Bittersweet Victories Review
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Martin Lopez left San Diego and came to Aurora, Texas looking for a new start. No one knows him thereóand they donít know anything about him. Thatís good, because Martin is a recovering drug addict who spent some time in jail for embezzlementóand heís HIV positive. Heís ready to pick up the pieces of his life and move on.

Andy Richardson knows everything about Martin, but he hired him to work as a counselor at the Second Horizon clinic anyway. There, Martin meets the receptionist, Angelina Davis, and she turns his world upside-down.

Angelina and Martin start an unlikely romance. Martin is convinced that it can never work because of his condition, but Angelina isnít one to give up. She faces the challenge with brains and determination. Sheís convinced that no matter what led Martin to this place in his life, he deserves happiness along with everyone else. Together, they accomplish the impossible with a whole lot of love and faith.

Bittersweet Victories is the first romance Iíve read about a HIV-positive hero, and I found it to be touching and inspiring. Ms. Smith brings a wealth of information to this fictional tale while, at the same time, keeping me hooked on the drama that played out between Angelina and Martin.

I especially liked that Martin didnít contract HIV by innocent meansóhis lifestyle caused it. He didnít feel sorry for himself, and I didnít feel sorry for him, either, which makes the story more realistic and satisfying.

This is an excellent first novel for newcomer Rachel Smith. I applaud her moxie in tackling the often misunderstood subject matter of dealing with AIDSóand she managed to wrap a wonderful romance around it. I wanted things to work out for Angelina and Martin, even though his life could be cut short, bringing Angelina future heartache.

Extraordinary and profound, Bittersweet Victories will leave you feeling as if nothing is impossible, not if you really want it and are willing to sacrifice and work hard to gain it. Even if youíre a little bit squeamish about the HIV/AIDS subject matter, I urge you to pick up a copy of Bittersweet Victories. I believe youíll be glad you did.

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