Review: Handle With Care by Nina Croft

Reviewed by Elise

This book started off with a promising premise and the first chapter had me hooked. Who can pass up a Granny willing to play matchmaker? Especially one that is willing to hunt down a tattooed, hog-riding, bad boy? Not this reader that’s for sure.

This book tells the story of ‘good girl’, Emily Towson. Orphaned at 11 and living with her caring grandmother, Emily likes to play things safe. She is the first grade teacher at the local school and her small town work contract includes a morality code that she is in no danger of breeching. Her grandmother thinks Emily needs to live a little and sets her up with Tanner O’Connor. Tanner is the town bad boy and convicted felon and generally does not care what others think of him. Both are hiding parts of themselves and together they work to overcome their personal obstacles to happiness.

The first encounter between Emily and Tanner is a little clumsily written. It felt like this first interlude was a bit forced, the relationship between the pair hastily assumed. The scene felt contrived and a little bit of extra thought about how to get the characters together would have made this book start with a bang. The author definitely makes up for it and the second encounter between Emily and Tanner was much more steamy than their lackluster start.

Handle with Care has a great storyline but the important moments in the novel are a bit rushed. Some of the complications required a little more in-depth discussion that was missing. These issues are some BIG life-changing issues and it felt like they were brushed over. It’s a shame because it was a missed opportunity to add more depth to the characters.

Although the book had a less than stellar beginning, it gained momentum as the story progressed. I particularly enjoyed the budding secondary romance in the story. The author gave plenty of story time to the romance between Mimi and Josh and their romance added an element of hope to the story. Mimi deserves some happiness in her life and it warmed my heart to read about her foray into love.

It just felt like the author was trying to include too many elements into the story. Don’t get me wrong. I liked the book. I really did. With a little more time spent on the important moments and a few less complications this would have gone from a good story to a really great one.

Emily and Tanner’s story may have come to its conclusion, but there are hints of more stories to come. Tanner has two very eligible and damaged-in-a-sexy-but-redeemable-way brothers and Mimi has some surprises up her sleeve, so I smell more books to come. These will definitely be going on my TBR.

Rating: C

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Click to purchase: Amazon

Handle With Care
by Nina Croft
Release Date: July 30, 2018
Publisher: Entangled

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