allowing himself to have with Jaxon. I liked the slower pace overall as it made sense to me with what Ash was dealing with yet it still felt satisfying all the way through. The pacing of the story was good and I liked the main characters but what I liked best about the book was the strong supporting female character; it was great to see and she was really well done.
I did like this one though not as much as I was expecting; I think it comes down to how easy everything was over the course of the story. I like an easy read but sometimes you just want a little more, you know? I’ll certainly read this one again but it won’t be at the top of my re-read list.