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2020-2021 Rainbow Awards

 This cycle of the Rainbow Awards saw 348 submissions, almost 10.000$ donated to various charities and the volunteering of almost 100 readers in 3 continents.

Below the list of winners and runners up for each category. Please be aware that most of the time just 0.1 point was between a winner and a runner up. For me all the submissions are winners, because they contributed to awesome LGBTA charities.



Bisexual Speculative Fiction
Peacemaker by E.M. Hamill
Runner Up:
Give Me Grace by Bethany A. Perry
 
Lesbian Paranormal Romance
Coyote Blues by Karen F. Williams
Runner Up:
Dead Lez Walking by G. Benson
 
Bisexual Contemporary General Fiction and Mystery / Thriller
At Sea (A Viv Fraser Mystery #7) by V. Clifford
Runner Up:
Maiden Leap by C.M. Harris
 
LGBTA Biography / Memoir and Non Fiction
Other Girls Like Me by Stephanie Davies
Runner Up:
On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating by Karina Manta
 
Transgender Speculative Fiction
By Imperial Decree (ESTO Universe) by Angel Martinez
Runner Up:
Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore
 
Lesbian Fantasy Romance
The Solstice Pudding (The Pudding Protocol Universe) by Angel Martinez
Runner Up:
Lady of Stone by Barbara Ann Wright
 
Lesbian Historical and Historical Romance
Invisible, as Music by Caren J. Werlinger
Runner Up:
The Beginning of Everything by Cara Malone
 
Gay Alternative Universe/Reality
TAD by M.D. Neu
Runner Up:
Duking It Out by E.J. Russell
 
LGBTA Anthology / Collection
Shadow of Justice by Jess Faraday
Runner Up:
The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater
 
Gay Romantic Comedy
Passion of a Papillon (Fuzzy Love #1) by Tara Lain
Runner Up:
Hollywood To Horses by Dez Schwartz
 
Transgender Contemporary Romance
Freedom (F-Word) by E. Davies
Runner Up:
Taken by Storm (Dandies, Inc. #4) by G.R. Lyons
 
Gay Contemporary General Fiction and Humor
A Blind Eye by David Jackson Ambrose
Runner Up:
Drama Faerie (Nicky and Noah Mysteries #9) by Joe Cosentino
 
Gay Fantasy
King of the Dark (Prince’s Assassin #1) by Ariana Nash
Runners Up:
The First Age (The Secret Histories #1) by Arshad Ahsanuddin
The Midnight Man by Kevin Klehr
 
Bisexual Fantasy and Paranormal Romance
Frost & Raine by K.L. Noone
Runners Up:
When I First Saw Red (The Soldiers and Mercenaries) by Kasia Bacon
The Envoy's Honor (Chronicles of Tournai #8) by Antonia Aquilante
 
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
How to Steal a Star by Geonn Cannon
Runners Up:
Face the Wind (Little Sister Island Series #2) by Caren J. Werlinger
Accidental Desperados by Lee Lynch
 
Lesbian Fantasy
The Road to Kalazad by K.L. Mitchell
Runners Up:
Trafalgar & Boone Against the Forty Elephants by Geonn Cannon
Uncharted by Alli Temple
 
LGBTA Young Adult
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Runners Up:
Dead Sea (Mia Kerick Story Ballads #2) by Mia Kerick
Stranger Things: Rebel Robin by A.R. Capetta
 
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Where The Hell Is Tessa Ryker? (Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations) by R.E. Conary
Runners Up:
The Crystal’s Curse by Jane Alden
Stone's Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) by Adrian J. Smith
 
Gay Historical and Historical Romance
A Leap of Faith by Mel Gough
Runners Up:
Silent Sin (A 1920s Hollywood Gay Romance) by E.J. Russell
The God's Eye (Lancaster's Luck #3) by Anna Butler
 
Gay Sci-Fi / Futuristic
A Fine Mess (Brimstone #7) by Angel Martinez
Runners Up:
Entity (A StarStation Novel) by Toshi Drake
Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters tied with Penumbra by Dan Ackerman
 
Lesbian Speculative Fiction
The Anti-Quest (The Pudding Protocol Universe) by Angel Martinezù
Runners Up:
Remember Me, Synthetica by K. Aten
Eye of the Damned (Terran-Novan Universe Series #3) by Sandra Barret
Lucky 8 (Lucky Breaks #2) by Rae D. Magdon
 
Gay Mystery / Thriller
The Man from Milwaukee by Rick R. Reed
Runners Up:
Hallelujah by Kim Fielding & F.E. Feeley Jr.
Fade Out (Boystown #13) by Marshall Thornton
Year of the Rat (Dom Reilly Mysteries #1) by Marshall Thornton
 
Gay Romantic Suspence
You Had One Job by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.
tied with Hitman vs Hitman by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.
Runners Up:
Benediction (Diversion #9) by Eden Winters tied with Decision (Diversion #8) by Eden Winters
 
Gay Fantasy Romance
The Eighth Key by Laura Weyr
tied with Geoffrey the Very Strange by Angel Martinez
Runners Up:
Must Love Demons (Magic Emporium #6) by Meghan Maslow
Farview (Greynox to the Sea) by Kim Fielding tied with Better Red (Ever After, New York #1) by Tara Lain
Witch Under Wraps  (Mythmatched) by E.J. Russell
 
Gay Erotic Romance and Erotica
The Silver Medalist by T.J. Blackley
Runners Up:
Until the World Stops by L.A. Witt
Bent Not Broken by Z. Allora
Barely Regal by E. Davies
Shot on Goal (Pucks & Rainbows #3) by L.A. Witt
Soft Limits (A Deviations Novel) by Jodi Payne
 
Gay Paranormal Romance
Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright
Runners Up:
Conned (The Bureau #6) by Kim Fielding
Forsaken Fae (The Complete Series, Books 1-3) by R.A. Steffan
Smash & Grab (RELIC #1) by Maz Maddox
The Called (The Calling #2) by M.D. Neu tied with Summoned (Magus Malefica #1) by J.P. Jackson tied with The Dandy Medium by Dez Schwartz
The Blood Boss (Black Veil Series #1) by Davidson King
The Demon’s in the Details by Meghan Maslow tied with The Fantastic Fluke by Sam Burns tied with Wildfire (Sons of Olympus #1) by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns
 
Bisexual Contemporary Romance
The Dancer's Dilemma (Campus Connections #3) by CJane Elliott
Runners Up:
Revenge of the Brobot (A Steam Room Story) by JC Calciano
The Thomas Flair (A M/M Summer Games Romance) by E.J. Russell
The Experiment by Rebecca Raine tied with #20DaysToLA by Tanya Chris
Starting From The Top by Lane Hayes tied with Keeping Kellan (Keeping Him #2) by Amy Aislin tied with Gingerbread Mistletoe (Lighthouse Bay #2) by Amy Aislin
Open Hearts (Stealing Hearts #3) by K. Evan Coles
 
