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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bittersweet Victories by Rachel Smith

Bittersweet Victories by Rachel Smith
Publisher: Awe-Struck eBooks
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Marty Lopez is living with HIV. He is also a recovering cocaine addict and has done time because of his addiction, before developing a second career as a substance abuse counselor. Over his family's opposition, he moves to Texas from California, looking for a new life in a small town.

Angie Davis is divorced. She lives with her grandparents and goes to school part time, and she really likes the new counselor at Second Horizon, the treatment center where she works.

When Angie learns that her current boyfriend has been unfaithful, Marty offers a listening ear. But friendship is all he offers, because the consequences of his past don't leave room for love in his future.

Angie, however, has other ideas. As the months go by, friendship becomes love and love becomes committment, until family, fear, and the ghosts of Marty's past combine to test Angie's faith and thrust Marty into the public eye. Suddenly their love must survive not only their own doubts, but scrutiny from an entire town.

Bittersweet Victories is not a hearts and flowers love story. Instead, it shows a love that stands against tremendous odds and grows while accepting what cannot be changed and rejoices in each day that it is given.

Martin Lopez, an HIV positive, recovering drug/alcohol addict and ex-convict, works at a rehabilitation center hoping to be of service to others. He feels he has lost his chance for a life with the love of a wife and children.

Angelina Davis, a co-worker and divorcee, finds him appealing but rather arrogant in his sureness that no woman would want him, thereby taking the choice out of the woman’s hands before she has a chance to decide for herself.

Rachel Smith writes a compelling story of family ties, unfailing friendships, medical wonders, and amazing love on so many levels – romantic, family, for humanity, and for God. She also laces the story with a type of humor that seems so real it over rides the seriousness of some of the difficult situations that arise.

The secondary characters add texture and subplots to the story. These diverse characters range from clergy to drug addict. They add a realness to the story that is close to events that actually happen in today’s world.

The appreciation for life, for daily joys, and for the privilege to serve others runs strong and true through Bittersweet Victories – a different and rewarding novel.