Great things come in small packages…
Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. He lost his youth to raising his little sister to adulthood, then made up for lost time with reckless abandon. Two years of constant partying—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tied to a home dialysis regimen.
He can work from home, fortunately, but most of life’s little luxuries are forbidden. Except for watching porn… and fantasising over Ollie, the gorgeous purple-haired skateboarder who delivers his discreetly packaged DVDs.
Their doorstep banter is the highlight of Ben’s solitary day, but his paranoia over his illness-ravaged body prevents him from seeing their flirting for what it really is. He knows Ollie is far too young for him anyway, but he figures there’s no harm in sprucing himself up a bit.
Then one day, a package accidentally splits open, revealing Ben’s dirty little secret. But instead of Ollie being repelled they make an unexpected connection that has Ben wondering if he’s been reading him wrong all this time. The only way to find out if they have a chance at love is to risk showing Ollie every last scar. And that could take more courage than Ben owns.
Warning: Contains superhero porn comics and a pint-sized, accident-prone delivery guy with colour-changing hair. Readers may experience coffee cravings, an unexpected liking for bad mullets, and the urge to wrap Ollie up and take him home.
gay contemporary erotic romance
First published 24th April 2012, Samhain Publishing
Second electronic edition 6th July, 2017
ebook novel – 51,000 words
Cover art by Kanaxa
Amazon | Other retailers
Handle with Care received an Honourable Mention in the 2012 Rainbow Awards Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction category!
What they’re saying:
Handle with Care is the comical and clever and utterly charming story of two men who’re falling in love for the first time—not just being one half of a couple but being in a partnership—though the journey is all about the making of and making up for mistakes, until they finally get it right. Handle with Care is a “so nice, I read it twice” book, and it was every bit as sweet the second time around.
5 stars from Lisa at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
Josephine Myles demonstrates her versatility as an author… she doesn’t cover up flawed people with excuses and while she fully develops her characters she doesn’t give away everything… This is one of the best written first-person books I’ve read, really taking advantage of having only one POV and making us sympathize with Ben’s predicament.
5 Blissful Sweet Peas from Becky Condit at Mrs Condit and Friends Read Books
…a truly beautiful story about opposites being attracted to each other… I fell in love with both of these men and the only sad thing is that the story had to end. I could have gone on reading about Benji and Ollie and their relationship forever. I would have been very happy to do that.
5 Lips from Tina at Two Lips Reviews
All the conflicts in Handle With Care are dealt with realistically and sympathetically. Ben’s health issues in particular came across as very real, but the emotional conflicts are well done too. While Handle With Care doesn’t feature a ton of drama and heavy angst, it’s got engaging characters, believable conflict, and lots of emotion. I’ve only read a couple of Josephine Myles’ stories, but Handle With Care has convinced me to see what else she’s got out there.
Cassie at Joyfully Reviewed
Another really wonderful story from Myles. I think she does “opposites attract” so well and this book was no exception. Myles has created really interesting and unique characters in Ollie and Ben, and made me really care about what happened to them. This story was sweet, romantic, hot, and full of hope. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.
4.75 stars from JayHJay at Joyfully Jay
This seemingly simple story touched my heart… Ben being on dialysis is really well-portrayed; we are not spared some of the uncomfortable details of his illness and I was very happy that writer went that road… I also loved how Ben’s insecurities were portrayed and how sweetly his crush on Ollie is depicted. I just liked both of them pretty much almost as soon as they appeared on the pages… Highly recommended.
4.5 stars from Sirius on Reviews by Jessewave
I was blown away by my own reaction to the erotic scenes. My heart raced, my chest flushed, and I was filled with desire… The author very carefully crafted scenes with poignant details but did not go overboard with the details, she did a fabulous job with these scenes… I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to review this intoxicating text and push my own personal boundaries. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in erotica, heterosexual or homosexual.
Kendall Berry at The Erotic Literary Salon
Ben has a healthy wry sense of humour and a sense of the ridiculous and his narrative goes a long way to giving the book a light feel, despite what could be seen as some heavy themes… Overall, I really liked this book. It didn’t shy away from the realities of living with duff kidneys, but it also went straight to the heart of Ben. He may be a victim of his past misbehaviour and thoughtlessness, but he makes up for that in spades in his relationship with his sister and Ollie… I highly recommend it with a grade of ‘Excellent’.
Jenre at Well Read
This was a delightful read that covers something you don’t see very often… Even though some may find this story has a more serious theme than some of [Jo’s] other works, it doesn’t come across as dark and depressing at all, and still has much of the trademark humour that keeps readers like myself coming back for more. And hey, I learned something when I read it, so that’s never a bad thing to be educated AND entertained. I recommend you pick this one up and give it a go.
Tam at Tam Reads, Writes & Rambles
Josephine Myles is an autobuy author for me, and once again she has demonstrated why… Living with a chronic health problem and its effect on finding love has been done, but not often done this well—Ben’s renal failure is deep characterization and not a surface gloss.
4.5 Delightful Divas from Cryselle at Dark Divas Reviews
It’s a real character driven story, and [all] the characters are excellent and provide such a wonderful foundation for our main characters to shine. Awesmazing book from the author once again.
4.5 stars from Darien Moya at Pants Off Reviews
Josephine Myles has amazing storytelling ability. She has a knack for making you fall in love with her characters… and makes you want to root for everything to go the right way for them at least once in their lives. It has everything a good book needs- humor, romance and lots of passion. It’s so much more than just mm erotica.
Victoria Cross at Night Owl Reviews
The more I read Josephine Myles, the more I love her work… [The humour] provided a good balance to the parts of the story that were more serious… The story wraps up really nicely with Ben helping Ollie to realize one of his dreams as he recovers from surgery. A really nice ending to a lovely story.
Helyce at Smexy Books
Since this is the fourth book I’ve reviewed by this author all I have left to say is that you can’t really go wrong with her stories. There is always enough laughter and romance even for the demanding individuals. The lady sure knows how to write.
Valentina Heart at The Romance Reviews
It’s a rarity for an author to tackle a romance with one of the main characters having an illness…but Ms. Myles handles it with creativity and sensitivity… This is a cute story but has unexpected depths because of its subject matter, not something you’d anticipate finding in a novella… I’ll be looking for other books by this author in the future. Enjoy!
Gayle at Romance Junkies
Josephine Myles has penned a unique delightful romance for Ben and Ollie. The two had so much to over come that you will be rooting for a happy ending… Kudos to Josephine Myles for penning a story that is more that just entertainment.
Elise at Sensual Reads
Ollie is what really takes this book to page turner level for me… such a great character… This is the second book I’ve read from Josephine Myles, and I will definitely be hitting up her back list at this point.
Samantha at Fiction Vixen Book Reviews
This is a sweet story, with just adorable Ollie and the cantankerous Ben and his porn collection. There is a point where Ollie’s embarrassment is so naïve and so sweet, I wanted to just hug him. Recommended.
Lucy at Hearts on Fire Reviews
Handle with Care by Josephine Myles is a really sweet story… Ms. Myles is a good author and I really enjoy her style. I look forward to her next tale of quirky English boys and the guys they find to love!
Gennie G at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews