The Little Library, by Kim Fielding
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Elliott Thompson was once a historian with a promising academic future, but his involvement in a scandal meant a lost job, public shame, and a ruined love life. He took shelter in his rural California hometown, where he teaches online classes, hoards books, and despairs of his future.
Simon Odisho has lost a job as well—to a bullet that sidelined his career in law enforcement. While his shattered knee recovers, he rethinks his job prospects and searches for the courage to come out to his close-knit but conservative extended family.
In an attempt to manage his overflowing book collection, Elliott builds a miniature neighborhood library in his front yard. The project puts him in touch with his neighbors—for better and worse—and introduces him to handsome, charming Simon. While romance blooms quickly between them, Elliott’s not willing to live in the closet, and his best career prospects might take him far away. His books have plenty to tell him about history, but they give him no clues about a future with Simon.
If you’re looking for a gentle, low-heat romance with sympathetic characters who (bonus!) love to read, then stop what you’re doing right now and go pick up a copy of The Little Library.
While I personally found the story a little bit slow and slightly predictable, there was a certain appeal to it, especially the MC’s who were – thankfully – not physically perfect and who were struggling in ways that were completely relatable.
Elliott is hiding out in his home after a scandal involving his ex-lover destroys his relationship and possibly his career. His only companions are the books he compulsively purchases online, plus his brother and sister-in-law who are understanding of his circumstances but concerned he’s shutting himself off from everyone else.
Simon is a police offer still recovering from a shooting incident that has not only left him physically impaired, but questioning if a career in law enforcement is even possible anymore. His large, boisterous, close-knit family is everything to him but he fears risking the respect and love of the people he cares about most if he ever wants to tell them the truth about his sexuality.
Elliott and Simon bond over the little library that Elliott decides to build when his book hoarding threatens to spin out of control. When an almost disastrous first-date turns into a careful courtship, both men have to make important decisions about their future as a couple, and if what they have together is working risking their respective careers and family.
This is a very low-angst story which will satisfy anyone looking for something a bit more subdued. Although I generally need a little more passion (not necessarily sex, just passion) and intensity in my books, I can’t dismiss the fact that I did enjoy parts of this and was fond of both Elliott and Simon. Not fond enough for a higher rating, mind you, but enough that I feel comfortable recommending this book.
Kim Fielding lives in California and travels as often as she can manage. A professor by day, at night she rushes into a phone booth to change into her author costume (which involves comfy clothes instead of Spandex and is, sadly, lacking a cape). Her superpowers include the ability to write nearly anywhere, often while simultaneously doling out homework assistance to her children. Her favorite word to describe herself is “eclectic” and she finally got that fourth tattoo.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.