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae
Runners Up:
The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins
Forever Theirs (Mistress #3) by Anna Stone
Safe Haven by Ellen Hoil tied with Breathe by Cari Hunter
The Thing About Tilly by G. Benson
Chemistry Lessons by Jae
Dare to Love by A.L. Brooks
Ensnared Hearts (Mistress#2) by Anna Stone
 
Gay Contemporary Romance
Hair Balls (Balls to the Wall) by Tara Lain
Runners Up:
Redemption (Men of Hidden Creek #6) by E. Davies
Drifter by Eden Winters
The Thaw by Pat Henshaw
Gideon's Wish by Bryan T. Clark
Hide Your Love Away (IF I FELL #1) by Mia Kerick tied with The Walls Between Hearts (A Las Palmas Fencing Club Story) by L.A. Witt
Keeping Promises by Jodi Payne & BA Tortuga
The Road Home by L.A. Witt
Healing Hearts (Stealing Hearts #2) by K. Evan Coles tied with Always, Ben by Tinnean tied with Can't Erase You by Leigh Vining
How I Accidentally Slept With a Prince by Susan Laine tied with Stupid Love by S.J. Carter tied with Making the Holidays Happy Again by Pat Henshaw
Hold the Door (An Open Doors Novel) by Vinni George
 
Best Debut Book
The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins
Runners Up:
On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating by Karina Manta tied with Franklin in Paradise by John Patrick tied with The Eighth Key by Laura Weyr
 
Best Asexual Book
Franklin in Paradise by John Patrick
Runner Up:
Socially Orcward (Adventures in Aguillon #3) by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey
 
Best Transgender Book
By Imperial Decree (ESTO Universe) by Angel Martinez
Runners Up:
Freedom (F-Word) by E. Davies
Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore
 
Best Bisexual Book
On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating by Karina Manta
Runners Up:
Peacemaker by E.M. Hamill
Frost & Raine by K.L. Noone
Give Me Grace by Bethany A. Perry tied with When I First Saw Red (The Soldiers and Mercenaries) by Kasia Bacon
The Envoy's Honor (Chronicles of Tournai #8) by Antonia Aquilante
The Dancer's Dilemma (Campus Connections #3) by CJane Elliott
Revenge of the Brobot (A Steam Room Story) by JC Calciano tied with Constant (The Valespian Pact #3) by Lexi Ander
 
Best Lesbian Book
Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae
Runners Up:
The Anti-Quest (The Pudding Protocol Universe) by Angel Martinez tied with The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins
How to Steal a Star by Geonn Cannon
Remember Me, Synthetica by K. Aten tied with Other Girls Like Me by Stephanie Davies
Forever Theirs (Mistress #3) by Anna Stone tied with The Solstice Pudding (The Pudding Protocol Universe) by Angel Martinez
The Road to Kalazad by K.L. Mitchell tied with Eye of the Damned (Terran-Novan Universe Series #3) by Sandra Barret tied with A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Trafalgar & Boone Against the Forty Elephants by Geonn Cannon tied with Lucky 8 (Lucky Breaks #2) by Rae D. Magdon
Safe Haven by Ellen Hoil tied with Breathe by Cari Hunter tied with The Lost Temple of Psiere (Mystery of the Makers #2) by K. Aten
Face the Wind (Little Sister Island Series #2) by Caren J. Werlinger tied with The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater tied with Stranger Things: Rebel Robin by  A.R. Capetta
 
Best Gay Book
The Man from Milwaukee by Rick R. Reed
Runners Up:
Hallelujah by Kim Fielding & F.E. Feeley Jr. tied with A Leap of Faith by Mel Gough
A Blind Eye by David Jackson Ambrose tied with Silent Sin (A 1920s Hollywood Gay Romance) by E.J. Russell
The God's Eye (Lancaster's Luck #3) by Anna Butler tied with Hair Balls (Balls to the Wall) by Tara Lain
Dig Two Graves (The Man Who Loved Cole Flores and The Man Who Hated Ned O'Leary) by K.A. Merikan tied with Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright
The Valet by Mel Gough tied with A Fine Mess (Brimstone #7) by Angel Martinez
Conned (The Bureau #6) by Kim Fielding tied with Shadow of Justice by Jess Faraday
Forsaken Fae (The Complete Series, Books 1-3) by R.A. Steffan tied with Entity (A StarStation Novel) by Toshi Drake
Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters tied with Penumbra by Dan Ackerman
Geoffrey the Very Strange by Angel Martinez tied with Smash & Grab (RELIC #1) by Maz Maddox tied with The Eighth Key by Laura Weyr
The Venetian and the Rum Runner by L.A. Witt tied with Dead Sea (Mia Kerick Story Ballads #2) by Mia Kerick tied with Fade Out (Boystown #13) by Marshall Thornton
Must Love Demons (Magic Emporium #6) by Meghan Maslow tied with The Silver Medalist by T.J. Blackley
King of the Dark (Prince’s Assassin #1) by Ariana Nash tied with Redemption (Men of Hidden Creek #6) by E. Davies
Until the World Stops by L.A. Witt tied with Owl by M. Raiya tied with Passion of a Papillon (Fuzzy Love #1) by Tara Lain tied with Year of the Rat (Dom Reilly Mysteries #1) by Marshall Thornton
Racism by Proxy by Johnny Townsend tied with We Cry The Sea (The Moth and Moon) by Glenn Quigley tied with The First Age (The Secret Histories #1) by Arshad Ahsanuddin tied with Hollywood To Horses by Dez Schwartz tied with Drifter by Eden Winters
Farview (Greynox to the Sea) by Kim Fielding tied with Better Red (Ever After, New York #1) by Tara Lain tied with Bent Not Broken by Z. Allora tied with TAD by M.D. Neu



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2020-2021 Rainbow Awards: Best Gay Book

 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Man from Milwaukee by Rick R. Reed:

