Monday, March 26, 2018

Release Day Review: Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen

POINT OF CONTACT coverTitle ~ Point of Contact

Author ~ Melanie Hansen

Publisher ~ Carina Press

Published ~ 26th March 2018

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance

Rating

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Synopsis

Only love can heal an impossibly broken heart.

There'd forever been a thread running through Trevor Estes's life—his son Riley, strong and constant like heartbeat. But when Riley is killed in combat, everything in Trevor's life unravels into a mess he doesn't know how to mourn. Until Jesse Byrne, Riley's friend and platoon mate, arrives on his doorstep with a box of Riley's things. Jesse's all-too-familiar grief provides an unlikely source of comfort for Trevor; knowing he's not alone is exactly what he needs.

Trevor never imagined he'd find someone who fills his heart with hope again. As the pair celebrate Riley's memory, their unique bond deepens into something irreplaceable—and something neither man can live without. But diving into a relationship can't be so simple. Being together means Trevor risking the last link he has to his son...leaving Jesse to wonder if he'll ever be enough, or if Trevor will always be haunted by the past.

 

Debra’s Review

I'm very late to this party since this was my first Melanie Hansen book. If this story is any indication of what her other books have in store, I'm sorry I got started so late. There is nothing I didn't like about Point of Contact. From the exploration of grief and its different effects on people to the slow-building relationship between Trevor and Jesse, this story brought out so many emotions and had me shedding tears throughout.

Trevor, a single father, has a close bond with his only child Riley. We see Riley through Trevor's eyes from his birth to the day he leaves for Afghanistan. Jesse is Riley's best friend from training and bunkmate in Afghanistan. We see his and Riley's deployment through Jesse's eyes from the day before they leave until Riley's last breath. The fact that we get to know Riley in this way and fall in love with him as a character makes the rest of this story that much more effective once he is gone.

Trevor and Jesse form a bond over their shared grief, the attraction comes later. Jesse is able to give Trevor a glimpse of the adult son he will never know and the two spend a lot of time together. There's a slow-burn here, in fact I would say that the romance itself isn't the focus of this book. The love story is there, but it takes a long time to get to it, growing naturally as Trevor works through his grief and steps back into life as he and Jesse remember Riley and get to know each other.

Everyone in this story deals with Riley's loss and their grief differently and none of their feelings are minimized. Even Carl, who could have been made to be the heartless ex after his relationship with Trevor changes, has a valid place in the story as yet another character whose life was changed by Riley's death in a different way. Melanie Hansen doesn't hit you over the head with anything over the top, but her writing makes the story flow organically and real as the smallest thing sets off a character's memories. I felt what they were feeling and the tears were real.

Now onto the romance. There are obvious bumps in this road, the age-gap, the fact that both are grieving Riley's loss and wondering if a romance is something that would dishonor Riley, or if it's even a true attraction and not just another part of the grieving process. I liked the way they handled the obvious questions. The two have great communication and even though there is a large age-gap, Jesse's life experiences have given him a maturity beyond his years. They have chemistry that starts with the tension of each man realizing and fighting his attraction to them finally giving in, but they also have a foundation of friendship and respect that it builds on making it a perfect package.

I doubt it will be possible to read Point of Contact without crying. This is a story that will crack the hardest of hearts. Grief is universal even if nobody reacts the same and I'm sure that something here will resonate with every reader. The grief is always there, even at the end, but in time it has evolved and Trevor and Jesse do get to their happy ending after all of the emotional upheaval and it was just perfect. It's happy and bittersweet and full of hope and love. If hurt-comfort that tears you down, brings you to tears and builds you back up is your thing, I can't recommend this one highly enough.

Purchase Links

carina press[5]

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK

blackstar

Meet Melanie Hansen


Melanie Hansen likes to consider herself a cynic, but at heart she’s a hopeless romantic. Every morning she gets up before dawn to spend time with her characters, creating stories that are deeply emotional, sometimes heartbreaking, but in the end where love always wins. Melanie’s proud of the fact that two of her books have been named as RT Book Reviews Top Picks.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, ended up marrying a Navy man, and has lived and worked all over the country. Melanie hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

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