Title: Point of Contact
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, Military
Page Count: 451 pages
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ 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.
Kintgusi is the centuries-old Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by joining the pieces and emphasizing the fractures with gold, silver or platinum. Instead of hiding the breaks, the fractures become part of the restored piece, showing there is beauty in the imperfect and broken.
In much the same way, Point of Contact shows lives that are crushed, destroyed, ended … yet the reconstruction creates a new beauty, a new life that is not simply a repair of the old, but a new creation that will forever be different than the original, but no less valuable and precious.
In another writer’s hands, this story might have been a brief introduction to Riley – Trevor’s beloved son who dies in Afghanistan – with the bulk of the story about Jesse, Trevor’s platoon mate, and Trevor getting to know each other, falling in love, and having lots and lots of hot sex. A good read, yes, but nothing to really touch your heart.
Point of Contact gives us Riley – his birth, childhood, young adulthood – in loving detail, as well as glimpses of the man he might have become. And when he dies, it falls to his best friend Jesse and his father Trevor to put the pieces of their lives back together, and create a new life together. Jesse gives Trevor the gift of sharing the man Riley was becoming, while Trevor gives Jesse the background of how Riley came to be the caring, kind, goofy, loving 20-year-old he was. And along the way – slowly and gently – the two men fall in love and their story is so, so beautifully written. I especially love how Hansen crafts Carl (Trevor’s former fiance) who is not the villain of the piece, despite leaving Trevor. And Riley’s combat mates from Afghanistan are also lovingly fleshed out as well.
Yes, there is a lot of grief and heartbreak, and I shed a lot of tears while reading Point of Contact, but it was worth every tear and I highly recommend this book. 5+ stars for Point of Contact.