Point of Contact, by Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.
Friends to Lovers
This book… it surprised the heck out of me. I don’t know what I was expecting because this is my first Melanie Hansen book. Not familiar with the author, I was really going in blind. What I found was a very well written, beautifully told story about grief and loss. A story about a certain kind of heartbreak that comes with all of that loss. A story about how when you find the right people to help guide you, that grief and loss and heartbreak does not have to continue to consume you. It’s also about how someone can be lonely even when you’re surrounded by your brothers. How someone could come back from war, beaten and broken and so hurt mentally that it’s all you can do to breathe, can find someone they are comfortable with. Someone they can open up to and trust. This was about relationships that could be seen as very complicated, but turned out to be just so right. So perfect.
While at times I felt the slow burn of this stories romance was going to make me crazy, because it’s very slow, I understood the need for it. It would not have really worked had the pace gone any faster. The way this relationship starts with Jessie and Trevor, when Jessie is back from the war, it’s so innocent. It’s so open and honest. The courage that both men find in themselves to open up and trust each other was wondrous. I think because their friendship is paramount to everything else at first, their sharing of memories with Riley, and the way they helped each other heal, that made up for the times when I felt like the pacing was too slow for me.
With grief and loss that is so palpable I thought my heart was being ripped from me, I feel like I could understand, just a little bit, how Trevor and Jessie were feeling. Loosing someone is the hardest thing that everyone has to face at some point. This is just a life truth. How you are able to deal with it, how you can honor the memory of who you lost, and how you move on in life is always going to be unique to each person. It will always be something that is, and should be, at your own pace. The way Hansen crafted this, how she was able to explain all of this through Trevor in particular was amazing and touching.
One thing I loved was the way PTSD was not only tied to Jessie and his brothers from war. No, they were not the only ones dealing with it. Trevor was too, in his own way. It’s something that I think can be overlooked so easily. But it’s real and I loved that Jessie was strong enough to see that and to be able to help others. And later, both Jessie and Trevor and their work together…it was inspiring.
Honestly, this book was amazing. I even loved it when it was ripping my heart out and I had ugly tears. It’s beautiful in it’s brutal honesty, in dealing with grief and loss, and PTSD that is accompanied with that loss and with the trials of war that a solider goes through. It’s a hard book to read. Really hard. But I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I was able to read through the heartache and get to the end… because the end is beautiful.
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.