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1) This was a really interesting tale. I'm very grateful to read this story.

2) I didn't really enjoy this book, I loved it! Scardust really sucked me into the small town, vast desert landscape and left me to negotiate the convoluted twists and turns of the plot by following the carefully laid clues to that wonderful OMG! moment, delightfully discovered before being laid out by the author because this is a book has has you thinking about it even when not reading it. Superb, intelligent writing and a character arc that wrenches the heart strings at times but leads to a HEA. One of the best I've read in a long time. Bravo author, bravo!

Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (February 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1682810690
ISBN-13: 978-1682810699
Amazon: Scardust
Amazon Kindle: Scardust

Dead Rock, Texas, 2037 Raleigh Williams made a promise to his brother before he died, that he'd scatter his ashes on Mars. Desperate to leave a life of bad memories behind and start over in the Martian colony, Raleigh fully intends to keep that promise. But his plans are thwarted when a meteor near-misses him in the desert, and Raleigh finds in its crater not debris or even a spacecraft, but a man covered in swirling scars and with no memory of who he is. At least he looks like a man-a man Raleigh can't seem to keep his eyes off of-but whenever they touch it ignites a memory swap between them. Raleigh agrees to help Meteor Man piece together his life through their cosmic connection. But the memory share goes both ways, and Raleigh becomes inexplicably entangled with a guy who is everything he needs-everything good that Raleigh is not-but might not even be human. As their minds and worlds collide, reality unravels and Raleigh must face a painful truth, one that could shatter his dreams of finding love, reaching Mars, and fulfilling his brother's last wish.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Excellent writing. Suki Fleet is one of the best in the genre. Enthralling tale.

2) Beautifully crafted story that brought tears to my eyes several times. The author is to be commended for drawing a portrait of hope and love for homeless youth.

3) I try hard to think a rating through when it’s very high or very low. I know a perfect ten might at times seem too much, but I just couldn’t find any fault while reading this story. It’s rare to find a book that’s so dark, realistic, and genuine that it makes you cry and shudder and be thankful for everything you’ve got, while planting and nurturing the seed of so much hope. Danny is one of the most engaging and lovable characters I ran across in a while. His search for Dashiel’s killer, his relationships with people in his life, new and old, his quirks, his rambling minds, his struggle to express himself in an environment so harsh, it made me feel cold, physically, while reading, his pure love for Micky and his worry he might be too much, too creepy, everything is so carefully thought out and written, that you can truly imagine this young person, roaming the dreary streets of East London, hunting for sharks. Micky’s character is as well developed as Danny’s, even if he’s more of a project of discovery as you read the book. The lost friend, Dashiel, although present only through Danny’s thoughts and memories, and a few random comments from other minor characters, is as well developed as those still living. Foxes paints a picture of life on the streets of London of young runaways or kids thrown out by their families, as they mingle with predators, other homeless adults, the occasional generous soul, and the thousands and thousands of people who overlook them, unless they want something from them. Foxes does not judge anyone. Not the alcoholic vet, not the creepy, crazy-acting medical professional that Danny suspects of murder, not the actual killer, or the victim. It’s the type of story that, when you’re done reading, has shown you everything in great detail, and lets you decide what you think. Danny and Micky are the most improbably couple I’ve ever read. Although I hoped that somehow they’d be alright in the end, together or apart, I truly feared it wouldn’t happen. The predators roaming the streets at night, illness, hunger, lack of proper shelter, mysterious pasts, everything was stacked against them. I cried and I hoped, and wondered why the world allows young men to live like this, in such poverty and such danger. Foxes will stay with me for a long time, and that’s the most you can ask of a book once you’re done with it. That it makes you think, that it inspires you, and touches your soul.

Foxes by Suki Fleet
Gay Young Adult
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634769201
ISBN-13: 978-1634769204
Amazon: Foxes
Amazon Kindle: Foxes

When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks―a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him―from what, he doesn't know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can't help him fight against.

To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Overall, this imaginative collection of short stories was a joy to read, hosting some wonderfully unique characters and creative plots, all of which were very well written. Three Nights was a full story for such a short tale that had me completely absorbed from start to finish. Beautifully written. Dame Fortune was entertaining and the author showed a wonderful imagination, Aelfwear was charming and entertaining, Into the Hollowed Veil was uniquely creative and emotionally evocative. I may have shed a tear or two over that one.

2) Sometimes these are hard to judge as I have to do the whole book and not just an individual story… So, in saying that I found some stories better than others but they each had something about them that appealed to the readers.

3) This anthology touches on many aspects of queer identity from bisexuality to trans identity to asexuality and beyond. It's refreshing in that respect and more so in its inclusion of fantasy and fairy tales from sources outside just European culture. There's a touch of science fantasy too, a little something for everyone, and I don't mean that in the very limited and privileged context in which it's usually used. Well written and edited with just a few minor errors, this is an anthology worth exploring.

Enchanted Soles by Sasha L. Miller
Bisexual Anthology / Collection / Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (June 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620047969
ISBN-13: 978-1620047965
Amazon: Enchanted Soles
Amazon Kindle: Enchanted Soles

Sometimes all it takes is the right pair of shoes... In Three Nights (A.D. Truax), Synder buys a pair of sandals that have a mind and plan of their own, and drag him to a celebration to which he was not invited—and into the arms of a handsome prince. Saidah of Dame Fortune (C. Finley) asks her beautiful new wishing boots to take her to her true love, but the simple question has a complicated answer that will take more than magic boots to find. Heart, Lace, and Soul (Archer Kay Leah) brings together Elly, who seldom removes the psychic boots that let her read and feel the minds of other people in order to help them, and a man her boots cannot read. In Aelfwear (Katey Hawthorne), Frida is hired to make hideous shoes for a beautiful woman who claims she's out to cause misery for a man who once betrayed Frida's family—but Frida fears she'll wind up being played for a fool a second time. And Into the Hollowed Veil (A.M. Valenza) is the story of a man who puts on a pair of beautiful red shoes and finds himself in a strange forest helping a beautiful woman rescue the man she loves...

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) I know 40 is the highest score but this is the only book I've read out of all the years reading for the Rainbow Awards that I thought was perfect. Well written, entertaining, thought provoking, challenging....the whole thing was just really well done.

2) This story has a complex realistic plot with a good balance of challenges for each of the two characters. It also offers a vivid hot, humid Florida setting though I would have liked more of a sense of which city/town was featured and a sense of its location and size. I liked the three-dimensional characters, especially Dunkin's Jewish background, his complicated mental issues, and his conflicted urges to ingratiate himself with the popular crowd versus being an outcast with Lily. This absorbing story is told in a smooth, professional writing style with deft handling of a tricky narrative centering on alternating first-person viewpoints.

3) Funny and insightful, peopled with two very engaging main characters, reading this well-written novel was a delight.

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
Transgender Young Adult
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
Lexile Measure: 0680
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (May 3, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553536745
ISBN-13: 978-0553536744
Amazon: Lily and Dunkin
Amazon Kindle: Lily and Dunkin

For readers who enjoyed Wonder and Counting by 7's, award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder. Their powerful story will shred your heart, then stitch it back together with kindness, humor, bravery, and love.

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

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1) Once again, this author has impressed me. Each character, including secondaries, were well rounded and felt real. The story moved quick, but not insta-love, and the suspense portion delivered perfectly. You could imagine yourself in the corridors of this hospital, watching the drama unfold.

2) Written from the first person point of view, it was a delightful and heartwarming book, I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This book really grabs a reader and personally I could not put this book down until I finished reading it. The plot is well thought of, the characters jump out of the page and grab you. I recommend it highly!

3) I've not read a hospital drama for ages and what a rollercoaster ride this book was. Although, on occasion, it seemed as though the 2 MCs were going to drown in plot overload, this book had me engaged from start to finish. I loved the supporting cast of Ian's family and how they interacted with him, and David's stalwart friend, Caroline. Written in first person, David's voice is engaging, warm and, at times, humorous. I've not read anything by this author before but will be doing so in the future.

The Edge of Control by Lou Kelly
Gay Romantic Suspence
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 153362660X
ISBN-13: 978-1533626608
Amazon: The Edge of Control
Amazon Kinlde: The Edge of Control

When passion pushes David Carlson into dangerous territory will he walk the razor’s edge between life and death in order to be with the man he loves? As the youngest Chief of Medicine at Southside General Hospital, David Carlson has no business lusting after the most hostile nurse on the ER staff. A professional, hard-working, over-achiever, he’s finally realized his life-long dream of promotion, and the last thing he needs now are complications. But he can’t help being intrigued by the enigmatic Ian James. Not only is Ian flat-out gorgeous, he’s also mysterious. And he awakens in David a passion that he hasn’t felt since … well, ever. Unfortunately, Ian James is a man with a dangerous past and an even more dangerous present, and loving him will come at a cost. Can David trust him? Is he willing to put his entire career on the line to protect a man who might be playing him? Is Ian capable of loving and trusting him back? Discovering the truth will take David into the heart of blackmail, corruption, and scandal. Straight to the edge of control.

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Overall a pretty good read. Loved the setting and character a lot. The story itself seemed drag a bit towards the end and the ending was rather abrupt in my opinion. I would have liked to see Brianna have to work a bit harder to get the girl.

Slow Burn in Tuscany by Giselle Fox
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: July 14, 2016
Amazon Kindle: Slow Burn in Tuscany

What do you do when your worst enemy turns out to be the one woman you can't resist?

Single mom Brianna Valente has hated Madison Blake since the night they graduated high school. So when the rich, beautiful Madison signs up for the same tour of Italy that Bree is taking with her BFF, it’s almost enough to ruin the trip before they start.

As if that’s not bad enough, a nosy, loud-mouthed journalist starts poking into the tourists’ private lives -- and turns Bree’s upside down. Suddenly, everything she thought she knew is wrong … and the woman she was sure she hated is hotter than the Tuscan sun and firing all Bree’s fantasies.

The tour becomes a journey of unexpected discoveries, full of sweet seduction and vivid emotion … until Bree realizes that she stands in the way of Madison’s deepest desire. Will Bree sacrifice her first-ever chance at real romance for the sake of Madison’s dream? And if she does, can love find a way to bring them together again?

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What an intriguing story about coywolves. I liked the characters in this book. The author does a good job of placing you, the reader, in the setting. The book has a great combination of action, and romance.

Destined Prey (Wild Ones #1) by Bailey Bradford
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: Wild Ones
Paperback: 146 pages
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press (December 18, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523338377
ISBN-13: 978-1523338375
Amazon: Destined Prey (Wild Ones #1)
Amazon Kindle: Destined Prey (Wild Ones #1)

All Jack Tucker wanted was to come home for a little while and try to figure out where his life had gone wrong. Moving from Wyoming to New York hadn’t turned out the way he’d thought it would, and a bad breakup leaves him bruised in more than just the emotional sense. He doesn’t expect to be glad he’s back on the Double T Ranch with his brother, Rhett, and he sure doesn’t expect to find the place crawling with coywolves, wolves, and coyotes. There seems to be some kind of animal-warfare going on, and he and Rhett are caught in the middle of it. Coywolves—the hybrid of wolves and coyotes, hated by both, and more predatory than either. Add in the fact that all the battling species are shifters, and there’s bound to be trouble. Ben Akers is part of his brother’s pack. The only coywolf shifters in existence, they find themselves under constant attack from wolf and coyote packs determined to make the Akers pack extinct. But coywolves don’t die out so easy, and when Ben’s life takes a surprising turn in the form of one sexy human named Jack Tucker, they’re both in for surprises, danger, and, if Destiny rules, an abiding love that most people—and shifters—only dream of.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) A story of a God who, humbled by life and his decisions, does not feel worthy of being the God he feels his people, and his lover, a dragon, deserve. This was a fascinating take on how a god is created, and how very human he actually is. We can see Iskandar, the leader of his people after the fall of a restrictive religious regime, and his four counsel members rebuilding a city and a society. The angst and the despair of Iskandar does not drag the story down; though at times I wanted to shake the character to see his worth rather than his flaws. The secondary story, the glossary, is written as if it was centuries later, but a university scribe. Some of the humor fell flat, as the asides were a bit confusing as to who wrote it, the scribe or his patron, the Dragon Adrian. This glossary gave a bit more depth into areas that that story could not; and gave little information where the story was a bit more robust in the characters. The seemed to be fun for the author to write, though it was superfluous and really was not needed. Overall, the story kept my attention and it was an enjoyable read.

2) Wow. I fell in love with this book right from the beginning. The world building was detailed, with a rich complex history and the settings were very easy to visualise. The characters are interesting, realistic and struggle with the decisions they’ve made and have still yet to make. I particularly loved Hal the dragon, and the fact that his hoard wasn’t the usual gold and treasure but the people he takes into his heart and protects. There are a few twists in the plot, and not all the main characters survive the story unscathed but that makes it all the more realistic. Although I haven’t read book 1, I didn’t have any problems picking up the series part way in, but now I need to go find that first book. Hoping the author has another planned, and that hint I picked up on that there is another story to be told wasn’t just wishful thinking on my part.

Resistance (Reawakening #2) by Amy Rae Durreson
Gay Fantasy
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications (December 29, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634761677
ISBN-13: 978-1634761673
Amazon: Resistance (Reawakening #2)
Amazon Kindle: Resistance (Reawakening #2)

Reawakening: Book Two

Overthrowing the Shadow that ruled Tiallat was only the first step. For rebel leader Iskandir, rebuilding his shattered country is an even greater challenge. A poor harvest, religious conflict, and years of tyrannical governance combine with the challenge of getting the soldiers of the Shadow’s army home and rehousing the exiled who are flooding back into free Tiallat.

Then people begin to get sick.

A thousand years ago, after the Shadow’s first defeat, a blight fell upon the north: a disease that killed more than the war itself. Now, as this plague returns, Iskandir must look north again to the newly awakened dragon Halsarr, a learned doctor and professor who wants no part in a new war. Even if Halsarr agrees to come to their aid, Iskandir is afraid of the truth he will expose. For the dragon Halsarr once loved a bold and reckless steppes elemental who later transformed into the lonely and powerful Dual God of Tiallat, the two-faced Lord who has been missing since the Shadow entered the country.

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A poignant collection of well-told, intertwining stories showing the many faces and varieties of love. Absolutely delightful.

Women of the Year by Karen Richard
Lesbian Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (March 18, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943837341
ISBN-13: 978-1943837342
Amazon: Women of the Year
Amazon Kindle: Women of the Year

In each month of 2015, Karen Richard wrote a story that focuses on an event during that month that impacts the life of an ordinary woman in an extraordinary way. Follow the months as a woman helps a young woman into an abortion clinic, tells of her first kiss, finds a stray puppy, deals with the aftermath of a hate crime, follows a dead body action plan, selects the perfect companion, helps give the last wish of a dying Vietnam War veteran. Women of the Year deftly weaves together humor and poignant observation with pointed social and political commentary through the lives of ordinary women just trying to make sense of the world they live in.

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I enjoyed this story. From the first that the main character, Kyle, a misunderstood newly minted eighteen year old, is shipped off his home planet after an altercation, this started out as a 'poor me' story. After landing on a remote planet, Kyle's sense of innocence and wonder become his undoing for his new job. From there, it begins to spiral out of control, and Kyle learns as we do, real time, what is going on. I experienced the wonder and the action through Kyle's eyes, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride through to the end. It's not a long read; or so it seemed as the pages flew by. The ending is open for a continuation, and certainly hope one is written as well as this tome.

Tantalus by Albert Nothlit
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (April 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620047632
ISBN-13: 978-1620047637
Amazon: Tantalus
Amazon Kindle: Tantalus

In the aftermath of a nasty fight after being jumped by four youths, faced with a mother desperate to get rid of the son she's ashamed of, Kyle is forced to leave home to take up an apprenticeship he doesn't want and can't wait to be finished with. On another planet. Upon arrival, though, a nasty surprise awaits. The position he was hired for no longer exists and he's going to be left standing around until Dr. O'Brien, the man he was to work for, can find him a new job. Following a strange compulsion, Kyle leaves the compound, only to nearly get himself killed out in the alien atmosphere. Kyle is told he's too reckless to stay and fit only for the mining colonies, where he'll be little more than a slave. Distraught but helpless, Kyle counts down the days until his departure. He's distracted from his misery, however, by the same compulsion that first drove him from the compound, a presence in his mind that seems to be coming from the local lifeform being kept in Dr. O'Brien's lab...

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A lovely writing style, and each story was full of unique, engaging characters. I was drawn in right away and had a hard time putting it down!

The Washing of Brains by Johnny Townsend
Gay Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: (August 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634915828
ISBN-13: 978-1634915823
Amazon: The Washing of Brains

A world-weary man becomes a widower for the third time. A budding feminist tries to make a political statement by giving birth to her "illegitimate" son in church just before Mother's Day. Missionaries in Rome try to prevent a terrorist bombing. The Prophet devises a plan to reverse global warming. A Salt Lake bishop is overwhelmed by his congregants' secrets. An unhappy bartender reminisces about the affair he had with his mission president in Paris.

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1) This is simply a terrific historical romance. The prose is tight and descriptive without being distracting and the book has a very tight plot that sweeps you along in a historical setting that is very convincing. But what truly makes this book stand out are the characters. They are vivid and believable and the reader cares very deeply about what happens to the two protagonists. But more than that, both characters feel fresh and interesting. I don't feel like I've ever known two characters quite like this, especially the way they come to love each other.

2) This is a great book for those who love historicals. I really loved the characters and the passion that flows between them. The author also does a go job bringing the time period of the story alive. Fans of this author will not be disappointed.

3) Extremely well done historical with a vivid beginning and great characters separated by ideology. Thoroughly and darkly enjoyable.

4) This well-crafted love story is so much more than an enemies-to-lovers tale, although it contains many of the elements I love about that particular trope.  The author presents us with two finely developed characters, both with believable and firmly opposing convictions, who bridge that gap painfully but with care and without sacrificing the other's integrity.  I must admit that I was partial to big, gruff Silas Mason, Dom's werewolf, who comes across to the reader vividly, but the story undeniably works best in depicting the space and tension between the two men and how, in the end, the issues between them are resolved.  As a sequel, this book does suffer from the usual issue of dropping the reader in the middle of other well-established relationships.  I feel that without having read the short story and preceding novel (I have read both), it might be difficult to be as invested in the fates of our protagonists' compatriots and have downgraded slightly for this reason.  Regardless, this was one of my favorite reads this year.

A Seditious Affair (Society of Gentlemen #2) by K.J. Charles
Gay Historical Romance
Publisher: Loveswept (December 15, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: A Seditious Affair (Society of Gentlemen #2)

K. J. Charles turns up the heat in her new Society of Gentlemen novel, as two lovers face off in a sensual duel that challenges their deepest beliefs.

Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.

A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) One word that comes to mind in describing this story is 'Beautiful'. It's the sort of story that leaves you satisfied once your reach the end and a story that'll stay with me for a long, long time. The life these two men carried throughout their entire lives is the life I always wished I had. The love of, first friendship, then, the pure love they felt toward each other in a time when it was considered a crime to befriend a person of color. Fantastic writing from an author who I've always respect and admire. Ms. Labbe has never let me down. There are not many times when I give a story a perfect score. This one deserves it.

2) The writing style and the characters pulled me in. I was connected to this book and its people in a way I rarely am but always hope for. Hal and Caleb came alive for me and I was emotionally invested in their well being. They had fascinating lives and interesting challenges facing them. I loved that some obstacles had to be overcome alone before they could deal with the other ones together.

3) A lovely, realistic, retrospective exploration of the relationship between two gay men. Caleb and Hal met as kids in the 1960s, and took a long time to figure out that they were each the answer to the other's searches. Now settled into old age, with foster kids and grandchildren and family around them, the men look back at the years and events that affected them, built them up, pushed them apart, and finally brought them together. We see the early days in Charleston, when the black kid in a newly-desegregated white school, and the white Northern kid who dared to name Sherman as a Civil War hero to a Southern teacher, are bonded as outsiders. We see the impacts of civil rights and gay rights and the Vietnam war on their lives and families. The men circle each other, best friends, yearning for something else but unable to quite make it happen. Caleb has a loving, but not gay-tolerant, family and Hal an abusive bigoted father. Events push them their separate ways, but they reconnect, again and again, until love wins. The most potentially dark and angsty moments are not the ones dwelled upon, and the result is a warm, smoothly-flowing story of life and love through half a century of time.

Other Side of the Line by Marguerite Labbe
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 18, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634765842
ISBN-13: 978-1634765848
Amazon: Other Side of the Line
Amazon Kindle: Other Side of the Line

Caleb Hudson and Hal Zimmer became best friends the day they stood up against the schoolyard bully together. Life’s complicated enough with their friendship crossing racial lines in 1960s Charleston, South Carolina, but as time passes, they realize it’s more than their friendship that sets them apart from other kids. At first, Caleb denies his feelings for Hal could be more than companionship. He supports his friend when Hal admits he’s gay, but Caleb isn’t ready to face his own truth.

Hal becomes a staunch antiwar protester, and the divide between them widens after Caleb is drafted. But when Caleb returns from Vietnam, the time for denial is over. His homecoming sets off a series of events that force Caleb and Hal to confront their desires and what lines they’re willing to cross to get what they truly want out of life.

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I cannot say enough good things about this book. It sucked me in, held me tight and didn’t let go, like the best of lovers. Tristan is an amazing character, so bright and hopeful even in the midst of his despair about his memory. And Gabe is the warm and loving protector who doesn’t care about Tristan’s disability, only who Tristan is. The book is an amazing journey into the life of someone with a memory disability and how such a person can find love. It is the best book I’ve read this year.

The World As He Sees It (Perspectives) by A.M. Arthur
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (October 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619231964
ISBN-13: 978-1619231962
Amazon: The World As He Sees It (Perspectives)
Amazon Kindle: The World As He Sees It (Perspectives)

Love knows no limits...but fear could keep them from seeing it. Perspectives, Book 2 Gabe lives a double life. As Gabriel Henson, he works multiple jobs to support his remorseless, alcoholic mother. As Tony Ryder, he does internet porn for extra cash and regular safe sex without complications. Yet when he encounters a scared young man freaking out in a night club, he's compelled to reach out. Ever since then, the memory of that young man has haunted him. Tristan Lavelle lives his life thirty minutes at a time. After a traumatic brain injury three years ago, he gets through his day recording his life in spiral notebooks and sticky note reminders. A month after Tristan's embarrassingly public meltdown, another chance meeting with Gabe sparks a warm, emotionally fulfilling email relationship. Both men crave more, but fear of the next step stands between them. Until Tristan gets the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial that could improve his memory-if the side effects don't kill him. But for Tristan, the possibility of a real life with Gabe is worth any risk... Warning: Contains two damaged but lovable heroes, secret-keeping friends with good intentions, and an abundance of inappropriate food innuendo.

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1) What a wonderful story this was to read. I wish I'd read the first book, though, to get Will's and Beau's story as it started. William is to be married to a woman chosen by his father. In a moment of panic, he runs away with no money and modest clothes his footman has gathered for him since he didn't want to look like the rich man he was. He goes to work for a Lord who is a drunk, laudanum addict, and foul mouth. The Lord, Alex, is also injured and the servants at his home don't give a damn, thus the cuts on his legs becoming infected. Will takes care of the man, not listening when Alex yells at him to get out of his home. Eventually, Alex acknowledges Will's presence and allows him to care for him. Of course, their attraction grows deeper, stronger. Will suspects Alex is being robbed by his bookkeeper and won't give up until he finds the truth and expose those involved. Very engaging story, keeping me flipping the ePages and feeling sorry when it was over.

2) A truly engaging historical romance. I was drawn into the story from the first page. The writing flowed and the pacing was perfect. A very enjoyable read.

The Innocent Betrayal by Victoria Sue
Gay Historical
Publisher: Victoria Sue (June 20, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: The Innocent Betrayal

London 1811
Can love withstand the ultimate betrayal?
William was running. Running from his father, running from his arranged marriage, and running from himself. He’d never wanted to manage his father’s vast empire. He would have been quite happy to find some small corner of England and read and paint. He knew it would be too much to ask for the company of a man to go with that. Too dangerous. His only hope for escape is to hide who and what he is and pretend to be a servant.
Alex was barely surviving after the fight with Napoleon’s armies. Riddled with guilt, he buried the knowledge of his wife’s death, and his crippled body, at the bottom of whatever brandy bottle he could find.
Two broken souls. One so damaged he thinks he doesn’t deserve love, and one so convinced he would never find it he has stopped looking.
Danger, lies, and espionage. The fate of hundreds of English soldier’s lives depending on them to trust each other, to work together.
Alex is forced to make a choice, unable to swallow his pride and rejects Will and their chance of happiness. Will is heartbroken, and Alex is destroyed. Will Alex realize his mistake in time? Can he learn to trust Will, but more importantly himself, and would Will ever forgive him if he did? And finally, would love ever survive a betrayal – even if it is an innocent one?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Ann's books are always pretty good. As usual, the storyline was great and the scenes flowed effortlessly. I found myself engrossed in the characters and enjoyed myself immensely.

2) I enjoyed this book by Ann McMan. I had to read it 2 times through as I found a lot going on and ALOT of characters.

3) Backcast is a masterpiece of plot weaving and thematic diversity. There are colorful, relatable and three-dimensional characters, and the author has a rare and refreshingly approachable writing style that makes this book so readable. I dare anyone not to shed a tear or two at “essays” 7, 10 and 12.

Backcast by Ann McMan
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bywater Books (December 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1612940633
ISBN-13: 978-1612940632
Amazon: Backcast
Amazon Kindle: Backcast

"I love Ann McMan."—Dorothy Allison, National Book Award finalist for Bastard Out of Carolina

When sculptor and author Barb Davis is given an NEA grant to pair original feminist sculptures with searing first-person essays on transitions in women's lives, she organizes a two week writing retreat with twelve of the best, brightest, and most notorious lesbian authors in the business. But in between regularly scheduled happy hours and writing sessions, the women enter a tournament bass fishing competition, receive life coaching from a wise-cracking fish named Phoebe, and uncover a subterranean world of secrets and desires that is as varied and elusive as the fish that swim in the waters of Lake Champlain.

Set on the beautiful shores of Vermont's Lake Champlain, Backcast is richly populated with an expansive cast of endearing and outrageous characters who battle writer's block, quirky locals, personal demons, unexpected attractions, and even each other during their two-week residency. For Barb and each of her twelve writers, the stakes in this fast-moving story are high, but its emotional and romantic payoffs are slow and sweet.

Filled with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and breathtaking pathos, Backcast serves up a sometimes irreverent, sometimes sobering look at the hidden lives of women, and how they laugh, love, lose, and blunder through their own search for meaning.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Amy's voice--her characters--are always spot-on. Loved the notion of this being "Cinderella from the prince's perspective"--because Skipper is definitely a prince (although I'm not sure how Richie would feel being called a princess…)

2) This was a sweet book. I enjoyed Amy's writing style and characters. The end fell a little flat for me, but overall it was an enjoyable holiday read.

Winter Ball by Amy Lane
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623807972
ISBN-13: 978-1623807979
Amazon: Winter Ball
Amazon Kindle: Winter Ball

Through a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work―and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a postpractice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected―nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games―and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie―but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) I was absolutely charmed by the characters, and the story drew me in immediately and held me until the end.

2) A really amazing read. There was nothing here that made me think it was too much or too little or too anything else. All was perfect and I don’t use this word easily. The characters are all very well developed, so much so that at the end of the book they feel real; the story is interesting with the right amount of plot twists that keep the reader engaged but that don’t devolve in the realm of absurd even when unexpected things happens; the writing style is really really good; and the setting is one of the most interesting of all that I have read till now. What make this book even better is the way the author was able to navigate two different times of narration: it never feels like Poppy’s walks down memory lane are a rude interruption of the story, and the contemporary storyline is strong enough to become better thanks to them. Wonderful read!

Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Breezy Tree Press (June 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1534934103
ISBN-13: 978-1534934108
Amazon: Poppy Jenkins
Amazon Kindle: Poppy Jenkins

Two old friends, one hot summer, a whole load of confusion. Poppy Jenkins makes everyone smile. She’s the heart of Wells, a beautiful village in mid-Wales, leaving light and laughter in her wake. She has a doting family, an errant dog and a little sister with a nose for mischief. But she’s the only gay in the village and it’s a long time since she kissed a girl: the chance of romance in sleepy Wells is rarer than a barking sheep. If she doesn’t think too hard, life is cosy, until a smart sports car barrels into town with the last woman Poppy wants to see behind the wheel. Beautiful Rosalyn Thorn was once Poppy’s high school BFF even though she was trouble. Then one day she abandoned Wells and Poppy without explanation. Now the highflier is back and bound to cause fresh havoc in the village and with Poppy’s heart; folk are not happy. Wells needs to wake up to the 21st century and Rosalyn can help, but old prejudices die hard. If they can be friends it could be the chance to make everyone’s happy ever after. Couldn’t it?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) The premise of a furniture store which I assume is modeled after IKEA is the gateway or purgatory after you die was highly original and enjoyable. The leads try to hold onto their humanity through eating, wearing new clothes and interacting with the living when needed. In fact there were times when I forgot the two were dead, they even have jobs which is something I hope isn't true after I die. Both men had issues lingering from past relationships, as most people do and they way they were handled in a skillful way that helped them to move forward. Both authors blended seamlessly and I couldn't tell where one ended and one began.

