An Alisa Release Day Review: Bear Among the Books by TJ Masters


Rating:  4 stars out of 5


Bear Among the Books by TJ MastersForty-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.


Sales Links


Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe


Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Published: September 2, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN-13: 9781634772716
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Diary Dates by T.J. Masters


Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

Diary DatesPostgraduate student Andrew Chin arrives in London not only to study, but to explore life away from his traditional family in Singapore. His adventure begins at the airport, where he finds the diary of a wealthy British businessman and endeavors to return it.

James Howard is twice Andrew’s age, and he’s not used to selfless youngsters. Despite a rocky first meeting, the two develop an unlikely friendship as James introduces Andrew to the city. James is looking forward to the festivities leading up to Christmas in London and maybe a celebration with Andrew. But will a nasty bout of the flu ruin their romantic holiday?

Not if Andrew has anything to say about it.

Diary Dates by T.J. Masters was a short story that was a swift romance read that had promise of a much better tale then the one that was delivered.  I liked the premise and the beginning that had Andrew Chin arriving and finding the diary of James Howard was intriguing and held my interest.  But once the main characters met, the story started dissolving amidst a lack of chemistry and characterization.

I liked the awkwardness displayed by Andrew Chin as a student out of his element in London.  First time in away from his family, first time in that foreign city, so many firsts…the cultural misunderstandings.  He was charming and I adored him. In fact I wanted more of his background.  James Howard on the other hand always came across as a bit of an enigma.  Even though the author kept telling us Andrew was attracted to him, I never got it, I never “felt” the attraction.  It was just words.  So their romance, when it happened, was every bit as awkward or ok, sort of creepy in my opinion because I felt the author never laid down any solid foundation for their attraction or relationship.  It was more telling, less letting the readers feel it.  At least that’s how it came across to me.

You may feel completely different.

Its a short story.  Just 52 pages that fly by.  So check it out for yourself.  You may think it works and like the May/December romance.  For me,  I remain disappointed in a story I was really looking forward to.

Cover art by Bree Archer is quite wonderful, for the story and characters.

Sales Links



Book Details:

ebook, 52 pages
Published July 23rd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634770617 (ISBN13: 9781634770613)
Edition LanguageEnglish