REVIEW: “Handle With Care” by Josephine Myles
The best things in life aren’t free…they’re freely given.
Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. After raising his little sister to adulthood, he wasted no time making up for the youth he lost to responsible parenting. Two years of partying it up—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tethered to a home dialysis regimen.
He can do his job from his flat, fortunately, but most of his favourite things are forbidden. Except for DVD porn…and fantasizing over Ollie, the gorgeous, purple-haired skateboarder who delivers it.
Their banter is the highlight of Ben’s lonely day, but his illness-ravaged body is the cruel reality that prevents him from believing they’ll do anything more than flirt. Not to mention the age gap. Still, Ben 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…and an unexpected connection that leaves him wondering if he’s been reading Ollie wrong all this time. There’s only one way to find out: risk showing Ollie every last scar. And hope “far from perfect” is good enough for a chance at love.
Warning: Contains superhero porn comics and a cute, accident-prone delivery guy with colour-changing hair. Readers may experience coffee cravings, an unexpected liking for bad mullets, and the urge to wrap Ollie up and take him home(less)
Handle With Care is a sweet “opposites attract” come “overcoming disabilities” come “age difference” story. There were lots of interesting subjects to delve into – but sadly I didn’t feel like those opportunities were taken up on.
I love a good “opposites attract” story. I love watching their attraction unfold and the characters battle to overcome obstacles to quench their desires. There is some character progression as MC Ben comes to terms with his feelings for Ollie, but again, sadly, I didn’t feel a lot of depth or development there.
The “overcoming/living with disabilities” angle was handled fairly superficially and had a sprinkling of “scar kink” infused into the story to portray a sense of wonder and affection between the characters – me no likey. I like the idea of disabilities being a point which can bring people together – add some depth and understanding to characters – not somewhat ignored by the opposing character because he’s drawn to the person as a whole. It’s a tough balance to acquire and I’m positive that other people would feel like the characters showed sensitivity. You could also argue that my dissasisfaction with a disability being secondary is stupid. I guess in some ways it is, but I still felt like there was an opportunity for the characters (moreso Ollie) to show more of a connection.
And the age difference? Though it isn’t huge, there still seemed to be a huge void between them.
Conslusion: I’ll still try another book by Myles, but sadly, this one didn’t quite work for me.
RATING: 3 STARS
Sara – 4 stars
Title: Handle With Care
Author: Josephine Myles
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Purchase Links: Samhain, Amazon, ARe