Title: Point of Contact
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 451 Pages
At a Glance: I can’t convey to you the feelings this story evoked in me. You’ll have to read it for yourselves and once you’re through, you’ll understand too.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: 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.
Review: 5 stars for a story that wrecked me…
At the end, in the Acknowledgments page, the author says that “there were a million tears shed in the writing of this story.” Well, Ms Hansen, I can assure you that a lot of tears were shed while reading it too. I don’t think I can do this story justice, no matter what I write here. The emotional impact of Point of Contact is unbelievable. It will hit you from all sides and once you’re done reading, you’ll be left crying for a life that ended way too soon and left behind so much pain and anguish.
A friendly warning from me: if you don’t want people to look at you like you’ve gone crazy for crying while staring at a screen, read this book alone in a fort of blankets and with tissues nearby.
I don’t see Point of Contact as a romance. It is there, of course, but I don’t think it’s the main focus. I think that this is the story of a man dying too young, and the effect that has on his loved ones. The grief of his father, Trevor, was palpable, and the guilt that his brothers-in-arms felt for not being able to save him was always present. There were bittersweet moments of memories and efforts to move forward while still keeping Riley a part of their lives and their souls.
The story starts about a year before Riley’s death, so we get to meet him. We get to know him. We see his vibrant personality, his close relationship with his father, and the one he formed with Jesse, his best friend. The first part of the book is not sad. Jesse and Riley are in a war zone, but they are good and strong, making plans for the future.
There are flashbacks of Trevor thinking back on his life with Riley and all the tough spots they had to go through in order to land where they were. He is worried for his son’s safety, but he is hopeful that he is going to come back. Getting to see Riley alive and having fun made him realer than just a name. There was a connection with this character, the same as with Trevor and Jesse, and it made the reading of the second part of the book even more difficult.
I don’t, for one second, regret my decision to read this story despite all the tears. I knew it was going to be sad—of course, I wasn’t prepared for how much—but it was totally worth it. It’s a book that’s going to stay in the back of my mind for a long time. This story is the long journey of a father that has to make his peace with the fact that his son will never come home again. He has to let go of the what-ifs and the could-have-beens. It’s a long and difficult journey, painful and slow going, with ups and downs and more steps backwards than forwards.
I cried while reading this story, and I cried again after finishing it while thinking about it all over again for hours. I’m tearing up right now while writing my review, because I remember the pain Trevor and Jesse were in and the void in their lives that Riley left behind. I can’t convey to you the feelings this story evoked in me. You’ll have to read it for yourselves and once you’re through, you’ll understand too.
You can buy Point of Contact here:
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