reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
More than 400 books, 137 judges, all over the world, and many, many submissions, from indie publishers, from mainstream publishers and self-published authors. And, to me more important of everything, we raised more than 13.000 dollars donated to LGBT charities:

13035,59$ Grand Total )

First of all a big thank to all the judges who helped me to arrive to this result:

Jury )

And as always a big thank you to the Publishers which allow me and the judges to have all the books for the reading phase:

Publishers  )

And now what all you are waiting, the 2017 Rainbow Awards. And the Rainbow Awards go to:


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

Best Cover )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5190449.html

Best Gay & Lesbian - Poetry )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5190667.html

Best Asexual - Contemporary & Historical Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5190939.html

Best Gay - Romantic Comedy )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5191206.html

Best Bisexual - Fantasy Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5191570.html

Best Gay - Young Adult )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5191765.html

Best Lesbian - Fantasy )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5192030.html

Best Gay & Lesbian - Erotica )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5192300.html

Best Gay - Historical )h
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5192547.html

Best Asexual - Fantasy & Paranormal Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5192894.html

Best Bisexual - Romantic Comedy & Suspence )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5193002.html

Best Lesbian - Mystery / Thriller )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5193340.html

Best Lesbian - Anthology / Collection )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5193658.html

Best Gay - Alternative Universe/Reality )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5193741.html

Best Lesbian - Fantasy & Paranormal Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5194115.html

Best Transgender - Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance & Romantic Comedy )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5194247.html

Best Bisexual & Trangender - Contemporary General Fiction & Mystery/Thriller )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5194595.html

Best Lesbian - Contemporary General Fiction )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5194922.html

Best Lesbian - Sci-Fi / Futuristic )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5195132.html

Best Gay - Fantasy )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5195401.html

Best LGBT - Non Fiction )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5195663.html

Best Bisexual, Lesbian & Transgender - Historical & Historical Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5195963.html

Best Gay - Contemporary General Fiction & Humor )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5196147.html

Best Bisexual, Lesbian & Transgender - Young Adult )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5196512.html

Best Bisexual - Erotic Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5196773.html

Best Gay - Mystery / Thriller )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5197017.html

Best Bisexual - Alternative Universe/Reality, Fantasy & Sci-Fi / Futuristic )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5197096.html

Best Lesbian - Romantic Comedy & Suspence )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5197356.html

Best Gay - Historical Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5197627.html

Best Transgender - Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy & Fantasy Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5197989.html

Best LGBT - Anthology / Collection )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5198313.html

Best Gay - Fantasy Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5198525.html

Best Bisexual - Paranormal Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5198776.html

Best Gay - Romantic Suspence  )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5199093.html

Best Gay - Sci-Fi / Futuristic )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5199146.html

Best Gay - Paranormal Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5199607.html

Best Bisexual - Contemporary Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5199720.html

Best Gay - Erotic Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5200095.html

Best Lesbian - Contemporary & Erotic Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5200284.html

Best Gay - Contemporary Romance )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5200422.html

Best Transgender Debut )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5200891.html

Best Bisexual Debut )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5200933.html

Best Lesbian Debut )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5201182.html

Best Gay Debut )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5201543.html

Best Asexual Book )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5201862.html

Best LGBT Book )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5201990.html

Best Transgender Book )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5202251.html

Best Bisexual Book )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5202572.html

Best Lesbian Book )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5202721.html

Best Gay Book )
Link: https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5203027.html


"Air de Capri" is a 1923 painting by Gerda Wegener, with Gerda herself and her husband, transgender male to female, Lili Elbe
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:

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

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

2-tie) Every Breath You Take Robert Winter
Gay - Romantic Suspence
Series: Pride and Joy (Book 2)
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635334950
ISBN-13: 978-1635334951
Amazon: Every Breath You Take Robert Winter

1) Thrilling from the first page. The story develops at a swift pace, from the first blush of attraction, and more than a hint of danger, through the deepening of emotion as the stakes rise. I loved all the characters. The secondaries were more than stand-ins. They all had something interesting going on and a reason to be on the page. The heroes take center stage, though. Realistic and sympathetic, in all their moods. I really wanted a happy ever after for these guys--and for both of them to live to see the end of the book.
2) A beautifully written story with so much to recommend it. The setting of Washington, DC is realistic, and the plot has some wonderful surprises and interesting secondary threads. While the romantic leads follow familiar arcs they are well-drawn and always believably in character. The psychological portrait of the stalker is deep, complex and truly frightening. The writing is intelligent, clear, and elegantly paced -- so well-suited to the story.
3) This was a very solid, satisfying mystery. Excellent character development with a believable attraction between the MCs, and genuine suspense as the peril built and Zachary is threatened by Thomas' past. Well done.
4) Totally absorbing, from the first page to the last. The beginning sets the tone - this isn't going to be a sweet love story. Rather, it's a tale of obsession and denial. There is sweetness here, though, in both heroes as they examine what they truly want. How they are with each other, especially in their private moments.


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

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

3-tie) Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1) Jamie Deacon
Gay - Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (September 29, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786450356
ISBN-13: 978-1786450357
Amazon: Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1) Jamie Deacon

1) It’s hard for me to believe that this is a debut novel. The writing is lush and expressive. The setting conveys both place and mood so vividly and deftly. The characters are believable, fully realised, and, with one exception, very sympathetic. What impressed me most, though, was the author’s ability to capture the conflicts, fast-changing emotions, and interpersonal dynamics of a group of teenagers. A wholly believable coming-of-age story. I couldn’t put it down.
2) Loved the writing and the strong sense of place and time it creates. The characters are vividly drawn.
3) A well written, entertaining and absorbing story that was difficult to put down. an excellent addition to the genre of YA gay romance. I would recommend it to teenagers and adults of any age.
4) First book for me by this author but it will not be the last.

 
3-tie) Depth of Return M. Raiya
Gay - Paranormal Romance
Series: Another Healing (Book 2)
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634775384
ISBN-13: 978-1634775380
Amazon: Depth of Return M. Raiya

1) I got hooked on the first page and now need the first book in the series, although I followed this one okay without having read it. The descriptive style made it very easy to visualise the setting. The characters are engaging, and the plot is exciting and intriguing—a real page turner. I loved the world building, and in particularly the magic system.
2) I found this book to be a joy to read with its engaging plot, interesting MCs and cast of supporting characters. Easy to follow, despite having not read book 1, which I will be doing very soon, and full of suspense, atmosphere and plot, plot, plot.
3) This was a great read and an excellent follow up of book one in the Another Healing series. I really liked the main characters from the beginning and could not help but cheer them on as they searched for their HEA.

3-tie) The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4) Anna Butler
Gay - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Series: Taking Shield
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Glass Hat Press; One edition (February 22, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1543166601
ISBN-13: 978-1543166606
Amazon: The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4) Anna Butler

1) The world Anna Butler has created for her characters to interact in is complex and vivid. I was completely immersed in the customs, politics and different locations - superb world building. The plot is intricate, a real page turner with several surprises along the way. I am certainly looking forward to the next instalment.
2) I’m already a huge fan of this series. The world building is very detailed, the settings easy to visualise and the characters....I really felt for Bennet and Flynn in this story, and could feel their frustration and pain.  The plot is complex, and very engaging.

Runner Ups:



4-tie) Borrowing Blue (Made Marian #1) by Lucy Lennox
4-tie) P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Hamron
4-tie) Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth
4-tie) The Bravest Thing by Laura Lascarso

5) How to Save a Life (Howl at the Moon #4) by Eli Easton
6-tie) Elpída by C. Kennedy
6-tie) Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3) by Tal Bauer
6-tie) Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday
7-tie) Aqua Follies by Liv Rancourt
7-tie) Arctic Restitution (Arctic Absolution #3) by Lynn Kelling
7-tie) Bonfires by Amy Lane
7-tie) One-Man Show: The Life and Art of Bernard Perlin by Michael Schreiber
8) Hush by Tal Bauer
9) It Could Happen by Mia Kerick
10-tie) Bare by Lynn Kelling
10-tie) Pieces of Me (Spectrum Nights #1) by Melanie Hansen
11-tie) Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) by L.A. Witt
11-tie) The Master Will Appear by L.A. Witt
12) Falling Down by Eli Easton
13) The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by E.J. Russell
14-tie) How We Love by Michael Ryan Webb
14-tie) Moment Of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali
14-tie) Runner by Parker Williams
14-tie) Stoker & Bash: The Fangs of Scavo by Selina Kray
14-tie) Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer
15) Jumping Jude (Made Marian #3) by Lucy Lennox
16) The Phisher King by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
17) Hacked Up by Ethan Stone
18-tie) Heathens by Jonah Bergan
18-tie) Love is Heartless (Love Can't #2) by Kim Fielding
18-tie) Recovery (Reawakening #3) by Amy Rae Durreson
18-tie) Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water #2) by Amy Lane
18-tie) September by Robert Winter
18-tie) Vespers (The Hours of the Night #1) by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
19-tie) A Time to Keep by Morgan Cheshire
19-tie) As I Am (All Saints #3) by A.M. Arthur
19-tie) Exposed by Bey Deckard
19-tie) Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) by Victoria Sue
19-tie) Hearts of Darkness by Andrea Speed
19-tie) Morning My Angel (Angel Enterprises #1) by Sue Brown
20) Come to the Oaks: The Story of Ben and Tobias by Bryan T. Clark
21-tie) Angels Fall by N.S. Beranek
21-tie) The Craving by Z. Allora
22-tie) Gazes Into You (Mr & Mr Detective #1) by Alex Jane
22-tie) Wolf of the Northern Star (The Wolfkin Saga #2) by S.J. Himes

Finalists:




23-tie) See My Words (Spectrum Nights #2) by Melanie Hansen
23-tie) Sight Unseen by Susan Mac Nicol and Nicholas Downs
24-tie) Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain
24-tie) Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) by E.J. Russell
24-tie) Reunion (Diversion #6) by Eden Winters
24-tie) The Blacksmith Prince by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
24-tie) The difference between by Blake Moreno
25-tie) Daimonion (The Apocalypse #1) by J.P. Jackson
25-tie) Lost and Found (Twist of Fate #1) by Lucy Lennox & Sloane Kennedy
25-tie) Love’s Tethered Heart by C.L. Etta
25-tie) My Boyfriend's Back by Elliot Cooper
25-tie) The Glamour Thieves (Blue Unicorn #1) by Don Allmon
26-tie) Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3) by Anne Barwell
26-tie) Diving Deep by P.D. Singer
26-tie) Home Before Sundown by Tinnean
26-tie) One Pulse Anthology: Read My Lips by C.C Dado
26-tie) Secured and Free (Entwined Dreams #2) by Z. Allora
26-tie) Survivor by T.M. Smith
26-tie) Tartarus by Eric Andrews-Katz
27-tie) A Shared Love (Spartan Love #3) by Kayla Jameth
27-tie) Andre in Flight by Laura Lascarso
27-tie) Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc.) by L.A. Witt
27-tie) Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians #3) by Meg Amor
27-tie) Summer Lessons (Winter Ball #2) by Amy Lane
27-tie) Windward (Mirror #2) by Kirby Crow
28) True Colors by Anyta Sunday
29) Saving Sebastian: A Catharsis Novel (Custos Securities #3) by Luna David
30-tie) A Chance for Us (New Vampire Justice #2) by Jake C. Wallace
30-tie) A Way with Words (Memories with The Breakfast Club) by Lane Hayes
30-tie) At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere by L.A. Witt
30-tie) Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes (Actors and Angels #3) by Kevin Klehr
30-tie) Oscar Down Under #1 by Jack Ladd
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Jove Belle Bittterroot Queen
Lesbian - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback
Publisher: Dirt Road Books (June 30, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194725300X
ISBN-13: 978-1947253001
Amazon: Jove Belle Bittterroot Queen

1) I love to read. I read a lot of books, and sometimes a story like this one comes along which reminds me why. It doesn’t miss a beat. The characters, the plot, the editing, all made this a pleasure to read.
2) A good story, well-told with engaging characters. The writer knows her craft and adds the creative colorations to make this a wonderful read.
3) Absolutely loved this contemporary romance. Love Bitterroot. What a unique set of characters. Didn’t want to put this one down. Loved Olly’s vulnerability. This story was more “ real life” then he traditional ones.
4) I absolutely loved the characters and the writing here. The story pulled me in immediately.
5) A delightful piece of fiction, Jove Belle weaves a story filled with angst, humor, personal growth, coming of age, and family bonding. Highly recommended and one you're sure to re-read.