- This enthralling book exemplifies the best of fiction, combining compelling characters, an intricate plot, exhilarating twists and turns, and finally the perfect ending. Reed exhibits his mastery at storytelling through this memorable and moving book.
- I thought this was a very powerful story about loneliness, not fitting in, obsession, and fantasy. It’s not an easy read and is a very real journey into the dark side of human nature.  The characters are layered, and the setting atmospheric, and although I was nervous about what might happen next, I had to keep reading.
- Brilliantly written, suspenseful, chilling. Reed has an amazing ability to bring a story to full living and breathing life. This book is a must-read for fans of horror and psychological thrillers.
- Superb depiction of time and place – can almost smell the bus exhaust. Skillful tie-in to real-life events. Excellent depiction of one man's obsession and the damage his mental imbalance does to friends and family – but without losing the sense of his own humanity. Top-notch!
- Amazing blend of fact and fiction, delusion and reality. 
- One of the first thoughts to cross my mind on how to describe Mr. Reed's story is Mastermind, genius. Makes me wonder the amount of research the author has to do to be able to put on 'paper' the wonderful, derange, creepy, horrific stories he puts out. I'd go crazy! LOL This story in particular was done to perfection. If Mr. Reed's goal was to creep me out, Mission accomplished, Mr. Reed. Mission accomplished for this story really creep me out. The twists, especially toward the end, I wasn't expecting, and that is part of the 'mastermind' mentioned above. To have the reader believe in one thing to then learn that no, it's not what you've thought all along, is genius! For anyone who likes horror, intrigue, and the feeling of 'creeped out', this is for you. Highly recommended.

Runners Up:
Hallelujah by Kim Fielding & F.E. Feeley Jr. tied with A Leap of Faith by Mel Gough
A Blind Eye by David Jackson Ambrose tied with Silent Sin (A 1920s Hollywood Gay Romance) by E.J. Russell
The God's Eye (Lancaster's Luck #3) by Anna Butler tied with Hair Balls (Balls to the Wall) by Tara Lain
Dig Two Graves (The Man Who Loved Cole Flores and The Man Who Hated Ned O'Leary) by K.A. Merikan tied with Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright
The Valet by Mel Gough tied with A Fine Mess (Brimstone #7) by Angel Martinez
Conned (The Bureau #6) by Kim Fielding tied with Shadow of Justice by Jess Faraday
Forsaken Fae (The Complete Series, Books 1-3) by R.A. Steffan tied with Entity (A StarStation Novel) by Toshi Drake
Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters tied with Penumbra by Dan Ackerman
Geoffrey the Very Strange by Angel Martinez tied with Smash & Grab (RELIC #1) by Maz Maddox tied with The Eighth Key by Laura Weyr
The Venetian and the Rum Runner by L.A. Witt tied with Dead Sea (Mia Kerick Story Ballads #2) by Mia Kerick tied with Fade Out (Boystown #13) by Marshall Thornton
Must Love Demons (Magic Emporium #6) by Meghan Maslow tied with The Silver Medalist by T.J. Blackley
King of the Dark (Prince’s Assassin #1) by Ariana Nash tied with Redemption (Men of Hidden Creek #6) by E. Davies
Until the World Stops by L.A. Witt tied with Owl by M. Raiya tied with Passion of a Papillon (Fuzzy Love #1) by Tara Lain tied with Year of the Rat (Dom Reilly Mysteries #1) by Marshall Thornton
Racism by Proxy by Johnny Townsend tied with We Cry The Sea (The Moth and Moon) by Glenn Quigley tied with The First Age (The Secret Histories #1) by Arshad Ahsanuddin tied with Hollywood To Horses by Dez Schwartz tied with Drifter by Eden Winters
Farview (Greynox to the Sea) by Kim Fielding tied with Better Red (Ever After, New York #1) by Tara Lain tied with Bent Not Broken by Z. Allora tied with TAD by M.D. Neu


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to: 

Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae:

- Nice slow burn romance with “ real characters. Totally relatable. Easy read, wetting flows through whole book.
- Sweet story capturing a slow burn alliance between two women, one straight, one lesbian, who meet because of a wrong number. Story had great dialog and good characters but suffered a bit from too much inner thought, which in turn affected some of the pacing. Overall, a lovely story.
- This book put Jae back on track for sure. The plot was interesting, the chemistry between the protagonists was evident and it was interesting enough to not feel like the plot was unnecessarily dragged. I particularly enjoyed that the characters were actually interesting in their own rights even beside the romantic plot and relationship. Good book and a fun read!

Runners Up:
The Anti-Quest (The Pudding Protocol Universe) by Angel Martinez tied with The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins
How to Steal a Star by Geonn Cannon
Remember Me, Synthetica by K. Aten tied with Other Girls Like Me by Stephanie Davies
Forever Theirs (Mistress #3) by Anna Stone tied with The Solstice Pudding (The Pudding Protocol Universe) by Angel Martinez
The Road to Kalazad by K.L. Mitchell tied with Eye of the Damned (Terran-Novan Universe Series #3) by Sandra Barret tied with A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Trafalgar & Boone Against the Forty Elephants by Geonn Cannon tied with Lucky 8 (Lucky Breaks #2) by Rae D. Magdon
Safe Haven by Ellen Hoil tied with Breathe by Cari Hunter tied with The Lost Temple of Psiere (Mystery of the Makers #2) by K. Aten
Face the Wind (Little Sister Island Series #2) by Caren J. Werlinger tied with The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater tied withStranger Things: Rebel Robin by  A.R. Capetta


This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5432715.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating by Karina Manta:

- A heartfelt memoir of teenage angst. The author is engaging and well aware of her faults. The reader comes to trust her because of her ability to unflinchingly stare down her defects and demons. Although the themes include body image, eating disorders, and internalized homophobia, its message and appeal are universal because, as Manta points out, it's the rare teenager who isn't swaddled in a cocoon of insecurity. A life-affirming message for everyone.
- I love a good Bio, and this one sucked you into the story. Like I was in a room talking with the author and she was telling me her life story. It was really good.

Runners Up:
Peacemaker by E.M. Hamill
Frost & Raine by K.L. Noone
Give Me Grace by Bethany A. Perry tied with When I First Saw Red (The Soldiers and Mercenaries) by Kasia Bacon
The Envoy's Honor (Chronicles of Tournai #8) by Antonia Aquilante
The Dancer's Dilemma (Campus Connections #3) by CJane Elliott
Revenge of the Brobot (A Steam Room Story) by JC Calciano tied with Constant (The Valespian Pact #3) by Lexi Ander


This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5432435.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

By Imperial Decree (ESTO Universe) by Angel Martinez:

- A nicely written space story that had it all: overcoming adversity with ingenuity, embracing who they are without question, trust, romance, and love.  
- This is the kind of trans representation I would love to see in queer storytelling. Shiro is running away from his suitors and ends up on Bremen station where he is rescued by Marsh. The romance between them ignites in diversity, but there is more to their story. The trans representation is well-done and just one facet of a much bigger story. The world-building is fantastic, and it is wonderful to see the community-based culture that Marsh grew up in. The secondary characters lift the story of the main characters and add to the overall development of the story. This is one story in part of Martinez's ESTO universe, where each story is stand alone, but for the readers who have read the other stories, there are easter eggs and appearances from other stories. It's a rich universe that I enjoy thoroughly.

