Here & Now by Lisa Marie Davis

Title: Here & Now
Author: Lisa Marie Davis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

A guest review by Lily

Summary Review:  A touching story about a young man who was able to turn his life around after being on the streets for years. HIV positive for a few years now he meets a man who works his way into his heart and shows him that despite his status he can have a loving relationship and a happy future.

BLURB

Jaxon Hawke is content with his solitary life, successfully staying sober and coping with being HIV positive. He operates his own business with his best friend, Donna, and spends his free time volunteering at a local homeless shelter. But his carefully crafted routine is shaken when he meets Cyrus Carson, and Jaxon isn’t sure he can adjust. Life is about risk—Jaxon knows better than most—but if he doesn’t overcome his fears, he’ll lose the man he has come to love.

REVIEW

Jaxon Hawke is a young man who’s gone through a lot in his life. He was abandoned at an early age by his mother and left in the care of his abusive father who threw him out of the house at the age of sixteen. Living on the streets with no one to help him Jaxon ends up selling his body and drinking to mask the pain. He finally sobers up and gets off the streets only to be told eighteen months later that he is HIV positive.

He is lucky though and with the help and support of his AA sponsor and friend, Donna, he takes charge of his life and decides to make the most of it. Going to school and working hard he eventually becomes co-owner of a bakery with Donna and now leads a quiet, happy yet lonely life. That is until he meets businessman Cyrus Carson. Although Jaxon has always believed that a relationship wouldn’t work because of his status Cyrus is determined to change his mind. Slowly the two men explore a friendship that leads to more and Jaxon finally realizes that he can have a loving relationship. But by the time he figures out that the risk of letting someone in is worth it, it may be too late.

Aside from Donna there is one other secondary character that is important in this story and that is Amanda, a sixteen year old girl that at six months pregnant is thrown out of her home. Coming into the shelter at which Jaxon helps out she serves as a catalyst for him to see Cyrus as something more than just a rich man trying to get him into bed. As he sees Cyrus interact with Amanda and do everything at his disposal to help her Jaxon begins to see the real man behind the public image.

Jaxon and Cyrus are likable characters and the development of their relationship as they go from friends to lovers was well written. The issue of Jaxon’s HIV and how it could affect their lives was handled well as Jaxon makes every effort to be as informed as possible and finally shares his concerns with Cyrus.

Overall this nicely written story is sweet although it does have some angst-filled moments. It’s an easy read with an ending that is perhaps too perfect but is satisfying nevertheless. The subject matter of living with HIV is one that is not often found in M/M romance books and I felt it was well presented in this story.

5 comments

  • Only two books comes to mind from my own collection with an HIV positive main character: Willa Okati’s Enough to Let You Go, and Tulsa Brown’s Achilles Other Heel.

    I’ll have to check out Rick Reed’s.

  • Lily
    I’m glad that you liked the story, despite some reservations.

    As you mentioned, HIV+ stories are not often the topic of M/M romances. The other one that I read a few months ago was by Rick Reed called NEG UB2 which is reviewed on the site – if you have a chance you might want to pick it up.

    I’m glad that Jaxon got his HEA although it was somewhat of a fairytale ending. 🙂

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