2) A Quiet Death Cari Hunter
Lesbian - Mystery / Thriller
Series: Dark Peak (Book 3)
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (January 17, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626398151
ISBN-13: 978-1626398153
Amazon: A Quiet Death Cari Hunter

1) Really, this book is top notch -- great writing, characterization, and a realistic and endearing F/F relationship that is authentic and resonates emotionally and physically. The description of the rain, the cold, and the often bleak landscape is compelling and allowed me to be inside the world. A complete pleasure to read!
2) I found this story to be a real interesting. And enjoyed the book. It took me a little to get into it, but it was worth the read.
3) This was a riveting, heart pounding, extremely well-written suspense novel. Hunter is excellent at the slow development of the two main characters’ relationship over the course of the series. She was at the top of her game in this one.

3) The Standing Stones: The Chronicles of Caymin (The Dragonmage Saga #3) Caren J. Werlinger
Lesbian - Fantasy
Series: The Dragonmage Saga
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Corgyn Publishing (June 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998217905
ISBN-13: 978-0998217901
Amazon: The Standing Stones: The Chronicles of Caymin (The Dragonmage Saga #3) Caren J. Werlinger

1) I was captivated from the moment the brother carked it in the opening scenes. And didn’t stop reading until the book was finished. Though for the life of me I wish they could use normal everyday names, but then it probably wouldn’t be the same story.
2) Caren Werlinger continues her magical storytelling in this third book of the Dragonmage Saga. Werlinger is a master of mood, a hugely skillful director of pace and dialog and a rare artisan of the dual talents of characterization and world building. The Best of the Best.

Runner Ups:



4) Heart Trouble by Jae
5) Seoul Circuit by Tamara Boyens
6-tie) Breaking Anchor by Geonn Cannon
6-tie) Falling Hard by Jae
6-tie) House of Fate by Barbara Ann Wright
6-tie) Silver Moon (A wolves of Wolf’s Point Novel) by Catherine Lundoff
7) Miles Apart by A.L. Brooks
8) Born Out of Wedlock by Lyn Gardner
9) Rainbow Gap by Lee Lynch
10-tie) A Quantum Uncertainty (Nexus Trilogy #2) by C.A. Farlow
10-tie) The Rules of Love by Cara Malone
10-tie) Trafalgar and Boone in the Drowned Necropolis by Geonn Cannon
11-tie) Coils by Barbara Ann Wright
11-tie) Dog Church by Gail Gilmore
12) The Portal: The Chronicles of Caymin (The Dragonmage Saga #2) by Caren J. Werlinger
13-tie) Dispatches From Lesbian America by Giovanna Capone, Xequina Berber, Cheela Romain Smith
13-tie) Where The Light Glows by Dena Blake
14) Mistress of Mogador by T.T. Thomas
15) More Than a Song by Chris Paynter
16-tie) Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes
16-tie) Falling Into Flowers by Lynne Barnes

Finalists:




17) Sidebar by Carsen Taite
18-tie) Beast at the Door by Althea Blue
18-tie) Best Maid Plans by Jody Klaire
18-tie) Death and Love at the Old Summer Camp by Dolores Maggiore
18-tie) Taste by Kris Bryant
19-tie) Haunting Muses by Doreen Perrine
19-tie) Little Lies by Lila Bruce
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake
Bisexual - Young Adult
Series: '90's Coming of Age
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 28, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1540699188
ISBN-13: 978-1540699183
Amazon: You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake

1) This was a touching coming of age story that had me crying more than I expected. Peter was a compelling and endearing protagonist, his lack of confidence, his conflicting feelings, and his attempts at figuring out his future while unable to let go of his past making him beautifully flawed and leaving room for him to grow throughout this books. You are not me felt as much a story about blending new and old in terms of friendship and accepting who one is as it was the story of a boy dealing with a toxic, lies-infested love. The supporting characters were an interesting and diverse cast of ages and interests and worked well in highlighting different aspects of Peter’s life.
2) I adored this book. Coming of age stories sometimes make me nervous. And any book with HIV/AIDS in the the storyline must be handled with utmost care. Leta Blake did a beautiful job with these characters. The story is told through Peter who is newly out and is just beginning to embrace his sexuality. The reader is very in tune with his fear, uncertainty and hope. I rooted for him in spite of his inability to see what his friends did because his journey struck me as very honest. I look forward to reading more installments in this series.
3) I did not read the first installment in this series, though this book covered enough for me to follow along and not get lost wondering what happened in book one. Wow. Really, Wow. Leta Blake did an awesome job of painting life for Peter, who reaches, grows, explores, makes decisions in real-life: sticky, messy, complicated. This book had me cheering and jeering in turn--cheering for Peter and Daniel, and jeering at Adam. I enjoyed reading Peter's continued journey on how to be an out gay man, the warm and robust secondary characters, and the growing pains of real life.

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

1) This is the best book I have read in any coming of age genre.  I could feel and believe that I was Peter in the story.  His love/hate relationship with Adam and all the secrecy needed to hide the fact that they were gay in a time when this wasn't allowed, tore him apart.  I can't wait to read the rest of the 4 book series so I can see what happens to Peter.
2) A well-written, believable, New-Adult coming-of-age story, that begins a promising series. Eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel is a very sympathetic character, with flaws that are both frustrating and painfully real. He's struggling to move on from the friendless, bullied kid he's been in public high school. With a change of schools, he meets a new classmate - charismatic, bisexual Adam. But in 1991, being out as gay is far from safe, and so Peter's joy in a first relationship is tempered by becoming Adam's dirty secret. Adam offers protests of forever love in secret, and a casual friendship in public. The result is a moving, infuriating, realistic tale of a young man trying to navigate the difficult waters of his own needs, his boyfriend's fears, his family's prejudices, and the risks from bullies and homophobic adults. The book's ending is open, more of a new beginning, and I look forward to reading the next installment.
3) Amazing book. I regret having to read it before the other parts are out, waiting is torture for me. Great flow, terrific writing style and yeah this book is all about character development. Not my usual read but it doesnt matter what one's usual read is, anybody can find something to resonate with in its pages. Only reason I substracted a point is because I sometimes wanted a faster plot development but to be fair it isnt about what's happening in particular, it's a book about people and how they feel and react, how they grow from simply living life with all that it entails. This book is brutal on the reader' s heart and I would hate it for how it can hurt if I didnt love it so much. Great job! Great book! Highly recommended. I'm tempted to give it a perfect score.

3) G. Benson Pieces
Bisexual - Young Adult
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Ylva Publishing; 1 edition (May 16, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955338053
ISBN-13: 978-3955338053
Amazon: G. Benson Pieces

1) An intense look at two very different teenage lives. Ollie, who lives comfortably with her parents and has a tightknit group of friends.  And Carmen, whose addict mother abandons her and her younger brother for weeks at a time leaving her to be the responsible parent when she's not either placed in a foster home or running away to live on the street.  The two come together during a brief time when Carmen goes back to school.  Their attraction is immediate and persistent.  The need they have for one another is palpable.  The writing for the most part is strong and detailed, getting us inside each of the two main characters.  Though a bit drawn out toward the end, and in parts over-written, the book is overall one of the best lesbian YA romances published dealing with real life issues at the same time that it explores first love amid difficult situations.
2) I have to just flat out say that I loved this book. The pacing is so good and the writing is solid, strong metaphor, strong imagery, great dialogue. The setting is so fleshed out. When they're at the warehouse. I can't even. It's just so vivid. Benson doesn't shy away from the reality of being essentially homeless. The characters were likable, but still flawed (although I'd be anxious to be a mother in Benson's world, they don't seem to last long). And just overall it's a damn good book with some writing that was clearly done by someone who knows their craft and knows it well.
3) This is a stunning piece of literary fiction that is both satisfying and devastating. With deep characterisation and rich descriptions of settings and emotions, there is so much to relish in this novel. It's wonderful to read real young adult bisexual romance AND with female protagonists.

Runner Ups:



4) Dalí by E.M. Hamill
5) Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen
6-tie) Spun! (Shamwell Tales #4) by J.L. Merrow
6-tie) The One Thing I Know by Keelan Ellis
7-tie) Permanent Jet Lag by A.N. Casey
7-tie) The Art of Three by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
8) Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into Stories #2) by Lane Hayes
9-tie) Adrift (Staying Afloat #1) by Isabelle Adler
9-tie) Defenseless by A.J. Rose
9-tie) Undaunted by Devin Harnois
10) A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3) by Lane Hayes
11-tie) All the Way to Shore by CJane Elliott
11-tie) Get a Grip (A Bluewater Bay Story #19) by L.A. Witt
11-tie) Huntress by A.E. Radley

Finalists:




12) Wolf’s Clothing (Legend Tripping #2) by E.J. Russell
13) Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.
14-tie) Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt
14-tie) Breaker (Exile #1) by Kelly Wyre & A.F. Henley
15) Dangerous Urges by Konrad Hartmann
16) The Sorcerer's Guardian (Chronicles of Tournai #4) by Antonia Aquilante
17-tie) Four (The Republic #2) by Archer Kay Leah
17-tie) Page of Tricks (Inheritance #5) by Amelia Faulkner
18-tie) Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc.) by L.A. Witt
18-tie) Risky Behavior (Bad Behavior #1) by L.A. Witt & Cari Z
18-tie) Splinter (Significant Brothers #1) by E. Davies
19-tie) Reeve of Veils (Inheritance #4) by Amelia Faulkner
19-tie) Sparkwood by Daria Defore
20) Gnarly (World of Love) by Mickie B. Ashling
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Having Her Back Ann Gallagher
Transgender - Young Adult
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1546834907
ISBN-13: 978-1546834908
Amazon: Having Her Back Ann Gallagher

1) Very well developed story and characters. The authors writing style lead to the characters and plot feeling like a cohesive whole rather than just a story being told.
2) A sweet, well written, and thoroughly realistic coming-of-age romance. I loved every word.
3) The Spanish location and the background of US military based abroad were well woven into the story in a way that was accurate and beautiful to read. The relationships between all the characters were realistic and well written. I was pleased the young characters in the book had no issue with gay identities or a transperson, which is very realistic among youth of today. An excellent book, which after reading on kindle I bought in print too. I enjoy YA fiction and as a YA romance, this was as good as any that I've read. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading YA romance.

2) #Trans: an anthology about transgender and nonbinary identity online Evelyn Deshane
Transgender - Non Fiction
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 16, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1543175880
ISBN-13: 978-1543175882
Amazon: #Trans: an anthology about transgender and nonbinary identity online Evelyn Deshane

1) Trans was somewhat painful to read - not by any fault of the author but as a collection of difficult and heartfelt stories it was heart wrenching, but I felt it was a book that needed to be written and will be loved by many.
2) I rather like that each piece was allowed to create it's own setting. The diversity of the pieces was part of the power of the book. The voice of each essay allowed me to glimpse into different worlds and gave me a clearer understanding of many things.
3) #Trans brings use collection of genuine stories from transgender and non-binary writers who share their heartfelt experiences and insightful thoughts on identity formation and how it has been impacted by technology, film, literature, social media, and music. Well written and edited, this is a must read for youth and adults.
4) #Trans is by turns academic, thoughtful, and provocative, providing insights and deconstruction of what it means to occupy a body in space and time... and how the internet has made it more possible than ever to find the others asking those same questions.
5) Thought provoking and informative, well written and edited, I really loved this book. It sparked quite a few family discussions! 

3) Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter
Transgender - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620049554
ISBN-13: 978-1620049556
Amazon: Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter

1) I took a long time trying to figure out how to rate this. It’s an ambitious story with characters that are not strictly LGBTQIA. Rather, they are aliens—a combination of mechanical and organic, with an insectile appearance—that have a sense of gender that is also completely alien. That’s a difficult thing to pull off, and the author pulls it off very well. Although the sex scenes were too, well, alien for me to get into, they were well done and in keeping with the character of the story. What really impressed me was how the author managed to draw me in so completely to an emotional and social system that was also very, very alien. I felt for these characters and wanted them to succeed. The social and emotional systems were complex, well drawn, and fascinating. And the writing, which was beautiful, wrapped it all up into a neat package. I found this story engrossing, engaging, and exceedingly well constructed. Well done, Ms. Winter.
2) This was an utterly engrossing read. Isobelle Winter has created a unique civilisation of insectile rather than humanoid characters, complete with customs, castes and superb world building.  The book is well paced and the plot carefully crafted. I look forward to reading more by this author. The only thing I didn't like was the use of ne, nem and nir in place of he, him and his.

