Book: Bear Among the Books
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: September 2, 2016
Length: 232 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
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.
It’s always a joy to read a book from an author you haven’t read before and truly fall in love with it. Bear Among the Books is a comforting read. It’s filled with books and love. Two things I love more than anything. Ben owns a library, he has great friends, a beautiful home, and a love for books that is incredible. His knowledge of the written word is breathtaking. I’m not sure even I could ever know as much as he does of the classics.
It’s of course all of these things that brings Jason, a library patron, to fall for him. Jason however is quite the opposite of Ben. He’s 19 and Ben is 48. Jason visits a library but cannot read. Though both have a past; Jason’s is truly horrific and heartbreaking. Seriously, Jason had me in tears when he told Ben his story.
The evolution of Jason was something to behold though. He is a light from the very beginning. Even though he’s horribly hard on himself all the people around him embrace him, love him, and lift him up higher than he ever believed himself possible of. I admit I shed a few tears when Jason overcame obstacles and stared down challenges.
I quite enjoyed this book. It did drag a few times on daily mundane details. Nothing too horrible and nothing that would stop me from reading all of TJ Master’s books. I realized these details were warmth. They were filling the tale with comfort… with home. And soon those moments of making coffee, of watching TV, of being a real person made me smile.
This is a terrific read. A love story. A book come to life. For the book lover in me it was the truest of fairytales.
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