Author: Jessica Skye Davies
Reviewed by: Don
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Bittersweet
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.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly but it was a tough read emotionally. Ms Davies did an excellent job in dealing with two harsh topics, slavery and HIV. For those readers bothered by non-consensual rape, there was not too much of it but it was there out of necessity. I would not let it put me off reading this book because the story is more about Padrig dealing with having HIV. Told in the first person from Padrig’s POV, I was impressed by the complexity of Padrig himself and his support team at Willowmeade. The characters were well developed from Jarrod to my personal favorite, Krist. They are as diverse as the day is long and all have their own individual impact on Padrig’s life and the way he choose to line with the virus. I enjoyed the way the mysterious Kazimir showed up at key times and places in the story. The plot twists and turns kept me flipping pages until I came to the beautiful but heart wrenching end. I was happy that Ms Davies brought Padrig and the love of his life, Nick back together even though the way that she did it was fairly awkward in my opinion. Being a bittersweet story, this story is not for everyone even though it is a story about love and how much we all need it in some shape or form. I spent several hours quietly alone with my thoughts after finishing this story. It touched me right where I live and while I am HIV negative, the story made me realize just how quickly that could all change. I recommend this book strongly to those readers who enjoy a bit of reality in their romance stories.