Book, Line, and Sinker by L.J. LaBarthe
Cover Art by Reese Dante
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?
“I’ll have a look.” Ash dropped down into a squat and leaned forward to read the spines of the books on the bottom shelves. There were several rows of children’s books, and he started pulling titles out, making a neat stack beside him. Before long, he had gathered quite a collection, and he stood up, grunting as his knees protested
from being in one position for so long.
“Not a bad haul,” Jaxon said, looking at the stack. “Need some help carrying it over to the register?”
“Yeah, thanks. Did you find anything?”
“A few things. I took my armload over to the counter already.”
“That was quick.” Ash grinned.
“Just call me Book Man, swifter than… something really swift.”
Ash laughed. “Righto, Book Man. Want to give me a hand here?”
Jaxon bent down to grab half the stack and stood, huffing out a breath. “They’re heavier than they look.”
“I know.” Ash grabbed the rest of the pile and stood.
“Looking at toys. She thought a toy library would be a good thing to have as well, not just books and games.”
“She’s a bloody genius.” Ash followed Jaxon as he went to the counter, where a large cardboard box sat. An elderly woman was carefully packing it with paperbacks and a few hard covers, and Ash and Jaxon set their armloads of books down beside it.
“That’s a lot of books, boys,” the lady said with a warm smile on her face.
“Reading is awesome,” Jaxon said.
“I found some toys and games as well,” Evie said as she joined them. “No DVDs, though.”
“Sorry, love, a gentleman cleaned out our DVD stock last week,” the lady said.
“Oh well. Can’t win ’em all, right?” Evie grinned up at her brother and Ash grinned back. “Shall I go get the car? This lot’s going to be really heavy.”
“That’s a great idea.” Ash pulled the keys out of the pocket of his jeans and handed them to her. “Here. Go for it.”
“I’ll pay for it. It’s all good.” Ash made a little shooing motion with his hands. Evie rolled her eyes at him.
About the Author
L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.
L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.
L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.
You can find her at the following places:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lj.labarthe.9
- Twitter: @brbsiberia
- Web: http://www.ljlabarthe.com/
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ljstar239/