2) This was a nice story. The plot was different from any I have read, and it was easy to follow. Something about the ending though. It never fully cleared up an important secondary character other than to share that he was aware of what was going on with the main character Patrick all along.

Some Assembly Required by Bru Baker and Lex Chase
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634768094
ISBN-13: 978-1634768092
Amazon: Some Assembly Required
Amazon Kinlde: Some Assembly Required

Everyone wishes they were dead when wandering the purgatory of a home furnishings store, but these guys actually are.

Benji Goss is the quintessential good guy. When his boyfriend dumps him and moves out, Benji obligingly keeps the cat-even though he's allergic-because his ex's new place doesn't accept pets. He's always joked the cat would be the death of him, but not in a way he expects when a feline mishap crushes him under a DEL TORO bookcase.

Snarky loner Patrick Bryant is in such a rut he barely remembers the life he used to lead. The last thing he recalls is being decapitated by a DEL TORO bookcase in a freak accident. As a spiritual CASA resident, he haunts the aisles of affordable Italian furniture, assisting fellow spirits in moving on to their final destinations.

When Benji appears in the CASA café, Patrick considers the naïve spirit just the man to cure his boredom. Benji's relentless optimism chips away at Patrick's sarcasm, making him question if there's something beyond what he can see. But the heart is like CASA furniture-there's always some assembly required.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) It can be tough to do a simple romance, without a second genre, without angst and pain, with guys who are just ordinary, appealing, interesting characters. Lane Hayes has succeeded admirably with Zeke, a driven Wall Street exec who still battles the need to prove himself to the memories of a time when his father could not approve of a gay son, and Benny, whose hard won optimism and style are the antidotes for Zeke's cold life.

2) A sweet, funny, quirky, story of Opposites Attract. Deftly told, well-paced, and sexy in all the right places. An absolute delight.

A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories #2) by Lane Hayes
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634773225
ISBN-13: 978-1634773225
Amazon: A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories #2)
Amazon Kindle: A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories #2)

A Kind of Story

Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can t let go not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he s willing to let go and forgive what he can t forget and give in to an unexpected kind of romance."

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Simply put, I loved this. The characters practically jump off the page, and I enjoyed the way the author carefully pulled me into this world.

2) This was a long one. Too long in a way because the story kept going without another important climax near the end. I kept expecting the runaway siblings to return because they were so very important to the overall story. It was well written and it was nice to see a mix of paranormal elements with a mentally challenged character. The relationship part, not so much, but it was okay.

3) I thought this story was very well written and will definitely be reading more in this series. It’s not a book I would have bought for myself and was pleasantly surprised when I started reading.

Tracefinder: Contact (Tracefinder #1) by Kaje Harper
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 382 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (June 15, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786450682
ISBN-13: 978-1786450685
Amazon: Tracefinder: Contact (Tracefinder #1)
Amazon Kindle: Tracefinder: Contact (Tracefinder #1)

What could an undercover cop and a drug lord's pet psychic have in common?

Brian Kerr has spent years hiding behind a facade of mental slowness. His brother and sister got all three of them off the streets and into a cushy life, under the protection of a dangerous criminal. But to keep that safety, Brian has to use his Finding talent to track down the boss's enemies. Although he pretends not to know what he's really doing, each Find takes its toll, and he's trapped in a life he hates, losing touch with his true self.

Nick Rugo's job is to protect and serve the people of Minneapolis as an undercover cop. He isn't closeted, but he isn't out at work, and there's a wild, angry side to him that he's managed to keep hidden until now. When he's assigned to bring Brian's boss to justice, he intends to use anything and anyone it takes to do that.

Nick initially sees Brian as a pawn to be played in his case, but he keeps getting glimpses of a different man behind the slow, simpleminded mask. As the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear they share secrets, some of which might get them both killed.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) The characters in this story, although in love with each other, have kept their feelings for fear of losing what they have; a strong friendship which goes above their feelings, plus the fear of being found out. It's 1939 war-time and one of the boys goes to do his duty while the other stays behind working in the coal mines with his father and brothers. While at war, Teddy matures and becomes sexually involved with other men, while Huw, the man who holds his interest and his heart remain faithful. It was a pretty good story. It kept me curious as to what would come next.

2) There must be a new "Must have" in recent gay novels, to quickly add a sex scene a few pages to the end, maybe to appease certain readers. It's unnecessary, hit me off a bit and - for me - takes off value of overall really well done works.

Under Leaden Skies by Sandra Lindsey
Gay Historical
Publisher: Manifold Press (August 1, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Under Leaden Skies

Love. Loss. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Honour. Duty. Family.

In 1939, the arrival of war prompted 'Teddy' Maximilian Garston to confess his love to his childhood friend, Huw Roberts. Separated by duty - Teddy piloting Sunderland flying boats for RAF Coastal Command, and Huw deep underground in a South Wales coal mine - their relationship is frustrated by secrecy, distance, and the stress of war that tears into every aspect of their lives.

After endless months of dull patrols, a chance encounter over the Bay of Biscay will forever change the course of Teddy's life. On returning to Britain, how will he face the consequences of choices made when far from home? Can he find a way to provide for everyone he loves, and build a family from the ashes of wartime grief?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) A delightful story with a strong plot, a lot of humor, a lot of vivid attention to details (e.g., dog behavior), very good writing, and complex characters that evolved through the story. Everything just came together really well for this story and it was a treat to read.

2) I don't usually go for adorable stories, but that's what this one was through and through, and it was completely delightful. Roman and Matt were great both separate and together, and the previous book in the series (which I haven't read yet, but will now) was hinted at but not necessary to understanding this one. It's funny, it's sweet and it has moments of real, true anxiety and tension as well. I can't recommend it enough.

How to Walk like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2) by Eli Easton
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: Howl at the Moon
Paperback: 436 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523691018
ISBN-13: 978-1523691012
Amazon: How to Walk like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2)
Amazon Kindle: How to Walk like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2)

Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble. Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If this job doesn’t kill Matt, sexual frustration just might. The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) This is a British mystery novel - complete with all the British spelling and slang - that stars newly engaged plumberTom Paretski and his fiancé Phil Morrison, a private investigator. Hired to find a missing necklace, they stumble on the corpse of Amelia Fenchurch-Majors. The list of suspects are many: Amelia's step-daughter, Amelia's husband, Amelia's business partner, Amelia's brother. It even includes a bishop! As our protagonists decipher all the clues, they find themselves pulled in all directions - both from the families involved and also from their desire to form a family of their own. Even though this book is the 4th on a series, it's a stand alone book. No need to read the three others to enjoy it fully. The writer narrates the story from the first person point of view and the story is well developed. The characters are alive - the dialogue is phonetically British complete with its slang. I might had included a glossary for those of us who did not grow in Britain. Even though there is explicit homosexual sex, it's neither erotic nor pornographic. I was engaged from the beginning and enjoyed the book greatly. Highly recommended for those who like mysteries.

2) I love this series so much I had to reread the first three before I dove into this one. Such an odd premise for a series just works in every way. All of the characters have personality and so do the settings. Hoping book five has a wedding for the boys.

3) This was a delightful story, full of snappy, humorous dialogue and vivid characters. I laughed out loud more than once, and I really enjoyed the well-crafted mystery.

Blow Down (The Plumber's Mate #4) by J.L. Merrow
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (July 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619235803
ISBN-13: 978-1619235809
Amazon: Blow Down (The Plumber's Mate #4)
Amazon Kindle: Blow Down (The Plumber's Mate #4)

Death is what happens while you're making other plans.

The Plumber's Mate Mysteries, Book 4

The last thing newly engaged plumber Tom Paretski needs is to stumble over another dead body. He's got enough on his mind already as the reality of his impending marriage sinks in. Not only is his family situation complicated, his heroism at a pub fire made him a local celebrity. Now everyone and their uncle wants a piece of his psychic talents.

Hired to find a missing necklace, Tom and his fiancé, private investigator Phil Morrison, wind up trying to unmask a killer-and there's no shortage of suspects, up to and including the local bishop himself.

As Tom and Phil try to uncover the truth, they find themselves pulled in all directions by the conflicting pressures of their families and their own desires. But the murderer they're up against is a ruthless schemer who won't hesitate to kill again. If Tom and Phil aren't careful, their love-and all their plans for the future-could be blown down like a house of straw.

Warning: Contains a bishop of questionable Christian charity, a necklace of questionable taste, and a plumber of questionable nationality who may be running out of time.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Extremely entertaining story. The author engaged me from the very beginning of the story keeping me enthralled until the last page. This is a wonderful addition to the Hexworld series. Well done, Ms. Hawk! I'm anxiously waiting to see if there's a third book on this series.

2) I think the author did a fantastic job of building an alternate world filled with very believable characters.

3) This piece was beautifully researched and the setting and plot were just delightful. It was very unusual for the genre, to have a particular period piece with urban magic, and I was completely delighted to read it.

Hexbreaker (Hexworld #1) by Jordan L. Hawk
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: Hexworld
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Widdershins Press LLC (May 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1530911524
ISBN-13: 978-1530911523
Amazon: Hexbreaker (Hexworld #1)
Amazon Kindle: Hexbreaker (Hexworld #1)

Will a dark history doom their future together? New York copper Tom Halloran is a man with a past. If anyone finds out he once ran with the notorious O’Connell tunnel gang, he’ll spend the rest of his life doing hard time behind bars. But Tom’s secret is threatened when a horrible murder on his beat seems to have been caused by the same ancient magic that killed his gang. Cat shifter Cicero is determined to investigate the disappearance of one friend and the death of another, even though no one else believes the cases are connected. When the trail of his investigation crosses Tom’s, the very bohemian Cicero instinctively recognizes the uncultured Irish patrolman as his witch. Though they’re completely unsuited to one another, Cicero has no choice but to work alongside Tom…all the while fighting against the passion growing within. Tom knows that taking Cicero as his familiar would only lead to discovery and disaster. Yet as the heat between them builds, Tom’s need for the other man threatens to overcome every rational argument against becoming involved. But when their investigation uncovers a conspiracy that threatens all of New York, Tom must make the hardest decision of his life: to live a lie and gain his heart’s desire, or to confess the truth and sacrifice it all.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Loved this story and couldn't put it down. Engaging characters who hooked me in within the first few paragraphs. The setting is described really well and was easy to imagine. This is the first story I've read by this author but won't be the last.