Runners Up:
Freedom (F-Word) by E. Davies
Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Franklin in Paradise by John Patrick:

- A lot is going on here. A post-apocalypse setting described, in the first person, by someone who is on the autism spectrum in love with someone who is on the asexual spectrum. I think John Patrick Franklin took too much on. Still, Franklin imagined the setting--an Amish museum cum working farm--brilliantly. And kudos for thinking of telomeres as the cause of the apocalypse.
- The author does a fantastic job here bringing the characters to life and making them engaging. Also, the coming-of-age -during-the-apocalypse story keeps the reader turning those pages.
- Very well written all around. His handling of autism was truly outstanding and a subject that I believe is extremely important for more people to see the reality. I only deducted one point from writing style because I felt there were a couple of loose ends in plot finalization.

Runner Up:
Socially Orcward (Adventures in Aguillon #3) by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins:

- This is nicely written, with well-drawn characters (MCs Molly and Carmen in particular), and the plot kept me engaged from beginning to end.
- This was a great read.  Throwback to the 90’s with a little history thrown in. Love a book where I can learn something new. Loved the interplay between the MC’s. Kind of a slow burn but so relevant to the storyline.
- Oh, this is what a debut looks like by Quinn Ivins? By all means well done! This romance is set at the brink of freedom for gay people in the late 90s – young students are coming more and more out, others who group up in the closet still practice silence. A silence which comes at great cost personally. The author does an extremely good job to capture this historic moment: an out grad student age 30 and her professor age 39. Been there done that: in a misogynistic, sexist environment it was indeed a great achievement to succeed, most lesbians wouldn’t risk coming out and get strike two against them which in many cases would have been a strike out. Very well done – although there are a few possible ahistoric references (trans woman were by no means casually regarded as woman, to ask a lesbian whether she is a lesbian or bisexual was offensive, since acceptance of bisexuality was not really there and I think yoga moms with strollers is more recent than the late 90s) – it shows how far we have come in two decades. I loved that there a two female mathematicians – yeah! The story is well done, the plot and pace appropriate and I really like – because it’s true to the characters and the times that the love story was very low key until it could come out of the closet too with a big roar. 

Runners Up:
On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating by Karina Manta tied with Franklin in Paradise by John Patrick tied with The Eighth Key by Laura Weyr


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Hair Balls (Balls to the Wall) by Tara Lain:

- This is an author whose name has been so familiar for so many years, I was surprised to discover I'd never read her work. Character development seems to be her greatest strength (though, honestly, I detected no weaknesses of any kind). By the end of this book, I felt I knew Rick and Jimothy so well they must've been my close friends for many years! The secondary characters are also very true-to-life. The plot took a number of unexpected turns, all of which were driven, quite naturally, by the characters as they developed, and settings were drawn in a way that I always had a clear sense of the surrounding sights and sounds. This is another new (to me) author who I will no doubt binge-read as time and finances allow!
- I have not read any of the previous books in the series but that didn't matter. The MCs characters leapt off the page and kept me turning pages because I needed to know how their relationship would develop. The story arc was very satisfying and well supported by a cast of minor characters. I shall be reading more by this author in the future.
- I Love, Love, Love reading Tara Lain's books. They always give me so many good feels and leave me super content. There's everything to like about the MCs and the secondary characters in this story. You betcha I'd recommend for anyone who wants a good feel tale.

Runners Up:
Redemption (Men of Hidden Creek #6) by E. Davies
Drifter by Eden Winters
The Thaw by Pat Henshaw
Gideon's Wish by Bryan T. Clark
Hide Your Love Away (IF I FELL #1) by Mia Kerick tied with The Walls Between Hearts (A Las Palmas Fencing Club Story) by L.A. Witt
Keeping Promises by Jodi Payne & BA Tortuga
The Road Home by L.A. Witt
Healing Hearts (Stealing Hearts #2) by K. Evan Coles tied with Always, Ben by Tinnean tied with Can't Erase You by Leigh Vining
How I Accidentally Slept With a Prince by Susan Laine tied with Stupid Love by S.J. Carter tied with Making the Holidays Happy Again by Pat Henshaw
Hold the Door (An Open Doors Novel) by Vinni George


This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5431416.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae:

- Nice slow burn romance with “ real characters. Totally relatable. Easy read, wetting flows through whole book.
- Sweet story capturing a slow burn alliance between two women, one straight, one lesbian, who meet because of a wrong number. Story had great dialog and good characters but suffered a bit from too much inner thought, which in turn affected some of the pacing. Overall, a lovely story.
- This book put Jae back on track for sure. The plot was interesting, the chemistry between the protagonists was evident and it was interesting enough to not feel like the plot was unnecessarily dragged. I particularly enjoyed that the characters were actually interesting in their own rights even beside the romantic plot and relationship. Good book and a fun read!

Runners Up:
The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins
Forever Theirs (Mistress #3) by Anna Stone
Safe Haven by Ellen Hoil tied with Breathe by Cari Hunter
The Thing About Tilly by G. Benson
Chemistry Lessons by Jae
Dare to Love by A.L. Brooks
Ensnared Hearts (Mistress#2) by Anna Stone


This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at https://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5431241.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Dancer's Dilemma (Campus Connections #3) by CJane Elliott:

- This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I was pulled in by the main character, Tyrone, who is well drawn and quite engaging as he goes about his life. The secondary characters are also fully realized, and the story flows well. This book is the third in a series, and these characters' lives were explored in previous books. However, the careful writing here makes it easy to fully enjoy this novel as a standalone.
- Sweet, and at times heartwrenching second chance romance. The idea of knowing that the man who gave you a do-over is leaving the country to pursue a dancing career is heartbreaking for Nat. Luckily, dancer Tyrone is told that choreographer Arnaud is not only proposing romance exclusively for him but has done so with other dancers allowing Tyrone to drop the idea of leaving for France. I enjoyed reading this story.

Runners Up:
Revenge of the Brobot (A Steam Room Story) by JC Calciano
The Thomas Flair (A M/M Summer Games Romance) by E.J. Russell
The Experiment by Rebecca Raine tied with #20DaysToLA by Tanya Chris
Starting From The Top by Lane Hayes tied with Keeping Kellan (Keeping Him #2) by Amy Aislin tied with Gingerbread Mistletoe (Lighthouse Bay #2) by Amy Aislin
Open Hearts (Stealing Hearts #3) by K. Evan Coles


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright:

- A photographer for a sleezy tabloid is sent to take a photo of Bigfoot and delve into why an older woman was killed after being caught in a bear trap. He finds Bigfoot—a village of bigfoots/bigfeet?—and falls in love with one of them. The underlying question/theme is if you know something about someone that could turn people prejudged against that person but isn’t hurting anyone (like if the person is gay or Bigfoot, for example), should you make the information public?
- Another great read from Addison. I don’t think I’ve read a bad story yet.
- Amazingly beautiful and a fun tale to read. This was quite entertaining and endearing. The writing was spot on with amicable and very much likeable characters, even the grumpy ones. I was surprised to find out who Bigfoot was. Indeed a fun story to read. 
- A gentle comedic take on an old story. Lovely.