Runner Ups:



4-tie) Peter Darling by Austin Chant
4-tie) Scarred by Mia Kerick
4-tie) The Urn Carrier by Chris Convissor
5) The Heart of the Lost Star (Tales of the High Court #3) by Megan Derr

Finalists:




6) Blood Borne (The Republic #3) by Archer Kay Leah
7) Flaunt (F-Word #1) by E. Davies
8) Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling
9) Outside the Lines by Caitlin Ricci
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? Paul Alan Fahey
LGBT - Non Fiction
Paperback
Publisher: Vine Leaves Press (January 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925417263
ISBN-13: 978-1925417265
Amazon: Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? Paul Alan Fahey

1) "Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality?" consists of essays describing different meanings of equality. Sometimes it's about LGBTQ rights, sometimes it's about understanding people and their various problems. This collection showed me that I still have a lot to do, because even though I fight about equal rights for everyone, there are still issues that I do not think about. There was just one thing missing - I would like to read what equality means to people from the "right side". Still, this book is definitely worth reading.
2) 25 gifted writers give their views on equality. Always insightful, these personal and often intimate observations give food for thought and some surprises along the way. The struggle for equality goes on despite the steps forward that have been made over the decades. A timely addition to the many essays on this subject. Highly recommended.
3) It is such an important topic. The essays were diverse, well-written and insightful and extremely well-organized and the editing was excellent. I learned so much from this anthology. *****

2) Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition
LGBT - Non Fiction
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Maverick Books (April 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159534800X
ISBN-13: 978-1595348005
Amazon: Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition

1) This was a non-fiction work that documented the history, rise and influence of Cornyation Fiesta, an event that takes place in San Antonio. The book highlights the great aspects of the show: that is part satire, part vaudeville, part drag show, and lots of entertainment, woven with history. It has struggled to become accepted and by becoming involved in the AIDS crisis, has developed into a great organization.
2) I loved this book, and it has obviously already been through professional editing and design. This is a wonderful success story for an entire GLBTQ community in a conservative area of Texas. I debated for a time if it had too much of a local interest to have a wide appeal, but I don't think so. For one thing, lessons learned in San Antonio can apply elsewhere. It was just fun to read about how humor and satire transitioned an entire GLBTQ community to general acceptance in the wider city. The length of time covered by the history of this satirical festival could not help but cause the occasional overload, but Amy did a good job of keeping the story on-track and relevant. Outstanding job of showing the social, political, and cultural environment of San Antonia and how it affected Cornynation and vice versa. The people behind the pageant came alive for me. The greatest complication was the vast number involved over the decades. At times, that came a tad difficult to track. Excellent! She managed to keep the historic facts accurate while maintaining an entertaining read.

3) Fried & Convicted: Rehoboth Beach Uncorked Fay Jacobs
LGBT - Biography / Memoir
Series: Tales from Rehoboth Beach
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Bywater Books (April 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1612940935
ISBN-13: 978-1612940939
Amazon: Fried & Convicted: Rehoboth Beach Uncorked Fay Jacobs

1) I loved her humorous style. Also, I think this book has great market potential for two reasons. First, it's hilarious, and second, it fits nicely in a popular and neglected genre: bathroom reading. As some character (don't remember who) said in "The Big Chill," she writes the perfect length for the "average reader to read during the average crap." That is not to demean her talent. She has real skill, and in a genre that, frankly, may be the only literature that far too many people ever read.
2) Superb!  Except for her wife's bout with cancer, I wish I had written this book!
3) Come along for the ride—you’ll be happy you did! -- this tag line is very true!  This book was a delightful humorous (and at times, a bit somber) memoir.  I enjoyed the book from the very first, and it kept me laughing, snorting, and giggling thorough the subsequent situations and stories. I love Fay Jacob's story telling--it's on point and makes the time fly by.

Runner Ups:



4) Hands On by Shae Connor

Finalists:




5) Harbinger Island by Dorian Dawes
6-tie) Harbinger Island by Dorian Dawes
6-tie) Into the Mystic #1 by Brooklyn Ray. J.C. Long, Kara Race-Moore, Samantha Kate, Nicole Field, J.P. Jackson, Caitlin Ricci, L.J. Hamlin, Kayla Bashe, Charli Coty, Tay LaRoi
7) This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison Levy
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Blank Spaces Cass Lennox
Asexual - Contemporary Romance
Series: Toronto Connections (Book 1)
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 9, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626494843
ISBN-13: 978-1626494848
Amazon: Blank Spaces (Toronto Connections #1) Cass Lennox

1) I love the way Cass Lennox uses depth focus to control the reader’s feelings. Super-deep focus to get all the good feelings in, and zooming out to introduce elements which are painful or painfully awkward, which prevents kicking the reader out of the fictive dream. This craft mastery, together with engaging characters and a fun art mystery plot is leavened with enough humor to keep you turning the pages until the satisfying ending. The unconventional topic and a fresh take on favorite tropes keeps this book out of the “standard MM romance” realm, making it original, interesting, and a true pleasure to read.
2) One of the best books that I've read over the past 12 months and I hope it wins many awards. This had every element of a good romance novel. Two characters who could be perfect together, they go together so well the reader wants it to happen, but at the same time, there is a big and excellent reason why they shouldn't be together. It would seem there is one thing that makes them very incompatible and the reader might think this is too big an obstacle to overcome. However, as the story goes on it becomes obvious that the one big obstacle that makes them so different to each other is also something that makes them perfect together. The sex scene between the two of them moved me greatly. And the epilogue was wonderful. Alongside the main love story was a cozy mystery story. The fact is, many LGBT couples are in some form of "open" non-monogamous relationship very similar to the one described in this book. We don't find it strange to read it in fiction because we know many people who live like it in reality. I'd love to read more light easy-read romantic fiction that reflects our lives in a more realistic and positive way like this.

2) Alonso Munich is Now Dead S. Gates
Asexual - Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (May 24, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1684310091
ISBN-13: 978-1684310098
Amazon: Alonso Munich is Now Dead S. Gates

1) The physical descriptions in this book, both of various locations and Atlanta as a whole, are detailed and well-written. I can easily imagine every room entered and route taken, and the author uses the contrast of clutter and sterility in locations to good effect. The descriptions occasionally veer toward the overly-factual, but not too often. Meanwhile, the supernatural elements of the setting were familiar, but often used in fresh ways or with details often overlooked. Alonso’s point of view works a lot with the contrast of a near-dead body and an actively living mind, or sensations such as a necromancer’s magic being worked nearby. Witchcraft techniques such as knot magic are shown without being pedantically explained, and while I’m rarely a fan of soulmate-esque concepts, the Keeper-Charge bond present here feels fresh due to its consensual and not-necessarily-romantic nature. Along with these, a few other details help round out this setting. One is the use of the differences between Alonso’s past and present, from the pop culture he recognizes to how the buildings have changed, which all helps add to his conflicted worldview. The openly dirverse and non-heteronormative nature of this setting is also a boon; there are characters who are transgender, asexual, gay but in a platonic hetero-soulmate relationship and more, and most of them PoC to boot. While characters face a believable amount of friction for their identities, they also find understanding and respect with their allies.
2) I really liked this story. I did wonder why Alonso, nor any others, ever addressed Marcella being transgender head on as a topic of discussion, but it worked out okay. It was worth the read.

3) The Painted Crown (Unbreakable Soldiers #2) Megan Derr
Asexual - Fantasy
Series: Unbreakable Soldiers (Book 2)
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (December 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620048434
ISBN-13: 978-1620048436
Amazon: The Painted Crown (Unbreakable Soldiers #2) Megan Derr

1)  I really enjoyed this book that I will buy this and go and buy the first book in the series. There was just something about it that sucked me in.

Runner Ups:



4-tie) Faux (F-Word #3) by E. Davies
4-tie) Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists by Angel Martinez
5) For a Good Time, Call (Bluewater Bay #17) by Anne Tenino & E.J. Russell
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The A.C. Katt Award for Gay Debut

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1) Jamie Deacon
Gay - Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (September 29, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786450356
ISBN-13: 978-1786450357
Amazon: Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1) Jamie Deacon

1) It’s hard for me to believe that this is a debut novel. The writing is lush and expressive. The setting conveys both place and mood so vividly and deftly. The characters are believable, fully realised, and, with one exception, very sympathetic. What impressed me most, though, was the author’s ability to capture the conflicts, fast-changing emotions, and interpersonal dynamics of a group of teenagers. A wholly believable coming-of-age story. I couldn’t put it down.
2) Loved the writing and the strong sense of place and time it creates. The characters are vividly drawn.
3) A well written, entertaining and absorbing story that was difficult to put down. an excellent addition to the genre of YA gay romance. I would recommend it to teenagers and adults of any age.
4) First book for me by this author but it will not be the last.


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

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


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

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


3) One-Man Show: The Life and Art of Bernard Perlin Michael Schreiber
Gay - Biography / Memoir
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 197371888X
ISBN-13: 978-1973718888
Amazon: One-Man Show: The Life and Art of Bernard Perlin Michael Schreiber

1) I always find books like this fascinating as they give an in-depth into a person. For me it was a great read… and I know I’ll read it again.
2) Biography is hard to evaluate; this is a very good one, very lively due to pictures and sort of interview with the protagonist.
3) The art and historical background is AMAZING.

Runner Ups:



4-tie) How We Love by Michael Ryan Webb
4-tie) Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer

Finalists:



6) September by Robert Winter
7) Angels Fall by N.S. Beranek
8-tie) Daimonion (The Apocalypse #1) by J.P. Jackson
8-tie) My Boyfriend's Back by Elliot Cooper
8-tie) The Glamour Thieves (Blue Unicorn #1) by Don Allmon
9) Oscar Down Under #1 by Jack Ladd

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Where The Light Glows Dena Blake
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (May 16, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626399581
ISBN-13: 978-1626399587
Amazon: Where The Light Glows Dena Blake

1) Good book. Maybe I could have enjoyed a bit more if there were not so many misanderstandings between the two protagonists, mostly due to the fact that they are two adult women. But otherwise solid book and interesting enough that I will keep an eye out for this author next book.

2) Ask, Tell E.J. Noyes
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Bella Books (January 24, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594935300
ISBN-13: 978-1594935305
Amazon: Ask, Tell E.J. Noyes

1) Very well written story. Tells it like it was during DADT time period. As I was reading this felt like I was right there with the MC's. Gave a realistic look into the military service.
2) Great characters we can admire and a well-told story.
3) The author draws the reader in and grips them throughout the story. I wasn't able to put the book down until I finished it. Great read, totally enjoyed the story.


3-tie) Beast at the Door Althea Blue
Lesbian - Historical Romance
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC (October 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944591281
ISBN-13: 978-1944591281
Amazon: Beast at the Door Althea Blue

1) A wonderful Steampunk Fairytale. Enough story arcs were tidied up to be satisfying, and a few left over to tease a possible sequel. 

3-tie) Dolores Maggiore Death and Love at the Old Summer Camp
Lesbian - Young Adult
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (July 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943353778
ISBN-13: 978-1943353774
Amazon: Dolores Maggiore Death and Love at the Old Summer Camp

1) Well written story focused on the young adult story line.  Nostalgic look back. A little bit of everything in this one, romance, mystery, paranormal. The settings were well written in this book. Felt like I was right there.


reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Permanent Jet Lag A.N. Casey
Bisexual - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press (May 25, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139118
ISBN-13: 978-1947139114
Amazon: Permanent Jet Lag A.N. Casey

1) I have to admit this love story between Lukas and Chris had me tearing up several times. How often will you berate yourself for not saying those elusive words, "I love you" until it's too late? Wonderful characters, humor, and heartbreak make this beautiful novel a must read.
2) Wonderful story of a young man who left his hometown for college, and the problems he faced before leaving, only to have to come back and face them all over again. As peace is made with each one, a new chapter in life opens, and things will never be the same again. Excellent!
3) I was shocked at how much this book affected me and how attached I became to the characters. Wonderfully done.

