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New Hand (Bluewater Bay #23)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  127 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
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 so
ebook, 399 pages
Published December 16th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
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*Digital arc gently provided by editors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review+


Garrett is a 42 years old grieving widow who lost his husband and decide to change to a new scenario , town and job, faraway from memories. Jesse is a 26 years old HIV-positive who understand that life not always send the best in your direction but better keep hoping for it.

In case you are wondering, it is not an angst-fest. I clarify it, because I characterize myself by fleeing from that. That is not my i
I've never read a book by L.A. Witt that I didn't like.

But this one...this one I loved!

Anyone who has lost a loved one and lived through the grief, the anguish and the pain will feel Garrett.

Everyone will wish there was a Jesse in their life.

Their story was slow and poignant. Filled with kindness and caring.

Perfectly beautiful.

Review ARC graciously provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
New Hand is LA Witt's last book in the Bluewater Bay series. All of the Bluewater Bay books can be read as standalone, so if you're new to the series, don't be daunted by the fact that New Hand is book 23. I haven't read them all, either. You will see some character crossover, but it is minimal, for the most part and very well explained.

Jesse Connelly is young and lives life out-loud. He's never even seen the inside of a closet, as far as his sexuality goes and he's strong enough to deal with w
L.A. Witt
Sep 18, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
December 18, 2017.
Joyfully Jay
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kenna
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The characters, including the background characters, were extremely likable, the pace was never off, and I found the situations to be realistic and very possible. L.A. Witt has always written interesting stories with multiple levels that blend together perfectly, so I anticipated New Hand would meet my expectations and then some. I wasn’t wrong.

Garrett and Jesse had such chemistry! It was like they were made for each other. Even though Ga
Barb ~rede-2-read~
**3.5 stars**

A copy of the ARC was provided through NetGalley.

I avidly looked forward to grabbing this book as I’ve been a fan of the series from day one. Since this author penned the first in the series and I knew this would be the last of Bluewater Bay, I had high hopes of an outstanding story, sort of an e-book “wrap party,” so to speak.

Unfortunately, though it was good, neither of the two MCs worked on the Wolf’s Landing TV production, and to be honest, I never could figure out why the book
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, mm
This story was a journey. It wasn't incredibly angst-y but the characters both go through so much soul searching and emotional upheaval that going along for the ride with them was intense.

The first mc, Garrett, has lost his husband to a long and drawn out illness just a year prior to meeting the second mc, Jesse. Jesse is working through his own insecurities living HIV+.

There was so much information in the story about how people can live with this diagnosis today and I was glad to see how he do
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alphabookclub
4.5/5 for New Hand - L.A. Witt is an insta-read for me, so I knew I was going to love this book. This is my first book from the Bluewater Bay series (I believe) and I'm already sold. I need the rest of them. Not only were these two characters amazing, but the supporting characters were also a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to getting lost in the rest of this series.

My favorite of the pair was Jesse. No matter how much they hit it off and fit together in all the right ways, his HIV status alw
Nicole Field
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
NetGalley Review

I wish to immediately go out and read everything written by L. A. Witt, and certainly everything written by this author within the Bluewater Bay series.

I absolutely loved my introduction to Bluewater Bay that I found with Anna Zabo's Outside the Lines, and this book thrilled me not just because we got to see Simon, Lydia and Ian again.

Jesse, however, does work in the same comic book store with them. He's just off work and at the nearby bar when he meets Garrett for the first time.

Garrett is
Julie   (*Happily Ever Chapter*)
L.A. Witt is one of my "auto-buy/auto-request" authors. Any time I see a new book, I have to have it. They can be hit or miss for me sometimes, but I am still addicted.

Garrett is a bartender who has recently relocated to Bluewater Bay after the death of his husband. He needed a change, and his best friend lives there so he figured it was the best place as any to get a fresh start. What he didn't bargain on was a cute kid named Jesse spiking his interest when he walks into the bar that he works a
Chris, the Dalek King
Neither Jesse Connelly or Garrett Blaine are doing all that great. Not terrible, but neither one is feeling much love from the universe either. Garrett is still reeling from losing his husband not even a year ago, and Jesse is dealing with what seems like a pointless struggle to get guys to stick around past the “I have HIV” talk. When Jesse is stood-up at the bar Garrett works in, they get to talking, and surprise themselves with how quickly they seem to mesh. But Jesse–having being burned yet ...more
WycEd Reader
Check out our New Hand post on Wicked Reads.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Angela – ☆☆☆☆☆
I decided to read New Hand for the very reason I probably shouldn’t have – Jesse’s HIV status. You see, my best friend and partner of nearly a decade was HIV+, and while we weren’t romantically involved, I saw the struggles he dealt with when disclosing his status to others. So I already had a vested interest in Jesse before opening the book and knew this was going to be a particularly personal r
Jeannie Zelos
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
New Hand, L.A. Witt

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: LBGTQIA, Romance

I've loved the Bluewater books I've read, love LA Witt's writing style and expected to love this read. Sadly it was a decent read, but not a great one for me.

I really didn't feel the “pull” between Garrett and Jesse, and I needed that. I didn't even feel lust in particular, they felt to me more like just two very good friends.
Garrett's friend Scott puts it well when they are talking about whether its too soon after
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 boo
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Personally, I think New Hand is a solid book. I found myself being thoroughly invested in both Jesse and Garrett to reach their happiness.

