About the Book
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 the situation 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.
Warning: Contains superhero porn comics and a pint-sized, 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.
The Finer Details
Publication Date: July 6, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published, originally published by Samhain Publishing, 2012
Cover Artist: Kanaxa Website
Story Arc: standalone
Length: Novel; 51,000 words
POV: 1st Person Single
Age Range(s): 18-21, 30-34
Genre(s): Contemporary, Age Gap
Tropes & Tags: disability, opposites attract
Setting/Locale: Reading, England
Advance Review Copy provided by the author via Signal Boost Promotions.
Back Porch Thoughts
Handle With Care was a thoroughly enjoyable and mostly light-n-fluffy read. The characters are both Hot Messes in their own way and so opposite that I’m not certain that they’d have ever crossed paths had Ollie not been a package delivery man while Ben was working from home.
Some serious elements kept the story grounded, such as Ben’s health problems and Ollie’s past and figuring out the whole Adult thing. But the attraction between them is quick and real with tons of stops and starts, some comical…some not so.
Ben is dealing with some major debilitating health issues, and this thread of the story ran the risk of being overpowering. But Ben’s nervousness over his attraction to the young Ollie and Ollie’s fascination with Ben helped to keep things light.
While I found much to enjoy, my connection with the characters never quite took the firm hold I’d hoped for. I wanted more about Ollie, more of him coming into his own and finding his place as Ben’s partner. I never doubted Ben was the right guy for Ollie…just the other way ’round that never quiiiiite solidified for me.
There’s plenty within these pages to enjoy though, including a few laughs, some sweet times, and some delightful sex scenes. I’m definitely glad I read it.
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About the Author
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.
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