And the Rainbow Award goes to:
1) Nell Stark & Trinity Tam - Everafter (Bold Strokes Books)
This is a very intriguing storyline. The characters stay true throughout. The setting and the transformations, intricately drawn to the smallest detail, were fascinating. --Julie
This story really pulled me in, and it had characters I cared about and found believable. Val had a strong voice and a strong sense of personality. Her slip into vampirism was compelling, as was her grief over the thought of distancing herself from her girlfriend in order to save Alexa´s life. Alexa was equally strong, refusing to abandon Val and fighting to save their relationship against crazy odds, even risking her life to become a Were so she could stay with Val. I loved the clinical explanation about the blood-eating parasite that causes Val to become a vampire, and the mythos the authors build around vampires and werewolves. Everafter is a rich, wonderfully imagined story with strong, believable, and wholly sympathetic characters. Superb. --Kate C.
WOW!!!!!!!! What a book! This is absolutly the best book I've read for this competition. The authors kept the story moving at high speed from the first word. The interaction between the two main characters is amazing -- and as their alter egos of vampire and werepanther became integrated into the story -- the story became even more fast paced and exciting. Their sex life was well integrated into the story and it wasn't kept at a minimum as most stories are -- it was ongoing throughout the story. A super, super story and well worth reading! --Debra
How far would you go to save your lover’s soul? When medical student Valentine Darrow is bitten by a Vampire on her way home to propose to her lover, Alexa Newland, her life becomes a nightmare. She is consumed—both by a craving for human blood, and by an obsession to find her attacker and bring him to justice. Alexa is determined to be everything that Valentine needs, but when Val's appetite outstrips Alexa's ability to nourish her, Alexa risks her life to save her lover. Will Valentine be able to control her thirst—for blood and for vengeance? And can Valentine and Alexa's relationship endure against seemingly impossible odds?
2) Moondancer Drake - Natural Order (P.D. Publishing)
Great story, nice tease for a sequel, I wished for more details of the clan history. --Julie
The opening of this book grabs you by the throat and pulls you in. The plot is layered, with many surprises supported by excellent character development. Very descriptive prose builds realistic settings that readers can feel, and the characters are vibrantly detailed. I especially like the variety of multi-cultural characters, and the exploration of Native American beliefs. It can be difficult to build a romance after tragedy, but the author does so with a subtle hand and a rich story. The sex is understated and tender. Overall, an excellent book. --Jem
I very much enjoyed this book but something was missing, in my opinion. --Mitzie
An evening at the movies turns into a living nightmare for Elizabeth Crew as her lover Dusty battles for their lives and the unborn baby Elizabeth is carrying. Dusty’s dying request is that Elizabeth go live with Dusty’s family, where she and the baby will be safe. Dusty’s family takes Elizabeth into their home with open arms and a bit of concern. What will happen if Elizabeth learns that her new family includes shape-shifters? For Elizabeth, the family secrets are not all that awaits her in the darkness.
3) Gill McNight - Goldenseal (Bold Strokes Books)
Great story, hard to know who’s telling the truth. A 20-30 something young lady who spent summers in a particular area is invited back to work on natural species paintings, but there are lots of secrets she doesn’t know. Her teenage girlfriend who broke her heart, is there demanding to be her guide, she refuses that guidance which puts her, unknowingly, in great danger. --Debra
Publisher/Author L.L. Raand (Radclyffe) lists Goldenseal as one of her favorites. It took me a while to get into the book at first--one of the MCs seemed so objectionable. But the book unfolded slowly, subtly, and inexorably toward a stunning conclusion that not only explained everything, but made the ending seem satisfying and well earned. This was really outstanding. --Jessica
When Amy Fortune returns to her childhood home, she discovers something sinister in the air—but is former lover Leone Garoul stalking her or protecting her? Amy Fortune and Leone Garoul were teenage lovers. Now, years later, Amy returns to Little Dip, the Garoul home valley to help her aunt finish a botanical project. Except Little Dip is no longer the happy place of Amy’s childhood memories. There’s something sinister in the woods. And why hasn’t Leone moved on? Why does she still dog Amy’s every move? As more and more of the Garoul family arrive for a special hunting weekend, parts of the puzzle come together and Amy’s fears escalate as she moves closer to the truth—and the secret that has eluded her since childhood.
4) Winter Pennington - Witch Wolf (Bold Strokes Books)
5) L.L. Raand - The Midnight Hunt (Bold Strokes Books)
Rainbow Awards: Best Lesbian Paranormal / Horror
And the Rainbow Award goes to: