Tag Archives: HIV

Review: Positive by Tia Fielding

Positive by Tia Fielding
Title: Positive
Author: Tia Fielding
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Even after a decade, the life that journalist Brent Walsh and Milwaukee homicide detective Shawn Mackey have made together is far from boring. But when a new case cuts a weekend getaway short, they aren’t quite prepared for how it will impact their personal lives. Suddenly there’s too much to juggle: Shawn will be working the case of the sharpshooter who is trying to infect random people with HIV, Brent needs to cover the story but fears a conflict of interest, one of Shawn’s colleagues is attracted to him, and Brent sincerely needs to mend the painful break with his childhood best friend, Ollie, and heal their broken hearts.

Though the case comes to a close, it’s not the end of their troubles. Shawn and Brent still face a past of old white lies, a present possibility of inviting another man to their bed, and a future with children, not to mention health issues and national fallout from the case. It’s enough to make them want to run away—until they realize they have to face those challenges head-on so they can get on with the life of love they’re hoping for.

Review:

Tia Fielding has written an engaging story about Love, the choices we make along with the ramifications, and the feeling of being wronged in some way.

Milwaukee Detective Shawn Mackey and his husband journalist Brent Walsh, have been together for years with the expectation of a short breakup that changed their lives forever. Ben Sutherland has lived his life with a prostitute for a mother and the resentment of being wronged.

The plot is really two fold. The lives of Shawn and Brent are intertwined with the despair that causes Ben to use blood tainted with the AIDS virus as a weapon.  Ben takes his frustration out by shooting individuals, that don’t see what they have, with darts filled with the tainted blood.  This hits home to Brent and Shawn who have been living theirs lives with the apprehension of spreading the virus that Brent contracted one drunken night during their breakup.

While there was definitely some holes in the plot I enjoyed this story along with the development of the characters.  The ups and downs shared by this guys led credibility to the story and it was engaging to see them work through them and come out stronger.  All of the characters were well developed including their sisters, Brent’s long time best friend Ollie, Shawn’s partner Ashley, narcotics officer Malik and shooter Ben. The wrapping up of Ben’s story by comparing it to Brent’s was very well done.  In the end the book gave the reader closure in an elegant manner.

All in all I would recommend this book.  It is not your typical love story, but the elements are there and these guys are an adorable couple who deal with the challenges of their lives quite well.

Review: Hanging by the Moment by H.B. Pattskyn

Hanging by the Moment by H.B. Pattskyn
Title: Hanging by the Moment
Author: H.B. Pattskyn
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Pasha Batalov has lived his whole life doing what a good son is expected to do. He dropped out of school to help run the failing family restaurant, and ever since he’s put up with his difficult business partner, who also happens to be his father. And, of course, he keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his conservative Russian family. After being closeted costs him his first serious relationship, Pasha resigns himself to one-night stands and loneliness.

But after a chance encounter with lost delivery truck driver, Daniel Englewood, Pasha starts to question all of his assumptions about life. Daniel is sweet, funny, smart, drop-dead gorgeous—and for the last six years, he’s been living with HIV. Pasha worries that he won’t be strong enough to help Daniel if HIV turns to AIDS, but he can’t walk away from their deepening attraction. He also doesn’t know if he can be strong enough to face the hardest task that a relationship with Daniel demands: coming out to his family and friends, and risking losing everything else he holds dear.

Review:

This is my first time reading anything for this author and I definitely will be looking to read more from her. I was a bit apprehensive about reading Hanging by the Moment, I knew the subject matter was going to be a tough one but H.B. Pattskyn did such a beautiful job handling it, I’m in awwe.  This book is about finding love but when you find it it’s not being exactly what you planned on. Learning that the man you think is ‘the one” has HIV is confusing and so scary that you wonder if you should run for the hills but come to realize that no matter what you want to be there for that person.

Pasha is a twenty-five year old that you will want to wrap your arms around when you read how sad his life seems to be. He works with his father in the family diner but things are not easy for Pasha, you see his father is Russian and comes from the old school of raising your children, the one where they are always right and the kids are expected to do what they say no questions asked and definitely no talking back. My heart broke for Pasha after his mother has to be put into a home and his older brother leaves to attend college he realizes someone has to stay with his father to help keep their family business alive so he drops out of school. He has a younger sister whose life is such a mess all the responsibility lands on Pasha to keep things going.

Daniel is a truck driver that stops one day at the diner when he becomes lost and meets Pasha. The flirting between these two was so sweet it put a smile on my face and I knew these two just had to get together. Unfortunately their relationship isn’t a smooth one, Daniel has HIV and these two wonderful men must find a way to make it work.

I loved this story, it was so well written and Daniel and Pasha were so endearing you can’t help but fall in love with them and rooting for an HEA. Of course there are characters you’ll want to hate, some you’ll want to shake and some you’ll want to slap but there will be some you just love and surprisingly one character that you’ll probably not like most of the way through the book ends up being an amazing person. All these characters make this a story what it is, a story about family and friends, true family and friends the ones that stand behind you and love you for who you are no matter what.

I highly recommend this story even to those who can’t read about HIV and AIDS in the end this story will warm your heart.

Review: Sins of Another by Jessica Skye Davies

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Title: Sins of Another
Author: Jessica Skye Davies
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

One morning Padrig Kennedy comes home to find his partner, Nick Glenfielding, in bed with another man. Shocked, hurt, and vulnerable, Padrig flees and meets a stranger who seems to offer comfort—but he force-feeds Padrig a steady diet of drugs and prostitution instead. When he finally surfaces from his hell, it’s to another system shock: he’s now HIV positive.

Nick descends into darkness as well. Devastated by losing Padrig, he finds no consolation in the legal career he doesn’t love and tries to find solace in alcohol, spending his days in an ever-deepening haze.

Padrig and Nick find each other again, but their relationship can never be the same. If they’re to stand any chance of a future together, they must do the improbable: make sense of the past and learn to cope with new burdens they’ll bear for life.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Review:

When I finished the book, I went speechless and had to do something else before starting with the review. It was another wonderful hurt-comfort with a bittersweet ending book I’ve read. Anything that had to do with HIV was always hard. I was glad I had myself being prepared after knowing it was a book in Dreamspinner Press’s bittersweet category.

As I read the opening, I was already shedding some tears, but managed to keep a control of myself otherwise I wouldn’t be able to read if the text were blurry. Seeing what Pad had gone through was probably the hardest journey I’d followed throughout the book. The author made the book as realistic as possible. It could have happened to anyone, too. How he got the HIV was horrible. No one deserved to received that way either. It was told in first person of view, which made it all the more real when I read whatever was coming out of Pad’s head.

I heart Marcus a lot. He was a brave soul and knew how to stay strong for as many people as possible. He was a perfect person for Freddie. Hell, all characters Pad met after recovered were awesome. The author didn’t left out details for any of characters either. The ending, it was hard to read but I already knew it would happen at some point.

The writing style was easy for me to read at a quick pace. I couldn’t stop even how hurtful it would take for me to read. I didn’t have any hard time to understand some words that were said in England. There was one detail that shocked me because I never knew there would be type of restriction to people that have HIV positive. I couldn’t imagined how poz people felt back then. It was scary that was for sure.

I definitely highly recommended to people that could handle a bittersweet ending because it was truly a wonderful read. At least, it was for me.