Garrett lost his husband a year ago after battling cancer for 18 months. He moves to Bluewater Bay for a fresh start. Then Jesse catches his eye -- a younger, flamboyant guy, who in one way or another reminds people in Garrett's life of his husband.

I think that a romance with grieving widower (or widow, if it's an MF romance) is tricky. It always comes down
Danielle Gypsy Soul
I'm a fan of L.A. Witt but this wasn't one of my favorite books. I never really felt the connection between Garrett and Jesse. I think Garrett still had so much grieving to do and I didn't feel like he was in a place to move on so I never really believed the love between the two of them. Another issue was that there was a lot of information "dumped" into the book about the game Jessie played, HIV and the grief process. I liked both Garrett and Jesse a lot but they seemed more like two friends th ...more
For me, this is not one of LAW's best books. The blurb sounds great and I do enjoy the whole May/December trope and if written well, one of those characters being a widower adds more interest. After reading the book, I didn't feel that the death of Garrett's husband was all that huge a part or that big of a deal in this story as I was expecting.

Garrett can no longer bear to live in the house he and his husband shared. He needs a fresh start, so he quits his job, packs his things and moves. Since
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

This is the last Bluewater Bay book and I really wanted to love it. But this is a heavy, difficult read and somewhere between the grief, the angst and the miscommunications, my attention wandered.

I loved Jesse in the previous book and I enjoyed him here. His back story and his struggles as an HIV positive man are difficult but I loved the fun he has with his work and the relationships he has with his geeky friends.

I’m still no
Jan 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hoopla
DNF @ 50% Everything up to the first sexual encounter was good and it almost felt like a short story that could have ended there. Maybe I'm missing some conflict yet to come but I'm so bored with the 'getting to know you' phase of Jesse and Garrett's relationship that I'm throwing in the towel on this read.
This was going to be 3 stars but it quickly derailed for me after 60% and I just started skimming til the end :-/!!
Sandra (Waiting For Wentworth)
Emotional story, and I managed to keep my shit together until the last 2 sentences of the Epilogue. 9 words undid me. Seriously.
Avid Reader
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
New Hand (Bluewater Bay #23) by L.A. Witt
3.5 stars
M/M Romance
Triggers: Death, HIV status
I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.

Garrett is mourning the loss of his husband. He is wrapped in the pain of surviving, watching someone he loves die and having to deal with the aftermath. He choses to pick up and start over near friends - away from the pain of his husband's death. He has found a happy place and despite not having the accounting job anymore, he loves being a bartender
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Overall a nice read, but the longer the story was the more it moved in circles.

Veronica of V's Reads
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 ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was actually a really good, but emotional at times, read. I loved the way Jesse and Garrett came together and supported one another, despite all that they were dealing with on their own.

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.

Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
Reviewed for Rainbow Gold Reviews. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Every time I read a book by L.A. Witt, I am always in awe. I feel like she presents so many different types of stories and she never shies away from tackling any situation that LGBT people face in real life. She has written trans, lesbian, gay, asexual, bisexual, closeted, masculine, and femme characters. She has written steamy stories as well as romantic stories with no sex on page. In this story she has cr
Christi Snow
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My Review:
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. Witt wrote the final since she's written so many of the books in the series.

So, this book...such a heartbreaking story. There's a lot of angst to this one. Garrett's husband died less than a year ago after a year and a half of being ill. Garrett doesn't think he will ever have anything like that again, but then he meets Jesse and things start to chang
Mari Cardenas ~ Bayou Book Junkie
4.5 Stars!

After Jesse is stood up by his date, after disclosing his HIV status, he meets widower bartender Garrett, who recently moved to Bluewater Bay. The two of them hit it off despite their age difference and start dating, however, after Charlie's reaction, Jesse is wary of telling Garrett that he's positive and Garrett is having trouble dealing with his grief and deciding if what he feels for Jesse is real or if he's just a stand-in for the man he lost.

I loved Jesse and I wanted to kill Ch
Sarah Meerkat
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5/4 Stars

I received a copy of this from Net Galley in exchange for a review.

I will be very up front and say that Lydia saved the last 15% of the book for me. Otherwise I might not have been as happy with this book.

The first 60-70% off this book is very much cute romantic wandering fluff as the romance developed between Garrett and Jesse. I loved it, it was dramaless candy that I needed. Jesse's HIV wasnt a huge issue, neither was the age gap, it was great. I loved it, loved them talking and wo
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit, I was more than a little sad when I found out that New Hand would be the very last book in the Bluewater Bay series. Even so, I'm happy to say that it ended on a high note and it was rather appropriate that L.A. Witt wrote both the first and last book in the series (plus a few in between.) I really like these multi-author series. They not only introduce me to authors that I may not have otherwise known about, but they also give perspectives on a whole spectrum of ideas, situatio ...more
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L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies.

She also has substantially more ti
More about L.A. Witt

Other books in the series

Bluewater Bay (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Starstruck (Bluewater Bay, #1)
  • There's Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay, #2)
  • Hell on Wheels (Bluewater Bay #3)
  • Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay #4)
  • The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5)
  • Lights, Camera, Cupid: A Bluewater Bay Valentine's Collection (Bluewater Bay #6)
  • Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay, #7)
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  • When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay, #9)
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