Monday, January 6, 2014

REVIEW: Handle with Care

Handle with Care
By: Emily Porterfield

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: 11.29.2013
Pages: 87

Date read: 1.4.2014
Recommended by: Read 2 Review

Summary: “It’s normal to feel that way.”

Six small words destroy Abigail Miles’ life. Haunted by her past, made a pariah by the media, she seeks refuge in a sleepy town in Oregon. All she wants is some time and space – to be left alone, hoping to find peace in solitude... that is, until she's discovered...

But the gentle patience of widower Craig Port, and his young daughter, throws what Abby knows into doubt. Her profession is to know people, yet she is a total stranger to herself. She believes she doesn't deserve their kindness, their mercy or their love.

When something blossoms between the Craig and Abby, she is overcome by the demons in her self-imposed torture chamber - no longer trusting her own perceptions, doubting everything and everyone – most of all, herself. Can Abby risk trusting Craig's insights and open her heart to what he has to offer? Or will she keep on running... from herself?

Handle with Care is a sweet contemporary romance, a journey of forgiveness, of ownership, and recovery from trauma. 

My thoughts

I want to start off by saying that I am not a fan of romance - too much awkward sex, too many unbelievable moments, too much yuck - but it's a huge genre and to say that I don't like the whole thing based on books that probably make up a half to three-quarters means that I'm missing out on something there.  So, I've been giving some a chance.  Short stories with a Christmas theme ... historical romance ... Christian-based romances ... I'm sure you get my drift.  This one is described as a "sweet (clean) contemporary romance."  That right there made me willing to give it a chance.  And, to be honest, I'm glad that I did.

Abigail is a likeable character.  She's a therapist who spends a lot of time helping soldiers who have come back from overseas, so you can imagine the kind of things she's heard about.  One particular soldier, one huge event ... and her life is changed forever.  She runs away to a small town - to get away to life, to get away from the media - and stays on a small boat that belongs to her uncle.  She just wants to be left alone - and is very rude so that people will stay away - but one man, Craig, just isn't going to listen.  And that's when the real story begins.

It's a beautiful story of pain and tragedy, of heartache ... and of finding love and acceptance.   

Favorite character: I like Abby and I don't like Abby - and the dislike is probably because I see a lot of me in her.  I like Craig and how polite, understanding and motivational he is; how he is with his daughter; how kind he is to Abby even when she's not kind to him; how he kisses her, but never once tries to get her in bed, but instead is very respectful of her.

Favorite line: "'Here, they say an outsider is only an outsider until they're part of the family.'" (Sounds like my kind of town)

"'Perhaps society might be spared the impact of war if only the guilty suffered the consequences.'"

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