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Jolt by Kris Bryant
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626391912
ISBN-13: 978-1626391918
Amazon: Jolt
Amazon Kindle: Jolt

Mystery writer Bethany Lange wasn’t prepared for the twisting emotions that left her breathless the moment she laid eyes on folk singer sensation Ali Hart. Of course she was flat on her back and looking up and backward at the gorgeous singer, but that didn’t stop her body and heart from bursting into a kaleidoscope of want, need, and lust. Scared at the intensity of her feelings, Bethany does everything she can to avoid Ali at Camp Jacomo, the camp designed specifically for children of lesbian and gay families where Bethany volunteers every summer. The camp director convinces the hottest singer at the moment, Ali Hart, to spend a week teaching the children music to everybody’s delight except Bethany’s. On her last day at camp, Ali approaches Bethany with an offer of friendship, but they both know it’s the prelude to something bolder. Should Bethany take the risk? Does she really believe she can balance her quiet private life with Ali’s outspoken one?

Jolt was a beautiful story about love at first sight, destiny, triumph over heartbreak, trusting again after being betrayed in a previous relationship, self-confidence, and how being with "The One" can show us and bring out a side of ourselves we never knew existed. I enjoyed reading about Ali and Bethany and traveling on their journey of love with them. Ms Bryant did an excellent job crafting such a passionate, romantic, emotionally gripping, and sensual plot that really grips the reader. I was a little disappointed at some of the plot threads that were hinted at or talked about but not resolved by the end of the book (why was Ali having a nightmare and saying "Please don't"? What happened to her? What was Bethany's book about? Ali mentioned that she wanted to have children with her ex but it seemed as if Bethany wasn't interested in having her own, that would cause problems, what discussion did they have? Did Ali buy the house?). If the author was planning on writing a sequel to answer these questions, which I think would be a good idea, then my score for plot and writing style, and even character development would be 10 each but since I don't know if there is one planned I'm basing it off the book I read. The setting was beautifully described, making the reader feel as if they were right there in the center of it all. Feeling the heat, the cold winds, the sand from the beach, hearing the pulse of the music and the roar of the crowd thundering through them. Ms Bryant did an exceptional job with it. The characters were likable. No, they were lovable. Flawed. Given to rash decisions and harsh judgements as humans are wont to do. I did so hope this book wouldn't be a "Miss-understanding Novel" as many contemporaries are, but Ms Bryant did a great job with it, putting an interesting spin on an overused trope. Her writing style was fascinating and engaging and I found myself so attached to the characters, the story, and the writing that I read the entire book in a day.

Totally loved this book.

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Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632169150
ISBN-13: 978-1632169150
Amazon: Conflict of Interest
Amazon Kindle: Conflict of Interest

When a material witness changes her story during a court interrogation, allowing the man who assaulted her little boy to go free, Senior Crown Prosecutor Finn DeHavilland's legendary self-control goes out the window. His subsequent suspension from appearing in court leaves Finn with time on his hands. Desperate to continue working, and after regularly attending his mandatory psychiatric sessions, he accepts a delicate case involving a fraudulent Scotland Yard police detective.

Excited to be assigned to the case, DS Tommy Drummond, who has had a soft spot for Finn since Finn defended him during an internal investigation, and his partner, Stevie Fielding, begin uncovering evidence. A series of seemingly random occurrences muddle their investigation. Believing they’re on the right path, the team pushes forward, until Tommy’s apartment goes up in flames. Offering Tommy a guest room in his home turns up the heat on the growing feelings between Finn and Tommy. But Finn’s baggage may be too much to deal with, and paranoia threatens to tear them apart. As the net around the corrupt detective tightens, it becomes clear he must have had help from high places, and Finn and Tommy become pawns in the game.

Great read, but then I have a soft spot for traumatized characters (and virgins!). I couldn't read fast enough to find out what happens next and yet I didn't want to finish.

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Chance Of the Heart by Kade Boehme
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1507505507
ISBN-13: 978-1507505502
Amazon: Chance Of the Heart
Amazon Kindle: Chance Of the Heart

Chance Becket's life was mapped out. He'd one day own the ranch he grew up on, have a family, and be the son he was raised to be, like all good boys in Small Town, U.S.A. When his high school sweetheart calls for a break during her last semester of college, the last place Chance thought he'd end up was in his old friend Bradley's bed. Bradley Heart blasted out of the closet before his family could name him heir apparent to his father's church. After six years away, a job layoff has him coming home to work behind the scenes. He and his father have little interaction and he's fine with it staying that way when he returns home. Going back into the closet, for any reason, is not on his list of things to do. But Chance may prove too much a temptation, especially with the simmering feelings they’ve had for one another since they were teens. Confused over his sexuality, Chance has to decide what’s more important -- loyalty to his family and the path set forth, or the promise of happiness with not just the only man, but the only person, he's ever really wanted. Includes a very toppy accountant, a cowboy who'd rather be in the kitchen, porn positions, some spanking, and absolutely zero religion other than worshipping... You know.

I really loved this book! The setting was very nice described, the characters and their inner conflicts amazingly written, I couldn't wait for them to be together at last.

This is a solid plot that kept me reading. I felt like Caitlin's reasons for delaying in telling people that she and Chance had broken up weren't fully developed. Also, I'm always disappointed when a major plot point happens because someone overhears a conversation. It was handled well, but it's still disappointing, because the main characters are passive in that situation. Fully developed. I could picture everything and felt immersed in the world. The characters seemed like real people with believable motivations. Well-written, but with a fair number of cliches and some may/might confusion ("might" is the past tense of "may"). 

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Chasing Death Metal Dreams by Kaje Harper
Transgender Contemporary Romance
ebook, 265 pages
Published August 2nd 2015 by MMRomanceGroup.com
edition language English

Carlos Medina has spent years of sweat, pain, effort, and money becoming the man he is. He writes original songs, plays lead guitar, and wears his death metal front-man persona like armor. With an excellent drummer and a talented bassist, his band, KnifeSwitch, has what it takes to succeed, if they can just catch a break. But it’s been a long road already, and there’s still a mountain left to climb. Carlos isn’t looking for anything more in his personal life than an occasional hook-up with a hot guy, preferably outside the less-than-gay-friendly metal scene.

