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All books submitted to the Rainbow Awards are assigned to 7 judges. Each judge rates the book 1 to 40. Books with at least 1 rate equal or above 36 out of possible 40 receive an Honorable Mention.

Winners will be announced on December 8th.

Below Honorable Mentions in alphabethical order:

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

• 24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4) by EM Lynley:
• A Boy Called Cin by Cecil Wilde:
• A Fashionable Indulgence by KJ Charles:
• A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews:
• A Hard Ride Home by Emory Vargas:
• A Harvest of Ripe Figs by Shira Glassman:
• A Man's Man by Genta Sebastian:
• A New Man by P.D. Singer:
• A Pride of Poppies by Julie Bozza:
• A Restored Man by Jaime Reese:
• A Scout is Brave by Jay Jordan Hawke:
• A Small Country about to Vanish by Victoria Avilan:
• A Spartan Love by Kayla Jameth:
• A Year in the Life by Cat Grant:
• After The End by Sara York:
• Against Doctor’s Orders by Radclyffe:
• All I'll Ever Need by J.P. Bowie:
• All Queers Must Die by Antonio:
• All the little Moments by G Benson:
• All We Lack by Sandra Moran:
• Americana Fairy Tale by Lex Chase:
• An American Queer: The Amazon Trail by Lee Lynch:
• Angel Eyes by Christopher Hawthorne Moss:
• Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling:
• Asher Beauregard Attempts to Give a Damn by Thursday Euclid:
• Astounding! by Kim Fielding:
• Axel's Pup by Kim Dare:
• Azimuth (Interscission Project #2) by Arshad Ahsanuddin:
• Back Swing by Jeanine Hoffman:
• Bad Dyke: Salacious Stories from a Queer Life by Allison Moon:
• Balls & Chain, A Buck 98 Adventure by Eric Andrews-Katz:
• Balls Up by Kate Aaron:
• Banshee’s Honor by Shaylynn Rose:
• Barren by Anna Hedley:
• Barring Complications by Blythe Rippon:
• Because of Summer by Elle Vaughn:
• Behind Locked Doors by Nicholas Kinsley:
• Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane:
• Betting on Love by Alyssa Linn Palmer:
• Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens:
• Black John by Amy Lane:
• Blind Trust by Jody Klaire:
• Blink by Rick R. Reed:
• Blood and Dirt by Lloyd A. Meeker:
• Blowback by Bev Prescott:
• Blowing It by Kate Aaron:
• Blowing Smoke by Rory Ni Coileain:
• Blue on Black by Carole Cummings:
• Bowl Full of Cherries by Raine O’Tierney:
• Boystown 7: Bloodlines by Marshall Thornton:
• Breaking the Habit by J.P. Bowie:
• Breeding Stations (Alliances #1) by Chris T. Kat:
• Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe:
• Bright Lights of Summer by Lynn Ames:
• Broken Gait by Kate Pavelle:
• Broken Ink by Jack L. Pyke:
• Burning Intuition (Intuition #2) by Makenzi Fisk:
• Cafe Eisenhower by Richard Natale:
• Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley:
• Call Me Home by Megan Kruse:
• Candy Man/Bitter Taffy (2 books as 1 submission) by Amy Lane:
• Canning the Center by Tara Lain:
• Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan:
• Chained in Darkness (New Haven #1) by Nicholas Bella:
• Chance Of the Heart by Kade Boehme:
• Chaos Station (Chaos Station #1) by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen:
• Charlie’s Hero by Nic Starr:
• Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy by Jordan Castillo Price:
• Chasing Death Metal Dreams by Kaje Harper:
• Chipman’s African Adventure by Jim Anderson:
• Christmas Crush by Kate McLachlan:
• Cinder and the Smoke by Geonn Cannon:
• Come To My Window by Mia Kerick:
• Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens:
• Cronin's Key by N.R. Walker:
• Daddy’s Boy by Vicktor Alexander:
• Daydreamers by Jonathan Harper:
• Death's Doorway by Crin Claxton:
• Deception by Design by Tara Wentz:
• Desdemona Darkly: When Mickey met Hugh by Mathew Ortiz:
• Dinner at Fiorello's by Rick R. Reed:
• Dirty Dining by EM Lynley:
• Diventando: The Vessel by JC Wallace:
• Don’t Be Shy – A collection of erotic lesbian stories by Jae & Astrid Ohletz:
• Double Heat (Twin Ties #3) by Lynn Kelling:
• Dragon Horse War: The Calling by D. Jackson Leigh:
• Driving into the Sun by Dev Bentham:
• Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto:
• Endless Days of Summer by Stacy O'Steen:
• Escaping From Him by Liam Livings:
• Everybody Knows by Giselle Renarde:
• Everything by Carole Wolf:
• Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen:
• Everything's Coming Up Roses by Barry Lowe:
• Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin by Ron J. Suresha:
• Facing Demons by Lynley Wayne:
• Fairytales Slashed, Volume 6 by Angel Propps, Diana Jean, H.R. Harrison, Remy Jensen, Sandra Bard, Sasha L. Miller:
• Falling by Suki Fleet:
• Family and Reflection by Anne Barwell:
• Fidelity by Lia Black:
• Finding Matt by JD Ruskin:
• Finding Pluck by Peter Difatta:
• Fool's Gold by Jess Faraday:
• For Love of: Colt by Antonio:
• For Real by Alexis Hall:
• For the Love of Cake by Erin Dutton:
• Fox-Hat and Neko by August Li:
• Fragmented (Shadow Mountain #2) by Indra Vaughn:
• Freshman Blues by Ravon Silvius:
• Future Imperfect by Pelaam:
• Gayrabian Nights by Johnny Townsend:
• Geek Out by Samantha M. Derr:
• Gemini by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid:
• Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon:
• Girls In Ice Houses by Linda Morganstein:
• Glamour Blade (a House Millar book) by Áine P Massie:
• Greater Love Hath No Man by Tinnean:
• Groom Of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers Of The Remmington Realm) by Vicktor Alexander:
• Hammer and Bone by Kirby Crow:
• Have a Little Faith in Me by Brad Vance:
• Heat Trap by JL Merrow:
• Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey:
• Hope and Love Anthology by Áine P Massie:
• How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton:
• Hurt by Lila Bruce:
• I’ll Always Miss You by Raine O’Tierney:
• Idolatry by Rebecca Cohen:
• I'll Still Be There by Keelan Ellis:
• Illusions & Dreams by Z. Allora:
• Immortal by Amy Lane:
• In Distress by Caethes Faron:
• In Me an Invincible Summer by Ryan Loveless:
• In My Neighborhood by Giovanna Capone:
• In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish:
• In the Stillness of Dawn by Laurie Salzler:
• Inclination by Mia Kerick:
• Infected: Epitaph by Andrea Speed:
• Infected: Paris by Andrea Speed:
• Innocence by Suki Fleet:
• Jackdaw by KJ Charles:
• Jade by Skylar Wood:
• Jerricho's Freedom by JC Wallace:
• Jewel Cave by Elizabeth Noble:
• Jolt by Kris Bryant:
• Journey To You by A.J. Adaire:
• June Magee, RN, Festival Nurse by Ann McMan, Salem West, Barrett:
• Keep the Stars Running by Andrea Speed, Talya Andor, Lexi Ander, Leona Carver, and Cassandra Pierce:
• Kick at the Darkness by Keira Andrews:
• Knave of Broken Hearts by Tara Lain:
• Kneel, Mr. President by Lauren Gallagher:
• Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain:
• Laurel Heights 2 by Lisa Worrall:
• Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher:
• Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney:
• Les faits accomplis by Anna Martin:
• Lesbians on the Loose: Crime Writers on the Lam by Lori L. Lake & Jessie Chandler:
• Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay #4) by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov:
• Lonely Shore (Chaos Station #2) by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen:
• Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey:
• Love and the Real Boy (Coming About #2) by J.K. Hogan:
• Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero by Alex Gabriel:
• Love is Enough by Cindy Rizzo:
• Love Me Tomorrow by Ethan Day:
• Love Spell by Mia Kerick:
• Make Me Soar (Collars & Cuffs #6) by K.C. Wells:
• Making a Comeback by Julie Blair:
• Mastering Love (The Hampton Road Club #4) by Morticia Knight:
• Medusa: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread by Elizabeth Watasin:
• Memoir in the Making by Adrian J. Smith:
• Memoirs of the Happy Lesbian Housewife by Lorraine Howell:
• Memory by Doug Lloyd:
• Misplaced Affection by Wade Kelly:
• Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life by Julie Bozza:
• Model Citizen by Lissa Kasey:
• Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other NonTraditional, Twenty-First Century Weddings by Mark O'Connell:
• Moonstone (Stone Magic #1) by K-lee Klein:
• Moonstruck by Shannon West:
• Most Beautiful Words by Raine O’Tierney:
• Muse Me Only by Princess S.O.:
• My Body Is Yours by Michael V. Smith:
• My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange:
• Mythica by L.J. LaBarthe:
• Never Too Late by Julie Blair:
• Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano:
• No Good Reason by Cari Hunter:
• No Place That Far by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov:
• No Thru Road by Linda M. Vogt:
• Obsidian Sun by Jon Keys:
• On The Clock by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov:
• One, Two, Three... Salvation by Joey James Hook:
• One Marine, Hero by EM Lynley:
• Operation Stop Hate (Operation #1) by Jessie Chandler:
• Orion's Circle by Victoria Sue:
• Palace Dog by R.E. Nelson:
• Peripheral People by Reesa Herberth & Michelle Moore:
• Played! by JL Merrow:
• Playing House by Bru Baker:
• Prince of Faith (An Uncommon Whore #3) by Belinda McBride:
• Pulling Leather by L.C. Chase:
• Pure Indulgence by Victoria Sue:
• Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence:
• Rattlesnake by Kim Fielding:
• Razor Wire by Lauren Gallagher:
• Rebels by Jeff Mann:
• Red Dirt Heart 4 by N.R. Walker:
• Red in Tooth and Claw (Underdogs #4) by Geonn Cannon:
• Redemption (Diversion #5) by Eden Winters:
• Reflections of Fate by Pat Cronin:
• Resist by Heather C. Leigh:
• Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk:
• Riding Passion by D. Jackson Leigh:
• Riding the Rainbow by Genta Sebastian:
• rock by Anyta Sunday:
• Romance by the Book by Jo Victor:
• Running With Scissors by L.A. Witt:
• Sail Away by Lee Rowan:
• Sandcastles by Suzie Carr:
• Sculpting Anna by Venus Reising:
• Season's Meetings by Amy Dunne:
• Secrets and Bow Ties by Lou Harper:
• Secrets of Angels by A.L. Duncan:
• Sedition (Demoted #2) by Alicia Cameron:
• Semper Fi by Keira Andrews:
• Seventh by Rachel White:
• Sex, Love, and Videogames by CJane Elliott:
• Sharpshooter by Leslie Murray:
• Sheltered Love by M.J. Williamz:
• Show Trans by Elliott DeLine:
• Shuttered by Emma Jane:
• Sideways Down the Sky by Barry Brennessel:
• Signs by Anna Martin:
• Silver Scars by Posy Roberts:
• Skyclad by Max Ellendale:
• Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake:
• Smoothie by Jane Elliot:
• Snow on Spirit Bridge by Freddy MacKay:
• Snowman by Isabelle Rowan:
• Soiled – A Shannon Patrick Landscape Mystery by Lin Phillippi:
• Song of the Lonesome Cowboy by Lynn Kelling:
• Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara:
• Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith:
• Spectacularly Broken by Sage C. Holloway:
• Spring Blossom (Camellia #2) by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.:
• Starstruck by L.A. Witt:
• Stealing Arthur by Joel Perry:
• Strength to Let Go (Tales of the Werewolf Tribes #1) by Alina Popescu:
• Struck! A Titanic Love Story by Tonie Chacon:
• Subjection (Demoted #1) by Alicia Cameron:
• Summer Symphony by Brandon Shire:
• Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell:
• Take the Long Way Home by J.A. Rock:
• Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined #3) by Tempeste O’Riley:
• Ten Little Lesbians by Kate McLachlan:
• The 10 Year book by JC Calciano:
• The Acquittal by Anne Laughlin:
• The Altered by Annabelle Jacobs:
• The Anatomy of Perception by AJ Rose:
• The Art of Peeling an Orange by Victoria Avilan:
• The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane:
• The Bohemian and the Banker by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon:
• The Burnt Toast B&B (A Bluewater Bay Story) by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz:
• The Butcher’s Sons by Scott Alexander Hess:
• The Butterfly King by Edmond Manning:
• The Caphenon by Fletcher DeLancey:
• The Chase and the Catch by A.F. Henley:
• The Common Thread by Jaime Maddox:
• The Deadening (Sisters of Spirits Trilogy #3) by Yvonne Heidt:
• The Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane:
• The Desert Rats (The Mason Braithwaite Paranormal Mystery #2) by Christopher Church:
• The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara:
• The Duchess of Manusk by Jordan Falconer:
• The Eskimo Slugger by Brad Boney:
• The Fallen Angels of Karnataka by Hans M. Hirschi:
• The Fiend Queen by Barbara Ann Wright:
• The Girls of Usually by Lori Horvitz:
• The Glass House by Suki Fleet:
• The Harem Master by Megan Derr:
• The Heart of the Kingdom (The Kingdom Curses #1) by Sasha L. Miller:
• The HomePort Journals by A.C. Burch:
• The Hystery App by V.T. Davy:
• The Inheritor (The Marketplace #6) by Laura Antoniou:
• The King of Forever by Kirby Crow:
• The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde:
• The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton:
• The Love of Wicked Men (Episodes 1-6) by Brandon Shire:
• The Paths of Marriage by Mala Kumar:
• The Peach and the Poppy by Caesar J.M. Kauftheil:
• The Peacock’s Eye by Jay Lewis Taylor:
• The Right Time by Lane Hayes:
• The Sea Leopard by M. Kei:
• The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles:
• The Slave by Kate Aaron:
• The Storm Before the Calm by Cate Ashwood:
• The Surrender by Terias McKlay:
• The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring (Butterfly Hunter #3) by Julie Bozza:
• The Tide of War by Lori A. Witt:
• The Vampire and the P.I. by J.P. Bowie:
• The Witch of Stalingrad by Justine Saracen:
• The Witch's Daughter (Amendyr #3) by Rae D. Magdon:
• The Wrong Man by Lane Hayes:
• Then the Stars Fall by Brandon Witt:
• Theory Unproven by Lillian Francis:
• They Come By Night by Tinnean:
• Thirty Things by Cate Ashwood:
• Threads of the Heart by Jeannie Levig:
• Threefold Love by Ki Brightly:
• Tied Together by Z. Allora:
• To Love Again by B.L. Clark:
• To Love Free by Chris Paynter:
• To Summon Nightmares by J.K. Pendragon:
• Too Late... I Love You by Kiki Archer:
• Training Complex (Training Season #2) by Leta Blake:
• Trouble Comes in Threes by M.A. Church:
• Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson:
• Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum by Jack Scott:
• Turkish Delights by Trina Lane:
• Turning for Home by Caren J. Werlinger:
• Twice Lucky by Mardi Alexander:
• Twisted Echoes by Sheri Lewis Wohl:
• Under a Falling Star by Jae:
• Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen:
• Undercover Blues by Chris Quinton:
• Undone by E.M. Hodge:
• Unfortunate Son by Shae Connor:
• Unicorns and Rainbow Poop by Sam Kadence:
• Up the Ante by PJ Trebelhorn:
• Walk a Mile by Sarah Madison:
• Wayward Son by Shae Connor:
• We Came Alive in '75 by Pat Deihl:
• We Found Love by Allison Cassatta & Kade Boheme:
• Wedding Favors by Anne Tenino:
• Werewolves of Brooklyn by Brad Vance:
• What you are by Erin E. Keller:
• When It Raynes by C.D. Cain:
• When Skies Have Fallen by Debbie McGowan:
• Where the words end and my body begins by Amber Dawn:
• Winter Duet by Anne Barwell:
• Winter on Spring Street by Stacey Darlington:
• Winter’s Wolf by Tara Lain:
• Wishbone by Elaine Burnes:
• Wolves of Black Pine by S.J. Himes:
• Would I Lie to You? by Brad Vance:
• Wrecked by Deanna Wadsworth:
• YES by Brad Boney:
• Zebra-striped Briefs (3 novellas as 1 submission) by C.C. Dado:

"Rainbow Pride Cheesecake" is the official pin-up boy of the Rainbow Awards especially created by Paul Richmond
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The first 10 covers for Design and same for Illustration (with some tie-in) are now on for the Final Round of the Rainbow Awards Cover contest.

Final Round will be open until midnight of December 7th. You can access the vote page here:

At today we count 3.611 votes in Round 2 from 434 persons who took the poll.


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Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 13, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165694
ISBN-13: 978-1632165695
Amazon: Everything Changes
Amazon Kindle: Everything Changes

What happens when friendship catches fire?

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

This is a great read with more than a little angst.  If you love the friends to lover’s sub-genre then this is the book for you.

Depth of research, emotion, connection, feeling, love, hot sex, and even angst and realism that the author put into the story. It was the same with the setting and character development, the author did such an exceptional job with them, that I felt as if I know Jase and Carey. I felt as if I served along with them. As if I grew up with them. I could taste the Afghani sand, feel the splatter of warm blood against my skin, I felt as if I were ducking from the spray of bullets and the hail of fire and bombs from above. Sweat dripped down my brow as Jase and Carey relived their time in the service, and when they felt pain rip through their bodies, Mrs. Hansen did such a great job describing it, putting the reader there in the warzone with them, melding their minds and hearts with Jase and Carey that I too felt pain. As a veteran serviceman who suffers from PTSD as well and sees a therapist and is on antianxiety medication, Mrs. Hansen's descriptions of combat, of the comraderie between soldiers, veterans, and active servicemembers, and the way they bond, look out for each other, form attachments, and even with their families, and her vivid depictions of PTSD, its effects and some of the treatments were spot on and strikingly realistic. The author's writing style can only be described with one word: Breathtaking. She did an amazing job, bringing such a real, true, startling vivid story to life. I, for one, hope that there is more with Jase and Carey. I don't feel as if there story is complete and perhaps those small niggling issues will be addressed in a second book if there is one. But even if there isn't, Mrs. Hansen did such a perfectly imperfect job of writing this story that she now goes on my auto-buy list. Worth every point.

This was an outstanding book. It sucked me in and held me enthralled from start to finish. The flashbacks to Afghanistan were written so well that I felt as if I were there smelling the grit of the dirt and sand, the copper of blood and the acrid scent of gunpowder in the air. Just a phenomenal read, the best thing I’ve read in this contest this year.
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Make Me Soar (Collars & Cuffs #6) by K.C. Wells
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 22, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634762940
ISBN-13: 978-1634762946
Amazon: Make Me Soar (Collars & Cuffs #6)
Amazon Kindle: Make Me Soar (Collars & Cuffs #6)

Collars and Cuffs: Book Six

Anyone who frequents Collars & Cuffs knows Dorian Forrester is built for pain, including Dorian himself. But everyone has it wrong. For six years, Dorian’s chased a feeling that remains tantalizingly out of his reach. Unteachable, Dorian can take anything and everything a Dom can throw at him. Still, it’s not enough. Dorian needs… something more. Something he won’t find at Collars & Cuffs.

Dorian’s search takes him out of the safe environment he’s known for years, out of his depth, and into a realm of deep, dark trouble.

