Handle with Care by Josephine Myles

4 stars


Ben has ravaged his body in the past and is paying the price for it now. He is practically housebound having neglected his diabetes and partying too hard in his youth. Now he has to apply dialysis four times a day and is waiting for a pancreas transplant. He raised his younger sister following their parents death and now she is training to be a chef living away from home. She pops by almost everyday, but Ben is lonely. And horny. He works from home but supplements his tedium with porn. He prefers to watch them on DVD especially as the delivery driver is a hot and sexy twink with brightly coloured hair, several intriguing piercings and a smile that lights up Ben’s world every day.


Ollie loves to skate board and draw and look after people. He may only be twenty but he is fiercely independent and ambitious, and he really likes Ben. He brings him comics and slowly but surely becomes his friend. Ollie doesn’t care about the age difference or the fact that Ben has tubes sticking out of his body and is too tired to go out most days. He thinks he’s handsome and witty and sexy.


And so the story unfolds focusing on Ben’s health and how it affects his view on things and ultimately his confidence with Ollie. The pair are attracted to each other without a doubt, but there are so many obstacles to overcome both real and imagined, it looks at times as if their efforts are futile.


This was an easy and amusing book to read even though many of the challenges prove to be emotional. The author writes in such a way not to be too dramatic and rather to describe events and emotions in a totally real and accurate way. It has a very British feel to it which I particularly enjoyed as it suited the quirky personality traits in all the characters. When Ollie and Ben finally get physical it’s cute and hot and not too awkward and is all awfully appropriate to the overall feel of the book.


It didn’t take long to read this book as I was keen to get to the end to discover if, when and how, Ollie and Ben ended up together because the story is not as predictable as you may think. Utterly absorbing and jolly enjoyable.