Nate Goldstein has no intention of dating a musician. His twin brother fronts a band, and he knows band guys are all busy, broke, and obsessed with their music. But Carlos catches his artist’s eye. Nate is wary - he has a history of picking the wrong guys. Still, he might be willing to break some personal rules to find out what’s behind Carlos’s dark gaze and imaginative lyrics.

Getting together the first time is easy and fun. The second time is more complicated. And when music, ambition, and personalities clash, the guys will have to decide if they have a future worth fighting for.

What a wonderful story! This year I chose „transgender” category in addition to the „gay” one I usually read to expand my horizons and leave my comfort zone a little. What can I say? I loved the characters and I really feel like I can sympathize with them, especially Carlos. He was a very likeable guy, despite his difficult childhood. And he was definitely a MAN, the author did a great job portraying him as such.

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Most Beautiful Words by Raine O’Tierney
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632162105
ISBN-13: 978-1632162106
Amazon: Most Beautiful Words
Amazon Kindle: Most Beautiful Words

Twelve-year-old Autumn's world is shattered when her beloved Great-Pop, Tommy Johnson, suffers a stroke that leaves him comatose. With everyone around her resigning themselves to the inevitable, Autumn is the only one not willing to give up. She and Great-Pop have more secret stories to share with each other, after all. More stories about Roy McMillan—the great love of Tommy's life whom he lost fifty years ago.

Autumn struggles to keep Great-Pop on this side of death's door. But how can she compete with the beautiful and mysterious Valley—a place of surreal magic where the sun never fully sets? Especially when there's someone familiar in the Valley who will do everything he can to keep Great-Pop from returning to her.

It was a really difficult book to read, dealing with an hard issue such as death. But the way it was  faced is really sweet and strong. I think it's really difficult to let go people you love, and this book teach us to let go. Well written even if confusing in some passage, nontheless a very agreable book. Touching.

Here's the inspirational comment = A heartbreaking, beautiful story that left me shattered to pieces and crying my eyes out. This is about true love, a close-knit family, stories that can fill entire lifetimes, and a journey through dreams, life and death to learn what truly matters. I will remember this amazing, haunting love story for a long time to come. Loved everything about it!

I'm speechless... It was a very unusual book for me, it left me crying but mostly with happy tears…

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Stealing Arthur by Joel Perry
Transgender Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: Bear Bones Books (January 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590215869
ISBN-13: 978-1590215869
Amazon: Stealing Arthur
Amazon Kindle: Stealing Arthur

In this hilarious novel based on an actual event, author Joel Perry tells of fifty-five of Hollywood's highest awards--the Arthurs--have been stolen, setting in motion the kind of crazy only turn-of-the-millennium Los Angeles can provide. Intrigue, murder, comedy, sex, romance, celebrity dish, and ultimately redemption play out for characters from Skid Row to Hollywood's Walk of Fame, including all the desperate wannabes in between. In a town where people would happily kill anyone for a part, what would they do for a gilded Arthur statuette?

Ha! This book was sick, twisted fun. The plot was like a maze, and I found myself laughing quite a bit. If you like your books quirky and offbeat, you should dive right into this one.

While there was certainly a lot of plot, I found it too intricate and difficult to follow. Still, I recognize that developing such a plot took skill. Some interesting twists and an exciting climax. There were far too many characters for me to keep track of easily. I suppose there were good details and good dialogue to help develop them, but figuring out who was who was a continual challenge. I always felt I was in Los Angeles in the world of the film industry. Snappy dialogue, some good humor (though as I said earlier there was a lot of humor that didn't work for me), some genuinely touching scenes.

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The Storm Before the Calm by Cate Ashwood
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 5, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634760859
ISBN-13: 978-1634760850
Amazon: The Storm Before the Calm
Amazon Kindle: The Storm Before the Calm

Charlie has one passion in life: dancing. It’s his salvation when it feels like the world is swallowing him whole. When his mom secretly secures him a spot in the summer intensive at the Free Rein Dance Company in New York, he is thrilled. He knows that once the summer ends, he'll have to return to Beacon to get a job and help support his family, but for those two months, he can spread his wings.

In New York he meets Max, a junior instructor who is everything Charlie wishes he could be. Bold and self-assured, Max radiates pride in who he is. As they spend time together, Max shows Charlie what life can be like past the walls of his closed-minded home town. But Charlie doesn’t know if he’s ready to show the world who he truly is when standing in the spotlight is the last thing he wants.

A lovely story with incredibly not much angst. I enjoyed the characters and plot but thought that sometimes things were a bit too perfect. That was not enough to stop me from enjoying the story and its happy ending.

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Deception by Design by Tara Wentz
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (March 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939062918
ISBN-13: 978-1939062918
Amazon: Deception by Design
Amazon Kindle: Deception by Design

Photographer Joshlyn Davis moves through her life drawing as little attention as possible. She longs for the simple life with few complications and the less people know her the better. The long buried secrets have taken a toll, but everything is just how she wants it, or so she thought. Graphic/Software designer Kellen Reynolds lives her days substantiating her work from home business and her nights burning up the pavement at the local amateur race track. There really hadn't been much thought of a private life until a chance meeting with Joshlyn Davis. Almost immediately Kellen and Joshlyn find a connection and begin to slowly explore a relationship. Will the relationship have time to develop or will something dark and sinister put an end to it?

I’m not much into car racing… but this story sucked me in and kept me reading, which I take as a sign of a good story.

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I’ll Always Miss You by Raine O’Tierney
Bisexual Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (March 5, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165228
ISBN-13: 978-1632165220
Amazon: I’ll Always Miss You
Amazon Kindle: I’ll Always Miss You

Isa Zaman might forgive his parents for taking in a friend’s son if only he wasn't the most boring teenager in the universe. Macklin “Mackie” Cormack’s only interests are reading and the outdoors. Yeah, right. Isa's convinced Mackie is either a pyro or a klepto. Plus, as a white kid, Mackie looks ridiculous in the Zamans' Arab American household. Forced to share a bedroom, the boys keep butting heads until an absurd fight finally breaks the tension between them.

