Point of Contact (Susan’s Review)

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Title: Point of Contact
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Page Count: 451 pages
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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 a heartbeat. But when Riley is killed in combat, everything in Trevor’s life unravels into a mess he doesn’t know how to mourn.

Then Jesse Byrne, Riley’s friend and platoon mate, arrives on Trevor’s 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.

I should have never read this book.

This is a book about grief. And love, but mostly grief. I guess I thought I could handle Riley’s death, but I forgot this is Melanie Hansen here. She makes us care about the characters and she makes us love them. And then they die….

This woman sure knows how to write. This book made me feel so much. I was kind of hoping this book would start with Riley’s death and then go from there. But of course Melanie Hansen is a meanie. She made me read about Riley for 80 pages. She made me love him. And then I had to miss him. And read about Trevor missing his only son. And how much he hurt. And Jesse, who lost not only his best friend, but his brother-in-arms. And he had to deal with his own PTSD as well.

I love reading books about soldiers, or vets, throw in some PTSD and I’m a happy girl. But while I can read about the horror of war just fine, Melanie Hansen went the extra mile. She wrote little details that made me experience it for myself. I’ve read about the awful living conditions before, but here things were mentioned like fleas or the ‘toilets’. It all felt so real.

And the bond that was formed between Jesse, Riley, Watty and their others, it was heartbreaking to read about those men losing themselves a little more every day. And the talk Watty had with Jesse when they were both back and Watty was suffering so much, about going back in a heartbeat… that will always stay with me.

“Brotherhood, camaraderie. As much as it sucked ass, it was also like some sort of—some sort of utopia, you know? No one cared what your grades were in school, or if your dad was in jail, or if you had to get married ’cause you knocked up the first and only girl you’d ever slept with. The only thing anyone cared about was if you showed up on time for your turn at watch, or if you dug the hell outta that foxhole, or filled the hell outta those sandbags. Simple.”

At first I wasn’t too sure why I was reading about Jesse and Riley overseas and about Trevor getting on with his wedding plans with his boyfriend. But now I know it was to make me care about the characters more. Because of course then it would hurt more when something happened to them.

And boy did it hurt. This is a rip-your-heart-out kind of book. And the thing is, I don’t like that. I mean, I know other people always mention that a book hurts so good. But these kind of stories just make me hurt. I dreamt about this book last night and it will make me feel off balance for at least a week. I should stay away from books focused on grieving the death of a loved one.

I’m giving it 4 stars, because this book is written so well and had so much emotion, that if this is your thing, you will love this book to death.

The romance was sweet and I thought Trevor and Jesse were perfect for each other. But still, it was completely overshadowed by grief. I cannot imagine what it feels like to lose a son. I cried my way through this book, and even though we got a lovely HEA, it made me cry even more. Because Riley would never come back, and that still hurts….

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Galley copy of Point of Contact provided by Carina Press in exchange of an honest review.