New Hand

New Hand

by L.A. Witt

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*The Bluewater Bay stories can be enjoyed in any order - jump in wherever you'd like!*

Months after his husband's death, Garrett Blaine desperately needs a fresh start. He sells his house in Seattle, leaves his accounting job, and starts bartending in Bluewater Bay. There he meets a man who wakes up his nearly forgotten libido.

Jesse Connelly's friend with benefits bolted after Jesse disclosed his HIV status. Stood up and stinging, Jesse tries to drown his sorrows . . . and finds an unexpected connection with a lonely bartender.

Jesse and Garrett quickly bond over a shared love of comics and card games, and they can't get enough of each other between the sheets. Not even a bumpy start and a fifteen-year age gap can derail them as they go from strangers to lovers, then friends, then much more.

But as Garrett's feelings for Jesse deepen, so does his grief for the man he lost--especially as he sees hints of his late husband in his new boyfriend. Now Garrett has to figure out if Jesse is his second chance at true love, or if Jesse's just filling in for the man he's never fully grieved. And he needs to figure it out soon, because Jesse's starting to wonder the same thing.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940158951930
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: 12/18/2017
Series: Bluewater Bay , #23
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 399
Sales rank: 373,668
File size: 1 MB

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New Hand 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
Jesse Connelly is a twenty-seven year old flamboyant gay man who manages End o'Earth Comics. He was infected with HIV by his first sexual partner back in high school and has been managing the disease for the past decade. He's always upfront with his status with new partners, but his most recent love interest was a friend, first, and just when they started getting physical Jesse confided his (undetectable) status. And that dude has just stood Jesse up at the local alehouse. Feeling down, Jesse is charmed by the sexy silver fox bartender who's new to the area. 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.
amatate More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars- I really loved New Hand, so much so that it hovered close to the 5 star mark much of the time. I hadn’t read any books from The Bluewater Bay series so I began this title with minimal expectations, though I was a little nervous I’d be lost as this is the final book of the series. While the story contains a few cameos from other characters in the series, some playing larger parts than others, New Hand can easily be read and enjoyed as a standalone as I did. New Hand was one of those books that flowed so well, it was hard for me to put down. The banter between characters was smooth and faster paced, the narrative easy, and the story interesting. I was immediately hooked by Garrett and Jesse, and I loved the way Miss Witt infused their personalities into the characters’ points of view, making their personalities pop. Though this is a May-December romance, the difference in age wasn’t much of a focus with the other scenarios facing the couple. When a leading character is a widower, I’m always curious as to how the author will approach that past relationship and I think New Hand is one of the better books I’ve read dealing with the loss of a partner. While this wasn’t a depressing read, it was emotional- leaving me teary eyed more than once. Garrett is still processing the death of his husband when he first meets Jesse and though Miss Witt didn’t let the story or characters get lost in the grief, she also doesn’t avoid the pain or sweep the less than bubbly parts under the rug. It was balanced, touching on so many emotions that it was impossible not to feel all those highs and lows right along with the characters. I especially liked that the story incorporated things you might not think of, such as how Jesse processed Garrett being a widower and dealt with learning about Sean, Garrett’s deceased husband. Sometimes it did feel as though Sean was a third leading character in the story, but that inclusion leant believability to their story and certainly made this a book I'll remember. I don’t know that I’d characterize New Hand as a hurt/comfort romance, but it definitely had elements of that. The emotion in this book certainly is palpable and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, seeing them come together, grow, and ultimately reach a good resolution that left me with a smile on my face. I’d wager that this will be one of the more memorable books I’ll read over the coming year. *eARC received via Netgalley. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*