Isa’s just starting to figure life out: this new houseguest, his cultural identity, school, and even girls, when the entire family is uprooted from their home for reasons Isa can't understand. They move from their tiny city apartment to a giant old house in a small town, hours away from everything he's ever known. Oh, and the new house? It's probably haunted, or so says the blank-faced ten-year-old next door. As if things weren't weird enough, Isa's friendship with Mackie suddenly takes a strange turn down a path Isa's not sure he’s ready to follow. It turns out Mackie Cormack isn’t nearly as boring as Isa once imagined.

What an excellent book. Several strands beautifully woven together, the book never gets frantic. The ghost story dovetails beautifully with the boys' story which develops at such a lovely pace. Other sidelines are fitted in carefully providing a multi-dimensional book with depth (as in RL). Learning Isa is gay is not the central theme which is so refreshing. As he says, that is not all he is. Both mc are well developed although told from Isa's perspective we learn a lot about Mackie and how he feels. Excellent family relationships - arguments and laughter as in most families. How interesting to make the family Moroccan and to use this for a couple of key themes (Isa learning to cook and family). Two different areas of US described - I could tell the difference. So well written. Flows well, no grammatical or editorial errors to pull one out of the story. Language seemed natural for teenage boys and a family.

A different coming out story with an unusual mix of main characters - the Moroccan  culture was nicely defined and the boys acted like real teenagers, going from initial antagonism to mutual respect and affection.

This was an enjoyable young adult tale with several pleasant differences from other YA stories I’ve read. One of the best aspects of I’ll Always Miss You is that Isa and Zaman acted and behaved as typical teenagers. They were totally realistic and not like adults in teen bodies as is often seen in YA.

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For Love of: Colt by Antonio
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Publication Date: August 28, 2015
Amazon Kindle: For Love of: Colt

Colt and Tangi are in love and they’ve survived being crowned homecoming kings. But if they’re expecting the craziness in their lives to settle down—they couldn’t be more wrong. Even though members of Colt’s football team, the cheerleaders, and the entire high school become involved in the couple’s romance, Tangi and Colt persevere. And Tangi stands strong when the time is called for him to do so. All… for love of Colt.

I love this book.  It is a great follow up to the first story and leaves it open for a third book.  This author’s writing style may not be for everyone, but I really urge those who love the coming of age sub-genre to give this book, as well as the first one, For Love of Tangi a try.

Oh Colt, Tangi loves you so, and I'm glad that love is returned. While this book did not solely focus on the relationship between Colt and Tangi, in fact, taking different POVs from characters you thought were only secondary, it was beautiful to read about the love, passion, and romance between these people who have supported and stood beside them. While beautifully written, and that is a testament to the author's talent and skill, the description of the settings was almost an afterthought. It was there, letting the reader know where the characters were, but there seemed to be missing a depth to the descriptions. The characters, however, were all completely relatable, if all hopeless romantics and looking to get married and have kids quickly, but they were all fully developed and well-rounded as far as being written. I enjoyed this story of a couple, a family, a small community as they grow, live, learn, laugh, cry, and love some more over the course of almost a full year.

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Something Like a Love Song by Becca Burton
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Interlude Press (November 19, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941530494
Amazon: Something Like a Love Song
Amazon Kindle: Something Like a Love Song

Blurb: One tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. But can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?

ExcerptCollapse )

Meet the author: Becca Burton penned her first Nancy Drew fan fiction at the age of nine and has been an avid writer ever since. Currently working as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse, Becca is a recent Oregon transplant from the Midwest. Becca has a weakness for coffee, the smell of old books, rainy days and her cat, Luna. Something Like a Love Song is her first novel.

"Thank you for having me. Something Like a Love Song is my first novel, a story about two long time boyfriends who find themselves facing a life changing tragedy and have to find the courage and love for each other to fight through.

While this is my first novel, I have posted many stories online, and have been writing ever since I learned how. I currently work as a nurse in a Neonatal ICU, and medicine has been a big interest in my life, and always seems to find a way into my writing. I am passionate about diverse, LGBTQ fiction, and am very excited to contribute to this genre."

1) Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing come from?
I think I can pretty much blame my obsession with all of that on my mom. My mom is a huge reader and has a massive collection of books, and as a lover of literature, has been both my enabler and my supporter. When I was little she shared her love of reading with me, and I was pretty much addicted to reading as soon as I learned how, and writing my own stories came shortly after. I don’t think I would have the love for literature and all of the arts if it wasn’t for her.

2) What were your goals when you started this book? Do you think you met them?
When I first started writing this story in its original format online, my goal was to bring awareness to the subject matter. Having worked as a caregiver, and with individuals with brain injuries, I learned how strong and incredible they can be, and how strong and courageous the caregivers have to be to care for someone they love in such a way. I really wanted to bring some awareness to subject, and I received so many kind and supportive messages from readers who have gone through similar situations, or could identify with the subject. My hope with this book is to bring a similar awareness to readers, and that maybe they will learn something new, or perhaps find a way to identify with Dylan and Landon’s journey.

3) Have you ever co-written with someone before?
I’ve attempted to co-write a silly story with someone before, but we were both very busy at the time and it never was finished. I would not be opposed to trying again some day!

4) Tell us about your favorite character in a book (yours or someone else’s).
Oh man, this is a hard question. I’m going to go to my default of Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. When I was in college, I wrote paper on Samwise, and how, even though he is a side character, he is probably the most important character in the trilogy, and I still stand by that. He’s loyal, selfless, and does what he does out of his love for another. Also he loves potatoes, so that makes him pretty perfect.
I would say my other favorite character would be Trip Morgan from Courtney Lux’s Small Wonders. If you haven’t read Small Wonders yet, it should absolutely be next on your to-read list. Trip is one of the most complex, delightfully frustrating, vividly real characters I have ever read.