2) Adrift (Staying Afloat #1) Isabelle Adler
Bisexual - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Series: Staying Afloat
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press (January 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1945952555
ISBN-13: 978-1945952555
Amazon: Adrift (Staying Afloat #1) Isabelle Adler

1) I must admit I’m a sucker for a good sci fi book. I really liked this story. It’s one I’ll read again and will go back and buy to have on my kindle. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for future books in this series.
2) An entertaining SciFi space adventure with just a hint of gay romance, a plot that worked, and a contrast between the main characters that generated interest and sparks. Looking forward to the next in the series.
3) Clever, well thought plot with fast paced action. A strong developed bisexual male character in an everchanging sci fi setting, a book filled with twists and turns, some of them yet to be taken advantage off and promissing good things in regard to later books in the same universe. There are still plenty of questions left unanswered and information just not used yet so the possibilities for follow ups are there and shining. That being said, this book has a satisfactory conclusion, interesting debates and is an interesting read. The relationship between the main characters was a bit too sudden and at times I would have welcomed the Ryce's perspective too but Matt observations did a good enough job of setting things clear.  You can feel that it's not a romace or anything else but a sci-fi, futuristic space opera and it works. Great read. Will be watching for the next one.

3) Sparkwood Daria Defore
Bisexual - Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 14, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620049813
ISBN-13: 978-1620049815
Amazon: Sparkwood Daria Defore

1) After a less-than-exciting start, this book took me by surprise. The setting was beautifully described from the beginning, but I didn't expect to fall so madly in love with the characters. Slowly but surely, Finn and Robin really engrossed me. I was engrossed by the combination of old world fairy myths, the other-world paranormal trope, and a rather new spin on fairy culture and physiology. 
2) Initially, I was prepared not to like this, since Finn was so unlikable for the first half, but I loved the concept and enjoyed the faery world, so I stuck with it. I'm glad I did, because it developed quite nicely in the second half.


reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:

 
1) Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter
Transgender - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620049554
ISBN-13: 978-1620049556
Amazon: Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter

1) I took a long time trying to figure out how to rate this. It’s an ambitious story with characters that are not strictly LGBTQIA. Rather, they are aliens—a combination of mechanical and organic, with an insectile appearance—that have a sense of gender that is also completely alien. That’s a difficult thing to pull off, and the author pulls it off very well. Although the sex scenes were too, well, alien for me to get into, they were well done and in keeping with the character of the story. What really impressed me was how the author managed to draw me in so completely to an emotional and social system that was also very, very alien. I felt for these characters and wanted them to succeed. The social and emotional systems were complex, well drawn, and fascinating. And the writing, which was beautiful, wrapped it all up into a neat package. I found this story engrossing, engaging, and exceedingly well constructed. Well done, Ms. Winter.
2) This was an utterly engrossing read. Isobelle Winter has created a unique civilisation of insectile rather than humanoid characters, complete with customs, castes and superb world building. The book is well paced and the plot carefully crafted. I look forward to reading more by this author. The only thing I didn't like was the use of ne, nem and nir in place of he, him and his.


2-tie) Peter Darling Austin Chant
Transgender - Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 9, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620049805
ISBN-13: 978-1620049808
Amazon: Peter Darling Austin Chant

1) Having not read the blurb, I loved the dawning realization that Peter was, in fact, Wendy through the author's skilful prose. This book is a wonderful reimagining of both the traditional Peter Pan story and the original cast of characters. I look forward to reading more by this author.

2-tie) The Urn Carrier Chris Convissor
Transgender - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (October 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943837384
ISBN-13: 978-1943837380
Amazon: The Urn Carrier Chris Convissor

1) Solid storytelling. A triumph!
 
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The William Neale Award for Gay Contemporary Romance

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Runner Ups:



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

Finalists:



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

Winners:


1) Heart Trouble Jae
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Ylva Publishing; 1 edition (October 9, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955337324
ISBN-13: 978-3955337322
Amazon: Heart Trouble Jae

1) Totally loved this book. Haven't really read much from this author but I definitely like her writing style. Words and pages just flowed and made it hard to put down. I really liked the MC's Hope and Laleh as well.
2) Jae consistently gives us good stories, expertly written.
3) A roller coaster of emotion, but a really good read. Laleh & Hope kept me sucked in as their story unfolded.
4) Really a great book. It is a very refreshing read, with a plot that is intriguing, full of interesting details that keep the reader inside the plot. I was pleasantly surprised by how much science, paranormal and history goes arm in arm and fit so well together. I will for sure read again this book, good job!

2-tie) Breaking Anchor Geonn Cannon
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback
Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC (March 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944591230
ISBN-13: 978-1944591236
Amazon: Breaking Anchor Geonn Cannon

1) An engaging story with powerful, vibrant characters and a terrific setup.
2) This had a tear in my eyes at the opening scene and kept me reading for the whole story. I liked it.
3) This was not a totally new kind of plot, but it was able to portrait the story a lot better and in a more interesting way, that was able to keep my attention. Good story and very good writing style!
4) Cannon is a terrific writer who can make story believeable and characters relatable. His abiliy to get inside the female mind is quite amazing, and his optics on Seattle are first rate.

2-tie) Falling Hard Jae
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 364 pages
Publisher: Ylva Publishing; 1 edition (April 4, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955338290
ISBN-13: 978-3955338299
Amazon: Falling Hard Jae

1) A sweet story that challenges us to review our own self awareness.
2) Loved this story. Loved the angst. Characters were all well written and developed. Loved Simone and even liked Chloe just a tad. Great love story.
3) Even though I found this story to be long in part it really was a good story. And the characters were interesting, even if I did want to slap a few of them. Though, I really am a sucker for stories with kids in them… Molly was a cutie.

3) A.L. Brooks Miles Apart
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Ylva Publishing; 1 edition (August 14, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955338665
ISBN-13: 978-3955338664
Amazon: A.L. Brooks Miles Apart

1) Awesome story.  Extremely well written characters.  Liked them all except Terri. Loved the supporting casts of both woman.  I liked how the authors writing style went back and forth between each character.  Hated to see this one end.
2) A.L. Brooks tackles the thorny subject of infidelity with an elegant finesse and brings us an intelligent story of valuable introspection and profound love between well-rounded characters. A worthy read.

Runner Ups:



4) Born Out of Wedlock by Lyn Gardner
5) The Rules of Love by Cara Malone
6) Where The Light Glows by Dena Blake
7) More Than a Song by Chris Paynter

Finalists:



8) Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes
9) Sidebar by Carsen Taite
10) Taste by Kris Bryant

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The Bobby Michaels Award for Gay Erotic Romance

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1-tie) Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) L.A. Witt
Gay - Erotic Romance
Series: Anchor Point (Book 1)
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162649469X
ISBN-13: 978-1626494695
Amazon: Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) L.A. Witt

1) “Anchor Point” is the first in this series of male-male military romances As a reader, I fell in love with the characters. The tale of angst, conflict, lust and love are woven nicely together. The pacing is good, and you don’t realize that you’ve quickly read most of the book in one sitting. Well done love story with a satisfying happily-ever-after.

1-tie) The Master Will Appear L.A. Witt
Gay - Erotic Romance
Paperback: 446 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1545274614
ISBN-13: 978-1545274613
Amazon: The Master Will Appear L.A. Witt

1) This.Was.Hot! This is the type of story I didn't want it to end. It was amazing and I really enjoyed both Misha and Ryan. It took me a bit to get to like Ryan but after a few chapters, he got into my heart. He really needed someone like Misha in his life to teach him control and respect. Wonderful read! Ms. Witt is definitely someone to look after, for her stories are all so enjoyable. Well done!

2) Exposed Bey Deckard
Gay - Erotic Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 25, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 154465510X
ISBN-13: 978-1544655109
Amazon: Exposed Bey Deckard

1) A beautiful May - December romance with two well-developed main characters, and a great read all around, very well-written.

3) Secured and Free (Entwined Dreams #2) Z. Allora
Gay - Erotic Romance
Series: Entwined Dreams (Book 2)
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635334055
ISBN-13: 978-1635334050
Amazon: Secured and Free (Entwined Dreams #2) Z. Allora

1) This was a very nice Romance, with a capital R! The BDSM is hot and the characters oh, so likable! There's so much pain and hurt within Orion's heart and the healing Marcus and Hunter offer is simply sweet, fantastic. This is a well-written, sweet story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 

Runner Up:



4) Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc.) by L.A. Witt

Finalists:



5) Saving Sebastian: A Catharsis Novel (Custos Securities #3) by Luna David
6) Oscar Down Under #1 by Jack Ladd
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Block and Strike Kelly Jensen
Bisexual - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 6, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635332281
ISBN-13: 978-1635332285
Amazon: Block and Strike Kelly Jensen

1) Excellent pacing, well-rounded characters, and while the subject matter is not light and fluffy, it is handled well and believable, and the writing is so addictive I had trouble putting the book down.
2) Excellent! Possibly the best new novel of the season! Writer Jensen tells a story with ease. A+
3) I was drawn into this book, hook line and sinker, since the phrase "Shruggy McShruggerson shrugged." The author writes so well, pulling you in with witty remarks and snappy comebacks, engaging characters and smart dialogue, breathless sexual tension and riveting sensuality. Nothing felt forced or unrealistic. Oh, the feels. So many feels. Can't count how many times I cried, laughed out loud, and aww'ed. Loved this.

2) The Art of Three Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
Bisexual - Contemporary Romance
Paperback
Publisher: Avian30 (March 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1946192015
ISBN-13: 978-1946192011
Amazon: The Art of Three Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

1) I was smitten by this book and couldn’t put it down. The authors are fantastic storytellers, navigating the reader through complex emotions, varied landscapes, jet-setting life-styles and the social minefield of colleagues, family, neighbors, and the Church. The plot races on, slowing down for the tender parts where love and affection blooms unfettered by extra words, and by extra physical descriptions of sex. I noticed the lack of on-screen intimacy, but didn’t miss it. In fact, the already complex plot would’ve been all-too busy with extra thrown in. I recommend this book without reservations.
2) Utterly fascinating story of three romances and one marriage, each brought to life with deftly written characters, who populate a tale of romance, lust, and humor. As the trio of unplanned lovers find their lives coming together in more ways than one, the reader will not be able to close the book until the last word is read.
3) This book had wonderfully complex characters, rich, colorful descriptions, a complex and interesting storyline, and good dialog. I really didn't want to put it down!


3) Defenseless A.J. Rose
Bisexual - Contemporary Romance
File Size: 5287 KB
Print Length: 500 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Amazon: Defenseless A.J. Rose

1) This is by far been my favorite read so far. The plot was well developed and real. At times it was even hard to read the struggles of the couple in the aftermath of the attack, but I couldn't put it down. Writing something like this can come across as preachy, but the author did an excellent job of hold the characters in the forefront maintaining the focus on their relationship. My only negative is that I would have liked to seen more of the recovery of their relationship after the reconciliation. Excellent job of building Jessie and Kyle's world. The author did a fantastic job of bringing the attack and court experience to life on the page. At times I loved the characters and at times I hated them. The were REAL and complete individuals. Very fluid and full of excellent imagery. Never did I feel like an oberver looking in but present in the lives of these men and their friends.

Runner Up:



4) All the Way to Shore by CJane Elliott

Finalists:



5) Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt
6) Splinter (Significant Brothers #1) by E. Davies
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The Sandrine Gasq-Dion Award for Gay Paranormal Romance

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:

 
1) Depth of Return M. Raiya
Gay - Paranormal Romance
Series: Another Healing (Book 2)
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634775384
ISBN-13: 978-1634775380
Amazon: Depth of Return M. Raiya

1) I got hooked on the first page and now need the first book in the series, although I followed this one okay without having read it. The descriptive style made it very easy to visualise the setting. The characters are engaging, and the plot is exciting and intriguing—a real page turner. I loved the world building, and in particularly the magic system.
2) I found this book to be a joy to read with its engaging plot, interesting MCs and cast of supporting characters. Easy to follow, despite having not read book 1, which I will be doing very soon, and full of suspense, atmosphere and plot, plot, plot.
3) This was a great read and an excellent follow up of book one in the Another Healing series. I really liked the main characters from the beginning and could not help but cheer them on as they searched for their HEA.