2) A beautiful story about second chances and finding yourself. Christie and David are intensely perfect for each other. I can wait to revisit these men.

3) Well written story of two worlds combining to form a new reality for both the protagonists. One religious and one sexual, the pair of lifestyles mesh in a satisfying way. A+.

A Second Harvest by Eli Easton
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634774035
ISBN-13: 978-1634774031
Amazon: A Second Harvest
Amazon Kindle: A Second Harvest

David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with both his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness. "

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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Excellent story of supernatural love, written in exquisite style. The rescue is delicious!

Sleight of Heart (Morality of Magick #1) by Aisling Mancy
Gay Fantasy Romance
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing PTY Ltd; 1 edition (March 14, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Sleight of Heart (Morality of Magick #1)

Lord Taliesin Solitaire was born albino, cursed mute by the fey, and betrayed by a vampire lover. For two hundred years the vampire mage has vowed never to love again and has only used sex as a means to a meal. Until a palm-reading gypsy finds himself in peril and Taliesin can’t resist rescuing the beautiful young man.

Pesha is the eldest but smallest son of King Vaida Sinclair, the oppressive ruler of the Kåle RomaniCompania. Deemed impure by his father, Pesha is shunned and mistreated by his band and four half-brothers, and one brother in particular wants him dead. His pale, silent savior gives him safety, security and a love he never could have imagined. As Pesha falls in love with his handsome white knight, his half-brother does the unthinkable.

Can Taliesin rescue Pesha from the cruel clutches of his half-brother a second time?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) Powerful from start to finish, Yesterday is a stunning story rich in culture and history. One cannot help but be pulled deep into the plight of forbidden love and the psyche of the characters. In a world filled with unspeakable horrors and oceans of pain, Yesterday is magically written and we live each moment through to a happy ending. Hauntingly beautiful, written in deft prose, Ms. Ashling’s Yesterday exemplifies the very essence of true storytelling.

2) The author has done her research and it shows in not just the setting, but the way the characters react. Kam's struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his beliefs feels very realistic, and I got hooked on his and Grady's story very quickly.

3) Interesting tale of worlds colliding in both cultural and romantic tendencies, set in a time of upheaval that lead to anarchy. A recommended read.

Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634766784
ISBN-13: 978-1634766784
Amazon: Yesterday
Amazon Kindle: Yesterday

In June of 1978 Grady Ormond, eighteen-year-old son of diplomat Peter Ormond, accompanies his father to his new posting as US Ambassador to Pakistan. Neighboring Iran is on the brink of a civil war, with the monarchy in danger of being overthrown.

Grady will be leaving for New York City in late August to study cinematography and has been warned to keep his homosexual orientation tightly under wraps while on vacation. Repercussions in the predominantly Islamic region could be severe.

On their first night in Karachi, his father hosts a cocktail party to meet the local dignitaries. Grady is introduced to His Highness Prince Kamran Izadi, nephew of the shah of Iran. Twenty-three-year-old Kamran has recently returned from the UK, where he spent eleven years, first as a student, and then as a financial analyst.

The attraction is immediate―unforeseen and dangerously powerful―but neither one dares to make a move. Odds are so stacked against them it’s futile to even entertain a friendship, but they do, and their world tilts precariously.

With his country in turmoil and Grady about to leave for college, Kamran makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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1) This book was heart wrenching and realistic and I especially like that there wasn't a pat answer to the story question. The only negatives it did get a little long winded with the introspection and the mourning at the beginning of the book didn't read as realistic as other parts.

2) First, I loved that this book was part of a series but that I could read it and not feel like i was missing something. It stands alone wonderfully and it made me buy the first book in the series. Secondly, I really got sucked in by the characters.

Signs of Life (Resilient Love) by Melanie Hansen
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 28, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634761774
ISBN-13: 978-1634761772
Amazon: Signs of Life (Resilient Love)
Amazon Kindle: Signs of Life (Resilient Love)

A Resilient Love Story

Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all―a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids―he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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Loved the characters and the writing style. Great storyline, definitely going to read more by this author!

Hollywood Secrets by T.S. McKinney
Gay Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press, LLC (September 2, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Hollywood Secrets

Ethan Weatherby. Well…Vic and Grayson are smackdab in the middle of their happy-ending, loving each other with so much sugary sweet sap and disgustingly dirty sex that it’s turning my stomach…or making me green with jealously. Magnus and I broke up months ago, making me the laughing stock of Hollywood and leaving me drowning in a big black pit of despair. In an attempt to hide away from all the Hollywood glitz and gossip, I accompany Vic to Florence, Alabama for her latest movie. In my messed-up mind, I tell myself that I’ll get me a little Southern Boy Nookie that will miraculously make me forget all about Magnus. As it turns out…I get so much more than nookie.

Jeremy Michaelson. He’s hands down the hottest, most innocently beautiful person I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Every alpha instinct in me comes to life the first time I see him and the overwhelming desire to make him mine comes roaring to life. After our first encounter, I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about me.

At least I thought he did…until I realize there is so much more to my Southern heartthrob than what he wants me to see. He has secrets, potentially deadly secrets that risk putting an end to us before we even have a chance for our beginning. The more I try to unravel his past, the harder he pushes me away.

Here’s the deal…when I want something, I don’t give up easily…and I want Jeremy Michaelson.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
This was an unusual book, not easy to read, but the author did a great job by sticking by his guns and not yielding to arbitrary genre “conventions.” It took me a two or three chapters to get past the literary feel of it. I had to slow down, and when I did I began to marvel at the craft of it, and the characters began to grow close to my heart. I’d recommend this read to anyone interested in a more literary, less formulaic piece of gay fiction.

Kept by Jim Arnold
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Eureka Street Press; 1 edition (January 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996938001
ISBN-13: 978-0996938006
Amazon: Kept
Amazon Kindle: Kept

Palm Springs: Jorge Gomez leaves his poor family behind and remakes himself as ambitious George Gomes. Soon young gay George is picked up by Connor Hurst, who takes him to an empty mansion for a night of lust. Connor convinces George to work alongside him in a scam targeting gullible retirees with classic desert homes. George appears to be on a strange path to the American Dream, until his help covering up a violent death propels him toward bigger risks—perhaps even murder, one that seems justified, one promising a sizable payday. George doesn't know his role is to take the fall. Yet he isn’t as stupid as everyone thinks. Left alone, literally hanging on a wire with a corpse, George must fight enemies real and imagined if he has any hope of finding his dream—or even staying alive long enough to enjoy it.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
1) I’ve never given a perfect score before, and I never expected to. Marshall Thornton pulls out the stops in bringing Lionel and Dog alive in “Femme.” The men’s voices are distinct, as are their personalities, thought processes, wardrobes, and histories. Only their values are the same: each tries to be a good guy. The plot arc deals with everyday problems of real people, described in a convincing language of someone well familiar with the issues that encounter “femme” gay men, as well as why the rest of the world, both gay and straight, reacts to “femmes” the way they do. Lionel and Doug’s heartwarming journey is lubricated by the goodwill of their friends and leavened by humor as they navigate the unfamiliar path from a casual hook-up to a serious, committed relationship. I had to read this book on one go - Lionel bossed me into it. Go try it, you won’t be sorry!

2) Amazingly realistic characters. The author has an incredible writing style.

Femme by Marshall Thornton
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Kenmore Books (July 28, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1534906967
ISBN-13: 978-1534906969
Amazon: Femme
Amazon Kindle: Femme

Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The characters showed great personal growth within the story and the story line drew me in and made me not want to put the story down. I think I've found a new favorite author.

The Arrangement by Felice Stevens
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1535217979
ISBN-13: 978-1535217972
Amazon: The Arrangement
Amazon Kindle: The Arrangement

Carter Haywood lives for the weekends—specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he's not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again. Damaged goods. That's all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it's the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share. As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
1) Good 1st book. Took me a while to get into it but it finished strong.

2) A really good book. I am always pleased if a book become more and more interesting as the pages goes by, and this is what happened to me with this read. I have found myself more into the story the more I entered into the story. The story is simple but well developed; the characters felt real and the setting is perfect for this story. A very good debut book, so good that I will keep my eyes out for this author next work.