Runners Up:
Conned (The Bureau #6) by Kim Fielding
Forsaken Fae (The Complete Series, Books 1-3) by R.A. Steffan
Smash & Grab (RELIC #1) by Maz Maddox
The Called (The Calling #2) by M.D. Neu tied with Summoned (Magus Malefica #1) by J.P. Jackson tied with The Dandy Medium by Dez Schwartz
The Blood Boss (Black Veil Series #1) by Davidson King
The Demon’s in the Details by Meghan Maslow tied with The Fantastic Fluke by Sam Burns tied with Wildfire (Sons of Olympus #1) by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Silver Medalist by T.J. Blackley:

- I liked the evolving relationship between the characters. It was a good read.
- I enjoyed this alot. I give it full marks.

Runners Up:
Until the World Stops by L.A. Witt
Bent Not Broken by Z. Allora
Barely Regal by E. Davies
Shot on Goal (Pucks & Rainbows #3) by L.A. Witt
Soft Limits (A Deviations Novel) by Jodi Payne


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Eighth Key by Laura Weyr:

- Laura Weyr creates an original and imaginative fantasy world where Lucien and Corwin meet, share their mystical powers, fall in love, and discover self-worth. With a minimalistic plot, The Eighth Key’s descriptive settings, realistic character development, and impressive writing style weave a captivating fantasy romance story.
- I loved the world building in this story, with its twists and turns, magic and mages. I liked the mystery behind who Lucian really is, and how he and Corwin complement each other in more ways than one.  The characters pulled me in, and I thought the plot was an interesting take and weaving in of several genre tropes.
- I loved the world building and plot development, but thought the developing relationship between the two main characters was outstanding.

tied with Geoffrey the Very Strange by Angel Martinez:
- I enjoyed this story very much. A smartly written story about finding out who you are by having others believe in you.  
- Apsic and Geoffrey are perfect for each other. Geoffrey, his family, and the town, give a place of acceptance that Aspic has been searching for and needs. Aspic gives Geoffrey the confidence to be who is and love himself and open himself back to others after shutting himself off for so long. The world and town are a joy and expertly built to enhance the reader experience. The secondary characters are rich and add to the appeal of the story and we get some trademark Martinez uniqueness to problem-solving and using things in unexpected ways. Martinez understands fantasy, and she developed a great fantasy world, but she also turned expected tropes on their heads and made it even better.

Runners Up:
Must Love Demons (Magic Emporium #6) by Meghan Maslow
Farview (Greynox to the Sea) by Kim Fielding tied with Better Red (Ever After, New York #1) by Tara Lain
Witch Under Wraps  (Mythmatched) by E.J. Russell




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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

You Had One Job by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.:

- I have enjoyed books by both these authors so was curious as to how this one would play out. Needless to say i should not have worried. Pulled in from the beginning this book with its wonderful characters, as well as twists and turns really kept me reading. I would love to see more stories set in this world and hope the authors will have a follow up to it soon.
- Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of mob-related stories--that is, I don't seek them out. However, this one was so well written, fast-paced, and engaging that I was able to fall into the story anyway.

tied with Hitman vs Hitman by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.:
- I really enjoyed the action, snarky humour, the slow-burn to fast-ride, and the intelligence of both men!  I have a feeling Ricardo & August are just getting started!  I hope more of Ricardo's character comes to the fore in any upcoming novels.
- This is a dark story with characters that are a little on the rough side so if that is a problem for you, you may want to skip this book.  On the other hand if you love characters that make no excuses for who they are and a mystery that will keep you guessing then i recommend you pick this book up.  I already have book two on my reader and can't wait to start it.

Runners Up:
Benediction (Diversion #9) by Eden Winters tied with Decision (Diversion #8) by Eden Winters


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Man from Milwaukee by Rick R. Reed:

- This enthralling book exemplifies the best of fiction, combining compelling characters, an intricate plot, exhilarating twists and turns, and finally the perfect ending. Reed exhibits his mastery at storytelling through this memorable and moving book.
- I thought this was a very powerful story about loneliness, not fitting in, obsession, and fantasy. It’s not an easy read and is a very real journey into the dark side of human nature.  The characters are layered, and the setting atmospheric, and although I was nervous about what might happen next, I had to keep reading.
- Brilliantly written, suspenseful, chilling. Reed has an amazing ability to bring a story to full living and breathing life. This book is a must-read for fans of horror and psychological thrillers.
- Superb depiction of time and place – can almost smell the bus exhaust. Skillful tie-in to real-life events. Excellent depiction of one man's obsession and the damage his mental imbalance does to friends and family – but without losing the sense of his own humanity. Top-notch!
- Amazing blend of fact and fiction, delusion and reality. 
- One of the first thoughts to cross my mind on how to describe Mr. Reed's story is Mastermind, genius. Makes me wonder the amount of research the author has to do to be able to put on 'paper' the wonderful, derange, creepy, horrific stories he puts out. I'd go crazy! LOL This story in particular was done to perfection. If Mr. Reed's goal was to creep me out, Mission accomplished, Mr. Reed. Mission accomplished for this story really creep me out. The twists, especially toward the end, I wasn't expecting, and that is part of the 'mastermind' mentioned above. To have the reader believe in one thing to then learn that no, it's not what you've thought all along, is genius! For anyone who likes horror, intrigue, and the feeling of 'creeped out', this is for you. Highly recommended.

Runners Up:
Hallelujah by Kim Fielding & F.E. Feeley Jr.
Fade Out (Boystown #13) by Marshall Thornton
Year of the Rat (Dom Reilly Mysteries #1) by Marshall Thornton


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Anti-Quest (The Pudding Protocol Universe) by Angel Martinez:

- I love this story so much. Whether or not you are a DND fan, it has creative world development from the type of aliens to the dragons. It has enjoyable characters to root for along the way. If you are a DND fan, the story has easter eggs for the reader to enjoy and laugh along with. 
- Once again this author delivers a mind-bending array of fantasy worlds in a way that pleases, teases and rewards the reader with laugh-out-loud humor. As the third increment in The Pudding Protocol Universe series, characters are well-developed and dialog is sparkling. The plot is good but would have benefited with a tad less complexity. But this book, and the entire series, is well written and outrageously creative.
- The perfect mix of imagination, subversiveness, and humour. A delight from the first word to the last.