5) List five foods you can’t live without.
1. Potatoes (in any form)
2. Coffee
3. Pumpkin flavored anything
4. Popcorn
5. Ice cream

Where to find the author:
Facebook: facebook.com/missbeccaburton;
Twitter: @missbeccaburton
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26223074-something-like-a-love-song

Tour Dates & StopsCollapse )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Year in the Life by Cat Grant
Bisexual Contemporary Romance
Series: Courtland
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1505293227
ISBN-13: 978-1505293227
Amazon: A Year in the Life (A Courtland Novel #1)
Amazon Kindle: A Year in the Life (A Courtland Novel #1)

Courtland fans, get ready – the next generation’s here! A campus flu outbreak, complicated by a freak October blizzard, brings Cornell seniors Seth Thompson and Bilal al-Mansoori together. Three days spent waiting out the storm at Seth’s snowbound apartment leads to an unexpected mutual attraction—and a hot night under the covers, which quickly deepens into a true emotional bond… Plus, a world of problems for Bilal, an Iranian Muslim. Despite his homeland’s harsh laws and even harsher punishment for homosexuality, Bilal can no longer deny who he really is: A gay man falling in love for the first time. Seth’s gentle manner and passionate lovemaking bring Bilal more joy than he ever thought possible. Yet, despite the lovers’ growing happiness, Bilal’s haunted by guilt and shame left over from his strict upbringing, and the sad realization that he’ll never see his family in Iran again. Speaking of families, it’s time for Bilal to meet Seth’s… Eric, Nick and Ally. Ten years later, this committed triad is still as deeply in love as ever, but even commitment comes with challenges… Is there room in this non-traditional family for Bilal? His future with Seth may depend on it.

An instant classic. A page-turner no one could put down.

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Summer Symphony by Brandon Shire
Bisexual Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: TPG Books (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1506014437
ISBN-13: 978-1506014432
Amazon: Summer Symphony
Amazon Kindle: Summer Symphony

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

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

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

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

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

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Knight of Ocean Avenue (Love in Laguna Book 1) by Tara Lain
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165759
ISBN-13: 978-1632165756
Amazon: Knight of Ocean Avenue (Love in Laguna Book 1)
Amazon Kindle: Knight of Ocean Avenue (Love in Laguna Book 1)

A Love in Laguna Novel

How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor's license he so desires, and fear of his mother's judgment blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.

Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz―Chase Phillips―a rising-star celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted―stalwart, honest, brave―but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?

Billy and Shaz were fantastic. They pulled me in and held my attention. This is a feel-good story. It made me happy to read this book and left me feeling happy when I was done. I really liked it.

I always enjoy reading Tara Lain's stories and this one was no exception. I loved the characters and the story line and the writing style is very easy to read. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

This book has just the right amount of everything: balanced characters and smooth original story that will gift a reader with a fun relaxing time. 

Thoroughly compelling from beginning to end.

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Geek Out by Samantha M. Derr
LGBT Anthology / Collection / Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 454 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (January 28, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162004529X
ISBN-13: 978-1620045299
Amazon: Geek Out

Gamers. Cospayers. B-Movie Lovers. Otaku. Comic Book Enthusiasts. History buffs. Animals. Coffee. we all geek about something, and nothing quite rivals the passion displayed by geeks for the things they love. There's no limit to what can be geeked over, and no rules about who is allowed to geek about what-and No telling when and where those geeks will fall in love. Defying Convention Double Take Horse Crazy Long Macchiatos and Monsters Love Rampage Manifest Of Anime and the Baeci Sext Based Adventures

Interesting stories written with a strong message. 5 Stars.

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Bowl Full of Cherries by Raine O’Tierney
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165198
ISBN-13: 978-1632165190
Amazon: Bowl Full of Cherries
Amazon Kindle: Bowl Full of Cherries

Porker, Fatty, Tons-of-Fun: Crowley Fredericks has heard it all. He’s dropped a lot of weight since his high school days, but he’s still a big guy, and the painful words and bullying follow him. Rejected―again―because of his size, Crowley is starting to think that maybe love just isn’t meant for huskier men.

Averell Lang and his twin are so different they might as well not even be related. So when Rell’s brother brings his roommate home to snowy Susset for the holidays, Rell expects the worst―another uptight, pretentious hipster. What he discovers instead is Crowley. Nerdy, fascinating, attractive, Crowley. Rell never expected to look at a man this way, and what he sees in Crowley Fredericks is something he didn’t even know he was looking for. If both men can overcome their hang-ups, they might unwrap more than presents this holiday season.

I really loved this book, this is a sweet, simple story about how love and true friendship can make miracles. The plot is well developed, with just that little angst that makes the situation interesting. I stayed up all night to finish it, could not put it down. Had to know there was the happy ending. I like how the characters are described, they feel real, and you share their feelings, their love, their fears with them. I really really enjoyed it.

This was just one of those stories that really sucked me in… I could have kept reading it forever.

I really liked this book.The story wasn't terribly angst-filled or high-octane suspenseful. It was more like spending time with friends. I enjoyed the characters' journey (and as a mother of twins who don't get along, I appreciated the relationship between the Lang brothers!)

Good story of life’s ups and downs. Entertaining.

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The Butterfly King (The Lost and Founds 3) by Edmond Manning
Gay Contemporary Romance
Series: The Lost and Founds
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Press; 1st edition (September 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 098909796X
ISBN-13: 978-0989097963
Amazon: The Butterfly King (The Lost and Founds 3)
Amazon Kindle: The Butterfly King (The Lost and Founds 3)

Terrance Altham doesn’t know why he’s been arrested. He’s committed no crime and the cops aren’t talking. Sadly, the man sharing his holding cell talks too much. Known only as Ghost, he is a young grifter, apparently familiar enough with this police station to convince Terrance a break out is possible, and pushy enough to leave Terrance no choice but to follow Ghost into the underbelly of New York City. Terrified by the unjust imprisonment and the possibility of a life behind bars, Terrance searches for proof of his innocence while Ghost seeks the elusive Butterfly King. But neither man seems in control of the weekend’s direction and the consequences of mistakes are life-changing. As Ghost’s manipulations come to an explosive head, each man must decide amid danger and street violence what kind of man will triumph, lost or found? Narrator Vin Vanbly (a.k.a Ghost) returns in the most revealing King Weekend yet, where he faces the dark side of his dangerous manipulations, and learns missteps can be deadly. Vin must confront sinister dealings from his past—and a future promising disaster—as he waltzes Terrance across Manhattan in spring, searching for the elusive and charismatic, Butterfly King.