2) P.S. I Spook You S.E. Harmon
Gay - Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635336902
ISBN-13: 978-1635336900
Amazon: P.S. I Spook You S.E. Harmon

1) First book by this author. I saw this when it first was released and went by it because I thought it was about a ghost in love, no I did not read the blurb. That will teach me to judge a book by the title. I really enjoyed the characters and the story line. Will definitely have to read more by this author.
2) This book was too much fun. I loved the main characters, and I loved them together. The mystery was well thought-out and well-executed. The wry, self-deprecating narrative voice worked so well and gave the entire book a charming humor. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
3) The mystery in this novel is carefully plotted, and the paranormal elements are skillfully woven in. The banter between the two lead characters is an absolute delight.
4) Whether intentional - or not - I like that this story was a nod to the 1980s-style 'ghosts are tedious'. I enjoyed the tension between Rain and Danny. Love + crime solving + ghosts... what is there not to like?


3) Eli Easton How to Save a Life (Howl at the Moon #4)
Gay - Paranormal Romance
File Size: 971 KB
Print Length: 415 pages
Publication Date: August 28, 2017
Language: English
Amazon: Eli Easton How to Save a Life (Howl at the Moon #4)


1) Eli Easton builds a convincing world of dogs who are so devoted and show such love for an owner they catch the 'spark' and experience the quickening that transforms them into dog-human shifters. In this book the author does a credible job applying the premise to an abused animal with a fear of men. Her writing style easily captures the elements attention and draws the reader into her story without becoming boring. A very satisfying read.
2) I found this to be an engaging and charming story. I really like the way the author kept the canine personality traits the quickened were born with, rather than having them becoming fully human when they changed. Both MC's character arcs were well developed and really added depth to the story. 
3) This book is part of a series and readers should really read the series in order since there is a lot of character crossover. That said, this is a change from the typical shifter stories and fans of that genre should give it a try.

Runner Up:



4) Vespers (The Hours of the Night #1) by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

Finalists:



5) Angels Fall by N.S. Beranek
6) Wolf of the Northern Star (The Wolfkin Saga #2) by S.J. Himes
7-tie) My Boyfriend's Back by Elliot Cooper
7-tie) The Glamour Thieves (Blue Unicorn #1) by Don Allmon
8) Andre in Flight by Laura Lascarso
9) A Chance for Us (New Vampire Justice #2) by Jake C. Wallace
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


 
1) The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4) Anna Butler
Gay - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Series: Taking Shield
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Glass Hat Press; One edition (February 22, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1543166601
ISBN-13: 978-1543166606
Amazon: The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4) Anna Butler

1) The world Anna Butler has created for her characters to interact in is complex and vivid. I was completely immersed in the customs, politics and different locations - superb world building. The plot is intricate, a real page turner with several surprises along the way. I am certainly looking forward to the next instalment.
2) I’m already a huge fan of this series. The world building is very detailed, the settings easy to visualise and the characters....I really felt for Bennet and Flynn in this story, and could feel their frustration and pain. The plot is complex, and very engaging.

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

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


3) The Craving Z. Allora
Gay - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634779045
ISBN-13: 978-1634779043
Amazon: The Craving Z. Allora

1) Brilliant story. I would have liked for the story to have been longer. So that I could have kept reading about this world and the wonderful characters within. I would definitely recommend it to others to read.
2) Interesting story and one that hooked me from the start. Really liked the premise as well as the characters.


Runner Up:



4) Pandora by Marguerite Labbe
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Every Breath You Take Robert Winter
Gay - Romantic Suspence
Series: Pride and Joy (Book 2)
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635334950
ISBN-13: 978-1635334951
Amazon: Every Breath You Take Robert Winter

1) Thrilling from the first page. The story develops at a swift pace, from the first blush of attraction, and more than a hint of danger, through the deepening of emotion as the stakes rise. I loved all the characters. The secondaries were more than stand-ins. They all had something interesting going on and a reason to be on the page. The heroes take center stage, though. Realistic and sympathetic, in all their moods. I really wanted a happy ever after for these guys--and for both of them to live to see the end of the book.
2) A beautifully written story with so much to recommend it. The setting of Washington, DC is realistic, and the plot has some wonderful surprises and interesting secondary threads. While the romantic leads follow familiar arcs they are well-drawn and always believably in character. The psychological portrait of the stalker is deep, complex and truly frightening. The writing is intelligent, clear, and elegantly paced -- so well-suited to the story.
3) This was a very solid, satisfying mystery. Excellent character development with a believable attraction between the MCs, and genuine suspense as the peril built and Zachary is threatened by Thomas' past. Well done.
4) Totally absorbing, from the first page to the last. The beginning sets the tone - this isn't going to be a sweet love story. Rather, it's a tale of obsession and denial. There is sweetness here, though, in both heroes as they examine what they truly want. How they are with each other, especially in their private moments.

2) The Phisher King Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Gay - Romantic Suspence
File Size: 1130 KB
Print Length: 355 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Eine Kleine Press (March 29, 2017)
Publication Date: March 29, 2017
Amazon: The Phisher King Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

1) The author really created well rounded characters who stayed true to their natures. Also, the extensive knowledge of hacking and the work of computers and the dark web impressed me. I also believe the author created brilliant suspense as well as sexual tension between the heroes.

3-tie) Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) Victoria Sue
Gay - Romantic Suspence
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634779150
ISBN-13: 978-1634779159
Amazon: Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) Victoria Sue

1) Loved the story, and its characters. I got sucked in immediately and couldn’t put it down. The world building is complex, and well thought out, and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

3-tie) Sue Brown Morning My Angel (Angel Enterprises #1)
Gay - Romantic Suspence
Series: Angel Enterprises
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 26, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539772489
ISBN-13: 978-1539772484
Amazon: Sue Brown Morning My Angel (Angel Enterprises #1)

1) Excellent characters, I could feel their pain and pleasure. The author brought me right into their lives, seamlessly incorporating the reader within the action. The plot twisted and turned and even though I guessed a few things correctly, the outcome was a shock.
2) This was a great book. It had EVERYTHING. Sizzling spy story, sparkling dialog between the main characters, a romance that just built and built and kept you hanging on each page. Oh yeah, and the sex was HOT. It’s near perfect and one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Runner Up:



4) Windward (Mirror #2) by Kirby Crow
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Wolf’s Clothing (Legend Tripping #2) E.J. Russell
Bisexual - Paranormal Romance
Series: Legend Tripping (Book 2)
Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (Oct 10, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626494118
ISBN-13: 978-1626494114
Amazon: Wolf’s Clothing E.J. Russell

1) The continuation of Russell's Legend Tripping series lives up the the guantlet thrown down by book one. Trent and Christophe manage to find their way to each other, despite their differences. I enjoyed Russell's take on the wolf shifter mythos. Unlike anything I have read before.
2) The author creates intriguing plots and subplots, and interesting characters, all wrapped in a wonderful writing style. A superb read.


2) Page of Tricks (Inheritance #5) Amelia Faulkner
Bisexual - Paranormal Romance
File Size: 1691 KB
Print Length: 329 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: July 5, 2017
Amazon: Page of Tricks (Inheritance #5) Amelia Faulkner

1) This fascinating, awesome, vividly detailed, and gripping story had me so  totally engrossed, I read it in one sitting.

3) Once Bitten Kate Owen
Bisexual - Paranormal Romance
Series: Once Bitten
Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620049767
ISBN-13: 978-1620049761
Amazon: Once Bitten Kate Owen

1) This one has a fast pace, but it’s a long read. The gender-swap element was something new for werewolves, but was easily acceptable. Lots of drama mixed with various supernatural elements. I will admit, the coolest part is that the story was set in Dallas.

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) E.J. Russell
Gay - Fantasy Romance
Series: Fae Out of Water (Book 2)
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 7, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626496226
ISBN-13: 978-1626496224
Amazon: The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) E.J. Russell


1) I really enjoyed the book.I liked reading about the Fae but also a little different than I usually read.
2) One word to describe this book: Cute! I really liked Mal and Bryce together. At times they make an odd couple but they really match to perfection. This was a well-written fantasy story filled with these couple's oddness and romance. At times you'll laugh, at others, you'll wonder if they'll make it out alive from the turmoil brought to them at the fairy realm. Bravo, Ms. Russell. Well done!

2-tie) Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) E.J. Russell
Gay - Fantasy Romance
Series: Fae Out of Water (Book 1)
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 31, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626496005
ISBN-13: 978-1626496002
Amazon: Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) E.J. Russell

2-tie) The Blacksmith Prince Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Gay - Fantasy Romance
File Size: 3079 KB
Print Length: 214 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: July 14, 2017
Amazon: The Blacksmith Prince Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Hands On Shae Connor
LGBT - Anthology / Collection / Contemporary Romance
File Size: 3661 KB
Print Length: 301 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Amazon: Hands On Shae Connor


1) A well planned anthology, good collection of stories that were long enough to have a real plot development and characters all interesting and stories that had a soid background that make the collection understandable right from the start. I really enjoyed this book.
2) I found myself getting caught up in each individual story. The characters held my interest and I loved finding out about their lives.


2-tie) Harbinger Island Dorian Dawes
LGBT - Anthology / Collection / Fantasy
File Size: 3397 KB
Print Length: 248 pages
Publisher: Manifold Press (February 1, 2017)
Publication Date: February 1, 2017
Amazon: Harbinger Island Dorian Dawes

1) There was much to like about this book. The title was evocative, and the diversity of characters was both welcome and believable. It was a solid, good read.
2) Delightfully creepy tale that could well have been part of  the Twilight Zone series, complete with menacing townsfolk and rotting buildings A different twist is given in part by the main characters who are mostly transgendered. Interesting and spooky plot.
3) I loved the way the stories all linked together to form a full story.  Great sense of evil and horror, and interesting diverse characters.  Hope there's a sequel as it feels as though the fight against evil has only just begun.


2-tie) Into the Mystic #1 Brooklyn Ray. J.C. Long, Kara Race-Moore, Samantha Kate, Nicole Field, J.P. Jackson, Caitlin Ricci, L.J. Hamlin, Kayla Bashe, Charli Coty, Tay LaRoi
LGBT - Anthology / Collection / Paranormal Romance
Paperback
Publisher: Ninestar Press, LLC (July 31, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139495
ISBN-13: 978-1947139497
Amazon: Into the Mystic #1 Brooklyn Ray. J.C. Long, Kara Race-Moore, Samantha Kate, Nicole Field, J.P. Jackson, Caitlin Ricci, L.J. Hamlin, Kayla Bashe, Charli Coty, Tay LaRoi

1) This book had an amazing variety of voices and styles but they all meshed into a wonderful collection.


reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter
Transgender - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620049554
ISBN-13: 978-1620049556
Amazon: Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter

1) I took a long time trying to figure out how to rate this. It’s an ambitious story with characters that are not strictly LGBTQIA. Rather, they are aliens—a combination of mechanical and organic, with an insectile appearance—that have a sense of gender that is also completely alien. That’s a difficult thing to pull off, and the author pulls it off very well. Although the sex scenes were too, well, alien for me to get into, they were well done and in keeping with the character of the story. What really impressed me was how the author managed to draw me in so completely to an emotional and social system that was also very, very alien. I felt for these characters and wanted them to succeed. The social and emotional systems were complex, well drawn, and fascinating. And the writing, which was beautiful, wrapped it all up into a neat package. I found this story engrossing, engaging, and exceedingly well constructed. Well done, Ms. Winter.
2) This was an utterly engrossing read. Isobelle Winter has created a unique civilisation of insectile rather than humanoid characters, complete with customs, castes and superb world building. The book is well paced and the plot carefully crafted. I look forward to reading more by this author. The only thing I didn't like was the use of ne, nem and nir in place of he, him and his.

2) Peter Darling Austin Chant
Transgender - Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 9, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620049805
ISBN-13: 978-1620049808
Amazon: Peter Darling Austin Chant

1) Having not read the blurb, I loved the dawning realization that Peter was, in fact, Wendy through the author's skilful prose. This book is a wonderful reimagining of both the traditional Peter Pan story and the original cast of characters. I look forward to reading more by this author.

