Reviewed by Cinnamon
TITLE: Handle With Care
AUTHOR: Josephine Myles
PUBLISHER: self published
LENGTH: 149 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 6,2017 (second edition)
Great things come in small packages…
Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. He lost his youth to raising his little sister to adulthood, then made up for lost time with reckless abandon. Two years of constant partying—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tied to a home dialysis regimen.
He can work from home, fortunately, but most of life’s little luxuries are forbidden. Except for watching porn… and fantasising over Ollie, the gorgeous purple-haired skateboarder who delivers his discreetly packaged DVDs.
Their doorstep banter is the highlight of Ben’s solitary day, but his paranoia over his illness-ravaged body prevents him from seeing their flirting for what it really is. He knows Ollie is far too young for him anyway, but he figures there’s no harm in sprucing himself up a bit.
Then one day, a package accidentally splits open, revealing Ben’s dirty little secret. But instead of Ollie being repelled they make an unexpected connection that has Ben wondering if he’s been reading him wrong all this time. The only way to find out if they have a chance at love is to risk showing Ollie every last scar. And that could take more courage than Ben owns.
The first time I read this story, I was relatively new to the MM world. Since then I have read more than a thousand books in this genre and I was curious how my opinion changed during this time. The fact that I still vividly remembered lots of scenes, and experienced the same heartwarming, amazing feels reading these characters, is very telling. The writer created something unique, something memorable with Ollie and Ben. This book has value, wonderful layers and characters that are real and lifelike. They are ordinary people with flaws, imperfections, insecurities and mistakes from their pasts.
Cyber-Ben and Sidekick-Ollie are truly unique and lovable characters. Despite their age difference they both have some serious baggage. They come from different backgrounds but they both lived more than their real age because of various circumstances. Ben has serious issues with his health and Ollie has some ingrained insecurities, emotional scars and misconceptions from a past relationship. There is plenty to overcome for our MCs.
The story has a great structure, it keeps your interest with amazing feels. Ben and Ollie’s changing relationship is well portrayed with deepening feelings and growing attraction. The excitement and conflicts are well paced and the whole plot-line has a great balance. I love the humor that is woven into the story along the way. This is a signature characteristic of the author and I was laughing out loud so many times I lost count.
Handle with Care is a lot more than it first meets the eye. It has layers, depth and gives a memorable reading experience. Hope you enjoy it.