The third book is as good as the first two of the series. Edmond Manning is managing well to keep up the quality. He also avoids repeating himself. I love the economy of the writing, New York comes out alive from the book, but without long and useless descriptions. The language once more plays an important role, but it is never an end in itself. Vin is younger here, more full of doubts about what he is doing, still... it is the Vin we came to love through the other two books. I cannot not love him, his deep humanity, and the way he managed to leave his troubled past behind him or at least not to let this past control him. Terrance is black. It is a just a coincidence that this release comes just now, after Ferguson, because the book was roughly plotted in 2010, as Edmond writes in the heartfelt «Author's Note». On the other side it is not a coincidence that the racism issue is addressed in the book, because it is a permanent feature of society (not only US society), which flares up now and then. Please notice that the issue is there, but this is not a preachy book.

What a beautifully, heart-breaking, thrilling, and moving love story that does not end in the way one would expect, but has such a gripping, and perfect ending for the characters of Vin and Terrance that even though I re-read the last few chapters repeatedly hoping against hope that perhaps I would get that ending I wanted, because of how both Vin and Terrance helped each other grow, develop, heal, and learn to love, to truly love, I couldn't find it in myself to be unsatisfied at all or disappointed too much (though, I really wanted the HEA not the HFN or rather the TBC that I received). And while I haven't read the previous books in this series, I didn't feel lost or confused, as a matter of fact I was so enthralled by the story of this Lost King, Vin, trying to help a Found King, Terrance, crossover and become a true king but discovering truths about himself with the help of Terrance, with the love of Terrance, that by the time the book was over I'd realized that I'd read the book in a day. The setting was so artfully described by Mr. Manning that I could hear the screeching of the rats, taste the beer, and see every amazing sight, every minute detail intricately and magnificently conveyed with the mellifluous, graceful, yet strong style of Mr. Manning' talent. I am thoroughly hooked on this series now and went back to not only buy the other books in the series, but I read the excerpt provided in the link at the back of the book. And while I did not cry throughout the telling of this story, the Author's Note at the end, coupled with the dedication and these passages: he’s still a man, subject to the arrows and heartaches of men everywhere. That I understand. Being a gay man—I relate to those issues as well. But existing as a black man in a white-centric culture, he brings unique heartaches which I may never fully comprehend, despite my best intentions. “You call it black history and don’t you see how that distances us, acting like this was our private moment, when in fact, you were there. You were there. It’s our history. Our fucking history together.” "One day a woman came over and told me how impressed she was with my reading, my stack of books. She gushed over me. I loved it. I thought she could see something in me, special. That night, when I told mom about it, bragging about myself, she asked if the lady was white. I told her, yes. I was shocked my mother would guess that. I knew there were black people and white people and other colors, too, but I didn’t know what that meant. My mom explained the lady wasn’t impressed, she was surprised. She was surprised to see a young black boy reading so ravenously..." -made me choke up. Because it was the acknowledgment of it, things I have experienced, thoughts I have had but not wanted or been able to express because I AM a gay, black man and people are uncomfortable when these wounds are ripped open and revealed for all to see, it was the sympathy and the compassion by someone who can only imagine what it means to be a "bronze man", a black man, in this time, in this country that brought tears to my eyes. And for that I wish I could've given higher than the 40/40 because it gave the plot a deeper depth of realism and emotion than previously existed.

Please note that I have not read the other King books in this series. I found this entry read just fine as a standalone and the author did a great job of easing the reader into Vin's world and the world of the Lost and Found Kings. This is a work of fantastic originality that hits the ground running with the jailing of the protagonist Terrance for a crime he did not commit. The fact that his cellmate Ghost is clearly playing some kind of long con with Terrance hooked me immediately and his psychological mechanations along with the fast pace of the storyline kept me engaged. I felt that the depiction of Vin as kingmaker being kept off-balance by Rance's unexpected responses worked very well, although at times the drawn-out intensity of Vin's mind games seemed a little too much. These protagonists were immensely complex creatures but not unlikeable. In the end, although Rance is torn down and triumphantly recreated as the Butterfly King, I couldn't help but feel the most affection for Vin who is a master manipulator but so clearly has feet of clay. Oh, also, I thought the settings were gorgeously rendered - even the sewer scenes which were completely visceral - and I loved the inclusion of the after-hours New York Public Library. I'm looking forward to reading more about Vin's journey.

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Ten Little Lesbians by Kate McLachlan
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 162 pages
Publisher: Quest by RCE (May 21, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161929236X
ISBN-13: 978-1619292369
Amazon: Ten Little Lesbians
Amazon Kindle: Ten Little Lesbians

Ten women, guests at the lesbian-owned Adelheid Inn, are stranded in the Cascade Mountains after a mudslide closes the only road out. One goes missing. One is killed. More than one is not who she pretends to be, and every one of them has a secret. When another woman is attacked, it becomes clear there's a killer in their midst, and it has to be one of them. Is it Beatrice, the judge, surly and sad after the death of her long-term partner? Or her niece, Tish, angry and sullen at being kept under Beatrice's thumb? Or is it Carmen, Beatrice's childhood friend who lured her to the Inn under false pretenses? It couldn't be the Mormon girls, Amy and Dakota. Or could it? Perhaps it's Paula, the gallant butch, or her date, the lovely and silent Veronica. A blind woman couldn't do it, but is Jess really blind? And what about Holly, the hotel manager who is just a bit too perky, or Lila, the mysterious owner of the hotel? One thing quickly becomes clear. They'd better find out, before there are none.

This one sucked me in I even read it more than once and will definitely read more from this author.

Enjoyed it so much I wish it was another 60 pages longer.

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Model Citizen by Lissa Kasey
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 22, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634761308
ISBN-13: 978-1634761307
Amazon: Model Citizen
Amazon Kindle: Model Citizen

Oliver “Ollie” Petroskovic’s life as an international supermodel was heading in the right direction. He worked part-time for his brother at his detective agency―Petroskovic Haven Investigations―and had just bought his dream house. But all that changed when he found his brother dead, a victim of PTSD-induced suicide.

Almost a year later, Ollie is trying to keep his brother’s business afloat, but can’t get his PI license. Then his brother’s best friend, Kade Alme, shows up, fresh from the battlefield after a close brush with death. Kade is looking for a new life, in more ways than one, and with PI license in hand, he’s exactly what Ollie needs to keep PHI running.

When one of Ollie's childhood friends gets in trouble, Ollie feels he has to help. Kade insists on investigating if only to keep Ollie safe. Neither realizes the danger they’re in as someone tries to tear them apart before they can find solid ground together.

Well written mystery with lovable characters. Just enough angst to keep things interesting.  I couldn't stop reading. 

Totally fresh and original characters. Engaging mystery. Strong, interesting writing style.

If you like mysteries then you really need to give this story a chance.  I was pulled in right from the beginning by both the characters and the mysteries woven through the story.  There are several OMG moments and I was surprised by how everything played out.  This is one story that would make a great series, and I plan on re-reading it soon.

A deliciously plotted murder mystery with a great cast of characters and believable relationships.

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Kick at the Darkness by Keira Andrews
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: KA Books (May 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0994092423
ISBN-13: 978-0994092427
Amazon: Kick at the Darkness
Amazon Kindle: Kick at the Darkness

To live through the zombie apocalypse they have to survive each other first. College freshman Parker Osborne is having the worst day ever. He humiliated himself trying to pick up a cute guy, he hasn’t made any friends at school, and his stupidly hot jerk of a TA gave him a crappy grade on his paper. He’s going to drop Adam Hawkins’ film class and start fresh tomorrow after he’s had a good sulk. But Parker’s about to find out what a bad day really looks like—if he can survive the night. A virus is unleashed, transforming infected people into zombie-like killers. After these quick and deadly creepers swarm campus, Parker only escapes thanks to Adam swooping him onto the back of his trusty motorcycle. Now they're on the run—and stuck with each other. When they’re not bickering, they’re fighting off the infected in a bloody battle for survival. Their only hope is to head east to Parker's family, but orphaned Adam has a secret he’s not sure Parker will accept: he’s a werewolf. Can they trust each other enough to find some light in these dark days?

I Don't do zombies.  I hate zombies.  I avoid them at all costs.  So why the heck could I not put this book down?  Kiera Andrews characters and style just kept me turning page after page.

A real page turner. Loved the dynamic between the 2 MCs and the development of their relationship. I was left wondering if there is going to be a sequel.

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One Marine, Hero by EM Lynley
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634763831
ISBN-13: 978-1634763837
Amazon: One Marine, Hero
Amazon Kindle: One Marine, Hero

He's a hero to everyone but himself.

Marine helicopter pilot Captain Jake Woodley struggles after receiving the Medal of Honor for a mission where he didn’t bring every man back alive. Being called a hero and having his photo plastered across the news makes him hate himself more. He despises his cushy job flying with the Marine One squadron, carrying the president and other officials, when he’d rather risk something, even death. He gets his wish when he’s ordered to fly a series of classified trips.

Matt “Beau” Beaumont has been relegated to covering the fashion beat after getting downsized from a hard-news position. But an unexpected invitation to a White House dinner might be the boost his career needs. Offering a hot Marine an after-dinner blowjob wasn’t on Beau’s agenda, but when Jake takes him up on the proposition, some phenomenal casual sex soon blossoms into a relationship both of them crave.

When Beau’s extracurricular research uncovers defense department funding anomalies, he soon discovers the trouble goes higher than he imagined. Just as events start to make sense, the investigation puts Beau and Jake in deadly danger. It takes a daring play by Jake―risking everything he loves―to uncover the truth.

Wonderful novel and excellent perspective on the military life. Probably the best, most realistic description of military life and social gatherings I have read in a very long time. Would have received near perfect scores if it had been placed in Romantic Suspense, because the romance and relationship aspects drove this book forward; the mystery felt sidelined.

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All Queers Must Die by Antonio
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Publication Date: March 7, 2015
Amazon Kindle: All Queers Must Die

In a world where no one is who they seem to be and everybody has secrets… how do you find the truth?
Maynard Shores, Florida is an exclusive beachfront town where the rich and beautiful come to live out their fantasies. Fun in the sun, and hot nights filled with passion are to be expected in a locale that caters to every sexual taste and preference. But danger lurks behind the shores’s glittering facade. The price for indulging in one of the area’s newest pleasures could be high—very high. A dangerous new designer drug has been introduced to the scene and partaking of it could be deadly. Its effects have already been profoundly felt by one newcomer to the area.
The luxurious Maynard Shores Beachfront Resort is the place to stay, and home base for handsome and fit Bart Farrow, a man determined to get to the truth of what is going on in Maynard Shores. Using an alias, he arrives at the resort to train for the position of manager in order to spy on both guests and workers. All of whom seem to have agendas of their own. He’ll find himself forced to use some of their own tricks against them, even if it means trading his body for secrets and romancing foes for vital information. Lives are on the line, and loyalties are tested as time begins to run out. The cryptic message “All Queers Must Die” was found on resort property and, as a gay man, Bart is determined to find its author. Along with the help of some old and new friends, he’ll shine a light on the shadow world existing alongside the bright, glistening lights of Maynard Shores… before more lives are put at risk.