3) The Heart of the Lost Star (Tales of the High Court #3) Megan Derr
Transgender - Fantasy Romance
112,000 words
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (August 23, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9781684310609


1) I enjoyed this book. I hadn't read any of the Tales of the High Court, but after reading this one I have to go get the first 2. Not my usual reading material, but so glad I as introduced to this series.
2) I enjoyed this book so much I went and bought this and the two other books in the series so I could have them on my kindle…
3) Great series. If the author submit book 4 next year, can I get it? :-)

Runner Up:



4) Blood Borne (The Republic #3) by Archer Kay Leah
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Aqua Follies Liv Rancourt
Gay - Historical Romance
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Liv Rancourt; 1 edition (May 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998582239
ISBN-13: 978-0998582238
Amazon: Aqua Follies Liv Rancourt

1) Liv Rancourt's dedication to a true historical narrative is so evident here. Her characters are so authentic. The 1950s must have been a difficult time to be gay, yet she doesn't go for the easy angst. These guys want something more. They know there is an easy way out, but they're willing to risk the fallacy of a normal life to reach for something better. That positive note was sorely needed against what could have been, and I was glad the author focused on that.
2) This 1950's historical had a great atmosphere of the era, and the main characters felt realistic for the time and place in which they lived. The romance started fast, but faced some plausible obstacles. I loved Skip from the start, and came to appreciate Russell over the span of the story.
3) Unique setting, sympathetic characters, and difficult situations make for a page-turning male-male romance set in the 1950’s. Very enjoyable!
4) I think this is the best book I’ve read this year. It had the right mixture of tenderness and angst, rawness and loving.

2-tie) Selina Kray Stoker & Bash: The Fangs of Scavo
Gay - Historical Romance
Series: Stoker & Bash (Book 1)
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Selina Kray; First edition edition (May 29, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0995992517
ISBN-13: 978-0995992511
Amazon: Selina Kray Stoker & Bash: The Fangs of Scavo

1) The last of the books I read, and it SERIOUSLY deserves an award!!! Not only did the writing take my breath away, but also the thrilling conflict, romance, and mystery kept me up at night. Complex characters Kip and Heiro are alive and well in my imagination ... and in my heart.
2) A Victorian romp with excellent historical details, action-adventure, and engrossing characters.
3) I had the pleasure of buying the book earlier in the year and was captivated by the characters and the plot. I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

2-tie) Swift for the Sun Karen Bovenmyer
Gay - Historical Romance
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 27, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634777638
ISBN-13: 978-1634777636
Amazon: Swift for the Sun Karen Bovenmyer


1) This was a fantastic book that was so vivid I almost felt like I was actually there in the story.
2) This was an interesting story. I liked the way the characters grow during the story. A must for those that like historicals.
3) An engrossing tale of survival and love against the backdrop of slavery, freedom, and the search for happiness.

Runner Ups:



3-tie) Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3) by Anne Barwell
3-tie) Home Before Sundown by Tinnean
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Jody Klaire Best Maid Plans
Lesbian - Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Independently published (June 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1521511845
ISBN-13: 978-1521511848
Amazon: Jody Klaire Best Maid Plans

1) Funny romance. Well written and flowed easily. Loved all of the characters and found them very well developed.

2) Lila Bruce Little Lies
Lesbian - Romantic Suspence
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 15, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539543595
ISBN-13: 978-1539543596
Amazon: Lila Bruce Little Lies

1) This was a great read. I loved this book and will definitely check out more from this author especially if they are along the same lines as this story… it sucked me right in.
2) Well written action packed story. Lots of twists and turns.  Loved how the relationship between Lia and Dylan was developed.
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) E.M. Hamill Dalí
Bisexual - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback
Publisher: Ninestar Press, LLC (August 7, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139584
ISBN-13: 978-1947139589
Amazon: E.M. Hamill Dalí


1) The author's ability to describe a sci-fi future made me believe that space flight was possible and in fact a reality. The various alien races were described in such a way as to be believable, while the technology was ingenious and creative.
The main character's ability to morph between female and male genders depending upon external stimuli, while normally sitting comfortably in a genderless state made me question what gender was, and how we fit into our assumed roles. This aspect was brilliantly portrayed by the author!
2) This sc-fi novel is spell-binding in its inventiveness and originality. Featuring third-gender, sexually fluid humans as the main characters along with an assortment of alien species as friends and foes keeps the plot moving swiftly to a dynamic conclusion. Dali is a unique character that I found fascinating. Great world and character building. An extremely satisfying read.
3) This is a phenomenal book with an intriguing approach to gender. The writing is sharp, effective, and suspenseful. The political and social conditions of the future are rich, detailed, and convincing.
4) This is a deep, complex, multi-faceted bit of edge science fiction that does some fantastic things with gender and sexuality. The story itself starts out edgy and dark, and goes even deeper, but Dali is a strong enough character to hold it all together.


2) Adrift (Staying Afloat #1) Isabelle Adler
Bisexual - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Series: Staying Afloat
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press (January 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1945952555
ISBN-13: 978-1945952555
Amazon: Adrift (Staying Afloat #1) Isabelle Adler


1) I must admit I’m a sucker for a good sci fi book. I really liked this story. It’s one I’ll read again and will go back and buy to have on my kindle. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for future books in this series.
2) An entertaining SciFi space adventure with just a hint of gay romance, a plot that worked, and a contrast between the main characters that generated interest and sparks. Looking forward to the next in the series.
3) Clever, well thought plot with fast paced action. A strong developed bisexual male character in an everchanging sci fi setting, a book filled with twists and turns, some of them yet to be taken advantage off and promissing good things in regard to later books in the same universe. There are still plenty of questions left unanswered and information just not used yet so the possibilities for follow ups are there and shining. That being said, this book has a satisfactory conclusion, interesting debates and is an interesting read. The relationship between the main characters was a bit too sudden and at times I would have welcomed the Ryce's perspective too but Matt observations did a good enough job of setting things clear.  You can feel that it's not a romace or anything else but a sci-fi, futuristic space opera and it works. Great read. Will be watching for the next one.

Runner Up:



3) Breaker (Exile #1) by Kelly Wyre & A.F. Henley

Finalists:



4) Dangerous Urges by Konrad Hartmann
5) Reeve of Veils (Inheritance #4) by Amelia Faulkner
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The Dorien Grey Award for Gay Mystery / Thriller

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Hacked Up Ethan Stone
Gay - Mystery / Thriller
File Size: 4776 KB
Print Length: 264 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Stone Publishing (February 6, 2017)
Publication Date: February 6, 2017
Amazon: Hacked Up Ethan Stone


1) A really gripping mystery plot. I liked this book a lot. It was more of a mystery thriller ( and a very good one at that) than a romance; the romantic elements were there, but more like brushed on, very gently, like the pinch of sugar that makes a spicy chili even tastier. A highly pleasant read!
2) The premise is good, a serial killer attacking men who've cheated on their wives. The writing flowed smoothly, the dialogue was convincing, and the characters were both believable and likable. I also liked that there weren't pornographic sex scenes thrown in just because this was a romance. Overall, I found the book quite a fun read. As a resident of Seattle, I found the setting convincing. Whether or not the details about police work and police departments were accurate, they FELT accurate and were also convincing.
3) This was a great mystery. The detective story was interesting and the investigation flowed nicely, although some aspects, some minor details were lost on Detective Tao. The characters were all interesting and unique and the way fiction was entwined with the very real Ashley Madison scandal was truly interesting. I loved the non-standard relationship the two MCs have and how it builds up throughout the story. Great read, kept me engaged and definitely surprised me with the killer reveal.


2) Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water #2) Amy Lane
Gay - Mystery / Thriller
Series: Fish Out of Water (Book 2)
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 4, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635337631
ISBN-13: 978-1635337631
Amazon: Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water #2) Amy Lane

1) This was one of the best mysteries I’ve read all year. I loved the plot and the interesting perspective into nature and nurture as Amy Lane explored a protagonist and a villain with the same background becoming very different people. The romantic subplot featuring Jackson and Ellery was nicely woven into the murder mystery. The angst was caused by plausible issues which were dealt with as needed, it never felt artificial. Great, fast paced, and thrilling read.
2) Another lovely book from a outstanding writer. Adventures of Ellery and Jackson - love story at gunpoint.

Runner Up:



3) Gazes Into You (Mr & Mr Detective #1) by Alex Jane

Finalist:



4) Reunion (Diversion #6) by Eden Winters
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:


1) Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into Stories #2) Lane Hayes
Bisexual - Erotic Romance
Series: Leaning Into Stories
Paperback: 282 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 154466639X
ISBN-13: 978-1544666396
Amazon: Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into Stories #2) Lane Hayes


1) I really admire the way Lane Hayes develops her characters. They grow on the page, not only for the reader--as we get to know them--but as living, breathing beings. By the end of Leaning into the Fall, I felt I'd actually spent time with Nick and Wes. I was as invested in their relationship as they were. I loved their conversations, even when they were arguing. I could hear their voices. So when these two got it together, it felt real--as did their heartache and eventual joy.
2) The characters were amazing. Nick with his social disorder and Wes with his infinite patience. I also liked the pace and the winery setting. This was a really good book.


2) A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3) Lane Hayes
Bisexual - Erotic Romance
Series: A Kind of Stories
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 7, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634777859
ISBN-13: 978-1634777858
Amazon: A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3) Lane Hayes


1) I loved how the respective settings were used to emphasize the events that took place there, as well as the social gap between the main characters. Also, the use of music/ rhythm to accentuate Tim's struggles was very cleverly done. Great job. The elements of this story just fit together. The music industy background actually served a purpose here instead of being mere prop, the main characters were as real as a fictional rockstar and a fictional multi-bilionaire finance mogul can ever be, and the conflicts they had to deal with, both internal and external, didn't require too much suspension of disbelief. On top of that, the writing was smooth and well-paced. A really enjoyable read.
2) A Kind of Honesty is less plot-driven, more a journey of self-discovery, and it works so well. Tim comes across as a fairly candid sort of guy, someone who has few secrets. But he's not entirely honest with himself and hasn't been for most of his life - and being in the music industry only helps him maintain that divide. It's only when he meets Carter - who is supposed to be a casual affair - that he realizes the two halves of himself are so out of line. And so he has to work to pull all of it together and that's hard, for anyone. That's what I enjoyed most about this book. I loved the romance and the banter between the guys, but Tim's journey was beautifully realized.

Runner Up:



3) Get a Grip (A Bluewater Bay Story #19) by L.A. Witt

Finalists:



4) Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc.) by L.A. Witt
5) Gnarly (World of Love) by Mickie B. Ashling
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Having Her Back Ann Gallagher
Transgender - Young Adult
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1546834907
ISBN-13: 978-1546834908
Amazon: Having Her Back Ann Gallagher

1) Very well developed story and characters. The authors writing style lead to the characters and plot feeling like a cohesive whole rather than just a story being told.
2) A sweet, well written, and thoroughly realistic coming-of-age romance. I loved every word.
3) The Spanish location and the background of US military based abroad were well woven into the story in a way that was accurate and beautiful to read. The relationships between all the characters were realistic and well written. I was pleased the young characters in the book had no issue with gay identities or a transperson, which is very realistic among youth of today. An excellent book, which after reading on kindle I bought in print too. I enjoy YA fiction and as a YA romance, this was as good as any that I've read. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading YA romance.


