Title: Red Runs Through (Piece Us Back Together)
Author Name & Publisher: Cate Ashwood (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 20, 2015 – 90 pgs
A Piece Us Back Together story
Carter McClintock’s life is uncomplicated. For the past five years, he’s spent so much time in hospital scrubs that one day bleeds into the next, and that’s just the way he likes it. That is, until he meets Matthew Nolan. Carter has never had a patient affect him the way Matthew does. During Matthew’s stay in the hospital, the chemistry is unmistakable, and once he is discharged, Carter asks him out.
Despite the obvious attraction between them, Matthew’s HIV status keeps him from handing Carter his heart, refusing to believe anyone could ever truly want him. When Matthew’s past comes to light, their budding relationship is threatened before it has even begun. But Carter isn’t one to give up without a fight, and he will do anything to show Matthew the lengths he will go to keep them together.
This was a sweet, romantic story. I enjoyed the tenderness and slow-blooming friendship and love between Carter and Matthew.
Even though there wasn’t a whole lot of dramatic tension, the story held my interest because I liked the characters so much. There were only a couple of things I didn’t care for. The scene with Carter’s parents felt a bit forced for the purpose of creating angst that didn’t really seem necessary. Also, Matthew seemed a bit like the “good, innocent poz guy” in contrast with his “bad/malicious” ex. Some readers might not like the educational tone in a couple of places, but I loved it—there is still huge stigma and a lot of misinformation out there, even among people who ought to know better. So I’m glad Ms. Ashwood spelled some things out directly.
I’m glad I picked this one up.