Touchable Love – Novel by Becky Due

Christy has dreams of becoming a successful photographer, but she has lived fast and wild, and fears she has contracted HIV. In an attempt to get her life back on track, she answers an ad to photograph Paul, a successful, gay photographer who is dying of AIDS. He wants her to photograph his journey to death for a book to help others avoid his mistakes and encourage them to get tested.

And so begins the untraditional love story of Christy and Paul. Experiencing real love for the first time in her life, she secretly fights to keep him alive against his unflinching decision to refuse treatment for his condition. As Paul’s health deteriorates, Brian, Paul’s nurse, enters their lives—and falls in love with Christy.

As he lies dying, Paul tries to encourage Christy to give Brian and love a chance. So Christy confides in Paul about her reckless past and her fears that she, too, has contracted HIV. He wants her to get tested, but she’s too afraid. She wants to love Brian. She wants to live. But after seeing what Paul has gone through, she is terrified of what the test might show.

After Paul dies, Christy becomes deeply depressed and isolates herself from everyone, including Brian. The months pass until one day she sees Paul’s publisher and lawyer on TV promoting Paul’s book. She realizes that she wants to make a difference—she wants to finish what Paul and she started.

So Christy begins the work of taking her life back. She reconnects with Brian and finally tells him that she had lived recklessly before she met Paul and that she might have HIV. This revelation doesn’t affect his love for her; he just wants her to get tested. But, like Paul, he fails. It’s not until Christy connects with other women and finds support through a woman’s nurturing perspective that she finally has the courage to get tested and begin her new life.

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