Handle with Care by Marie Harte

Handle with Care by Marie Harte
Veteran Movers 3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (352 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Evan Griffith has had a hell of a day…
And that was before he met the stunning, sexy woman having a meltdown.

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Kenzie Sykes is doing her best to raise her little brother and keep him out of jail―all while dealing with her own broken heart that just hasn’t healed. She doesn’t have time for romance. He’s not asking… Until he is, and she finds herself saying yes.

Fizzy, bubbly, sensational and sexy are just some of the words I can use to describe how I felt about some of the characters while reading this novel. I laughed, giggled, snickered and face-palmed; I grinned, gasped and fanned myself from the heat. All this from one book that was so good, I stayed up to almost 2 a.m. to finish it. Why is it so awesome? Because Ms. Harte made me feel like I was right there, walking alongside Evan and Kenzie, Daniel and Smith, Lila and Rachel and the whole cast that made up the families of both the hero and heroine. I felt part of the inner circle because of the third person POV from both Evan and Kenzie’s side of things. And yet, there was so much to discover about everyone that could only be done by watching what happened, listening in on other’s conversations and seeing the emotion and craziness falling in love brought into all their lives. Never mind the resulting entertainment as they stumbled, goofed, gaffed and made goo-goo eyes at each other on and off during their budding relationship. There were such strong feelings of warmth, welcoming and family, warts and all, that appealed to me on so many levels, I couldn’t help but adore this book. Handle with Care is an excellent feel-good, happy-inducing read that left me feeling 100% satisfied. This is romance done right.

The dialogue alone is a giggle-kicker. What comes out of the mouths of Lila and Rachel are blushingly hysterical and they make no apologies for their colorful views on sex. The resulting word war between Evan and Daniel, Kenzie’s brother, was unconventional to say the least, but I have to admit laughing out loud at some of the more creative ideas for swearwords. It’s how and when they were used that made it seem real, relatable and effective comic relief. Overall, the strength of this novel is its dialogue between the characters, both first and secondary.

Emotion. Oh, there is a lot of that going around. Here’s where I find the author did a solid. Everyone always follows a heroine when there’s some kind of breakup or misunderstanding in the process of falling in love. So many books use that trope to fill scenes up with angst. Not many look at it from the guy’s perspective. What does he do when he’s hurt? I know that Chunky Monkey seems to be popular for hurting heroines but what do guys do? Ms. Harte shares her vision of Evan in a funk and I’m not sorry to say, I found it hilarious. Genius and hilarious. In my mind’s eye, I could picture it so clearly. I liked the hero even more because of it.

I understand that this is book 3 in the series, and based on how I feel after finishing Handle with Care, I know I missed out in not reading the first two. But, I did not feel left out. That’s a huge difference. This can be read as a standalone because the focus is exactly where it should be, on Evan and Kenzie’s rocky, quirky, unconventional, romantic, sexy and wonderful romance.

Of all the subplots with a secondary character, Ms. Harte picked the right person to highlight, Smith. Evan and Smith’s relationship is important on a few levels. It’s sometime comical, but there is a depth of emotion, a well of untapped seriousness that gave the novel solid footing. These are people who’ve been dealt some seriously bad hands in life and yet manage to rise above it. Or are trying to. Through the hero, I came to understand that there is a lot more to Smith than what the story initially presented. The last chapter in the novel, where the HEA is revealed in all its fun and romantic glory also included a well worded, intriguing sentence that insured the obvious. I HAVE to read the next story. Consider me obsessed with the thought of Smith’s HEA – now that I have been given a hint of his teddy bear side, I want him to have something he never had. Evan discovered it, now I want Smith to have it. The big question is, how long do I have to wait to find out? That’s the mark of a well written book – the yearning for more of the good stuff. Handle with Care is definitely good stuff and if that’s the quality Ms. Harte is known to write, which I believe she is, then wanting more is a no-brainer. I’m in.


  1. Such a sweet cover.

  2. Tracie Cooper says

    I very excited to read this soon!

  3. never read this

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