2) You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake
Bisexual - Young Adult
Series: '90's Coming of Age
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 28, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1540699188
ISBN-13: 978-1540699183
Amazon: You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake


1) This was a touching coming of age story that had me crying more than I expected. Peter was a compelling and endearing protagonist, his lack of confidence, his conflicting feelings, and his attempts at figuring out his future while unable to let go of his past making him beautifully flawed and leaving room for him to grow throughout this books. You are not me felt as much a story about blending new and old in terms of friendship and accepting who one is as it was the story of a boy dealing with a toxic, lies-infested love. The supporting characters were an interesting and diverse cast of ages and interests and worked well in highlighting different aspects of Peter’s life.
2) I adored this book. Coming of age stories sometimes make me nervous. And any book with HIV/AIDS in the the storyline must be handled with utmost care. Leta Blake did a beautiful job with these characters. The story is told through Peter who is newly out and is just beginning to embrace his sexuality. The reader is very in tune with his fear, uncertainty and hope. I rooted for him in spite of his inability to see what his friends did because his journey struck me as very honest. I look forward to reading more installments in this series.
3) I did not read the first installment in this series, though this book covered enough for me to follow along and not get lost wondering what happened in book one. Wow. Really, Wow. Leta Blake did an awesome job of painting life for Peter, who reaches, grows, explores, makes decisions in real-life: sticky, messy, complicated. This book had me cheering and jeering in turn--cheering for Peter and Daniel, and jeering at Adam. I enjoyed reading Peter's continued journey on how to be an out gay man, the warm and robust secondary characters, and the growing pains of real life.

Runner Ups:



3) Pictures of you ('90s Coming of Age series #1) by Leta Blake
4) Pieces by G. Benson

Finalists:



5-tie) Death and Love at the Old Summer Camp by Dolores Maggiore
5-tie) This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison Levy
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) How We Love Michael Ryan Webb
Gay - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 197371888X
ISBN-13: 978-1973718888
Amazon: How We Love Michael Ryan Webb


1) This story was amazing.  I had me laughing and crying.  Such good work.
2) Wow! What a story! What a ride! This book was well written with a lot of care. The research was truly well done and makes me wonder if the author is OCD as well ;) . That's how well illustrated I found it. The characters, Mark and Adam couldn't be more different even if they tried not to be. The depression was portrayed spot on. Truly an enjoyable story that'll make you laugh, cry and brood (at Adam) at times. Yes, Adam, who I wanted to grab and shake so many times throughout the story. This is an enjoyable read by a newly published author. I hope to read more books from him in the near future. Well done!
3) With realistic portrayal of mental health and illness and authentic characterisation, this novel is hard going at times but worth it in the end.

2) The Last Days Linger Johnny Townsend
Gay - Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Publisher: Booklocker.com


1) Each story was well written and different, despite the common thread. Thoroughly recommend this anthology.

Runner Up:



3) Walking by Faith (Faith #2) by A.M. Leibowitz
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The Sandra Moran Award for Lesbian Historical Romance

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) The One Thing I Know Keelan Ellis
Bisexual - Historical Romance
Paperback
Publisher: Ninestar Press, LLC (August 14, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139649
ISBN-13: 978-1947139640
Amazon: The One Thing I Know Keelan Ellis


1) Terry Blackwood is the quintessential bad boy rocker, right down to the physical expression of his angst. He's a bastard through and through and I expected to spend most of the book disliking him intensely. Then he made the very mature decision to woo not only Henry but the reader, by accepting his faults... and then turning around to address them. As happens in real life, the fix to his problems didn't come without effort, making him a truly likeable character by the end of the book. I really enjoyed Henry's journey as well, and the expression of just how terrifying it must have been to be himself in the 70s. I also enjoyed Ellis' idea of a talented musician who didn't need to "live the life."
2) One of the best books I've read all year. The characters developed and grew over time in a way few authors manage.
3) Incredibly well-written and insightful, The One Thing I Know is a story of profound love, excruciating loss, and poignant redemption. Keelan Ellis's writing is terribly thought-provoking and emotion-wringing, all while it leaves you feeling whole. A highly recommended read.
4) I really enjoyed this book. The plot was fast paced and kept my attention. The dialogue real and the emotional struggle authentic.

2) Trafalgar and Boone in the Drowned Necropolis Geonn Cannon
Lesbian - Historical
Hardcover: 174 pages
Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC (September 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944591117
ISBN-13: 978-1944591113
Amazon: Trafalgar and Boone in the Drowned Necropolis Geonn Cannon


1) The second in what will be a series featuring this pair of British female explorers working in the 1920s.  The detailed historical background merges well with the fantasy and magic in the book.  The characters are all well drawn and interesting and the plot of the adventure, complete with the dangers, holds the reader.  Even though I had not read the first book, I had no trouble picking up with these characters in the the second.  Very strong effort.

Runner Up:



3) Mistress of Mogador by T.T. Thomas

Finalist:



4) Beast at the Door by Althea Blue
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The Dirk Vanden Award for Gay Biography / Memoir

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1-tie) #Trans: an anthology about transgender and nonbinary identity online Evelyn Deshane
Transgender - Non Fiction
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 16, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1543175880
ISBN-13: 978-1543175882
Amazon: #Trans: an anthology about transgender and nonbinary identity online Evelyn Deshane

1) Trans was somewhat painful to read - not by any fault of the author but as a collection of difficult and heartfelt stories it was heart wrenching, but I felt it was a book that needed to be written and will be loved by many.
2) I rather like that each piece was allowed to create it's own setting. The diversity of the pieces was part of the power of the book. The voice of each essay allowed me to glimpse into different worlds and gave me a clearer understanding of many things.
3) #Trans brings use collection of genuine stories from transgender and non-binary writers who share their heartfelt experiences and insightful thoughts on identity formation and how it has been impacted by technology, film, literature, social media, and music. Well written and edited, this is a must read for youth and adults.
4) #Trans is by turns academic, thoughtful, and provocative, providing insights and deconstruction of what it means to occupy a body in space and time... and how the internet has made it more possible than ever to find the others asking those same questions.
5) Thought provoking and informative, well written and edited, I really loved this book. It sparked quite a few family discussions!

1-tie) Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? Paul Alan Fahey
LGBT - Non Fiction
Paperback
Publisher: Vine Leaves Press (January 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925417263
ISBN-13: 978-1925417265
Amazon: Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? Paul Alan Fahey


1) "Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality?" consists of essays describing different meanings of equality. Sometimes it's about LGBTQ rights, sometimes it's about understanding people and their various problems. This collection showed me that I still have a lot to do, because even though I fight about equal rights for everyone, there are still issues that I do not think about. There was just one thing missing - I would like to read what equality means to people from the "right side". Still, this book is definitely worth reading.
2) 25 gifted writers give their views on equality. Always insightful, these personal and often intimate observations give food for thought and some surprises along the way. The struggle for equality goes on despite the steps forward that have been made over the decades. A timely addition to the many essays on this subject. Highly recommended.
3) It is such an important topic. The essays were diverse, well-written and insightful and extremely well-organized and the editing was excellent. I learned so much from this anthology. *****

Runner Up:



2) One-Man Show: The Life and Art of Bernard Perlin by Michael Schreiber

Finalists:



3) Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition by Amy L. Stone
4) Dog Church by Gail Gilmore
5-tie) Dispatches From Lesbian America by Giovanna Capone, Xequina Berber, Cheela Romain Smith
5-tie) Fried & Convicted: Rehoboth Beach Uncorked by Fay Jacobs
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The Eric Arvin Award for Gay Fantasy

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Amy Rae Durreson Recovery (Reawakening #3)
Gay - Fantasy
Series: Reawakening (Book 3)
Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications (May 9, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635333555
ISBN-13: 978-1635333558
Amazon: Amy Rae Durreson Recovery (Reawakening #3)

1) I'm not generally a big fan of fantasy but i really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. A wonderful job of world building. Multi dimensional and engaging. Very descriptive.

2) Hearts of Darkness Andrea Speed
Gay - Fantasy
Paperback
Publisher: DSP Publications (November 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634775481
ISBN-13: 978-1634775489
Amazon: Hearts of Darkness Andrea Speed


1) OH MY GOD HOW MUCH FUN WAS THIS????  Kaed is the world-weary, seen-it-all son of a mad scientist supervillain. Ash is a genetically engineered assassin/bodyguard raised in a monastery by an isolated death cult. Together…well, they don’t exactly fight crime, but they do have quite a few adventures—and fall in love. Of a sort. There’s SO MUCH to enjoy in this story, but the best part, in my opinion, was Kaed’s eye-rolling, tongue-in-cheek narration—made all the more relatable as Ash gets under his skin. Seriously, this is one of the most fun things I’ve read in a long time. Just fantastic.

Runner Up:



3) Tartarus by Eric Andrews-Katz
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Seoul Circuit Tamara Boyens
Lesbian - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
eBook ISBN: 978-1-944591-37-3

1) This nonstop, fast-paced cyberpunk thriller really knocks it out of the park. The main character is smart and bold, with just the right amount of concealed vulnerability. The story is original and well executed. The cyberpunk setting is well-thought-out and impeccably detailed. A joy from start to finish.
2) Although Seoul Circuit is billed by its publisher (Supposed Crimes), as Cyberpunk, this well-written book is written in that taut, tense, tender style that most resembles Scandinavian Noir, but with locales in Korea and Pasadena. The main character, a Technicolor lesbian named Jin, is a prize—her wry, mater-of- fact observations as the neural systems in her body begin to fail are classic cool. She’s in a race against time, and the reader is turning pages so fast, it leaves one breathless. Still, with all the challenges this casino-owner fashionista runs into, she has time for love. The author of this book, tragically, passed away early in 2017 after a failed surgical procedure, but this book rises as her testament to what we all hope for when the odds and fate are against us. Tamara Boyens’ family, friends and publisher can be proud of her abundant talent and that, even with all her own medical trauma, she was able to create great characters and a riveting story adventure that ends on the positive note Boyens herself tragically missed. One hope she knew her writing would be a memorably great legacy.
3) A great book but it needed more editing. The author passed away just before it came out (so sad) so maybe the publisher printed it as it was.

2) House of Fate Barbara Ann Wright
Lesbian - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626397805
ISBN-13: 978-1626397804
Amazon: House of Fate Barbara Ann Wright

1) I really enjoyed this book. The scope of the plot and setting had me grinning extremely quickly, and I love, love, LOVE how the author treats the reader as though she is already familiar with the universe and plunges right in. The story didn't do what I expected it to. At first, I was a little unsettled by that, wondering how things would play out, but I realized quickly that this was a symptom of the dense plot and slick pacing. I ended up really appreciating not being able to predict what was going to happen. Most refreshing! The characters were all unique, with their own quirks and personalities, and the dialogue never felt stilted or forced; everything flowed organically, and nothing overtly manipulated or shoved the plot forward. Everything fit. I spent a whole evening rolling from spot to spot on my rug, reading and reading and reading because I didn't want to put the book down. And Annika. I adored Annika. Complex, almost innocent in a way (if you can be innocent and still be a trained assassin!), Annika went through the most complicated internal journey of everyone. I was deeply engaged with the way her views morphed and shifted, and grateful that the book did not denounce or apologize for who she had been before, but rather allowed her to grow into someone new.
2) Loved. This. Book. Wright weaves a complex, yet fast-paced adventure through the stars, taking her readers to a variety of unique and interesting places. Her plotting is completely on point, her universe is fascinating, and I cared greatly for her characters and their fate. All around a perfect read!
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Jove Belle Bitterroot Queen
Lesbian - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback
Publisher: Dirt Road Books (June 30, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194725300X
ISBN-13: 978-1947253001
Amazon: Jove Belle Bittterroot Queen

1) I love to read. I read a lot of books, and sometimes a story like this one comes along which reminds me why. It doesn’t miss a beat. The characters, the plot, the editing, all made this a pleasure to read.
2) A good story, well-told with engaging characters. The writer knows her craft and adds the creative colorations to make this a wonderful read.
3) Absolutely loved this contemporary romance. Love Bitterroot. What a unique set of characters. Didn’t want to put this one down. Loved Olly’s vulnerability. This story was more “ real life” then he traditional ones.
4) I absolutely loved the characters and the writing here. The story pulled me in immediately.
5) A delightful piece of fiction, Jove Belle weaves a story filled with angst, humor, personal growth, coming of age, and family bonding. Highly recommended and one you're sure to re-read.