This is a very interesting mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.  I loved the little twists and turns in the story.  Be prepared for some OMG moments.

I'm usually very good at being able to figure out who is the ultimate villain in most books and on television shows and movies, but while reading this story I kept changing my mind. I think that is the mark of truly spectacular writing. I think also, the scenes that makes the reader shift in their seat, rather from being uncomfortable, wary, aroused at the most inopportune time, that shows brilliance. While I was confused-and I do mean, confused, at the beginning of the book, it didn't take long for all of that to clear up. The characters were all engaging. I hated the ones I was supposed to hate, loved the ones I was supposed to love, and the ones whom were the wild cards I moved from one column to the other constantly. This was a fascinating story, with the setting brilliantly described, and even with the few editing errors, I was pulled into the story and it did not let go until the very end when everything was solved, revealed, and my first thoughts about what was going on (and who was the villain) were proven correct (HELL YEAH!).

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

Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

The Roosevelt, Book 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero by Alex Gabriel
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (January 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1505695988
ISBN-13: 978-1505695984
Amazon: Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero
Amazon Kindle: Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero

Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest. Being related to a supervillain isn’t a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes – that’s just a family tradition. Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It’s a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy. When Pat’s mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her… and all of Pat’s secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick’s feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?

A light, imaginative, and fun book that is warmer at heart than I expected. Sure, you have to suspend disbelief to enter this cartoon world of superheroes and villains – excuse me, challengers. But the main characters are surprisingly human in their flaws and desires, the humor is clever, and the plot has unexpected twists. This made a delightful lightweight break from my favorite angsty reads, while still giving me two men I enjoyed spending time with, and romance to cheer on to its happy ending.

I laughed so much during this book.  What a great, light read. 

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Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626492786
ISBN-13: 978-1626492783
Amazon: Lead Me Not

Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it's a choice-with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof-he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister's film. When Isaac's first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he's saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac's deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton's sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.

As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he's been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew-and the man he never meant to love?

This wonderful sappy work is narrated from the third person point of view of both our protagonists:  Isaac and Colton.  Since both men are dealing with their demons there is no other better way to express their love story than to see it from their respective points of view.  Themes like parental rejection are very well presented.  Colton would go to his parents' tomb to ask for forgiveness for being gay - even though it's quite clear that it was the parents who failed the son:  "The thing is, our parents are the core of our worlds from the time we're children.  Given the opportunity, for better or worse, children - even as adults - will forgive their parents faster and more often than they will anyone except their own children"  (Isaac tells Colton as he counsels Colton that what he really need to do is forgive himself.) On coming out:  "The night I came out, all I wanted was for my family to know I'd figured out who I was.  I didn't expect everything to change.  I didn't set out to be defined by it.  But I am.  Everything in my life for the last twelve years is defined by being gay." (Colton tells Isaac why he came out.) Low self esteem:  "The thing is, after my own parents turned me away, I was sure no one would ever love me again.  I didn't know if they'd ever loved me."  (Colton tells Isaac why he has such a hard forming a relationship.) On whether homosexuality is a choice:  "Tonight felt...bigger than it should have been.  Like it was something inevitable that we've been moving toward for...for I don't know how long.  Like God was moving us toward tonight, and when tonight happened, it wasn't something I could chose or deny.  It just...it just was."  (Isaac tells Colton on the first night they spend together.) Pastor Mike and Isaac hold a long discussion (Chapter 17) as to the validity of the Bible and as to whether it actually condemns homosexuals, transgenders, and masturbation.  Personally, I give the Bible as much validity as I give any other fairy tale, but for the sake of the work at hand, according to Pastor Mike:  transgenders are afflicted by a sin that "manifests as a mind whose gender is mismatched to its body," The story of Onan, which is used to condemn masturbation, "when Onan was condemned for 'spilling his seed upon the ground' it wasn't because he'd masturbated...he was for being disobedient to the Lord and for refusing to honor his dead brother" giving his widowed sister in law an heir, as the law required.  Sodom and Gomorra were destroyed for being inhospitable and for raping their guests.  Leviticus:  if you obeyed every rule in Leviticus, you could not wear a polyester blend, shave, or eat seafood.  Eagles and storks would be abominations also.  And finally the tale of the Centurion and his slave where Jesus cured the slave because the Centurion was in "love" with him - a very controversial passage that some people interpret as Jesus condoning homosexuality. I believe Ms. Gallagher has created a very important work and should be required reading for all high schools.  Not only it's wonderful read - I did shed some tears and could barely put the book down - but also, I believe it would make the world a better place.

Okay I really did not expect to like this book. And for a good part of it I was so damn annoyed with the damnation talk. I should have trusted that the author (who I love other works by) wouldn't write something like what I thought  i was reading. The evolution of Colton and Issac was beautiful. I don't know if I would read it again but it was a very touching and beautiful story about accepting who you are regardless of what others tell you you should do with your life.

Wow - I cried with this.  The tension and angst was wonderful.

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The Burnt Toast B&B (A Bluewater Bay Story) by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz
Transgender Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (January 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626492174
ISBN-13: 978-1626492172
Amazon: The Burnt Toast B&B (A Bluewater Bay Story)
Amazon Kindle: The Burnt Toast B&B (A Bluewater Bay Story)

After breaking his arm on set, Wolf’s Landing stuntman Ginsberg Sloan finds himself temporarily out of work. Luckily, Bluewater Bay’s worst B&B has cheap long-term rates, and Ginsberg’s not too proud to take advantage of them.

Derrick Richards, a grizzled laid-off logger, inherited the B&B after his parents’ untimely deaths. Making beds and cooking sunny-side-up eggs is hardly Derrick’s idea of a man’s way to make a living, but just as he’s decided to shut the place down, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep, pitiful and soaking wet, and Derrick can hardly send him packing.

Not outright, at least.

The plan? Carry on the B&B’s tradition of terrible customer service and even worse food until the pampered city boy leaves voluntarily. What Derrick doesn’t count on, though, is that the lousier he gets at hosting, the more he convinces bored, busybody Ginsberg to try to get the B&B back on track. And he definitely doesn’t count on the growing attraction between them, or how much more he learns from Ginsberg than how to put out kitchen fires.

