- 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: #252,356 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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As amazing as it was to see so many recurring characters appear in one place in this book, I figured out pretty quickly that it's because the series was coming to a close. I'd be more devastated, but this was definitely a long series and I loved every bit of the ride. (That being said, I definitely wrote "If the show is cancelled, I will riot" on my phone where I jot down notes while I read.)
If representation bingo was a thing, New Hand won me the game. Not only did this novel show that nerds come in all shapes and colors, but it was about time that, with so many gay characters, one one appear with HIV. Jesse's story is all too familiar to so many gay men, and I love that readers hopefully learned (along with Garrett) that HIV is no longer the death sentence that it once was. A regimen of one pill a day can keep a person's viral load "undetectable," which essentially means "untransmittable." As a professional medical editor who had done recent work with HIV care, I cheered at Witt's accurate portrayal of something too often still stigmatized.
Instead, so much of this book was heart-breaking due to Garrett's history rather than Jesse's HIV infection. Ultimately, they were both too perfect to be real. But whatever, it's a romance novel.
I'm sad to see the Bluewater Bay series come to a close, but I'm eager to see what other projects the various authors tackle next.
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 is a bartender in Bluewater Bay, but was formerly an accountant while living in Seattle. His husband died of cancer less than a year ago and he's starting a new life now. He's still very much grieving for his husband, but when he lays eyes on Jesse at the bar one night, he felt instant attraction.
Jesse is the flamboyant comic book store employee we've met in previous books. He's over-the-top, but loyal and lovable. He's stood up by a friend and that's when he meets Garrett at the bar. Garrett is more than 10 years older than Jesse, but the two get along great and they have easy conversations at the bar that night. They don't make plans to see each other again, but Jesse shows up again to chat with Garrett since he finds the older guy equally attractive.
Eventually, Garrett agrees to go out with Jesse and it doesn't end well. But they sort things out and decide to give things a try. Garrett doesn't care that Jesse is HIV positive and Jesse doesn't care that Garrett is still grieving his husband. He's willing to give things a shot if Garrett is, so I liked that about the two. I did not see Jesse being the dominant one in the relationship though - that honestly shocked me, but once I kept reading, I got it.
Jesse was so supportive of Garrett and is really there for him when he's grieving his dead husband still. I honestly don't know if I could have done the same if I were in Jesse's shoes, so I had much respect for him. And Garrett didn't let the fact that Jesse had HIV keep him away. Jesse had been hurt by too many men over the years once they found out, so he really deserved happiness.
I will admit that I was a bit ignorant about what it's like to live with HIV these days since I too grew up in the 80's and 90's when it was a deadly disease. So to hear of how Jesse dealt with being HIV positive and how little effect it really had on him and his partner as long as he took his medicine, was quite surprising.
One thing that bothered me was how Garrett's former in-laws and even his own sister treated him as though he didn't know how he felt and that his own judgment shouldn't be trusted. I know they thought that maybe he moved on too fast or that he was trying to replace Sean with a look-alike, but they took things too far. The sister-in-law was a complete jerk and I strongly disliked her and the rant she went on Garrett when he was visiting the grave on anniversary of his husband's death. I do think the grief took center-stage in this book and it may have been a bit overdone, but it did add an emotional connection and draw to Garrett.
In the end, things work out for both men and it looks like they're truly happy, but still taking things at their own pace. I did enjoy the "Space Villager" reference at the end of the book. I was reading it and thought 'hey, pretty sure that was another author who had a character that was a programmer on that game' and then read the notes at the end to confirm it :-) Nice touch.
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