Diane Charles Linford
Handle Me With Care
Unfortunately I’m at home where it’s hard to post covers (some screwy AOL thing), but if you haven’t see the wonderful cover of this book, do go look at the link above. Okay, I’ve been meaning (trying) to review this work for quite a while. I’m going to try to make sense, since both Diane Charles Linford’s story (and Chuck, my wonderful supportive pal) are on my mind (and were as I read this). If you don’t know the complicated story behind the story of this book, well…perhaps Chuck will chime in. It’s his call.
I’ll get the easy part out of the way–read this book. It’s not perfect (I haven’t read anything that is), and it’s not always comfortable (I’ll resist all the sage words about things that are worth it…blah blah blah), but it’s very real. I didn’t say realistic, but real. It has an honesty to it that struck me from page 1. Handle Me With Care is a very complex mix of romance, thriller (as a non-thriller fan, I’ll say it wasn’t too much even for me), and…something else, not unlike the book (below) The Mysteries, I was just raving about. Unexpected, that’s the word. I don’t mean that a (very, very compelling sexy) young black man would pursue (and I mean from the heart) an older white woman. Or that they have a paranormal connection, which takes off, and how! The writing is real–except for the borderline tongue-in-cheek stuff and some laugh out loud moments that pull you back into awareness of being a reader rather than the protagonist. Somewhere in the back of my head I think Stephen exists, perhaps because I read this twice. I’m kinda glad he wasn’t killed off (this book was rewritten so that he would survive to make it to the romance shelves), kinda sorry he was. This is an exceptionally hard title to characterize, and I possibly liked it for that as well. It fits fine into traditional erotic romance, whatever that is, I suppose, but to call it that seems to be missing out on what I can only call “literary” elements. Ugh. Buy the book, and stretch your brain a little. This book gets a 4.65348, with an error margin of infinity.