Honestly, this book blew me away and that's not easy to do. It was hilarious at times and poignant at others and just such a joy to read. It kept me up into the early morning hours until I couldn't keep my eyes open to read "just one more scene."  I nearly ran into a bridge support on my daily walk because I couldn't put my phone away to stop reading the book. I loved how Ginsberg's gender, while being an issue...wasn't THE issue. The story was more about Derrick coming to terms with his own sexuality and what that meant in his world.  And everything was just so well done. The sex was perfect. The reactions were perfect.. Derrick coming to terms with his parent's death and how well loved he actually is...perfect. And Ginsberg was perfect. I couldn't think of *anything* I would change, hence my score.

Ah, this book had two great characters that I was rooting for the whole way through. Wonderful little book.

Really well written - beautiful characterization.

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Strength to Let Go (Tales of the Werewolf Tribes, Book One) by Alina Popescu
Gay Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing (July 7, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Strength to Let Go (Tales of the Werewolf Tribes, Book One)

After being abandoned by his mates, Shiki Kirishima, beta of the Dragons of the Fang werewolf tribe, returns to his home in Tokyo.
Crippled by grief, Shiki decides to end it all by going into the territory of the Siberian Killers tribe and challenging them to a battle to the death.
His death.
Ganzorig, beta of the Siberian Killers, however, sees the potentially disastrous consequences of having Shiki die in battle.
Instead, he saves him.
Having suffered loss himself, Ganz takes it upon himself to help Shiki deal with his pain.
Blake, Shiki’s best friend since childhood, is as determined to show him there is life after a wolf’s ultimate loss.
Could there also be something ‘more’ for them after friendship?

What a nice, fresh, new take on the wolf-shifter meets his mate trope, and the best friends-to-lovers trope. I really enjoyed this story, I loved the way the author fills us in on details from the past throughout the length of the story, rather than just giving a huge info dump. This is good because I sort of felt as if I were missing something at the beginning of the book, as if there was another book I'd missed so I checked the title once again to make sure and found out that it was book one in this series, so having things explained as time went on was great because it answered questions, rounded out the different characters, developing many of them from being just 2d creatures into being fully formed 3d people. However, there were times when I feel as if the flashbacks were repetitive and with each flashback it seemed as if the editing suffered for a bit before straightening out. The scenes were all described beautifully, and I felt as if I were actually there. But regardless of that, I must admit to a bit of disappointment that the reasoning behind Kayden and Keiran leaving Shiki in the callous way that they did, left me slightly unsatisfied. While in real life one does not always receive closure, I at least wanted it for Shiki. However, it's only the first book, so we'll see what happens later in the series. With all of that, it was still a beautiful story about survival after losing who you thought was the love(s) of your life, moving past that, seeing the truth of your relationship and them, and being open to love, laughter, and living again, because there are people who care and you never know whom you may find right around the corner. 

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Groom Of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers Of The Remmington Realm) by Vicktor Alexander
Transgender Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632161133
ISBN-13: 978-1632161130
Amazon: Groom Of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers Of The Remmington Realm)
Amazon Kindle: Groom Of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers Of The Remmington Realm)

In an alternate universe, in the country of Angland, 1814, the gentry live lives of culture and class. It is a time of courtships, marriages of convenience, and titles, where scandal can ruin an entire family. Gender lines are blurred, and making a good match is of utmost importance. Children are born to men and women, which has led to the acceptance of same-sex marriages.

Lady Lucien Timothy Hawthorne is shocked and angry when he is betrothed against his will to Lord Heathcliff Eddington, III, the Duke of Pompinshire. While drowning his frustration at a popular gentleman's club, he meets "Robert," a gorgeous older man whom he sleeps with as "Timmy," regardless of the potential damage to his reputation.

After their liaison, Lucien corresponds with Robert via letters left at Remmington, and they decide to elope. Before they can get away, Lucien meets his betrothed, Heathcliff, who he is surprised to discover is also his beloved, Robert. Both men desire a marriage of the heart, but they find out that sometimes a marriage of convenience can turn into love under the right circumstances. But Lucien has a secret, and Tlondon isn't as safe as they once thought.

I have never read a novel like this one before, so it took me a moment to get a feel of the different style of life and time period this was set.  Once I had an understanding, everything flowed fairly well. If this were a series, I would definitely want to read more of it.

This was such a remarkable read, with such imagination and innovation in its presentation of gender. Yes, it can get confusing, but I think that is the point. In trying to decipher and keep track of the genders and roles here, we see how foolish and short-sighted a binary system really is. Compared to a contemporary romance the plot is a bit slow, but it actually fits the Regency style, and I enjoyed the leisurely pace. I loved the twist on the m-preg kink, and thought it really brought the characters together, and as uncomfortable as it made me, I understood why the rape scene was there.

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Boystown 7: Bloodlines by Marshall Thornton
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Series: Boystown
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Kenmore Books (March 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1508545715
ISBN-13: 978-1508545712
Amazon: Boystown 7: Bloodlines
Amazon Kindle: Boystown 7: Bloodlines

In the seventh book of the award-winning Boystown Mystery series, Private Investigator Nick Nowak finds himself simultaneously working two cases for his new client, law firm Cooke, Babcock and Lackerby. A suburban dentist has been convicted of murdering her adulterous husband. Nick is asked to interview witnesses for the penalty phase of the trial—and possibly find the dead man’s mistress. At the same time, he’s deeply involved in protecting Outfit underboss Jimmy English from a task force out to prosecute him for a crime he may not have committed. While juggling these cases Nick slowly begins to rebuild his personal life.

I lived in Chicago at about the time this story is set, and I'll bet the author did, too.  He really brought the place alive.  This would be a good book for any younger LGBT people who don't understand how mysterious and terrifying the AIDS epidemic was before anyone was paying much attention to the disease that was "only" killing gays.

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