Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.
With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.
This was a very enjoyable story. Ben has been alone since his partner passed away putting all he has into the library he manages, making his own family out of the other employees. He is drawn to Jason when he first sees him and befriends the young man hoping to draw him out of his shell.
Ben is almost thirty years older than Jason and despite his feelings tries to keep their relationship as friends only until his friends and Jason’s grandmother convince him that all that matters is how they feel about each other. Jason has been through so much he deserves to have happiness in his life. Both characters have to open up to the possibility of more than what they currently have in their lives.
This story is told from Ben’s point of view, so we can easily see his emotions and thoughts. It takes a bit to understand some of Jason’s feelings, but he is very open with how he feels. I was so happy for Jason being able to gain friends through the library employees and the love he deserves from Ben. Even though Jason is much younger than Ben he is more mature than his age in many ways, but you can still see his youth come through during the story. I was very happy with how this story ended and am glad they got their happy ending.
Cover art by Alexandria Corza is perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.
ebook, 230 pages
Published: September 2, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English