2) Rainbow Gap Lee Lynch
Lesbian - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626397996
ISBN-13: 978-1626397996
Amazon: Rainbow Gap Lee Lynch

1) Beautifully vivid depiction of Florida wildlife, terrain, weather, and the culture of Florida in the 1950s-1970s.
2) Lee Lynch is a superb practitioner of her craft. Memorable characters overcoming life’s big and little obstacles with dialog that vibrates with authenticity, and plainspoken brilliance, this is a charming love story.
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Permanent Jet Lag A.N. Casey
Bisexual - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press (May 25, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139118
ISBN-13: 978-1947139114
Amazon: Permanent Jet Lag A.N. Casey

1) I have to admit this love story between Lukas and Chris had me tearing up several times. How often will you berate yourself for not saying those elusive words, "I love you" until it's too late? Wonderful characters, humor, and heartbreak make this beautiful novel a must read.
2) Wonderful story of a young man who left his hometown for college, and the problems he faced before leaving, only to have to come back and face them all over again. As peace is made with each one, a new chapter in life opens, and things will never be the same again. Excellent!
3) I was shocked at how much this book affected me and how attached I became to the characters. Wonderfully done.

2) The Urn Carrier Chris Convissor
Transgender - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (October 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943837384
ISBN-13: 978-1943837380
Amazon: The Urn Carrier Chris Convissor


1) Solid storytelling. A triumph!

Runner Up:



3) Huntress by A.E. Radley
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Scarred Mia Kerick
Transgender - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing (March 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1544212356
ISBN-13: 978-1544212357
Amazon: Scarred Mia Kerick

1) This book is a fantastic story about two people who, even though both are scarred physically and emotionally, and carrying enough baggage to fill an airport luggage carrier, are able to find their HEA ending.
2) This one drew me in from the very first sentence. I loved the characters and was fully invested in their arcs within this story.
3) Scarred is not an easy read by any means. The author does not pull her punches with the details of the trauma the 2 MCs have experienced, nor with the emotional backlash following that trauma. The characters are very well drawn and the dynamic between them was great. The secondary characters fitted perfectly into the story, I especially liked the vibe of the Tikki bar and the people who worked there. The development of the MCs relationship was very believable – I really came to care about them.

2) Flaunt (F-Word #1) E. Davies
Transgender - Contemporary Romance
Series: F-Word
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 18, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1542589894
ISBN-13: 978-1542589895
Amazon: Flaunt (F-Word #1) E. Davies


1) E. Davies’ characters in Flaunt are “sticky,” and by this mean to say that their appearance, personalities, and quirks still stick in my mind months after I have read the book. I truly enjoyed walking step by step with the guys through a well-defined setting full of rich sensory detail, and staying with them as they fought to save the funding of an important HIV education resource for the whole community. “Flaunt,” the first book in the F-word series, sets a good foundation for the other two.

Runner Up:



3) Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling

Finalist:



4) Outside the Lines by Caitlin Ricci
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The Cate Culpepper Award for Best Paranormal Romance

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) C.A. Farlow A Quantum Uncertainty (Nexus Trilogy #2)
Lesbian - Fantasy Romance
Series: Nexus Trilogy
Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Desert Palm Press; 1 edition (August 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1942976488
ISBN-13: 978-1942976486
Amazon: C.A. Farlow A Quantum Uncertainty (Nexus Trilogy #2)

1) I think I would have like to have read book one of this series first #1: A Quantum Convergence to get more of the background story on Lauren and Alex. In saying this I enjoyed the read it was very interesting.
2) SciFi through the fresh eyes of a real science person! The story is well-written and reflects some cutting edge scientific applications of theories suggesed as much as a century ago. The characters are a bit self-conscious but likeable. The science is presented in a clear and compelling manner and the SciFi angles are clever and creative. The writing overall is approachable and entertaining. This is the second book in the series.
3) This book left me a bit perplexed, but this is not a bad thing by itself. I loved the first book and this one still have the unique flavour to it. The story keep being interesting and left me with enough on the table that I want to know how things ends. The only two things that could have been done a bit better for me was the difference in pov in some parts of the story and how one of the protagonists seems a bit off center in this one. Everything else is very very very good.

2) Coils Barbara Ann Wright
Lesbian - Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626395985
ISBN-13: 978-1626395985
Amazon: Coils Barbara Ann Wright

1) A breezy adventure story with a rather abrupt start and slightly underdeveloped characterization, but a tight, engaging plot and lots of imaginative ideas. Delving into the deeper aspects of Greek myth, and contrasting that with the pop culture versions of same, added some much-needed depth. In all, a fun book.
2) Barbara Ann Wright is a reliable author, changing genres and heroines but consistently delivering something unique and worth the read. Coils is no exception. The main character is instantly relatable, and the plot as it develops gains in complexity in weird and wonderful ways. A fun romp through the Greco-Roman afterlife with all but forgotten gods and goddesses...and monsters you might grow to love. I loved the unusual takes on mythology and the writing style was, as ever, compulsively readable.

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Daimonion (The Apocalypse #1) J.P. Jackson
Gay - Alternative Universe/Reality
Series: Apocalypse (Book 1)
Paperback
Publisher: Ninestar Press, LLC (July 10, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139363
ISBN-13: 978-1947139367
Amazon: Daimonion (The Apocalypse #1) J.P. Jackson

1) I did not like this book. As I read, I called it "torture porn." I thought I made that up, but apparently it is a real thing. At first I thought it might be BDSM, something I also don't like, but it was way beyond that. However, as I considered each of the elements of the rating, I came to realize that, my personal feelings about the genre aside, this book was well-written. The plot twists and how all the disparate elements and beings were interwoven, and came together at the end, were intriguing. The locations were vividly drawn without being laid out like a roadmap. The characters, grotesque as they all were, were intricate, thought out, unique, and played well - antagonized well - together. I developed a certain level of sympathy for the main character, who still was evil, just for good reason. The writing style was extremely painful, and at first I thought that might give it a lower rating, but by the end, it was clear that that was what the style needed to be, given the genre. I won't read another book by this author, and I won't recommend this book to anyone, but it certainly kept my attention, and is likely an excellent work for someone into this sort of thing.
2) If you're looking for a story that'll keep you at the edge of your seat, dying from intrigue? This is it. Wonderful, nail-biting story. I enjoyed every word I read. Definitely will be reading more from this author!

2) Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes (Actors and Angels #3) Kevin Klehr
Gay - Alternative Universe/Reality
Series: Actors and Angels (Book 3)
Paperback
Publisher: Ninestar Press, LLC (June 19, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139266
ISBN-13: 978-1947139268
Amazon: Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes (Actors and Angels #3) Kevin Klehr

1) Okay, at first I wasn’t sure I liked it, but it kind of grew on me, and I know I’ll read it again and will eventually go and read more in the series to see where everything started.





reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Haunting Muses Doreen Perrine
Lesbian - Anthology / Collection / Fantasy
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (October 21, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194383752X
ISBN-13: 978-1943837526
Amazon: Haunting Muses Doreen Perrine

1) This was also a book where some of the stories were better than others, but as a whole it wasn’t bad. If I had have bought the book I wouldn’t have been mad that I’d wasted my money as I really did enjoy most of the stories.
2) An anthology of provocative, well-curated pieces that stretches the boundaries of what a sapphic ghost story can be while still celebrating the women and specters that helped form the genre. Every piece spoke to me, leaving me haunted and awed (or even going “aww”) in equal turn. This may be a near-perfect score, but upon examination, this is a near-perfect anthology. There are three types of plot at play across this anthology. The first are those styled like a typical ghost story, involving a chance encounter with a stranger and their ghostly nature being the twist. There is nothing detrimental about this; rather, they felt like an homage to the genre while providing their own sapphic spin, the sort of stories one would imagine listening to around a late-night campfire. The second type of plot at play is the observation; most common in the poetic pieces, the focus is musing on the situation at hand through use of form and description. Though a few of these lean toward enigma or purple prose, most of these still evoke a haunted sensation in both the speaker and the reader. The remaining stories played with the concept of ghosts in a less literal sense, and often felt like chapters from a larger piece of work. From memories and time travel to guilt and A.I. recordings, the unique takes these stories took on ghosts made their plots harder to predict. Most of these had more positive endings than the other pieces; I applaud one particular piece for making a zombie-transformation loving and romantic. Despite the similar theme, every short story in this collection has a unique location and mood. There are Victorian-esque seaside manors, the last quiet Sunday before school in suburbia, and marooned spaceships eaten alive by growing desperation, and each place feels equally believable. Real world locations like the graveyard-filled Colma feel well researched and lived-in, while the glimpses we see of fantastical locations like a zombie-friendly moon are enticing and leave me wanting more stories in these settings. The range of moods is impressive as well; plenty of stories are as creepy as one would expect a ghost story to be, while others are more action-packed tales of desperation and survival, and a few even feel sweet. Due to the theme of ghosts, many of the characters involved are either learning to deal with loss, or wish they were as they are haunted by their pasts—though explorations of a loss of self are just as common as the loss of a loved one. Most of them manage to find strength and hope by the end of the story, even if their newfound acceptance has a darker twist to it in some of the tales. There are also quite a few unreliable narrators in this anthology, leading the readers to question how real some of these ghosts (or even our protagonists themselves) may be. As expected from an anthology, there are a wide array of writing styles at play. There are third-person adventures, first person musings with unreliable narrators, even a couple poems and a second-person piece. There are modern voices a-plenty, with a few authors bringing elements of other languages and cultures into play, while others are more reminiscent of classic authors like Jane Austen or Mark Twain. A couple stories lean toward the verbose or even purple prose, but otherwise, the writing is clear, poetic, and typo-free.

2) A Perfect Life and Other Stories Elaine Burnes
Lesbian - Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (September 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943837368
ISBN-13: 978-1943837366
Amazon: A Perfect Life and Other Stories Elaine Burnes

1) Each location, be it mundane or fantastical, is lovingly described and vividly imagined. The author manages to write two stories about tours through Alaska without the setting feeling rehashed between them, evokes changes in two women’s lives by the state of a car and a single office plant, and even manages to write a Halloween story that feels fresh through the use of weather. While most of these stories are in a contemporary setting, I must give a special shout-out to the one SFF story in this collection, as well as the fantastical visuals included in another otherwise-mundane tale. The author’s worldbuilding is filled with so many intricate details, from how children would survive on a desert planet (and how this fits into an intergalactic war) to how dangerous lasers would actually be in space. Even the story “The Gift,” which takes place in a shopping mall during the holidays, becomes evocative as the protagonist describes the mall as a grotesque insect queen littered with parasitic shoppers, a visual that wouldn’t seem out of place in a bizarre fantasy novel.
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) A Quiet Death Cari Hunter
Lesbian - Mystery / Thriller
Series: Dark Peak (Book 3)
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (January 17, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626398151
ISBN-13: 978-1626398153
Amazon: A Quiet Death Cari Hunter

1) Really, this book is top notch -- great writing, characterization, and a realistic and endearing F/F relationship that is authentic and resonates emotionally and physically. The description of the rain, the cold, and the often bleak landscape is compelling and allowed me to be inside the world. A complete pleasure to read!
2) I found this story to be a real interesting. And enjoyed the book. It took me a little to get into it, but it was worth the read.
3) This was a riveting, heart pounding, extremely well-written suspense novel. Hunter is excellent at the slow development of the two main characters’ relationship over the course of the series. She was at the top of her game in this one.

2) Jody Klaire Hindsight (The Above & Beyond #4)
Lesbian - Mystery / Thriller
Series: The Above and Beyond Series (Book 4)
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943837287
ISBN-13: 978-1943837281
Amazon: Jody Klaire Hindsight (The Above & Beyond #4)

1) This is part of a series, and the best of the series thus far. The writing is exceptional, the dialog purposeful, restrained, important. The setting could have been more clarified, but the writing style keeps one reading until the setting is clear.
2) Interesting read. Great plot and characters. All were well written and developed in depth. Haven’t read the other books in this series but I will bed after reading this one. This one I couldn’t put down.


Profile

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
reviews_and_ramblings

April 2019

S M T W T F S
 1234 56
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Disclaimer

All cover art, photo and graphic design contained in this site are copyrighted by the respective publishers and authors. These pages are for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Should anyone object to our use of these items please contact by email the blog's owner.
This is an amateur blog, where I discuss my reading, what I like and sometimes my personal life. I do not endorse anyone or charge fees of any kind for the books I review. I do not accept money as a result of this blog.
I'm associated with Amazon/USA Affiliates Programs.
Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. However, some books were purchased by the reviewer and not provided for free. For information on how a particular title was obtained, please contact by email the blog's owner.
Days of Love Gallery - Copyright Legenda: http://www.elisarolle.com/gallery/index_legenda.html

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 19th, 2019 03:10 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios