2017-09-10

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2017-09-10 11:58 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Vice City S.A. Stovall


1) Let’s start with the basics. The author has a strong command of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. This should be a given, but I find it increasingly rare these days, so it was a relief to discover that the book was well-written. The only exception to this is phrases such as “who might try and stop us.” The correct word is “to,” not “and.” One might excuse the main character since he hasn’t even graduated high school, but he speaks flawlessly throughout the rest of the book, so one suspects the error is really the author’s and not the character’s. There were a handful of typos, but only a handful. This is all basic editing, but the book passed the first hurdle with solid writing. The subject matter, unfortunately, is awfully distasteful. A hired thug/killer who befriends and falls in love with another gang member. But the author gives us the “whore with a heart of gold” in this murderer guided by ethical principles. That’s probably the least believable part of the story, but the character is presented realistically, so I went along. I never got a strong feel for the specific city, but the individual scenes in various nightclubs, storage rooms, etc felt real enough. I liked that the main character, Pierce, has a cataract in one of his eyes. It’s an interesting detail that comes up several times in the story. I also like that the love interest, Miles, is mixed race. In most gay mysteries/thrillers, the sex often feels forced, put in to satisfy the reader’s demand for love scenes but totally out of place in the story. That’s not the case here. The sex always feels organic, a natural part of the story. There’s perhaps a bit too much of it, but only a bit. The only time the sex is really a problem is after Pierce learns Miles has been lying to him and as punishment forces Miles to service him. It may not technically be rape, but it’s close enough and makes me dislike Pierce, not something I think the author intended, since liking a murderer is already an uphill climb. Pierce hadn’t been a total creep before—the reader doesn’t even mind watching him kill Malloy—but now he comes across as a total douchebag. Fortunately, his later actions redeem him yet again. Spoiler alert here so stop reading if you need to. One wonders why Pierce is so slow to suspect the family member who is sabotaging the Vice organization. I think the reader suspects it a hundred pages before the main character does. But the final confrontation and conclusion are satisfying regardless. The last couple of lines are a bit too sappy, given the nature of the characters, but all in all, the book was a compelling and satisfying read.
2) The writing in this story was absolutely spectacular. Gritty, dark, grim - and just as it should have been. A story depicting a mob hit man wouldn't have been done right any other way.  I expected violence and death, and that's exactly what the author delivered. I was surprised to see that there was also an M/M Romance in this as well, and it was executed brilliantly. The relationship started off as tenuous and seedy as the rest of the world building was.  Mob crime isn't my type of reading, but the way the author ushered me into her world, the more I appreciated the 'gumshoe' aspects of it all. Exceptionally well done.

Vice City S.A. Stovall
Gay - Mystery / Thriller
Series: Vice City (Book 1)
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications (June 20, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635336635
ISBN-13: 978-1635336634
Amazon: Vice City S.A. Stovall

Vice City: Book One

After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce second-guessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing.

Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his power-hungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.

So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war.
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2017-09-10 12:02 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc.) L.A. Witt


1) The Writing Style was spot on and that's what really shined here.  Honestly LA Witt did an amazing job and it really was a fun read.
2) This is a story that many are sure to enjoy. The characters are easy to like and they keep your attention until the end.

Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc.) L.A. Witt
Gay - Erotic Romance
File Size: 1292 KB
Print Length: 316 pages
Publisher: Swerve (April 25, 2017)
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Amazon: Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc.) L.A. Witt

Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.

Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.

As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?

Back Piece by L.A. Witt is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.
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2017-09-10 12:06 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Leo Loves Aries Anyta Sunday


1) I absolutely loved this book. It had me sucked in from page one. I couldn’t wait to keep reading. I didn’t want the book to end. I wished there were more stories to follow. I liked not only the main characters, but all the secondary and background characters.
2) This was quite a sweet story, a wonderful, entertaining tale. From the get go, I appreciated Leo, Leone, and their zodiac obsessed mother. The sexual tension, warm feelings, happiness, and so much more will bring nothing but satisfaction at the end. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has eyes or ear (in the case of an Audio Book or someone that could read it for you! :D Another well written and wonderful book by Ms. Sunday!
3) This was just lovely. It was funny and heartwarming. The author's writing style invited the reader in and made them cozy as they read. Well done!


Leo Loves Aries Anyta Sunday
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1544065396
ISBN-13: 978-1544065397
Amazon: Leo Loves Aries Anyta Sunday

A new person will enter your life in the early year, Leo. Look past any moments of frustration they might bring and laugh—this could be the start of a thriving friendship.

Theo Wallace usually laughs at the horoscopes his mom sends. Still hung up on his ex-girlfriend and practically friendless, this one begs him to reconsider. Because a friendship that stuck, that thrived…

Well, that would be a reason to leave past pains behind and look to the Bright Future.

When his sister Leone challenges him to find her the perfect date for a spring wedding, Theo uses it as a chance to make new friends. Theo’s ex economics tutor and newest roommate Mr. Jamie Cooper seems to be a possible and convenient match. Real convenient. Like written in the stars, convenient.

All he has to do is make sure this Jamie is good enough. Could really be The One for her, and the friend for him.

But watch out, Leo, the stars have a surprise in store…

"Leo Loves Aries" is a sweet, slow burn, M/M romance with HEA. This New Adult, college, GFY, friends-to-lovers novel can be read as a standalone.
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2017-09-10 12:10 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Skythane J. Scott Coatsworth


1) A thrill-a-minute intergalactic adventure with a slow-burn romance that really satisfies. Truly outstanding worldbuilding, and a multi-layered plot with dynamic characters. This book was an absolute delight from start to finish.
2) Skythane was a totally engrossing read. The world building was rich and detailed, and the characters were three dimensional.  I could never second guess where the story was going and I couldn't put the book down. The true test of a book for me is, 'would I read a sequel' and I can say with this one, I absolutely would.
3) The world building in this piece was phenomenal, as were the characters. Although the story started out a little slow, it quickly picked up pace and made me believe in this alien world along with the different species that inhabited it.
4) I enjoyed the story even when I had difficulty keeping track of everything… It made me want to keep on reading from start to finish. I would definitely read more from this author. 


Skythane J. Scott Coatsworth
Gay - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 17, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635334039
ISBN-13: 978-1635334036
Amazon: Skythane J. Scott Coatsworth

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.
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2017-09-10 12:12 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Pictures of you ('90s Coming of Age series #1) Leta Blake


1) This is the best book I have read in any coming of age genre.  I could feel and believe that I was Peter in the story.  His love/hate relationship with Adam and all the secrecy needed to hide the fact that they were gay in a time when this wasn't allowed, tore him apart.  I can't wait to read the rest of the 4 book series so I can see what happens to Peter.
2) A well-written, believable, New-Adult coming-of-age story, that begins a promising series. Eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel is a very sympathetic character, with flaws that are both frustrating and painfully real. He's struggling to move on from the friendless, bullied kid he's been in public high school. With a change of schools, he meets a new classmate - charismatic, bisexual Adam. But in 1991, being out as gay is far from safe, and so Peter's joy in a first relationship is tempered by becoming Adam's dirty secret. Adam offers protests of forever love in secret, and a casual friendship in public. The result is a moving, infuriating, realistic tale of a young man trying to navigate the difficult waters of his own needs, his boyfriend's fears, his family's prejudices, and the risks from bullies and homophobic adults. The book's ending is open, more of a new beginning, and I look forward to reading the next installment.

Pictures of you ('90s Coming of Age series #1) Leta Blake
Bisexual - Young Adult
Series: '90s Coming of Age
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 17, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1537740040
ISBN-13: 978-1537740041
Amazon: Pictures of you ('90s Coming of Age series #1) Leta Blake

Growing up gay isn't easy. Growing up gay in Knoxville, Tennessee is even harder.

Eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel, a private school senior--class of 1990--is passionate about photography. Peter doesn't have many friends, preferring to shoot pictures from behind the scenes to keep his homosexuality secret.

Enter Adam Algedi, a charming, worldly new guy who doesn't do labels, but does want to do Peter. Hardly able to believe gorgeous Adam would want geeky, skinny him of all people, Peter's swept away on a journey of first love and sexual discovery.

But as their mutual web of lies spins tighter and tighter, can Peter find the confidence he needs to make the right choices? And will his crush on Daniel, a college acquaintance, open a new path?

Join Peter in the first of this four-part coming of age series as he struggles to love and be loved, and grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.

This new series by Leta Blake is gay fiction with romantic elements.

Book 1 of 4.