- File Size: 2701 KB
- Print Length: 344 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1626496951
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Riptide Publishing (December 16, 2017)
- Publication Date: December 16, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B078GDWXQ6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,880 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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New Hand (Bluewater Bay Book 23) Kindle Edition
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Jesse, I loved him. He'd had a tough time, scarily what happened to him is probably commoner than we think, in terms of STDs rather than full on HIV. Poor kid. It must be hard coming to terms with being sexually different to most of your peers without having that lumped on top. He copes really well, and I understood his anger at others actions. People are scared though of what they don't understand, and I liked that Garret took the trouble to look things up, ask professionals and not just give poor Jesse the elbow over something out of his control. I never felt like the age difference was an issue in this story and even occasionally forgot that there was an age gap of 15 or so years.
I also will admit I may just not have been in the mood for a book that was dealing with a grief stricken widow. Being this close to Christmas I like my books to be happy and although I won't say this was angsty it did have a lot of sadness in it.
Overall, a good book but I've read books by L.A. Witt that I enjoyed a lot more.
A copy of this book was provided to me by netgalley and the publisher with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.
Garrett's younger husband died of cancer eight months ago. Though he'd been counseled not to make big changes for the first year of grief, Garrett sold his home, quit his job and moved form Seattle to Bluewater Bay to be near his good friend, Scott, a marriage and grief counselor. They each had lost partners young, and Garrett's encouraged that Scott has now found love again. Garrett's not looking for love, but he wants to know that he won't always be so overwhelmed with grief that he'll spend the rest of his life alone. Then, he meets Jesse.
The attraction is unexpected, and immediate. Garrett's been celibate since before his husband died, but they both agreed he should find a new love. Jesse feels horrible and unattractive because of his status, but Garrett's interest is a big ego boost. They have some issues regarding Jesse's health, but it's not because of HIV; Garrett has PTSD from caring for, and losing, his husband. Once they get past the misunderstanding, it's hot times in Bluewater Bay for these two. Scott counsels Garrett to enjoy the comfort Jesse offers, and Jesse's ever-mindful about Garrestt's loss. In fact, he's a great confidante, willing to listen to Garrett's memories of his husband. They enjoy each other physically, but also emotionally and on a friendship-level, too. It's cathartic and tender, and their bond seems unshakable, until Garrett's in-laws find out about Jesse. And, their unsolicited disapproval provides a hiccup that makes them both pause and reassess. Is Garrett using Jesse as a replacement? Or, are these feelings both Jesse and Garrett are experiencing the beginning of a new life together.
This is a hurt-comfort story that has many facets. Garrett and Scott do a lot of soul-searching about guilt and loss. Jesse pushes all sorts of buttons for Garrett, but they aren't all in common with those of his late husband. They share different and fun interests, including gaming and comics. Garrett sees Jesse as his own man, one Garrett feels honored to spend times with, but his friends and family are worried he's moving on "too soon" which brings conflict and guilt. It's natural that Jesse would wonder if he's being set up for huge disappointment. If he's just a rebound fling, well, it's going to crush him, now that he's gone and fallen for Garrett. I loved how Garrett and Jesse examined their relationship, and accepted good advice from friends. It's not easy to admit one is wrong, and they both had their share of apologies to make at different points. They have a fantastic physical connection, and they are able to reassure each other that their feelings for each other is genuine in the end.
This book may mark the end of the Bluewater Bay series, and I've enjoyed so many of the stories. I think I've read 21 of the 23 books and probably rated most of the 4 stars or higher. It was great to see the wrap up of some of the previous couples, including Scott and Jeremy from RAIN SHADOW get married. I chuckled to see the age-gap couples (Levi and Carter, and Hunter and Kevin) pal around with Jesse and Garrett. I loved how the young whippersnappers ganged up on their mature partners, but relished their experience and patient loving. O.O A sweet and tender story.
This book runs the gamut of emotions. From scorching hot sex, to touching moments of reality, to absolutely heartbreaking scenes, it has it all. And it somehow manages to make you feel everything in a way that doesn’t feel discordant or jarring. The use of Garrett’s grief and growing attraction to Jesse worked with the story so well. You were able to see and feel the back and forth inside him in the way the story moved from each scene. And each shift in tone flowed from the one to the other, so that you kinda understood where each change came from. I like that a lot. The moments where the two characters really connect made the love for each other all the more powerful, but it also made the moments where Garrett was lost in grief all the more heartbreaking. I was in actual tears some of the times he talked about husband. And while I’ll admit that yesterday was just an emotional disaster for me personally, I don’t think it was all real-life stuff that had me so invested in what Garrett and Jesse were feeling.
I also really enjoyed that for all the times they miscommunicated and got angry at each other, it was never all on one side. I really hate when it is clear that both sides are responsible for a breakdown in a relationship, but the book goes out of its way to make one party the bad guy and one party The Most Perfect Person Ever Who Can Do No Wrong. Jesse and Garrett’s friends each calling them out on their horrible decision making was refreshing. And they talked to each other instead of spending 100 pages ignoring the giant oliphant in the room. Thank you god.
I will say though that this is not higher rated for me because there were some parts of this book that personally just didn’t work. And it is totally a me-thing, so if the following doesn’t bug you, then you should be better off . I just had a really hard time in the scenes where they went into all the geeky card games. I could understand every word they were saying, but it went so far over my head and so far past my interest, that I found myself incredibly uninterested during those scenes. I think there is a certain segment of the readership that will get a kick out of them, I just don’t know how much other people will. I don’t know, there just seemed to be a level of interest and/or pre-knowledge of these games to really get these scenes, and having neither, I felt a bit adrift during them. There are maybe some parts of geek culture that I will never be interested in personally, and while that make me feel like someone is about to jump me and demand my geek-card back, I don’t think that will ever change.
On the whole, though, I think this was a very solid story. Garrett and Jesse were great MCs, and all their faults were interesting and understandable. And while I will miss this town and all the characters in them, I was glad to see them at least once more. I have had such a blast reading this series, and while I have Riptide’s other universe (set in Porthkennack) to comfort me, I think that I will always have a soft part in my heart for the peoples of Bluewater Bay.
I am sad that I never did get a paranormal addition to the universe though, where real werewolves drop into the town. That would have been fun.
Most recent customer reviews
But this one...this one I loved!
Anyone who has lost a loved one and lived through the grief, the...Read more
I decided to read New Hand for the very reason I probably shouldn’t have – Jesse’s HIV status.Read more
The last book in the series? I'm not ready for it to be over yet, but I did enjoy this story and it somehow seems appropriate that L.A.Read more
Triggers: Death, HIV status
I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.Read more
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: LBGTQIA, Romance
I've loved the Bluewater books I've read, love LA Witt's...Read more