Alan Marchant has been watching Dorian with interest for a while and knows there’s more to Dorian than his label of “pain slut” suggests. When Dorian disappears, Alan and his friend Leo set out to find him. But the disoriented young man discovered cowering in a hotel room is not the Dorian they know and love. That Dorian is shattered. It’s up to Alan to pick up the pieces and show Dorian there are better ways to fly.

They may be off on a new journey together, but their destination will rock them both to the core.

I really enjoyed this story. K.C. Wells takes BDMS on a all different level, more mental that physical, and the way she does is amazing. You really can picture the scenes in your mind. It's a story of hurt that turn in self-exploration, a journey of self-discovery to find love. And you will love Dorian, cry for him, praise him for his achievement. And all of this thanks to the amazing writing style. I loved the all series of Collars and Cuffs, but I am sure this is the best one.
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A Fashionable Indulgence: A Society of Gentlemen Novel by KJ Charles
Gay Historical Romance
Publisher: Loveswept (August 11, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: A Fashionable Indulgence: A Society of Gentlemen Novel

In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.

When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.

After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.

Historical romance is often hit or miss, since the authors have a tendency to use only what they've encountered in other historicals, particularly Regencies. KJ Charles is so thorough with her research, you feel transported rather than merely plopped down in a setting. The feel of the streets, the pulse of London at that time, the mannerisms, the speech patterns, the smallest details of fashion are all so beautifully accurate, so painstakingly verified, I never once felt the need to look up a possible anachronism. Add to that the specific time placement around actual events, and the setting becomes so much more than window dressing. The characters are fully voiced and fully realized, always flawed as real people are, but with the growth one hopes to see in a romance. The despicable often becomes sympathetic as we're drawn farther and farther into the motives and machinations of a London in social turmoil. A beautifully paced and presented work, A Fashionable Indulgence hits all the right notes to render dry history a lovely, emotional tapestry.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The intrigue behind the making or breaking of a gentleman in a very tumultuous time had me riveted to the read. KJ Charles takes the reader through the political unrest in both the government and the Ton as easily as silk slides through one's fingers--smoothly and luxuriously, and wanting more.  The characters were well rounded and their background stories added to the intrigue to move the plot along at the nice pace.

This historical romance manages to balance out a love story, a social commentary, and a young man's coming of age, and do it well. I loved Julius - his veneer of perfection was clearly hiding something deeper, and I was fascinated to watch it revealed. I also enjoyed Harry. He was in a tough spot, and it was easy to sympathize with his desire after all the hard years, to live a life of ease. Harry's dilemma, choosing between a happy life and the deep ideals of his parents, had no easy solution, and that gave just a touch of bitterness to the romantic resolution.

Very strong Regency with authentic details, solid writing, and steamy m/m relationship. Assured writing from beginning to end and many plot twists make it an entertaining read.

An emotional and entertaining historical romance! I liked the characters a lot, and the plot held my interest throughout.

It features a character who doesn’t know he’s descended from a wealthy family suddenly thrust into high society, and coached by a dandy obsessed with high-quality garments. It’s well-researched and a delightful read.

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Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt Book 1) by Heidi Cullinan
Gay Young Adult
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 7, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt Book 1)

Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

The Roosevelt, Book 1

High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Well written and empathetic, tackling characters and situations rarely discussed in other novels.

This is one of the best, most touching, truest books I've ever read, in any genre, in any category. Jeremey and Emmet's love grows from a tiny, uncertain spark to a roaring flame that warms everyone near it. Their struggles--one with major depressive disorder, the other with autism--are related and developed with a deft hand by author Cullinan, and their sexualities are nuanced and handled with impressive thoughtfulness. To read "Carry the Ocean" is to enter their minds and their world, and the journey is so intense that at their victories, both small and large, I found myself with tears in my eyes and goosebumps prickling my skin. I never knew I needed a story like this; now I feel my life has changed in some wonderful way by experiencing it.

What I loved about this book was how pure and real the characters were portrayed. It was like the author took two people who the world would loook at as deficient, different, strange, damaged, and let us see just how awesome and normal they really are...or, rather, since there is no normal, how utterly awesome they are.

It tackles mental illness and autism.  Makes you see their struggles to just live their lives. One of the sayings in the book is “It’s like Elwood Blues says; everybody needs somebody to love.  I’m an everybody. I get somebody.”  It educates you, entertains you, and inspires you.   I truly believe this book should be read by everyone.  As she says in the book “There is no normal, not really. Not a right and a wrong way to be. But there is belonging”

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Blue on Black by Carole Cummings
Gay Fantasy
Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications (June 16, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632169495
ISBN-13: 978-1632169495
Amazon: Blue on Black
Amazon Kindle: Blue on Black

Kimolijah Adani―Class 2 gridTech, beloved brother, most promising student the Academy's ever had the privilege of calling their own, genius mechanical gridstream engineer, brilliantly pioneering inventor... and dead man. But that's what happens when a whiz kid messes with dynamic crystals and, apparently, comes to the attention of Baron Petra Stanslo. Killed for his revolutionary designs, Kimolijah Adani had been set to change the world with his impossible train that runs on nothing more than gridstream locked in a crystal. Technically it shouldn't even be possible, but there is no doubt it works.

Bas is convinced the notoriously covetous and corrupt Stanslo had something to do with Kimolijah Adani's tragic and suspicious end. A Directorate Tracker, Bas has finally managed to catch the scent of Kimolijah Adani's killer, and it leads right into Stanslo's little desert barony. For almost three years, Bas has tried to find a way into Stanslo's Bridge, and when he finally makes it, shock is too small a word for what―or, rather, whom―he finds there.

Very gritty world, and the author did a good job describing it without going into all sorts of exposition. The love interest has to be one of the oddest ones I’ve seen in a book, and very refreshing to see a new take on something like that. The author used a lot of customized terms and concepts for the magic/technology system, sometimes without enough explanation as to what a term actually means. The slow build of the plot and the one-side attraction keep the reader interested. The fact that the protagonist was interested in men and not women was secondary to the actual plot, and handled very well. The story dose suffer from the “build drama because the characters just tell each other things” trope. Overall really enjoyed it.

I am absolutely over the moon about this book. It starts out right in the middle of the action and fills in gaps expertly as we go along. The voice of Bas is really crisp and distinct, and the writing style and narration is simply phenomenal. I highly recommend this book and just love the way it unfolded.

The writing and plot and characters were superb, and the novel strikes some familiar vibes, à la Steven King's "Dark Tower" series, in that it's a bit steampunk, a bit horror, and a bit psychological thriller. There's also an element of fantastic realism, or magic.
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Jerricho's Freedom by JC Wallace
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Amber Allure (July 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1681759888
ISBN-13: 978-1681759883
Amazon: Jerricho's Freedom
Amazon Kindle: Jerricho's Freedom

Jerricho never expected to fall in love with Rex, the sexy, construction foreman, but he did. Too bad tradition forbids Jerry from marrying for love. Prince of the clandestine Anzuni demon clan, a Baelso (bearer of children), and a virgin at twenty-four, tradition dictates that Jerry marry a man chosen for him. Despite his soul-deep love for Rex, Jerry has no choice but to follow through with his obligation as prince and marry someone he doesn’t love.

But Jerry isn’t prepared for his dominant, aggressive fiancé who is interested in marrying him only for the future title of king. Facing the reality that he will lose his virginity to the cold man, Jerry flees to Rex for one night of passion. When Jerry finds himself pregnant with Rex’s baby, however, the actions of his enraged fiancé release Jerry from his marriage obligation.

But just when Jerry believes he will marry for love, he and Rex are ripped away from life as they know it. Betrayals, kidnappings, cruel experiments, pregnant men, and the reappearance of the Anzuni’s greatest enemy force Jerry and Rex to fight for their lives, their love, and their unborn child...

I enjoyed the story with all its twists and turns and great action. I did feel that it was too long though.

JC has become my favorite go to author for paranormal romance. I love his stories for throwing paranormal into my world in such a way that I actually believe there are demons out there now. The easy flow of dialogue and well fleshed out characters kept me engaged throughout the story.
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Spring Blossom (Camellia Book 2) by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.
Lesbian Erotic Romance
Series: Camellia
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (July 27, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620045869
ISBN-13: 978-1620045862
Amazon: Spring Blossom (Camellia Book 2)
Amazon Kindle: Spring Blossom (Camellia Book 2)

Relationships, BDSM, and family are all complicated enough on their own—and almost impossible when they come crashing together unexpectedly. When Danny's brother sees a bruise that Danny obtained while in a scene with Lucy, she faces judgement from her family and their reactions send her running to Lucy for a safe place to clear her head. But staying with her girlfriend isn't the solution to the problem, and if she's going to untangle the mess that her life has become, Danny first has to start with taking control of herself.

I loved it and I want more of the story!!!  I found both MC's well written and would love to hear more of their story. Both are complex with so much more to offer.  The authors have a smooth easy style to their writing.

Best work I’ve seen so far. The only thing I would note is that since it’s shorter than the other books I’ve read, it has a slight advantage over other works. But apart from that, the characters are sympathetic (though a bit too romanticized in the some scenes) and well-developed and the plot conflict is tied up well at the end. The sex scenes were hot and very well written and the setting felt familiar and I had no trouble visualizing it. The book was also very well written – minimal typos, grammar rules adhered to, word choice both correct and evocative. I would be happy to read subsequent works by these authors.

One of the best romances I read this year. I was lucky enough to catch the first book last year and even more so to catch the latest installment. Beautifully written and with surprising twists, I couldn't stop reading this wonderful romance.
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Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin by Ron J. Suresha
Bisexual Fantasy
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590214641
ISBN-13: 978-1590214640
Amazon: Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin: naughty, unexpurgated stories of the beloved wise fool from the Middle and Far East
Amazon Kindle: Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin: naughty, unexpurgated stories of the beloved wise fool from the Middle and Far East

This much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning collection detailing the exploits of the beloved 800-year-old Turkish "wise fool," Mullah Nasruddin, presents well over 250 hilarious and authentic folktales, dozens appearing in English for the first time. Author Suresha has done extensive research to unearth many of these centuries-old racy tales of the "naughty Nasruddin"-stories previously suppressed for moralistic reasons-which explore taboo themes as the Mullah interacts with his family, community, and strangers during his many journeys. Readers will be amused as well as amazed by this unadulterated account of the truly Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin.

I couldn't put it down!  And it's non-fiction! Suresha sets it up in a very scholarly fashion in his introduction, providing all the historical/academic references, evidence of his own scholarship as well as his personal passion for the topic, and warnings about the salacious nature of the work.  If ever an introduction was going to get you to read a book, it was that one! Then the content was in bite-sized, parable-style chunks.  Memorable, witty, and yes, naughty at times.  Suresha did a good job warning about racism, sexism, scatological humor, etc. sufficiently that I was able to put it all in context and not be offended.  In fact, with each of the pieces that was one of the many things he warned about, I would nod a bit and think "oh yes, he warned me about this." I had heard of Nasruddin before, but I couldn't have said anything about him of substance.  Now I feel I know how he thinks.  I'm actually going to go out and find Suresha's first book on the topic, because I found this one so entertaining.  And I'll buy this one when it's published because I'd like a physical copy of it in order to flip around and mark my favorites.
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The Deadening (Sisters of Spirits Trilogy 3) by Yvonne Heidt
Lesbian Paranormal Romance
Series: Sisters of Spirits Trilogy
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (February 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626392439
ISBN-13: 978-1626392434
Amazon: The Deadening (Sisters of Spirits Trilogy 3)
Amazon Kindle: The Deadening (Sisters of Spirits Trilogy 3)

Shade Stewart is a member of the Sisters of Spirits paranormal investigative group and a self-proclaimed necromancer. Renowned for leaving a trail of broken hearts, she walks between darkness and the light, searching to ease the emptiness in her spirit with women and whatever else might ease the pain. After an explosion leaves her in a coma, Shade is trapped in a place between this reality and her nightmares, fighting for her life and her soul.

Raven Sanchez, a fiery generational witch, is the newest member of SOS. Instantly attracted to Shade and the power she possesses, Raven pursues her, ignoring the darkness that surrounds her. Blinded by her desire, she uses her magic in an attempt to win Shade’s heart, setting in motion forces beyond her control.

I had read the first two in the series and was looking forward to the next book. Very nicely done. This was Shade's story and Heidt really developed her character so that she was fully fleshed-out by the end. I love the author's imagination!
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After The End by Sara York
Gay Young Adult
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 24, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1502483734
ISBN-13: 978-1502483737
Amazon: After The End
Amazon Kindle: After The End

With international flights crisscrossing the skies on an hourly basis, are we ever really safe? When a strain of the Ebola virus mutates; it spreads quickly leaving the medical community shattered. People are dropping in the streets and life, as most know it, comes to an end. Two city dweller survivors, Dean and William, are forced to flee the city and live in the wilderness—where dangers lurk behind every tree and in every valley. Not everyone alive after the end is good, and William and Dean are faced with challenges that would bring many to their knees. Growing up in the hood of Atlanta, Dean knows how to overcome trials, but he knows nothing of love. Can he sustain a relationship with William, or will his doubts end them before they even have a chance? From birth William has had a silver spoon in his mouth and two in each hand, but the end brings him face to face with reality where he has to take responsibility for his life. After the end, money has no meaning, and life is lived on the edge. Join William and Dean after the end and find out how close to the edge they come.

Loved.It! One thing I'll have to say about Sara York's writing is, She gets better and better the more she writes. This book has so much going on, action, romance, mystery, you name it! It was well written, the story line sucked me right in and I became part of their world. I felt what these young men were feeling and that, in my opinion, is the best thing an author can accomplish. Well done!
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The Vampire and the P.I. by J.P. Bowie
Gay Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wilde City Press (June 9, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: The Vampire and the P.I.

When Sean Martin was shot in the hip he thought his days in law enforcement were over. Leaving the force with commendations and a healthy disability agreement he opened up his own private investigative business, and for a while enjoyed success until a jealous and homophobic ex-colleague spread a story about Sean assaulting an underage boy, the son of an influential congressman.

Overnight, Sean’s business tanked, leaving him broke and with zero clients. That is until Master Vampire, Rafael Barrantes, hires him to find the murderer of Julian Hunter, a young male escort. Sean isn’t crazy about working for a vampire—but all that changes when he meets Arturo Menendez, Rafael’s private secretary.

The stunning and uninhibited Arturo wastes no time in showing his admiration for the handsome PI. He immediately tries, and succeeds in seducing Sean. In between bouts of the most amazing sex Sean has ever had, he discovers that the facts surrounding Julian’s murder have been swept under the carpet. Perhaps by pressure from his wealthy ‘clients’ whose veneer of respectability might be irreparably damaged if it were disclosed they had used Julian’s services.

With Arturo’s help, Sean wades through a web of deceit, lies and treachery trying not only to find Julian’s killer, but also to vindicate himself of the false rape charge that ruined his career. In the process he is beaten, kidnapped by a bad cop, and bitten by a rogue vampire. With the odds stacked against him, can he possibly ever solve the mystery of Julian’s murder, and can Arturo, even with his vampire powers, save Sean from a grisly death?

This author is very good with writing interesting storylines that keep the reader involved with the characters. Sean and Auturo were good together and there were a lot of twists that involved a lot of characters. The overall story was interesting all the same.  I think this is the 3rd story by this author that I have read, and for the most part, I like their style.
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Finding Matt by JD Ruskin
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632162768
ISBN-13: 978-1632162762
Amazon: Finding Matt
Amazon Kindle: Finding Matt

When six-year-old Matt Wilson and his Shih Tzu, Pixie, step out of the Stanton Community Hospital and disappear, his desperate parents convince Jaron Greenberg, a local pet psychic, to aid the police in the search. Jaron specializes in finding lost kitties and fixing problem pooches. He isn't prepared for a case with so much at stake. And as soon as he starts, the abilities he's had since childhood begin changing and growing in unexpected ways.

Paulo Silva is a veteran detective new to the small town of Stanton. As the low man on the totem pole at Stanton PD, he isn't happy when the chief assigns him to babysit the pet psychic instead of actively working the missing child case. As Jaron uncovers clues, Paulo starts to wonder if he might be the real thing. Or maybe it's just his testosterone reacting to what he’s sure is mutual attraction.

The story moved forward enough to keep me invested and I liked the characters. The intensity of the kidnapping situation was very good and realistic considering what brought everything together. A good story all the way.
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Mastering Love (The Hampton Road Club 4) by Morticia Knight
Gay Erotic Romance
Series: The Hampton Road Club
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing (June 9, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1784306134
ISBN-13: 978-1784306137
Amazon: Mastering Love (The Hampton Road Club 4)
Amazon Kindle: Mastering Love (The Hampton Road Club 4)

Evan sees a Master who could be his whole world and Ned sees a beautiful boy in need. But shattered trust and broken hearts could keep them apart forever. Evan landed on his ex-Master’s doorstep after Master Gabriel dumped him for a virgin. He’d hoped Thomas would take him back, but he’s moved on with his new submissive, Linus. Evan has nowhere to go and barely a penny to his name. Fortunately, Master Aaron and his boy, Sam, invite him to stay at their guesthouse. Alone and abandoned, Evan aches for a Master who can give him more—if only he knew what ‘more’ meant. Master Ned has finally decided to settle down in one place after traveling on the road for years. He’s always loved the Hampton Road Club—it’s a private sanctuary for men such as himself. The roaring twenties might be freer than ever, but the decadence of the sadomasochistic club could put its members in danger if they’re not discreet. Ned’s on the lookout for an untried boy who’s ready to fully submit to him on a daily basis. In return, he plans to train and care for his submissive. If he can also find love, then his life will be perfect. After Evan is introduced to Ned at the club, they have an intense encounter that catches them both by surprise. What should lead to a possible future for them as Master and submissive is destroyed when Ned mysteriously casts Evan aside. Evan wonders if he’ll ever be good enough to keep a Master, and Ned fears he may have lost the best thing that ever happened to him. Shattered trust and broken hearts have to be repaired before Evan and Ned can find their way to each other—if it’s not already too late.

What a beautifully, erotic, and loving story that gives the reader a chance to imagine how BDSM relationships began before they were officially labelled, before the leather daddies, and before the grand surge of heterosexual influences. This book is another glimpse into the birth of what would become a movement, and Ms Knight did an exceptional job with the entire thing, from start to finish. As a member of the community being written about, it was interesting to see the author's imagining of how the community began, formed, and grew, how the ultimate care and longing for permanency for their submissives turned into the basic tenements of safe, sane, consensual (SSC) and then to risk, awareness, consensual, kink(RACK). The plot was very well done, each character was delightfully and wondrously explored and delved into, from the main characters to the secondary characters. The settings were fresh and alive, described so vividly they were like a movie running across the screen of my mind. This can all be attributed to Ms Knight's writing style. The emotions the characters displayed were splashed across the words of the page in bright, emotionally, gripping colors. It was an amazing read and I can't wait to read every other book in this series.
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Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon
Lesbian Non Fiction
Perfect Paperback: 388 pages
Publisher: Lunatic Ink (April 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983830959
ISBN-13: 978-0983830955
Amazon: Girl Sex 101
Amazon Kindle: Girl Sex 101

Girl Sex 101 is a sex-ed book like no other, offering helpful info for ladies and lady-lovers of all genders and identities, playful and informative illustrations on each page, and over 100 distinct voices, plus a hot narrative that shows you how to put the info to good use!

Learn how to navigate the twists and turns of female sexuality, with special guidance from thirteen guest sex educators including Nina Hartley, Sex Nerd Sandra, Jiz Lee, Tristan Taormino, Julia Serano, Reid Mihalko, Kelly Shibari, and more!

Girl Sex 101 will teach you...
*The bits and pieces that make up female sexual anatomy
*Simple ways to communicate in the heat of the moment
*How to build a Road Map of your partner s pleasure
*Essential moves for cunnilingus, strap-ons, hand sex and more!
*Positions to avoid fatigue and generate the power you need to rock your girl's world!

You'll gain confidence to please your girl, no matter what your hands-on experience. Buckle your seat belt and get ready to ride!

Additional contributors include: Claudia Astorino, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Tina Horn, Megan Andelloux, Ignacio Rivera, Sophia St. James, Carol Queen, and Ducky Doolittle

Topics include: Safer Sex, STIs, Cunnilingus, Strap-on sex, Trans Women, Intersex, Sex and Disability, Gender Identity, Coming Out, Menopause, Pregnancy, Dyke Drama, Relationship Skills, Flirting, Vibrators and Other Toys, Lesbian Identity, Bisexual and Pansexual Identity, and much more!

This is the book every young woman should have been given instead of dry health class lectures on anatomy and menstruation. In a fun, often irreverent, entertaining way, Moon lays out the realities of sex for women, and though the emphasis is on women having relations with women, the information she shares in a sex-positive, non-judgmental way is vital for all women. With an inclusive atmosphere so that all women find themselves represented in a respectful, realistic way, Moon and her guest educators take the mystery out of how things work, how to approach sex in a positive, co-creative way, and what to avoid. With helpful, and wonderful, illustrations and even a story to illustrate certain points interspersed between the educational bits, everything a woman needs to take the anxiety and mystification out of sex is right here.

Great combination of graphics,  understandable language, and story-telling with wonderful ‘how-to’s’.

I wish I'd had this book when I was twenty, but even reading it at fifty-six I learned a lot! The book is full of information presented in a professional and entertaining way. No matter how experienced or inexperienced a person (this book's not just for girls!) is, this book has something to teach. Allison Moon knows what she's talking about, and she talks about it all. Oh, and it's fun.

I'm rating logical progression as "plot" and layout as "setting."  Characterization – the mildly erotic storyline used as illustration of principles – was strong on diversity but I think individual vignettes would have worked better.  These gals shag everyone. And, finally – This is NOT a book that should be read all at once, and it's not a book to give anyone as entertainment.  As a textbook for healthy consensual sex, it's excellent.

This is an absolutely unique and desperately needed resource for those who love cis women, female-identified women, feminine-of-center persons, female-bodied persons, and even persons whose bodies and identities don't fall neatly into a category. Targeted at the underserved demographic of those wishing to honor and respect a lover's personhood throughout a sexual encounter, Girl Sex 101 focuses heavily on achieving meaningful consent, negotiating boundaries, learning how to communicate about sex with a partner--especially one who's suffered abuse, misgendering, or body issues--and making the sometimes daunting prospect of true physical intimacy attainable for anyone. I can't recommend it highly enough. Everything about it from its charming fictional interludes to its fun illustrations to its up-to-date, sex-positive feminist approach to the subject matter win rave reviews. This book is a must-read for lesbian, multisexual, and trans* spectrum people.

From beginner to old-timer, very informative female sex primer. Easy to read, conversationally written, and very supportive and encouraging of whichever gender lifestyle a woman may choose. Lots of good tips!

It was informative, well written, and I like that the author also didn't want girls to man hate. Very nicely done.

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Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing (December 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622341996
ISBN-13: 978-1622341993
Amazon: Arctic Absolution
Amazon Kindle: Arctic Absolution

Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon is seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. He tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart—not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance. But temptation entangles them as the malicious ghosts of Jaye's past returns to haunt their every step. Jaye’s ghosts are bad enough, but the demon from Dixon's past is real enough to put both of their lives in danger.

The author had a way of pulling the reader in even though I had a hard time with the story.  However it is important to know this story will not be for everyone, and in fact is full of topics that could be considered triggers for some readers.  It is angst ridden and at times darker than what I like my stories to be, but I am glad I was given the chance to read this book.

This intense, gritty and and at times heart breaking story had me riveted to every page. Flawed heroes Alaskan Troop Dixon Rowe and ex con Jaye Larson are thrown together under what could have been the worst of circumstances, but there's enough of a spark there to make them want to explore their strange attraction for each other. Both victims of abusive pasts, their attempts to heal one another involve heart wrenching conversations and  at times some violently rough sex. This is not for the faint of heart, but the author does an excellent job of reaching into the men's psyches, exposing their innate fears under the hard exteriors and ultimately giving them the healing they so desperately long for. Top score from me!

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Hammer and Bone by Kirby Crow
LGBT Anthology / Collection / Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 30, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626492050
ISBN-13: 978-1626492059
Amazon: Hammer and Bone
Amazon Kindle: Hammer and Bone

Carnival mystics. Zombie tribes. Bad magic in the Bayou. Mage-princes, alien cities, and soul-stealing priests. The grim monsters in the worlds of these dark, speculative tales are true horrors, but it’s the people you should fear the most.

People like Michel, a boy pining for his best friend, Ray. But a presence in the swamp calls Michel to avenge another lost love, and he must decide which summons to answer. Or Angelo, a prescient cop who denies his visions until they endanger the man he loves. Or Bellew, an overseer in a shantytown of criminals sheltering a revenant and feeding it from their ranks.

From ruined lands of steam and iron, to haunted Southern forests, to brutal city streets where hope and damnation flow from the same spring, only a few stubborn souls possess the heart to challenge evil on its own terms. Some wield magic, some turn to rage or even love, but the ones left standing will survive only if they find the courage to carve their own paths to freedom.

Even if it means carving through flesh.

So many worlds, each intricately crafted and fully formed--so different from one another, yet fully, gloriously brought to life in the space of a short story. Breathtaking characters, and stories that impact like a punch to the gut. This is how speculative fiction should be done.

Sooo creepy. The setting for the book, for the different stories contained within were so wonderfully described that as each story revealed its creepy, horror, paranormal aspect it only served to increase the tension, the creepy factor. Each character within the story were interesting, and they maintained their intrigue throughout. There was very little character development with each story being so short, and the intent of the author for the overall vein of the book/collection, but I still would have liked to see the characters stretch and grow more. The plot of most of the stories was interesting, though some of them were just too confusing or disjointed. An overall great read.

Wow. Just wow. What a freaking journey this was! When it comes to world-building, Crow is a master of her craft. An imaginative collection of weird tales that suck you into their dark fantasy world and won't let you leave without a couple of dents in your heart and a fond memory of every character in each different world. Taking these stories beyond expectations, the author delivers us stories with happy endings and far-less-than happy endings, and both gay and lesbian pairings. Sad and bleak and depressing took on new meanings in this anthology of splice-of-life tales. More than once I was left heartbroken, most of all by Hangfire, a beautiful story of love and loss that left me in tears. The author's creativity deserves a definite thumbs-up!
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Never Too Late by Julie Blair
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626392137
ISBN-13: 978-1626392137
Amazon: Never Too Late
Amazon Kindle: Never Too Late

What happens when a single night of unexpected passion with a stranger leaves you wanting more?

Twenty years later, Dr. Jamie Hammond thinks she’s put that night far behind her. She’s a successful chiropractor and is about to celebrate a ten-year anniversary with her partner. But instead of reaping the benefits of responsibility and hard work, she finds herself fighting to save her business and relationship as doubt, betrayal, and disappointment tear at the fabric of her life.

Carla Grant is looking for a new challenge after settling her daughter at college. She never imagines that applying for an office manager position will change her life.

As Jamie and Carla work to save Jamie’s business, they will have to examine everything they thought they knew about love, responsibility, and family. Can two women dare to believe that it’s never too late for happily ever after?

Great debut novel.  Easy read with complex MC's and secondary characters. A little heavy on the Melissa Etheridge references though.

Very nice style, the story had a natural flow to it. Characters were exceptionally well developed. Plot moved well without becoming predictable.

This was an excellent story. It's so much cheering for Carla as she moves into her new life, and it was nice the amicable split. Your heart breaks for poor Jamie with all she's struggling with but she handles it believably and without unnecessary drama that would drag the story down. All the characters and their motivations were believable, even the 'bad guys' of the books were very human rather than pure evil. I loved the friendships, the slow burn of Jamie and Carla getting back together. Every moment of this book was a joy.

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Rebels by Jeff Mann
Gay Poetry
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (April 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590211146
ISBN-13: 978-1590211144
Amazon: Rebels

Poets have been responding in lyric to the bloody aspects of war since Homer's era, and the American Civil War, in its scale and ferocity, was unquestionably one of the bloodiest. In Rebels, acclaimed poet Jeff Mann ranges the battlefields where such destruction occurred: famous battles like Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Cold Harbor, and those lesser known, such as Scary Creek and Cloyd's Farm. In his travels, Mann muses on Southern heritage and the sufferings of the Confederate people, both soldiers and civilians. As he did in his popular Civil War-era novels, Purgatory and Salvation, Mann ''queers'' the War as few other writers have, examining the conflict from a gay man's perspective. In this fine edition, several of Mann's poems have been illustrated by artists, making this volume unique in the fields of both Civil War studies and contemporary poetry.

This is a book of poetry so I'm not sure how to apply the fiction categories, but it is extremely good poetry: vivid, articulate, and grounded in history. Mann's excellent knowledge of the era brings each line to life and recreates a time many of us have lost our connection to. The characters, their relationships, and the erotic stirrings are simultaneously uplifting and tragic. A must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War, its continuing impact on America today, and the powerful bonding of men in war. Mann is a modern master of gay literature.

This was a delight to read.  Mr. Mann varied his prose style throughout, which made for good reading.  The vividness of the imagery Mr. Mann conjured with few words left a lasting impression.  Whether it was the description of a grave, a death, battlefield horrors, or a life long past, all came to life with his beautiful poetry.  It is hard to pick just a few favorite passages; I read a re-read several that became favorites, forever burning the wonderful choreography of words into my memory.

A breathtaking, stunning series of interrelated poems juxtaposing the haunting re-imaginings of a Southern descendant of Civil War fighters as he and his husband travel the Civil War tourist spots and graveyards of the South. The free verse poetry is alive and fresh with nearly shattering revelations that build to a showdown between the heroic history of the heart and soulless participation in the mundane. A sensitive but unsentimental triumph of empathy over enmity, this book is like reading a modern Longfellow: Brilliant.

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Daydreamers by Jonathan Harper
Gay Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (March 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212967
ISBN-13: 978-1590212967
Amazon: Daydreamers
Amazon Kindle: Daydreamers

Ne'er-do-wells, prodigal sons, and young men without so much as a clue to their present state of mind let alone their futures are waiting to be met in the stories within Daydreamers, Jonathan Harper s debut collection. But these men are not Walter Mittys everyday life refuses to allow them languor. Whether it be the roll of the dice in a Dungeons & Dragons game played in a hostile, rural bar, the lure of body modification and being suspended in front of a crowd, or discovering a body on the beach, the rough edges of each young man cannot help but be noticed, even admired. And once a young man is admired, he needs to decide whether or not to awaken from his daydreams.

Extremely well-written contemporary general fiction with gritty eye for detail and solid reporting from the middle and lower classes. The characters have many problems and no easy answers. Stories themselves are not as memorable as the writing, which is terrific.

I thoroughly enjoyed Harper's prose.  A great skill of good authors is the ability to interest readers in stories and characters in which they might not normally enjoy, and Harper had that ability with me.  I found his work to be a pleasure to read, in spite of being completely out of the genres I would normally be drawn to.  His work is a great achievement for his debut.  
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Facing Demons (Scars Book 3) by Lynley Wayne
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 436 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (October 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608209601
ISBN-13: 978-1608209606
Amazon: Facing Demons (Scars Book 3)
Amazon Kindle: Facing Demons (Scars Book 3)

When demons from his past interfere with his present, Cam knows Seth is the only one he can trust to help him face them. At the age of fifteen, Seth Dempsey gave his heart to Cameron Reyes. Three years later, Cam shattered it when he walked away. When Cam blows back into Seth's life years later, Seth knows he will do whatever it takes to ensure Cam doesn't slip away again. Even if it means going up against a corrupt DEA agent and a drug cartel. Cameron Reyes was born on the wrong side of the tracks. He fell in love with Seth, but knew the only way to keep him safe was to leave, no matter how much it hurt. Eleven years later, when his life implodes, he knows the only person he can trust is the boy whose heart he broke all those years ago. While they fight to stay one step ahead of everyone and clear Cam's name, can they learn to work together in order to face down the demons of the past and find the happily ever after they have dreamed of?

Perfectly paced and engaging. Had me hooked from the beginning. Well-written and angtsy read. I loved Seth and Cam. The action was incredible.
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Obsidian Sun by Jon Keys
Gay Fantasy
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634762916
ISBN-13: 978-1634762915
Amazon: Obsidian Sun
Amazon Kindle: Obsidian Sun

Differences must be put aside when vengeance becomes all-consuming.

Anan, a spellweaver of the Talac people, returns from a hunting trip to find his village decimated, his mate dead, and everyone else captured by Varas slavers. The sole survivor is Terja, a young man without the velvet that covers most Talac, marking him as a spellspinner. Since Talac magic requires both a weaver and a spinner, Anan and Terja must move beyond their ingrained mistrust. All that remains is revenge and a desperate plan to rescue their tribesmen before they are sold to Varas pleasure houses. A goal Anan and Terja are willing to die for.

With the blessing of the Talac gods, they discover new and surprising ways to complement each other’s power. But as they race through terrain full of enemies and dangerous creatures to reach their people before they pass into Varas lands, they must take drastic steps to face the overwhelming odds against them. Understanding their connection might be their only hope.

Captivating, immersive worldbuilding, and a story that won't let you go. A truly original work of fantasy that would make as excellent a film as it does a book.

I pretty much gobbled this up in one delicious bite. Beautifully descriptive use of the English language, showing a realistic yet frail, violent fantasy world full of intriguing details. Anan and Terja complement each other so well, as a velvet weaver and a non-velvet spinner they're different but sport a united front against their foes, the Varas addicted to velvet. The plot tells a story of revenge and a battle for the survival of the Talac peoples. A wonderfully woven tale of kilt-wearing heroes, and I can't wait for more by this talented author.
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Red Dirt Heart 4 by N.R. Walker
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Series: Red Dirt Heart
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 4, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1512221651
ISBN-13: 978-1512221657
Amazon: Red Dirt Heart 4
Amazon Kindle: Red Dirt Heart 4

Moving from a Texas ranch to an Australian Outback station was a life changing decision for Travis Craig. Though it wasn’t really a decision at all. Something in his bones told him to go, though he had no clue as to why.
Until he met Sutton Station’s owner, Charlie.
Loving Charlie shouldn’t have been easy. The man was stubborn, and riddled with crippling self-doubt. No, it shouldn’t have been easy at all. Yet somehow, falling in love with Charlie was the easiest thing in the world.
Loving him was easy. Living with him, teaching him how to love in return and, more importantly, how to love himself, was not.
But Travis knew all along it’d be worth it. He knew the man with the red dirt heart was destined to be his. Just like he knew the red dirt that surrounded him was where he was supposed to be.
In the final instalment of the Red Dirt Series, we see Charlie through Travis’ eyes. We see how much he’s grown and how much he loves. We go back to Texas with them, and we see Charlie get everything he truly thought he never deserved.
Red Dirt Heart 4 is Travis’ story.
And this is the story of not just one red dirt heart, but two.

I loved this series! It was really nice to get Travis' POV in this story and I'm really going to miss Charlie, Travis and their wonderful "family".
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The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 9, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1477824685
ISBN-13: 978-1477824689
Amazon: The Language of Hoofbeats
Amazon Kindle: The Language of Hoofbeats

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family. New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry. Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.

The Language of Hoofbeats is a touching story of a lesbian couple that moves into a small town with 3 children.  One they adopted, the other two are fosters.  Their closest neighbor is not happy that they have moved in and they are lesbians.  The story shows how the neighbor and the couple have to push aside differences when one of the children does something unthinkable that affects them all.

Mrs Catherine Ryan Hyde work seem to be always precise and on point and this book is another example of why I enjoy to read her books. This is not the first time that I read a book divided into two point of views but it is a lot more rare that the different voices are not connected by a romance building among the owners of those voices. I think that the way she balanced her protagonist's stories is perfect and the story even if not new is never trite or banal.

The characterization was a rare piece of craftsmanship, making even the most disagreeable character human and sympathetic.  Best of the bunch – VERY well done!

The plot structure was perfection. There were lots of arcs, but they all came together. Clem's struggles seemed to mirror Star's, and the horse brought them together. The setting--Clem's house, the barn, and Jackie's house were well done and used to maximum benefit. Characterization was spot on. Character growth of everyone was incredible. It seemed they all had fears they needed to overcome. The writing style was fantastic--each sentence has a purpose.

For me, this book is a straight 10-10-10-10 for a total of 40. I was almost sure it would be 5 pages into it. Okay, I need to justify my rating. This is going to be longer than you want to read, but I'll get around to something you can use by the end. When I read other lesfic, I can't help but compare the writing to my own writing. There are a lot of authors I judge "not as good" or "really, really not as good". And then there's a group that I consider peers, or close enough. There are a few I put "a little better". Then there's Catherine Ryan Hyde. I can only hope someday to write this well. You probably can't use any of that and want a simple one liner. So... The Language of Hoofbeats tugged at my heartstrings. It made me laugh. It made me cry. I felt joy, and I felt sorrow. And I felt hope..

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Riding Passion by D. Jackson Leigh
Lesbian Anthology / Collection / Erotic Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (May 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626393494
ISBN-13: 978-1626393493
Amazon: Riding Passion
Amazon Kindle: Riding Passion

Life is best measured by the moments that take our breath away.

An artist and a poet burn bright and hot after a chance meeting in a moonlight horseback ride on the beach. An empty house is still filled with memories of lust and love. Tearing open a birthday gift takes the wrapper off a woman’s deepest fantasy. A breath-stealing ride through a star-studded night sky on a dragon horse ignites a fire never before experienced. A woman is reminded that her long-time partner still sees her through a lover’s eyes. Mount up for a ride through a novella of passion and ten short stories of buried desire, sizzling encounters, and romantic surprises.

As one who doesn't normally read short story collections or lesbian erotica, I enjoyed this collection far more than I thought I would. Every story was tight and well-crafted so that I knew each character, saw their growth, and experienced the changes they went through within those few pages. The sex was always hot and the relationships were realistic, each with their difficulties. The technical writing style was impeccable, ranging from poetic to more straightforward and simple. I appreciated all of them, and admire the skill it takes to switch styles. The order in which the stories were placed gave me the opportunity to follow the progression of the characters and the web of their connections. The entire anthology was a demonstration of Leigh's considerable abilities.

Outstanding erotica collection.
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Innocence by Suki Fleet
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165600
ISBN-13: 978-1632165602
Amazon: Innocence
Amazon Kindle: Innocence

At eighteen, Christopher is restless and longs for something he cannot name. His mother vanished when he was very small, and after spending more than ten years travelling on the rivers and canals, drifting between towns and schools with mostly only his dad and brother, Jay, for company, he is desperate to escape that claustrophobic existence. When they return to settle in Arlow, a town they haven’t been back to in over a decade, everything changes.

Malachi has given up on love. He lost his heart when he lost his innocence. Now, at twenty-nine, he just exists—getting drunk, fixing cars, and playing the music he loves.

When their paths cross one night at a gypsy camp, Christopher thinks he's found what he's been looking for, but Malachi is afraid. He's afraid their love will destroy everything Christopher has ever known. They are ghosts from each other's pasts, and if Malachi's secrets are revealed, more than just innocence will be lost in their wake.