Across the Pond by Cheri Crystal
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr.; 1 edition (July 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955333876
ISBN-13: 978-3955333874
Amazon: Across the Pond
Amazon Kindle: Across the Pond

After having been betrayed by her partner of thirteen years, Janalyn isn’t looking for another relationship, especially not one separated by miles of ocean. But when she travels to Devon, England, for a conference and meets a sporty Brit named Robyn, desires Janalyn thought were permanently lost are suddenly back and stronger than ever. Despite cultural differences, poking fun at each other’s use of the English language, and Robyn coming off as a player, Janalyn can’t help the attraction she feels, no matter how hard she tries. Can she and Robyn find a common ground upon which to make a life together? Will Janalyn throw caution to the wind and risk her heart again? If Janalyn does indeed venture across the pond, will love be her life preserver?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Below the Eligible Categories and Books for the 2016 Rainbow Awards

"Air de Capri" is a 1923 painting by Gerda Wegener, with Gerda herself and her husband, transgender male to female, Lili Elbe

  • Gay Contemporary Romance
    • ’Til Death Do Us Part by Addison Albright
    • A Fortunate Blizzard by L.C. Chase
    • A Second Harvest by Eli Easton
    • Again by Sierra Riley
    • Behr Facts and When Adam Fell (2 novellas as 1 submission) by Pat Henshaw
    • Believing Rory by S.C. Wynne
    • Best Laid Plans by Tinnean
    • Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North
    • Bouncing Back (Cozzi Cove #1) by Joe Cosentino
    • Buzz by E. Davies
    • Come What May by A.M. Arthur
    • Cookies by Teodora Kostova
    • Cross to Bare by Susan Mac Nicol
    • Delicious by Sierra Riley
    • Dreamers’ Destiny by Tempeste O’Riley
    • Eight Seconds by William Davrick
    • Engaged to Win by Aubrey Cullens
    • Falling by Sierra Riley
    • Farm Fresh by Posy Roberts
    • Flying Solo by Susan Mac Nicol
    • Fool's Gold by Sarah Madison
    • Hawaiian Orchid by Meg Amor
    • In My Heart (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, 2 novellas as 1 submission) by Joe Cosentino
    • Indigo Road by R.J. Jones
    • Island Doctor by Sue Brown
    • Lollipop by Amy Lane
    • Lord of a Thousand Steps by Tara Lain
    • Love Can't Conquer by Kim Fielding
    • Loving the Master by Lynn Kelling
    • Moment of Silence by Karen Stivali
    • More Than Love by Amelia Bishop
    • New Lease of Life by Lillian Francis
    • Nobody’s Son by Shae Connor
    • Once Upon A Haunted Moor, Tinsel Fish, Don’t Let Go, Kitto, Guardians Of The Haunted Moor, Third Solstice (The Tyack & Frayne Mystery Series, 6 novellas as 1 submission) by Harper Fox
    • One Step Forward by Tia Fielding
    • Owner of a Lonely Heart by Mel Bossa
    • Penalty Shot (Hat Trick #3) by Jeff Adams
    • Percolation, Poetry, and Passion & Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas (2 novellas as 1 submission) by A.V. Sanders
    • Prince of the Playhouse by Tara Lain
    • Rain Shadow by L.A. Witt
    • Red Envelope & Herc and Pyotr (two novellas as 1 submission) by Atom Yang
    • Resistance by Lillian Francis
    • Restitution: A Love Story by Aubrey Cullens
    • Rustic Melody by Nic Starr
    • Rustic Memory by Nic Starr
    • Rustic Moment by Nic Starr
    • Scenes from Adelaide Road by Helena Stone
    • Selfie by Amy Lane
    • Signs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley
    • Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen
    • Small Steps by Chris McHart
    • Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black
    • Someday by Sierra Riley
    • Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan
    • Surfacing by Daniel Stephens
    • The ‘True Love’ Solution by Julie Bozza
    • The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison
    • The Guy With The Suitcase (Once Upon A Guy #1) by Chris Ethan
    • The Heart As He Hears It by A.M. Arthur
    • The World As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur
    • Then Sawyer Happened by Hurri Cosmo
    • Tumbled by E.E. Grey
    • Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt
    • Under the Knife by Laurin Kelly
    • Unguarded by Lou Kelly
    • Unleashing Love by S.C. Wynne
    • Unquiet by Melanie Hansen
    • Until September by Chris Scully
    • Whistle Blower by Dev Bentham
    • Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • Gay Paranormal Romance
    • A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson
    • A Royal Craving by Elaine White
    • Behind the Eight Ball (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #2) by M.A. Church
    • Bitten By Mistake by Annabelle Jacobs
    • Candy Land by Lissa Kasey
    • Demon Duke (Paranormal Noble #2) by S.J. Frost
    • Destined Prey by Bailey Bradford
    • Devil's Gamble by Tess Barnett
    • Dragon Dreams & Fairy Wings by Bailey Bradford
    • Driven by Nicholas Kinsley
    • Elemental Love by L.M. Somerton
    • Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk
    • Highland Hearts by J.P. Bowie
    • How to Walk like a Man by Eli Easton
    • Jared (Urban Wolves #1) by Leona Windwalker
    • Love is for the Living by Nicholas Kinsley
    • Mate Me, Hate Me, Date Me, Love Me by Chris McHart
    • My Zombie Fiancé by T. Strange
    • Omega Born by C.R. Guiliano
    • Otter Chaos by P.D. Singer
    • Priddy's Tale by Harper Fox
    • Sharing a Pond by Alex Whitehall
    • Shifting Chaos by Elizabeth Noble
    • Softpaw (Smilodon Pride #1) by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
    • Some Assembly Required by Bru Baker and Lex Chase
    • Stealing Dragon's Heart by Susan Laine
    • Stumptown Spirits by E.J. Russell
    • Supernatural Consultant, Vol 1 by Mell Eight
    • The Moonlight Market by Aidee Ladnier
    • The Orchard of Flesh by Christian Baines
    • The Promise by Victoria Sue
    • The Tenth Muse by Belinda McBride
    • The Vampire and the G.I. by J.P. Bowie
    • Truth and Consequences by Sarah Madison
    • Whiskers of a Chance by Tempeste O’Riley
    • Witches of London: Lars by Aleksandr Voinov
    • Wolf, WY by A.F. Henley
  • Lesbian Contemporary & Erotic Romance
    • A Kiss Before Dawn by Laurie Salzler
    • A Touch of Temptation by Julie Blair
    • Across the Pond by Cheri Crystal
    • Bandages (Scarred Series #3) by S.L. Kassidy
    • Built to Last by Aurora Rey
    • Capturing Forever by Erin Dutton
    • Credit Worthy by Jeanine Hoffman
    • Deal-Breaker by Siri Caldwell
    • Doctored by K’Anne Meinel
    • Eagle Cove (Thalia Chase: Sex Therapist Series #1) by Darla Baker
    • Embracing the Dawn by Jeannie Levig
    • Fast Lane by Jennis Slaughter & A. D. Campbell
    • Finding Gracie's Glory by Patty Schramm
    • Getting Back by Cindy Rizzo
    • Heartwood by Catherine Lane
    • Hurricane Season by B.J. Phillips
    • Just Physical by Jae
    • Lost Treasures by Jazzy Mitchell
    • Love on The Red Rocks by Lisa Moreau
    • Nothing To Lose by Clare Lydon
    • Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton
    • Slow Burn in Tuscany by Giselle Fox
    • Small Town Angel by K’Anne Meinel
    • Stuck Landing by Lauren Gallagher
    • The Club by A.L. Brooks
    • The Scorpion's Empress by Yoshiyuki Ly
    • Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant
    • Winter's Harbor by Aurora Rey
    • Women in Sports: Hot, Sweaty,and Sexy, Oh My! by Patty Schramm & Verda Foster
  • Gay Erotic Romance & Erotica
    • A Bear Walks Into a Bar by Eden Winters
    • A Kind of Romance by Lane Hayes
    • A Kind of Truth by Lane Hayes
    • Better Than Safe by Lane Hayes
    • Betting on Forever and What Lies Between Us by Felice Stevens
    • Building Bonds + Safe Limits (2 novellas as 1 submission) by Morticia Knight
    • Chemical Bonds by L.M. Somerton
    • Come Back To Me by Edmond Manning
    • Dom of Ages by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams
    • Every Breath I Take (All I'll Ever Need #2) by J.P. Bowie
    • Hiatus by L.A. Witt
    • His Rules by L.M. Somerton, Sean Michael, Morticia Knight, Lily Harlem, S Dora, Samantha Cayto
    • Kestrel's Talon (The Stonewatchers #1) by Bey Deckard
    • Key Maneuvered by James Brock
    • Lock and Key by Z. Allora
    • Loving Jordan: The Complete Trilogy by Andrea Dalling
    • Not Just Another Pretty Face by Louis Flint Ceci
    • Not Safe For Work by L.A. Witt
    • Quillon’s Covert by Joseph Lance Tonlet & Louis Stevens
    • Second to None by Felice Stevens
    • Secret Funding by S.M. May
    • The Arrangement by Felice Stevens
    • The Biggest Lover by R. Jackson
    • To Live Again by L.A. Witt
    • Vegas Stripped by James Brock
    • Zombies Suck by Z. Allora
  • Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
    • Cardinal Sins by Lissa Kasey
    • Checkmate Ever After by Lex Chase
    • Darkness Eternal (Refuge Inc. #5) by Leslie Lee Sanders
    • In Pain by Caethes Faron
    • Inherent Cost by Alicia Cameron
    • Insurrection (Interscission Project #3) by Arshad Ahsanuddin
    • Makepeace (Taking Shield #3) by Anna Butler
    • Rhodri's Rangers: Searching For Us by Etienne
    • Risking the Wild Places by Shannon West
    • Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
    • Skyships Over Innsmouth by Susan Laine
    • Song of Song by L. J. LaBarthe
    • Sons of Taldra: A Science Fiction Adventure by Duane Simolke
    • Strange Times by Clancy Nacht
    • Succession by Alicia Cameron
    • Tantalus by Albert Nothlit
    • The Avian Emperor by Pelaam
    • The Forbidden Zone by Victoria Zagar
    • Waking Jamal by Amberly Smith
    • Where There's A Will by Cari Z.
    • Whipping Boy by Jordan Brewer
  • Gay Mystery Thriller
    • A Grande Romance by Antonio
    • A Solitary Man by Aisling Mancy & Shira Anthony
    • Backlash by Jack L. Pyke
    • Billy Blood by Christopher Church
    • Blow Down by J.L. Merrow
    • Boystown 8: The Lies That Bind by Marshall Thornton
    • Caged Jaye by Lynn Kelling
    • Code Name Jack Rabbit by Elizabeth Noble
    • Fish Out of Water by Amy Lane
    • Haven’s Creed by Parker Williams
    • In Deep by Adam Fitzroy
    • It's a Sin by Steve Burford
    • Kept by Jim Arnold
    • Love and Pain by W.S. Long
    • Murder in the Desert (A Nick Fallon Investigation #5) by J.P. Bowie
    • Strength in Numbers by Brad Vance
    • The Last Enemy by Christian Beck
    • The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe
    • Tracefinder: Changes (Tracefinder #2) by Kaje Harper
    • Tracefinder: Contact (Tracefinder #1) by Kaje Harper
  • Gay Historical Romance
    • A Decade of Visions by Cameron Ramses
    • A Gentleman's Position by K.J. Charles
    • A Seditious Affair by K.J. Charles
    • A Tested Love by Kayla Jameth
    • Beloved Unmasked by Brita Addams
    • Broken Blades by Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt
    • Darling James by Tinnean
    • Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory
    • Home Is Where You Are by Alex Jane
    • James Eyre by Jade Astor
    • Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez
    • Need Your Love by Dean Pace-Frech
    • Other Side of the Line by Marguerite Labbe
    • The Innocent Auction by Victoria Sue
    • The Innocent Betrayal by Victoria Sue
    • To Love a Traitor by J.L. Merrow
    • Unnatural by Joanna Chambers
    • Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling
  • Gay Fantasy Romance
    • A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy by Blaine D. Arden
    • Adoni by Rider Jacobs
    • Bayou Fairy Tale (The Screw-up Princess and Skillful Huntsman Trilogy #2) by Lex Chase
    • Beauty, Inc. by Tara Lain
    • Driven Snow by Tara Lain
    • Mantled in Mist by Rory Ni Coileain
    • Matchmakers: A Shifting Isles Trilogy by G.R. Lyons
    • Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles
    • Ravenhearth by Lotus Oakes
    • Ringed Love (Sentries #6) by Elizabeth Noble
    • Sleight of Heart by Aisling Mancy
    • Song of Souls (Terra #3) by S.J. Frost
    • Tempest by Cari Z.
    • Undertow by Rory Ni Coileain
    • Urban Fairy Tale (The Screw-up Princess and Skillful Huntsman Trilog #3) by Lex Chase
  • Bisexual Contemporary Romance & Fiction
    • Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh
    • Due Diligence by Anna Zabo
    • Flinging It by G. Benson
    • Lover on Top by Kristine Cayne
    • Lovers Leap by J.L. Merrow
    • Lucky Starflowers by Kate Pavelle
    • Out! by J.L. Merrow
    • Puppet Boy by Christian Baines
    • Rockin' It Forever + Rockin' the Alternative (2 novellas as 1 submission) by Morticia Knight
    • The Art House by Scarlett Knight
    • The Best Laid Plans by Lauren Gallagher
    • The Triad Trial by Lauren E. Mitchell
    • The Worst Bad Thing by J.E. Birk
    • Two Man Advantage, Game Misconduct, Full Strength (3 novellas as 1 submission) by V.L. Locey
    • What Remains by Garrett Leigh
  • Gay Romantic Suspence
    • A Heart's Desire by Kris Michaels
    • A Mended Man by Jaime Reese
    • Broken Soldier by Jamie Lynn Miller
    • Gone Away by Elizabeth Noble
    • If The Seas Catch Fire by L.A. Witt
    • Ivan vs Ivan by Princess S.O.
    • Just the Thought of You (Mann of My Dreams #3) by Tinnean
    • Tackling the Tight End by Tara Lain
    • The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick
    • The Edge of Control by Lou Kelly
    • Time: Wounds All Heal by Princess S.O.
    • Vegas Sin by Jambrea Jo Jones
    • Winter Kills (Seasons of Murder #4) by J.P. Bowie
  • Gay Young Adult
    • Banished Sons of Poseidon by Andrew J. Peters
    • Clean by Mia Kerick
    • Fake It (The Keswick Chronicles #1) by Victoria Kinnaird
    • Fjord Blue by Nina Rossing
    • Foxes by Suki Fleet
    • Onwaachige the Dreamer by Jay Jordan Hawke
    • Private by Matthew J. Metzger
    • Sire by Kate Pavelle
    • Spanish Bay by Hans M. Hirschi
    • Thárros by C. Kennedy
    • The Italian Word for Kisses by Matthew J. Metzger
    • Throwing Stones by Robin Reardon
  • Gay Romantic Comedy
    • 6 Days To Get Lucky by L.E. Franks
    • Fate by Rob Rosen
    • Femme by Marshall Thornton
    • Groomzilla & Groomzilla Does Vegas by Tere Michaels
    • He’s Behind You by Rebecca Cohen
    • Hollywood Secrets by T.S. McKinney
    • Love on the Jersey Shore by Richard Natale
    • Loving Djinni by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
    • Moving Forward (Cozzi Cove #2) by Joe Cosentino
    • Streets Apart & Hearts Apart (2 novellas as 1 submission) by H.J. Perry
    • Winter Ball by Amy Lane
  • Gay Contemporary General Fiction & Humor
    • Deluge by Vincent Meis
    • Drama Muscle (Nicky and Noah Mystery #2) by Joe Cosentino
    • Forty Wild Crushes: stories by Jim Provenzano
    • Jonathan’s Promise (Jonathan Trilogy #2) by Hans M. Hirschi
    • King of the Kitchen by Bru Baker
    • Live for Love (All Cocks Stories #5) by T.M. Smith
    • Meridian by Kirby Crow
    • The House on Fremont Drive by Jere' M. Fishback
    • The Imperfection of Swans by Brandon Witt
    • Two Natures by Jendi Reiter
  • Gay Historical
    • Across Your Dreams by Jay Lewis Taylor
    • David, My David by Eduard Qualls
    • Games of Rome (Dominus #2) by J. P. Kenwood
    • Justin's Season by S.M. Sawyer
    • Lessons for Sleeping Dogs by Charlie Cochrane
    • Re-Inventing Love by Storm Grant
    • The Hunger Man by Scott D. Pomfret
    • Through the Baltic Looking-Glass by Lara Biyuts
    • Under Leaden Skies by Sandra Lindsey
  • Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
    • Cold to the Touch by Cari Hunter
    • Death Wears Yellow Garters by Rae D. Magdon
    • Four Point by Max Ellendale
    • Going Coastal by Jane DiLucchio
    • Meddlesome Malice (Malice Series #20) by K’Anne Meinel
    • Minacious Malice (Malice #19) by K’Anne Meinel
    • Requiem for Immortals by Lee Winter
    • The XYZ Mysteries by Iza Moreau
    • Vacations Can Be Murder by Jane DiLucchio
  • Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction & Young Adult
    • Backcast by Ann McMan
    • Cast Me Gently by Caren J. Werlinger
    • From Third to Home by Chris Paynter
    • It Pours by C.D. Cain
    • The Dance by Suzie Carr
    • The Songbird Thief by Skye Allen
    • The Space Between by Michelle L. Teichman
    • Veil of Silence by K’Anne Meinel
    • Women of the Year by Karen Richard
  • Bisexual Historical & Paranormal Romance
    • For Never and Always by Ana J. Phoenix
    • Gun to My Head by Dira Lewis
    • Jack of Thorns (Inheritance #1) by Amelia Faulkner
    • Knight of Flames (Inheritance #2) by Amelia Faulkner
    • The Man on Top of the World by Vanessa Clark
    • Thorns and Fangs by Gillian St. Kevern
  • Lesbian Historical & Paranormal Romance
    • A Darker Kind Of Love by Angela Peach
    • Ex-Wives of Dracula by Georgette Kaplan
    • Have a Bite by R.G. Emanuelle
    • Pirated Love by K’Anne Meinel
    • Shaken to the Core by Jae
    • The Awakening by Dawn Carter
    • The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor by Jess Faraday
    • Unbidden Dragon by Louisa Kelley
  • Asexual Novel
    • A Fine Bromance by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
    • Alexey Dyed in Red by A.M. Valenza
    • All The Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher
    • For Promise Yet Unbroken by Tygati
    • How Not to Summon Your True Love by Sasha L. Miller
    • Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart by Marie S. Crosswell
    • To Terminator, With Love by Wes Kennedy
    • We Go Forward by Alison Evans
  • Bisexual Fantasy & Fantasy Romance
    • Captive (Beautiful Monsters #1) by Jex Lane
    • Counsel of the Wicked by Elizabeth A. Schechter
    • Dragonborn by Maeghan Friday
    • Enchanted Soles by Sasha L. Miller
    • King of the Storm by B. A. Brock
    • Seven Tears at High Tide by CB Lee
    • The High King's Golden Tongue by Megan Derr
    • The Journey of Jimini Renn by April Kelley
  • Transgender Fiction & Biography / Memoir
    • Artifact of Foex by James L. Wolf
    • Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings
    • Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
    • Paralian: Not Just Transgender by Liam Klenk
    • Perihelion by Tami Veldura
    • Spy Stuff by Matthew J. Metzger
    • Transformed: San Francisco by Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey
  • LGBT Anthology/Collection, Non Fiction & Poetry
    • According to the Order of Nature (We too are Cosmos Made) by Stephen Mead
    • It's Only Love: A Short Story Collection by Diane Marina
    • Love Unlocked by Claire Davis and Al Stewart, Victoria Milne, Dawn Sister, J P Walker, Caraway Carter, Ofelia Gränd, Debbie McGowan
    • Shorts, Stories from Beneath the Rainbow by Hans M. Hirschi
    • The Nature of Fragments by Katie Bennett-Hall
    • The Short and Long Of It: Expand, Adapt, and Publish Your Short Fiction by Paul Alan Fahey
    • What Does "Queer" Mean Anyway: The Quick and Dirty Guide to LGBTQIA+ Vocabulary by Chris Bartlett
  • Lesbian Fantasy Romance
    • Beauty and Cruelty by Meredith Katz
    • Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone by Rachel White
    • SkyWhisperers by Natasja Hellenthal
    • Souls Entwined by Caitlin Ricci
    • The Persephone Star by Jamie Sullivan
    • Thrall: Beyond Gold and Glory by Barbara Ann Wright
  • Lesbian Sci-fi / Futuristic
    • A Quantum Convergence (Nexus Trilogy #1) by C.A. Farlow
    • Finding Hekate (Cicatrix Duology #1) by Kellie Doherty
    • Light Work on Dark Days by S. McDonald Powell
    • Paladins of the Storm Lord by Barbara Ann Wright
    • Starless Nights (Dark Horizons #2) by Rae D. Magdon & Michelle Magly
    • Stranger Than Fiction by Jeanine Hoffman
  • Transgender Romance
    • Grind by E. Davies
    • Roller Girl by Vanessa North
    • Rubyfruit Plus by Solar Harris
    • The Complete Horse Mistress Collection by R.A. Steffan
    • The Gift of Gravity by Sage C. Holloway
    • What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger
  • Gay Fantasy
    • Ice in Sunlight by Julia Leijon
    • Malachite by Kirby Crow
    • Resistance by Amy Rae Durreson
    • Shadows and Light by Cari Z.
    • The Necromancer's Dance and The Necromancer's Dilemma (2 books as 1 submission) by S.J. Himes
    • Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr
  • Bisexual Fiction
    • Arrival by H.J. Perry
    • Digging up the Dead (A Viv Fraser Mystery) by V. Clifford
    • Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer
    • For the Clan by Archer Kay Leah
    • Midnight at the Orpheus by Alyssa Linn Palmer
  • LGBT Alternative Universe/Reality
    • Risk (Dark Light #2) by Dusk Peterson
    • Staged by Kim Fielding
    • The Servant Duchess Of Whitcomb (Scandalous Whispers Of the Remmington Realm #2) by Vicktor Alexander
    • Where I'll Be Waiting by Monika De Giorgi
    • Whither Thou Goest by Tinnean
  • Lesbian Fantasy
    • Hekolatis' Promise by T.J. Mindancer
    • The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger
    • The Broken Coil (The Glass Pantheon #1) by Sy Itha
    • The Dowry Blade by Cherry Potts
    • The Mirror’s Gaze (Amendyr Series #4) by Rae D. Magdon
  • Lesbian Romantic Comedy & Suspence
    • Blurred Lines by K.D. Williamson
    • Four Steps by Wendy Hudson
    • Love Bites by Lila Bruce
    • Love's Redemption by Donna K. Ford
    • The Wrong Kind of Woman by Voss Porter
  • Gay Anthology / Collection / Contemporary Romance & Fiction
    • A Summer's Day: Shakespearean Anthology with a Twist by Nephy Heart, Louise Lyons, Rebecca Cohen, JL Merrow, Charlie Cochrane, Asta Idonea, Dianne Hartsock, Rory Ni Coileain, Kathy Griffith, M LeAnne Phoenix, Phetra H Novak, Rian Durant
    • Archer's Omnibus of Oddities, Mischievous Exploits & Sundry Tales of Insubordination: A Queer Collection of Essays by Jesse Archer
    • Leather Wishes – The Adventures of the Fancy Man by Julian Keys
    • Sweet & Sexy (4 novellas as 1 submission) by Jeff Adams
    • The Washing of Brains by Johnny Townsend

"Rainbow Pride Cheesecake" is the official pin-up boy of the Rainbow Awards especially created by Paul Richmond

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
A fresh take on an old trope made this a wonderfully readable book. The Author’s writing is her strong point, but it needs to serve a stronger plot. The characters were at once likeable and real.

Embracing the Dawn by Jeannie Levig
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 14, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626395764
ISBN-13: 978-1626395763
Amazon: Embracing the Dawn
Amazon Kindle: Embracing the Dawn

Does love have a chance when no one knows she wants it?

Jinx Tanner is an ex-con trying to piece together a life on the outside and heal her relationship with her half-sister who hasn’t spoken to her in over twenty-five years.
Romantic love is now here on her radar. E. J. Bastien is a business executive with her life and heart under control. She has a successful career, a woman in her bed whenever she wants one, and a healthy relationship with her grown children—as long as they don’t find out she’s gay. She has no desire for romantic entanglements.

When these two women awaken after a one-night stand to find their lives inextricably entwined, love has its work cut out for it.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
1) What a delightful read. I loved the characters, especially James, who was so believable and funny. This is the sixth book in a series about these characters. I haven't read any of the prior books. Despite that, I never felt adrift or confused as I read, a testament to the writing.

2) I really enjoy a slow burn romance and this story delivers in spades. Both MCs are well fleshed out and thoroughly believable as a couple. The road to HEA is not an easy one and there is plenty of angst along the way but this makes the end all the more sweeter.

Grind (The Riley Brothers #6) by E. Davies
Transgender Contemporary Romance
Series: The Riley Brothers
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 18, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1535278641
ISBN-13: 978-1535278645
Amazon: Grind (The Riley Brothers #6)
Amazon Kindle: Grind (The Riley Brothers #6)

“I'm glad I picked you.”

“My family could accept me being gay, but not trans.”
James is in trouble. His family turned their back on him after he transitioned, and he was forced to start his new life without them, but now he's paying the price. Buried in debt, his last chance is to start a business with hunky carpenter Ryan and hope that they succeed. The one thing he can't afford is a distraction, but what if Ryan is the only one to see past it all and love him inside and out?

“Strictly-business is hard around you.”
Ryan Hart doesn't rattle easy. From lazy contractors to being the last single friend, nothing bothers him until he meets James. Ryan's new business partner pushes him to follow his dreams, even though he faces problems Ryan's never considered. Ryan doesn't back down from a challenge or from threats to his business, James's hard-won privacy, and their future together. As business partners, of course. Nothing more.

“I can't believe they don't see you as the man I love.”
They both know mixing business with pleasure is a bad idea, but the pull between them is too hard to resist. Can Ryan have it all with the clever, caring, bossy guy who's won his heart?

Grind is a steamy, stand-alone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
This re-release is really a new book—tighter, better pacing, the same great storyline and enhanced chracters. Loved it the first time, love it now.

A Kiss Before Dawn by Laurie Salzler
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing; 1 edition (April 29, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: A Kiss Before Dawn

Country girl Chris Martel has struggled all her life to form strong, lasting relationships. For Chris, love, compassion, and trust are critical. In their absence, she has turned to her dog and her horse for the emotional fulfillment she craves. Then along comes Mary Jo Cavanaugh.Fresh out of veterinary school, Mary Jo inadvertently antagonizes Chris with her overconfident assumptions about how to care for animals. She comes to learn that Chris’s practical experience provides both a wealth of knowledge and a friendship unlike any she’s ever known.The carefully built walls around Chris’s heart crumble as she acknowledges the unfamiliar feelings evoked by being with Mary Jo. Just as she believes she’s found the happiness that had always eluded her, someone from Chris’s past comes back into her life. Can the love between Chris and Mary Jo survive so they can share a kiss before dawn?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
1) A book that I wasn't able to put down even when things become too absurd to be believable, but maybe it was what held my attention till the end. I liked a lot the story, it was a mix of mystery, a bit of gory details and a lot of absurds decisions/actions that astonishing enough works well together even when logically it shouldn’t. It was for sure a different and original read that put a smile on my face when I reach the last page. Good, surprising and different from everything I have ever read!

2) This book is quite a ride, beginning as a typical lesbian YA (nerd girl in love with gorgeous cheerleader) that morphs into a paranormal fast moving romp. The author's use of teen pop culture references in dialogue was comprehensive and quite amazing in its range. The dialogue was funny and fast paced, but believable. The book is a bit over-written in places and might have benefitted from 20% shorter in length (it was almost as if the author couldn't let herself stop writing about these characters and the editor didn't intervene), but the characters and story are so compelling that the reader is willing to go along for the ride. Strong first effort from this author.

Ex-Wives of Dracula by Georgette Kaplan
Lesbian Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr. (March 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955334104
ISBN-13: 978-3955334109
Amazon: Ex-Wives of Dracula
Amazon Kindle: Ex-Wives of Dracula

What’s worse than falling in love with a straight girl? Falling in love with a straight girl who drinks blood. And not even in a goth way. High school senior Mindy Murphy, has been questioning her small town life forever and, more recently, her sexuality. Maybe it has something to do with her new friend, Lucia West. When they were kids they used to be besties, until Lucia grew a head taller and a cup size bigger. Now she’s captain of the cheer team, winner of the Boyfriend Olympics, and voted least likely to remember Mindy at their high school reunion. In short, possibly the worst person alive for Mindy to crush on. Especially after Lucia’s bitten by a vampire. Now the only way to keep her alive is to get her blood, and the only way to cure her is to slay the vampire that turned her. Who knows, maybe after they get this vampire business settled, Lucia can explain to Mindy why she kissed her.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
1) This was a pretty perfect book. It had everything, exciting characters, a plot that drove you forward and made you not want to put down the book, believable angst, but not so much that you wanted to toss the book at the wall. It was engaging, fun and serious all at the same time. The writing made it one of the best books I’ve read this year. Rand’s attachment to and devotion to Will held me spellbound. Even though Rand couldn’t put a label on his feelings the author makes sure the reader knows he’s fallen in love without the L word ever being spoken. An excellent read!

2) A Kind of Truth kept me totally entertained. This is the M/M Romance book I like to read.

A Kind of Truth (A Kind of Stories #1) by Lane Hayes
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634768035
ISBN-13: 978-1634768030
Amazon: A Kind of Truth (A Kind of Stories #1)
Amazon Kindle: A Kind of Truth (A Kind of Stories #1)

Rand O'Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a rock god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, for example that he should keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He's a geek, but Rand isn't concerned about Will's pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there's something about Will that makes Rand think there's much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand's dreams begin to materialize, he's forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines:


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This is an amateur blog, where I discuss my reading, what I like and sometimes my personal life. I do not endorse anyone or charge fees of any kind for the books I review. I do not accept money as a result of this blog.
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