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The William Neale Award for Gay Contemporary Romance

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:

 
1) Arrows Through Archer Nash Summers
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1547280700
ISBN-13: 978-1547280704
Amazon: Arrows Through Archer Nash Summers

1) Strong story, well developed characters, my only qualm was with the last 1/3 of the book not being as strong as the first 2/3.
2) This story is rich, vivid, emotionally charged, and left me thinking about it long after I finished.
3) Heartfelt and never less than engaging, peopled with realistically drawn characters, this novel makes for some very satisfying reading.
4) A superb storyteller, Nash Summers gives us characters who enthrall, and a soft-spoken story that speaks to the reader's heart. This is a must read romance, full of emotion, well-developed arcs, and a happy, satisfying ending.
5) I loved everything about this story. The writing was excellent and tight. It has everything one could want in a story, the feels, the hope, the romance, even the age gap was done with care. I love reading about a broken man being put back together with love and care, but two? Even better! I loved how their story was built slowly and carefully. This.Was.Good!

2) Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) Tara Lain
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: Love in Laguna
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635339650
ISBN-13: 978-1635339659
Amazon: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) Tara Lain

1) I especially liked that though it is part of a series, this book stands very well on its own. Info from the other books is referenced, but effectively, without overly summarizing or depending upon that info to follow the plot of this story. The characters were very likable; what's more, I didn't like them all at first, but by the end, I had gotten to know the real people behind the actions, and that is quite rewarding as a reader. I appreciate that though character conflicts were resolved to satisfy the story, they were not all fully tied with a bow, which gives the story a certain realism. The epilogue ending did feel a little too good to be true in some ways, but it almost didn't matter because I wanted that extra cherry on top for these characters, and I ended up wondering happily about how their lives would further play out. Watching Tom inadvertently put idiots in their places just by being his unassuming, sweet self was lovely. Merle's narrative tone had me laughing outright at places; I don't know many authors who can use phrases like "the cockles of his balls" without distracting me from the mood! But the turns of phrase were very entertaining. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book!
2) Love the characters, setting, and plot. Deeply invested in the series and it's characters.
3) So much in The Fool of Main Beach was a surprise. Tom Henry was unique and interesting. Merle Justice was a character it was easy to empathize with even though he wad a movie star. All around, this book was well done.
4) I like this book. A Romance if ever there was one! And delightfully moving, too. I give it full marks: a 10 all around.

3-tie) Lucy Lennox Borrowing Blue (Made Marian #1)
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: Made Marian
Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 24, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1540847659
ISBN-13: 978-1540847652
Amazon: Lucy Lennox Borrowing Blue (Made Marian #1)

1) This contemporary romance novel had a gay-for-you storyline that was believable with characters that had interesting back stories. Although I felt some of the secondary characters could've been fleshed out more, the love (and lust) between Blue and Tristan was very believable.
2) Great story, engaging characters, simple plot that nevertheless sunk it's claws into you and wouldn't let go.
3) This is the first book in the Made Marian series. I enjoyed the way the author brought these two together and the little twist about their connection. This is a book to read if you are looking for something lite but entertaining to get you through the day.
4) This book is simply charming and the love story both sweet and hot. The setting of the winery is done just right. Awesome debut!

3-tie) The Bravest Thing Laura Lascarso
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 17, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 163533635X
ISBN-13: 978-1635336351
Amazon: The Bravest Thing Laura Lascarso

1) This was one of those rare books which made me care about the characters. They jumped off the page and became real in my mind.  I felt their pain, their frustration, and their happiness.
2) The prose is solid, the characterization is spot-on, and the pacing of the story is great.
3) An excellent storyteller, Laura Lascarso brings us a wonderful story of strife in first love with a happy ending founded in self-actualization, acceptance, and hope for the future. A highly recommended read for new adults.
4) I Loved, Loved, Loved reading this story! The pain and anguish are so palpable I felt it in my heart. That's what a story is supposed to do, to make the reader 'feel' what the characters are going through and identify with them. I wanted to reach into the screen and give these two a huge, tight hug. Most definitely will read more of Ms. Lascarso's books. Well done!

Runner Ups:



4-tie) Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3) by Tal Bauer
4-tie) Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday
5-tie) Arctic Restitution (Arctic Absolution #3) by Lynn Kelling
5-tie) Bonfires by Amy Lane
6) Hush by Tal Bauer
7-tie) Bare by Lynn Kelling
7-tie) Pieces of Me (Spectrum Nights #1) by Melanie Hansen
8) Falling Down by Eli Easton
9-tie) Moment Of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali
9-tie) Runner by Parker Williams
10) Jumping Jude (Made Marian #3) by Lucy Lennox
11-tie) Love is Heartless (Love Can't #2) by Kim Fielding
11-tie) September by Robert Winter
12) As I Am (All Saints #3) by A.M. Arthur

Finalists:



13-tie) See My Words (Spectrum Nights #2) by Melanie Hansen
13-tie) Sight Unseen by Susan Mac Nicol and Nicholas Downs
14) Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain
15-tie) Lost and Found (Twist of Fate #1) by Lucy Lennox & Sloane Kennedy
15-tie) Love’s Tethered Heart by C.L. Etta
16-tie) Diving Deep by P.D. Singer
16-tie) Survivor by T.M. Smith
17) Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians #3) by Meg Amor
18) True Colors by Anyta Sunday
19-tie) A Way with Words (Memories with The Breakfast Club) by Lane Hayes
19-tie) At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere by L.A. Witt
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