Lyrically written, with captivating characters.

This just flows.  The setting was particularly well-done and the characterizations were 3-dimensional and believable.   And thank heavens for the happy ending, which some may find too hopeful but was desperately needed for balance.  Well-done!
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Summer Symphony by Brandon Shire
Bisexual Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: TPG Books (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1506014437
ISBN-13: 978-1506014432
Amazon: Summer Symphony
Amazon Kindle: Summer Symphony

Martin Zoric had vivid dreams of fatherhood, of a small hand pressed to his, of pink dresses and girlish laughter. Then his wife had a stillbirth and his world fell apart. He listened to the unwanted apologies, stood by his wife as was expected of him, and kept his façade strong and firm for the entire world to see. But does he have the strength let go and really grieve? When Ren Wakahisa landed in Croatia he was hoping to escape the cultural pressures put on him to conform. His family wanted him to forsake love for duty. They viewed his happiness as secondary to familial prosperity. Does he have the courage to be who he wants to be? Or, will he yield to their wishes? Summer Symphony is the story of how two men find their answers and what they learn about strength, and grace, and the endurance of love.

A well-written story that packs quite an emotional punch. I was especially engrossed by the depiction of a man's grief at the loss of his child and the tremendous impact that had on his marriage and his life. Overall, a great read.

A book you have to say a lot about it or nothing. It deals with grief in a real, heartbreaking way. I never thought I was reading fiction and I had to remind myself it was a book, because the pain was so real. It's a story about expectations and having to conform to them and having to perform to them. It's a story about cultural differences, blown away by music. Even if this is not a romance and it deals with strong feelings, it's not hopeless, because there's a way you can find to cope, even if you won't ever heal.

Reminiscent of his earlier works. Superb writing that wrings the emotions out of readers!

Thoroughly enthralling story of a summer symphony that is beautiful to behold. Written with a deft hand.

Gut wrenching and raw, this book made me cry several times.

What a beautiful delicate story of the aftermath of bereavement on one man and how he is helped back to his world again.

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The Harem Master (Tavamara) by Megan Derr
Bisexual Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 456 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (May 13, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620044137
ISBN-13: 978-1620044131
Amazon: The Harem Master (Tavamara)
Amazon Kindle: The Harem Master (Tavamara)

Lord Demir has spent his life trying to appease a brutal, selfish king, and keep the concubines under his care alive-and now he is on the verge of losing everything. The council wants to abolish the harems, there are no heirs to the throne, and the foreigners control the Steward. One wrong move will tip tensions into civil war. Crown Prince Ihsan returns to find his home in turmoil, and the royal court so full of vipers it's impossible to say which of them will strike first. Removing his father from the throne, one way or another, should be a simple matter. Staying alive and proving himself a worthy king will be far more difficult. Crown Princess Euren has spent the last five years in hiding so that she could not be used against her father or Ihsan. But she is the daughter of a soldier, never meant to wear a crown, never trained to fight battles where words are the weapon of choice. If she hopes to keep herself and her loved ones alive, she'll have to learn fast.

I'm normally pretty tough on the setting score. It's hard to me to give a book a solid 10 in that category but this book was well done.

Beautiful plot, I love these oriental atmospheres. Really well-written, great descriptions, charming and engaging. One of the best books I read. Now I need to read the first two ones.

The society in which a harem is considered sacred was beautifully drawn. Lots of intrigue and fighting. The third in a series—I hadn’t read any of the others but I didn’t feel lost reading this title.

Here's an inspirational comment: Preconceptions about stories set within a harem should definitely be cast aside. Prince Ihsan's harem is portrayed as a socially acceptable, sacred and honorable tradition with a proud history, and it's made up of seasoned warriors rather than soft nobles. Each character in the story is fully fleshed out and his own man, and you fall in love with all of them as these men form friendships and bonds of devotions. Court intrigue mixed with a polyamorous romance in a fantasy setting? Brilliantly done.

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The Heart of the Kingdom (The Kingdom Curses Book 1) by Sasha L. Miller
Bisexual Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (October 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620044471
ISBN-13: 978-1620044476
Amazon: The Heart of the Kingdom (The Kingdom Curses Book 1)
Amazon Kindle: The Heart of the Kingdom (The Kingdom Curses Book 1)

All Cenric wanted was a necklace to gift to his lady love, in the hopes it might persuade her to actually become his lady love. Instead of love, however, Cenric is informed of her engagement to someone else, wakes up to find his house burning down around him, and is dragged away by a man who might have saved him, but won't say much about why one necklace has Cenric running away from someone willing to kill to get it back.

This was a very good story. The reader was quite literally taken on a journey with lots of twists and turns. My only negative is that the story between the two men seemed to take a backseat to everything else. I was personally left wanting in that regards. Very well done. Original. Creative. Intriguing. Detailed. Loved the dwarfs, but by the time we got to the capitol there were almost too many characters to keep track of. Author did a good job of trying to give each distinguishing characteristics, but a smaller scale may have worked better. Language was appropriate to the setting and characters. Readability was good. Imagery was well done. I felt very much a part of the story.

Here's an inspirational comment: A wonderfully engaging and remarkably in-depth strangers-to-friends-to-lovers fantasy tale. From the first line, I was hooked and fully immersed into this fantasy world that shows what it's capable of through subtle details embedded throughout the plot and the dialogue. Wickedly fun banter between the two spitfire characters, Cenric and Rylan, was awesome, and though this story is extremely light on erotic scenes, I felt the romance all the way down to my curling toes.
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Kneel, Mr. President by Lauren Gallagher
Bisexual Erotic Romance
Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (June 9, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619230445
ISBN-13: 978-1619230446
Amazon: Kneel, Mr. President
Amazon Kindle: Kneel, Mr. President

Sworn to have their lover's back, front, or any other side that needs covering. Secret Service agent Kent Sinclair, head of POTUS security, thought himself prepared for every contingency. Until the First Lady-a woman who barely tolerates his presence-approaches him with a request that startles the hell out of him. Carlene Broderick is frightened. With the weight of the country and impending war on his shoulders, her husband, James, is buckling under the strain. The key to helping him cope is the name he calls out in his sleep-and it's not hers. It belongs to his fellow ex-SEAL team buddy. His ex-lover. Kent. Without hesitation, Kent plunges into treacherous emotional territory, only to realize it's not really him that James needs. The Commander in Chief needs to give up complete control in the bedroom. To relieve that much pressure, Kent and Carlene must work together and declare a truce that rapidly heats up into something more. Something that leaves James caught deep in forbidden territory-torn between his beloved wife and the man he's never stopped loving. Warning: Contains three forty-somethings discovering whole new sides of themselves, a rejuvenated marriage, and plenty of kinky fun. All brought to you by an ex-SEAL in a wetsuit, a bisexual President, and a First Lady with a tattoo on her ass.

Liked the story and the dynamics and interplay between the 3 main characters, especially liked Carlene.  A nice twist on a POTUS story!!! First story by this author but won't be the last.

Two men, one woman, and the tense world of White House politics doesn’t sound like the ideal recipe for a HEA romance. Gallagher represents the POV’s of both 2 male and 1 female characters as they struggle to find the sort of trust that would allow the POTUS to function under difficult circumstances, and the kind of permanent love that would bind them together even after the emergencies are over. This book represents a complex and intriguing read about a threesome with just enough light BDSM to keep the reader on the edge of the seat.

One of the best books I've read this year. Fabulous tension and takes the erotic nature to a whole level while dealing with the sensitivity of a threesome in a perfect manner. The pacing was snappy and all around an enjoyable read.

It was almost believable which I found amazing! The relationship between Kent and Carlene kept me interested in the story.  The politics got in the way for me but, hey, it’s a story about a politician.

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On the Clock: A Market Garden Tale by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626493278
ISBN-13: 978-1626493278
Amazon: On the Clock: A Market Garden Tale
Amazon Kindle: On the Clock: A Market Garden Tale

When Blake Raleigh’s favorite rentboys retire from Market Garden, they’re sure their friend Jason will be a perfect replacement. Though Tristan and Jared are a tough act to follow, Blake returns to London to test out their recommendation.

Jason is right on the money. Negotiations turn him on. Getting paid turns him on. The higher the stakes, the hotter things get. Each trip to London is more expensive than the last, and the webcam sessions don’t run cheap, but Jason is well worth the sticker shock.

The more time they spend together, the more Blake wants, and not just sex and transactions. But Jason’s been burned before by men who thought they were in love with him, and he’s not making that mistake again. When the lines between personal and professional start to blur, it’s going to take more than money, jewelry, and sports cars to keep Jason from clocking out and walking away.

Excellent pace, writing style fluid, adroit characterization.

This is the installment all fans of the Market Garden series have been waiting for.  Rolex (i.e. the voyeur in Quid Pro Quo) finally gets his HEA.  I appreciate that they don’t go from john/rentboy to HEA without some work and soul searching.
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Thirty Things by Cate Ashwood
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632168995
ISBN-13: 978-1632168993
Amazon: Thirty Things
Amazon Kindle: Thirty Things

All their lives, Finn and Nate have been inseparable, sharing everything, and when a childhood accident left Finn broken, Nate stood by his side as all his other friends left. After all their years together, there’s one secret Finn still hasn’t revealed: he has been in love with Nate since they were eight years old. Hiding his feelings for twenty-one years—terrified of what might happen if Nate ever found out—has been difficult, but losing his best friend would be worse than living with a bad case of unrequited love. Unfortunately for Finn, Nate doesn't make it easy.

Nate believes there are some things that just have to be done before your thirtieth birthday. As a gift to Finn, he plans an adventure to check off a list of thirty things to experience before hitting that milestone. Starting in Crawfordsville, Indiana, they tour the country, trying new things and meeting interesting new people. Nate’s having the time of his life, but he can tell Finn is holding something back. As the days count down, navigating the back roads suddenly seems easier than figuring out where their relationship is heading.

One thing’s for certain. There will be no turning back.

