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.