Runners Up:
Remember Me, Synthetica by K. Aten
Eye of the Damned (Terran-Novan Universe Series #3) by Sandra Barret
Lucky 8 (Lucky Breaks #2) by Rae D. Magdon


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

A Fine Mess (Brimstone #7) by Angel Martinez:

- I loved the mix of humour and seriousness in this story. The world building is fabulous and detailed, and the characters all feel very real, and quirky. I enjoyed the relationships and strong found family vibe, and the twists in the plot. There’s a lot going on, yet this was a fast read as once I started I didn’t want to put it down. Although I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, but now want to, I didn’t have any problems following. 
- The finish to the Brimstone series is excellent. All the loose storylines come together and get a payout. We get the answers we've wanted for this found family and they get the ending they deserve. This is a strong ending to a fun and wild series, with laughs and serious moments for us to enjoy this crew.

Runners Up:
Entity (A StarStation Novel) by Toshi Drake
Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters tied with Penumbra by Dan Ackerman


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

A Leap of Faith by Mel Gough:

- Different setting, well researched, well written
- A well-written and engrossing tale of forbidden love set against the restrictive 1950’s with an international backdrop, great historical details, and intriguing characters — well done!
- For me, LEAP OF FAITH is another winner = 10 all around.

Runners Up:
Silent Sin (A 1920s Hollywood Gay Romance) by E.J. Russell
The God's Eye (Lancaster's Luck #3) by Anna Butler


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Where The Hell Is Tessa Ryker? (Rachel Cord Confidential Investigations) by R.E. Conary:

- Well written well paced, a somewhat cozy (except for the very start), but nonetheless gripping thriller-mystery. Although part of a series this book can be read as a stand-alone. The characters are well fleshed out and likable. The conflicts are well developed. 

Runners Up:
The Crystal’s Curse by Jane Alden
Stone's Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) by Adrian J. Smith


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee:

- This book was freaking awesome. I was drawn into the story from the very first page, and rivetted until the last. I’d definitely read more. I found it a bit morbid in parts, but I think that’s what made the story so interesting.
- I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's beautifully written, intelligent, touching, spooky. It's insightful about what it's like to be a teenage intellectual, what it's like to struggle with mental illness, and how it feels to dip into the darker side of spirituality. All in all, a remarkable read. 

Runners Up:
Dead Sea (Mia Kerick Story Ballads #2) by Mia Kerick
Stranger Things: Rebel Robin by A.R. Capetta


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2020-2021 Rainbow Awards: Lesbian Fantasy

 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

The Road to Kalazad by K.L. Mitchell:

- I must admit if I had to buy this book I would have looked at the cover and not given it a chance, but once I got into the story I realised I was in for a great adventure.
- This is a massively refreshing, if supremely quirky, fantasy storyline with a centaur and her girlfriend as the protagonists. Once one accepts the basic premise of the story, where otherness and difference combine to sweet resolution, the story is extremely well written. The dialog is hilarious, the characters well formed and the odyssey a non-stop travelogue of freaks, weirdoes and perfectly normal misfits. This is a true sleeper of a good book and deserves to be widely read as the clever metaphor it is.
- Sweet, fun, and cleverly amusing. I was quite taken by Revka and Iyarra and enjoyed their adventures a great deal.

Runners Up:
Trafalgar & Boone Against the Forty Elephants by Geonn Cannon
Uncharted by Alli Temple


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

How to Steal a Star by Geonn Cannon:

- This is an engaging and interesting plot: Women who write history. At times it presses the point a bit too much, but still great to see she-roes doing great things. The writing flows well (what is it with lie/lay escaping editing?). The end is a bit too optimistic. 
- Interesting read. Writer moves plot/storyline at a good pace.  Well written characters.
- Excellent character development and pacing in service of a decent if somewhat repetitive theme and plot and predictable outcome. Cannon is a very good writer and that saves this book from mediocrity.
- I know this author fairly well and I am glad to say that this book is a solid one between his bibliography. The plot was not only solid but had a lot of momentum to it, making it interesting during the whole journey. The characters had a vivid voice to themselves that made it easy to picture them as distinct individuals. I was particularly happy with the setting that was very peculiar and that made the book even more intriguing. Good read so much so that I would read a next instalment if he ever would like to go for it.

Runners Up:
Face the Wind (Little Sister Island Series #2) by Caren J. Werlinger
Accidental Desperados by Lee Lynch


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Frost & Raine by K.L. Noone:

- A unique twist on opposites attract pairs a divorce lawyer who is a Cupid and a coffee house owner who is a Frost. Both are nuanced characters who have misgivings about jumping into a relationship. The understated BDSM thread acts to flesh out one of the main characters. Seattle weather also helps to play up the drama between the two.
- One thing I wasn't expecting was to learn that Raine was a submissive. That took me by surprise. I enjoyed the story quite a lot. Both MCs are lovely, as well as the people who work for Dom at the cafe. The coffee creations were out of this world. I'm not sure if I'd have the courage to try some of them, but I'm so glad Raine did, and that he liked them as well. Most of the story concentrates inside the Cafe and there was a lot of fun banter not just between Raine and Don, but with the staff as well as the customers. It felt like everyone was snooping, holding their breath every time Raine came in for his daily coffee. And when they finally confessed their love, It felt as if everyone let out a swoosh of breath, glad to be witnesses of the confession. Overall, quite a fantastic story, enjoyable, one to read again and again.

Runners Up:
When I First Saw Red (The Soldiers and Mercenaries) by Kasia Bacon
The Envoy's Honor (Chronicles of Tournai #8) by Antonia Aquilante


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2020-2021 Rainbow Awards: Gay Fantasy

 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

King of the Dark (Prince’s Assassin #1) by Ariana Nash:

- This was an exceptional book. So good, in fact, that just had to go and buy Volumes two and three right after finishing it. So thank you for the pleasure of getting to read it! Composition of the arc of tension was incredibly well done. Just enough information to keep the reader invested in the proceedings of the story, always with hints thrown in of more to come, but not too sparsely, so I never got confused as to what was going on. A compelling, fascinating, totally absorbing story. Classic high fantasy setting in a vaguely medieval, magic-infused social system.The worldbuilding was subtle, giving a certain sense of place, but only just. I could've done with a map. Introduction and development of the main characters was another highlight of this book. With one exception, however, the side characters remained flat and sketchy. Said exception, though? Scarily brilliant. He almost stole the show from the leads. This would've been yet another ten if not for some editing glitches, like missing half sentences and such. In a book of that high caliber, these oversights stood out.
- This book was a refreshing read compared to the majority of the books I read in the last two years awards. 
- Wow. This is a new author to me, and I’ll be buying the rest of the series as I need to know what happens next. The story and characters pulled me in and kept me hooked until the end.  I didn’t see the character twist coming, especially about a character I got very invested in.  I thought this was a well written, wonderfully executed, dark fantasy. I need to check out the other series by this author now too.