Beautifully written friends to lovers, road-trip romance.  You can't help but fall in love with Finn and Nate and want nothing more for them than a happily ever after, together.

This story could have been written as a coming of age book--though the characters are thirty years old.  Nate, Finn's best friend decides to celebrate Finn's impending thirtieth birthday on a month long, cross-country trip with thirty things to do while on the road.  This is a low angst novel, with Finn's insecurities and Nate's confidence on display through their travels across the US.  Wonderfully crafted with interesting and unique stops along the way (who knew there was a Wigwam Village Hotel?), with many surprises and memories that would impact both Finn and Nate for a lifetime. This book was a joy to read as you can see the love the two main characters have for each other, so much so that you root for the two of them to have a happily ever after.
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The Homeport Journals: A Provincetown Fantasia by A.C. Burch
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press, LLC (March 18, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925313034
ISBN-13: 978-1925313031
Amazon: The Homeport Journals: A Provincetown Fantasia
Amazon Kindle: The Homeport Journals: A Provincetown Fantasia

Fleeing New York City and an abusive partner, would-be writer Marc Nugent finds work at HomePort, the Provincetown mansion of Lola Staunton, a fabulously wealthy recluse. Aided by an attractive-but-unattainable artist and an all-too-available cross-dresser, Marc investigates accusations of rape and murder that have estranged Lola from a childhood friend for more than sixty years. Past and present converge when a long-lost journal reveals tales of infidelity, adultery, and passion that mirror the life Marc has recently abandoned. When his ex-lover arrives in search of revenge, Marc must confront his past, his notions of family, and his capacity for love. Evocative, funny and heartfelt, The HomePort Journals will be to Provincetown what Tales of the City is to San Francisco. - William J. Mann Author, The Men from the Boys series. A cockeyed, full-hearted Provincetown fantasia, The Homeport Journals combines history and romance with a dash of wit and a firm belief that in some magical places there is always a second chance- for love and for art. -Heidi Jon Schmidt Author, The House on Oyster Creek

I really enjoyed The HomePort Journals. The story was different and engaging and the writing style drew me right in and didn't let me go. With an cast of interesting and compelling characters and quite a bit of heart, it was a very good read.
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The Acquittal by Anne Laughlin
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162639203X
ISBN-13: 978-1626392038
Amazon: The Acquittal
Amazon Kindle: The Acquittal

Ex-Chicago cop and new PI Josie Harper has been hired by an outside group to clear the name of publisher Lauren Wade, recently acquitted of the murder of her lover. That means finding the real killer, a task made more difficult by Lauren’s unwillingness to cooperate and a large family problem—Lauren’s parents have been kidnapped for a ransom she can no longer pay. Josie has a big challenge of her own: how to redeem herself after losing her job as a detective. When Josie and Lauren join forces to rescue the parents, they discover they make a great team, in more ways than one.

Will Josie’s troubled past come back to haunt her? And who did kill Lauren’s lover?

One of the best lesfic mysteries I've read in a long time. Laughlin's pacing and plotting are excellent, and she has created a complicated but lovable protagonist dealing as best she can with bipolar issues (think Clare Danes in Homeland). There's romance but the story is not a romance and there's enough humor to keep the novel from being overly dark. Overall, The Acquittal is an outstanding lesfic mystery.

Brilliant. Layers of layers of deception and deviousness wrapped around a PI who wavers between normal and maniac
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Finding Pluck by Peter Difatta
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 410 pages
Publisher: Pembroke Publications, LLC; 1 edition (February 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692375236
ISBN-13: 978-0692375235
Amazon: Finding Pluck
Amazon Kindle: Finding Pluck


First Prize Winner of the William Faulkner Literary Award

Finding Pluck was lauded for having a “highly readable, sophisticated narrative structure” and for illustrating “a pleasing twist on the traditional bildungsroman, the novel about growing up.” —William Faulkner Literary Award Judging Committee

It is 1995 in North Carolina and high-school student Taylor Hanes is struggling to escape his small-minded dying textile town. He finds his ticket out by being awarded a full-ride Gay and Lesbian Equality Scholarship to a state university. Problem is, he isn’t gay. He lied on the application. Abruptly, he is shocked by hometown intolerance, and worse yet, he awakens the wrath of the scholarship’s long dead benefactor.

Taylor contends with the hauntings as he continues into college. He joins forces with a group of friends who help him investigate why the benefactor is an unsettled spirit. Along with this and his studies, Taylor is also forced to carry out duties related to his scholarship. These requirements enlighten his understanding of the origins and human cost of prejudice and further his resolve to help the restless spirit find answers in order to cross over.

The narrative deftly moves between the present and when the benefactor attended college in 1927, the pinnacle of the Jazz age and a period of great change and moral conflict. As the friends dig deeper, the story draws parallels in the lives of the characters. This is a coming-of-age novel based on actual examples of the culture of prejudice and connects with the heart as well as with the mind.

I had some minor problems with the narrative voice, which felt a bit too detached for my taste—that was literally my only complaint. The plot was interesting and unique, the characters were vibrant and well rendered. I read this in a single sitting, just couldn’t put it down. Thank you Peter Difatta, for a great read!

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Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632166127
ISBN-13: 978-1632166128
Amazon: Caged Sanctuary
Amazon Kindle: Caged Sanctuary

Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.

Kade's fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he's learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon's determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

I loved this book! I really liked how Deacon managed to give Kaden what he needed, however unconventional the means. Deacon had to convince Kaden he was serious and that he didn’t see Kaden as a “cripple”. Deacon’s patience was very endearing.
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Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay Book 4) by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (November 12, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626492409
ISBN-13: 978-1626492400
Amazon: Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay Book 4)
Amazon Kindle: Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay Book 4)

Hunter Easton is screwed. Fans, producers, and his agent are all chomping at the bit for the next book in his wildly popular Wolf’s Landing series, but he’s got epic writer’s block and is way behind deadline. Then he reads The World Tree, a fanfic novel by his online friend “Lone Wolf.” It isn’t just a great story—it’s exactly what the series needs.
Kevin Hussain is thrilled when “Wolf Hunter” wants to meet up after reading The World Tree. When Wolf Hunter turns out to be Hunter Easton himself, Kevin is starstruck. When Hunter tells him he wants to add The World Tree to Wolf’s Landing, Kevin is sure he’s being pranked. And when their online chemistry carries over—big-time—into real life, Kevin is convinced it’s all too good to be true.

The problem is . . . it might be. The book deal, the sex, the money—everything is amazing. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Kevin is left wondering if Hunter really loves him, or just loves his book.

The beginning of this novel was off the charts. It crackled with tension, particularly the sexual tension between Hunter and Kevin. Some of that dissipated after they consummated their relationship, so it was a little disappointing that it happened so early. By the midway point, the book was starting to drag a bit, just because it's so long. The novel felt longer than it needed to be to hold the story. (In my opinion, the addition of the ninth Wolf Landing book to the mix was a mistake. It made the novel longer without really adding anything substantial.) Maybe it was tiring to read because there weren't a lot of changes in mood. The characters never had a moment to relax, so the readers never had a moment to relax. This book had a strong sense of place that I really enjoyed. I loved these characters. They were like real people, and their thoughts and emotions were captured in a compelling way. The writing was pretty much flawless, and the tension high throughout.

I love a good shared-world series, and the Bluewater Bay series is really good. This is the first one, and sets up the world beautifully -- the town, the TV series, the book-within-the-book that's the basis of the series. I also loved the May-September relationshiop, and the fact that the two main characters bonded first over their work and mutual geeking out over obscure movies.
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith by Belinda McBride
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (November 20, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623002761
ISBN-13: 978-1623002763
Amazon: An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith
Amazon Kindle: An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith

Held captive in a whorehouse, Markus Dayspring wakes every morning with a thirst for revenge, and collapses every night with a prayer for strength. He lives on in spite of deadly addictions and a crippling, shameful secret. When he's rescued by a man from his past, his reawakened love threatens to crush his damaged soul.

Caius also has a secret, one that could ultimately kill him. But his vow to rescue Markus is stronger than guilt, fear and even his loyalty to King Helios. Too many have died because of Caius and rescuing the missing prince might allow him to sleep without nightmares.

Old habits are hard to break and new pain threatens their growing love. Yet one gleaming ray of hope continues to guide them to safety, even in the face of an unexpected violation of trust. With the stakes growing higher by the hour, Markus and Caius must learn to have faith before they can heal and face the future together.

After reading the first two books in this series a couple of years ago, I was waiting eagerly for Markus's story. I was worried about him! This story doesn't disappoint. The same rich world-building, the characters who have unversal as well as personal issues to resolve. Wonderful.
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
When Skies Have Fallen by Debbie McGowan
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (July 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1910635502
ISBN-13: 978-1910635506
Amazon: When Skies Have Fallen
Amazon Kindle: When Skies Have Fallen

For many in war-torn 1944, love blossoms in the dance hall, and airman Arty Clarke is no exception. He's a thinker and a dreamer; however, it's not the beautiful, talented dancer in his arms-his best friend Jean-who inspires his dreams. For when his gaze meets that of Technical Sergeant Jim Johnson, Arty dares to imagine a different dance. Their love is forbidden, by both the armed forces and the law, but with Jean's cunning and support, Arty and Jim try to bridge the distance between them and find true love despite the danger and a life-threatening disaster that could destroy Arty's dreams for good. Can the pair stand strong together, no matter how many skies have fallen?

Exceptional historical accuracy and sense of setting: the novel rings with authenticity. The characters are strong and the plot tension comes not just from the war but their own desires and the demand for secrecy. Pacing is sometimes a bit slow. Extremely strong historical romance overall.

Very sweet, gentle romance. I found myself thinking of the characters even when I wasn't reading, which makes it a good book in my esteem. Very well done.

A lovely novel. A story that shows - two hearts can find each other even amidst the warzone. And passion for dance and friendship can help an impossible dream come true.


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