Runners Up:
The First Age (The Secret Histories #1) by Arshad Ahsanuddin
The Midnight Man by Kevin Klehr


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

A Blind Eye by David Jackson Ambrose:

- Painful to read how people are so mistreated. David Jackson Ambrose, I think, has a bright future. Ambrose is very good at setting. When I first began reading the prologue/epilogue to David Jackson Ambrose's novel, I held little hope for it. Boy, was I wrong. This novel is phenomenal, transcending the genre. I can't praise it enough.It was the setting that first drew me in. The Lark Bar, Leviticus Street, and Morristown. No clumsiness here--the characters inhabit the setting, and the setting seems like the destiny that drives them.Then the characterization. What a marvel. These are fully realized people, not stick figures. You can't anticipate what they're going to do until they do it, and then the action seems as preordained as the meeting of Oedipus and his father at the place where three roads meet. There are really no minor characters. Babe and Chance, or course. But Alise and Reuben! Even the bulldog Mitzi. Mister Mitch and Peggy Ann, who help Alise move out of her house. Each one a miracle.Then the plot. You never know where it's going to go. Until it goes there, and, of course, the destination seems inevitable.This is one serious writer who really needs to reach a wider audience.Can't resist quoting this delicious piece of dialogue between white Alise and her mixed-race child, Reuben, as they spend the night in the car:“Mama, can you tell me a story?“What do you want to hear?He shook his head. “Anything.“Okay. Let’s see. There once lived a town mouse in a great big city with a nice big house. The town mouse once visited a relative who lived in the country. For lunch the country mouse served wheat stalks, roots, and acorns with a dash of cold water for drink.Rueben laughed and frowned. “Roots and wheat stalks? Who wants to eat roots and wheat stalks, Mom?“Do you want to hear the story or not?“Okay, sorry.“So, anyway, the town mouse ate very sparingly, nibbling a little of this and a little of that, and by her manner, making it very plain, she ate the simple food only to be polite.“I wouldn’t even be trying to be polite.“After the meal, the friends had a long talk, or rather the town mouse talked about her grand life in the city. . . There were sweetmeats—Rueben snickered. “Sweetmeats? That sounds whack.“Where’d you learn that ghetto talk? You don’t talk like that around me. You leave that right where you got it.He huffed. “Mom. They say that on SpongeBob.“Well, you leave it on SpongeBob. I’m not raising SpongeBob. Okay. How ‘bout this? On the table was some macaroni and cheese, candied yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, and fried chicken with fresh made lemonade.“Now that’s what I’m talking about!“So SpongeBob says ‘now that’s what I’m talking about’?
- It took a long while to get through this book, for several reasons. First, the subject matter is difficult and unpleasant. Second, as a white man reading a book largely about black experiences, I wanted to be as objective as possible, afraid I’d lower my assessment because of my personal discomfort. It also didn’t help that the book is long at 370 pages. That said, I did like learning about PWS, which I’d never heard of before. I liked seeing the different types of cultural appropriation and outright lies (made with the “best of intentions, of course). The opening is great, the POV strong, comparing and contrasting Black/white interpretations of the same experience. There was far too much exposition for my taste, though, but that’s also subjective. It just takes a long time before anything happens. There’s a fascinating dog bite scene, an interesting and unexpected development in the relationship between Babe and Chance, lots of truly interesting stuff in here. But it’s mostly unhappy and tragic, and because of my white privilege, I set the book aside for long periods before returning to it. Because it was uncomfortable. It’s a well-written book, worth reading, but it’s not one I’ll read again. I’m not sure I’m the target audience, though there was plenty of info in there I needed to know. So take my reflections with a grain of salt.
- I loved this book from the start and was hooked on the story for a number of reasons. The first thing that stood out was the wonderful writing that was both beautiful and gave you a real sense of the place and people without getting too bogged down in detail. And then there were the characters. I had to know more about them. As the story unfolded it didn't disappoint.

Runner Up:
Drama Faerie (Nicky and Noah Mysteries #9) by Joe Cosentino


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And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Freedom (F-Word) by E. Davies:
Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. But Henry’s junk does.
Agoraphobe Jaden shouldn’t have let his big brother put a ticket in a blind date raffle for him. He wasn’t expecting to win. And certainly not an overnight trip to the Grand Canyon with a gorgeous stranger—and his total opposite, a hunky wilderness guide.
Henry's excited to meet a guy he clicks with, having finally finished bottom surgery. He’s been living stealth as the man he is for years, but he’s growing tired of hiding his past. Jaden not only accepts him, he captivates Henry, who resolves to be courageous and vulnerable in the rest of his life.
Back home in Denver, Henry starts to take pride in reconnecting with the trans community, while Jaden pushes himself out of his comfort zone. But freedom always comes at a price. Can they take the plunge into their wide open future together?

Runner Up:
Taken by Storm (Dandies, Inc. #4) by G.R. Lyons


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Passion of a Papillon (Fuzzy Love #1) by Tara Lain:

- Tara Lain has some serous writing chops. The writing style is lively and original, and Lain has a gift for the arresting turn of phrase. I knew I would like Passion of a Papillon early on, when I read seeing a world through such rose-colored glasses, she should have gotten pink eye. A really fun read.
- This is one of the most organic meet-cutes I have ever read. Let me be clear about what I mean when I say this: most meet-cutes are helped along by expectation of the interaction, and thus the author is forgiven a certain amount of hand waving in acceptance of this pact between author and reader. But this meeting between potential lovers flows so seamlessly, the characters coming together as a natural procession of events and with so little finagling of the plot-- it's an utter delight. Though I felt the pacing of the story didn't truly find itself until the second half, the tension and reveal were deftly built, and then it was an engrossing ride toward the climactic encounter. And let's not even skimp on how adorable the doggo is! I love Batshit and all her little quirks, not the least of which is her NAME. Still chuckling here. 

Runner Up:
Hollywood To Horses by Dez Schwartz





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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

Shadow of Justice by Jess Faraday:

- These long short stories, pieced together to create a novel, start off strong and remain consistently engaging. Faraday has a strong command of language and is a solid storyteller. The atmosphere feels authentically Victorian, despite a possible anachronism or two. For instance, one of the stories has a character menaced by a perceived vampire, but the novel is set ten years before Bram Stoker’s “Dracula was published. Undoubtedly, there were popular Victorian legends before that, but it would have helped if the main character could have referred to one so the reader isn’t left wondering. After all, the character talks of Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allan Poe. A couple of the stories end with a limp last couple of lines, disappointing since the stories themselves are consistently riveting. In one story, the story shifts too quickly from Pearce being thoroughly focused on a missing dog to three sentences later forgetting the dog and tracking down a possible curse. The abrupt shift is jarring. And finally, in Scotland, Pearce and Cal have a falling out that in real life would be all but impossible to overcome. I’m all for misunderstandings and mistakes and character imperfections, but I greatly dislike when an author makes their main character do something unreasonable and unforgiveable for no apparent reason other than to create “conflict in the story or relationship. Still, all that said, I found the book beautifully written. It’s accessible and comfortable and thoroughly compelling despite its mostly minor flaws. The breakup with Theo is handled with maturity and pathos. And, spoiler alert, the reunion of Cal and Pearce is lovely. Jess Faraday is an author I will be following.
- While technically an anthology, this book could also be viewed as a novel with eight longish chapters. Each short story is a murder-mystery, complete in itself, but with the same detective main character throughout. The plot of each mystery is intricate and intriguing, and kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat! I mention the novel view because the development of the main character is an arc that spans the eight stories, and we intimately see and feel his growth as he struggles with forces both external and internal. The secondary characters are also drawn with depths that make them vividly real. And speaking of reality, the author's attention to setting drew me in to the point I felt I was actually walking around in 19th-century London, Cornwall, and Edinburgh! I had not heard of this author before, but there's no question: I will read her entire backlist as time allows.
- I had not read anything by this author before and I don't usually like collections of shorter stories. I also don't often read historical fiction, but I do like it, when it is well-written!  This story was! The style of writing, the perfectly crafted and authentic setting and the complex characters really drew me into their ban. While this book is a collection of stories, there is a red line that leads through these stories, a romance that felt interesting and realistic with a lot of chemistry. The mysteries were very different, some very easy to solve, some impossible to solve, but always kept my interest. I loved and devoured these stories and am happy to have found a master wordsmith in this new-to-me author. I will need to check out her other works, too. 

Runner Up:
The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater


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 And the Rainbow Award goes to:

TAD by M.D. Neu:

- This was a wonderful story! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the angel of death and the drag queen/hairstylist's lives, especially when it covers an entire life span (get tissues, you'll need them). Although it covers some very tragic events in real life, they were portrayed with care. We have TAD, the angel of death, wanting to diminish the amount of death in catastrophic events which cost him his wings and to be sent to live life on Earth as punishment. Then we have Doug, who cares so much about humanity that when he meets TAD he can't pass by without giving the smelly, dishevelled man a hand, thinking him a homeless man, which he was at the time. Bringing TAD to the salon to give him a makeover, Doug then brings him home where TAD spends years watching Doug ruin his life with alcohol and drugs. This friendship continues throughout the decades until Doug's final days. What a beautiful tale this was. I thoroughly enjoyed this well written story. This is also my first MD Neu book and I'm looking forward to reading others from this author.
- Drag queen befriends the Angel of Death. What a great premise! I loved this, particularly the relationship between Doug and Tad and the way it developed. 

Runner Up:
Duking It Out by E.J. Russell


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Appointments


2016 LGBT Rainbow Awards

2016 Guidelines
2015 Winners

In the Spotlight

Top 100 Gay Novels List - Simple
Top 100 Gay Novels List - Wanted

Art

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Gay Themed Movie

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The Inside Reader

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Top 100 Inside Readers Novels

LGBT Fashion Designers

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Check out my books

Gay Romance Challenge


Gay Commercial


Around the World



visited 20 states (8.88%)
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visited 15 states (30%)
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Gay Classics

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Romance History

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Main Tags


Characters: Alpha Males, Cinderfellas (from rags to riches...), Friends (with benefits), Multicultural Lovers, Pretty... Men! (hustlers) & Virgins (at least in one way)
Dream Lovers: Cowboys, Pirates & Sheikhs
Erotica (M/F)
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Futuristic, Historical & Paranormal
Length: Short Story, Novella & Novel
Men in Uniform: Cops / Detectives / PIs, Firefighters & Military
Non Conventional Lovers: Elves, Gods, Deity & Witches, Furry Lovers, Shapeshifters & Vampires
Otherwordly Lovers: Angels, Demons & Ghosts
Possible Futures: Apocalypse Now & Back to the Future
Relationships: Bondage / Submission, Breeches Rippers, Coming of Age, Disability, Gay for You, Male Pregnancy, May / December, Ménage a trois (or more...), Silver Romance & Twincest
Settings: Art World, College, Medical Romance, Office Affairs, Seasonal Romance, Show Business & Sports
Yaoi (manga)
From Movie to Novel (and viceversa)
Top 100 Gay Novels List

Secondary Tags


Activist
Actor
Artist: illustrator, painter, photographer, sculptor
Author: novelist, playwright, poet, screenwriter, writer
Dancer: dance, choreographer
Designer: architect, costumer, fashion designer, graphic designer, hairstylist, makeup artist, set designer, tailor
Director: director, stage director
Eccentric: aristocrat, art collector, drag queen, explorer, female impersonator, heir/heiress, hostess, lover, muse, prostitute, socialite, spy, survivor
Essayist: anthropologist, archivist, biologist, columnist, critic, editor, educator, historian, journalist, lecturer, librarian, linguistic, philosopher, professor, psychoanalyst, psychologist, psychotherapist, publisher, reporter, researcher, scholar, sexologist, sociologist, teacher, theorist
Leader: commander, emperor, judge, monarch, officer, politician, senator, statistician, warrior
Model
Musician: arranger, composer, conductor, lyricist, pianist, singer, songwriter, violinist
Producer: producer, manager, entrepreneur
Sport

Preditors & Editors Poll






Amazon Profile




My Associate Amazon Store

Goodreads Profile


Top reviewer
Best reviewer
Top user
Top librarian
Most followed


Library Thing Helper Badgers


(Gold Medal) Helper for contributions to any area of LibraryThing
(Gold Medal) Common Knowledge for contributions to Common Knowledge
(Gold Medal) Work Combination for help maintaining LibraryThing's work system
(Silver Medal) Author Combination for help combining author names together
(Bronze Medal) Distinct authors for splitting homonymous authors into distinct authors

Publishers


List of LGBT publishers (for reviews look the Tags section)
Detailed List

Ego Surfing


Who links me



Statistics




ClustrMaps



Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings
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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 LJ'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 LJ's owner.

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