1) Alan Chin - The Lonely War (Zumaya Publications)
This is a very demanding but oh-so-rewarding book. While I don't know if I would read it again--at 303 pages which included some rough passages I'd rather not experience again--I can honestly say that this is a book that deserves to be read by fans of m/m who want a more realistic angle OR maybe something that is slightly off-center. It's a brilliant novel. One I'm happy I got the chance to immerse myself in. --Luce
This, I have to say, was the Jewel in the Crown of my Rainbow Award books. It was an EXCELLENT read. It kept me rapt and I can honestly say, that I never, ever, not once, knew what would happen next - but when whatever it was unfolded, I believed it. This, for me, represents very good quality writing. It is not predictable, it is realistic, emotionally engaging, engrossing and very well written. A truly worthy contender for the top spot in this category in my opinion. --Rosie
Andrew Waters, son of an American diplomat and a Chinese mother, already has two strikes against him when he joins the crew of the USS Pilgrim not long after Pearl Harbor--his mixed heritage and his pacifism. He never expects he will fall in love with his handsome commanding officer. The crew of the Pilgrim is captured and sent to the notorious Changi POW camp. The man Andrew loves will die without proper medical treatment. To save his life, Andrew makes a choice that could destroy not just his future but his life.
2) Heidi Cullinan - Special Delivery (Dreamspinner Press)
Amazing story with just the right level of kinkiness;) I really couldn't find any drawbacks:) --Caroline
Sam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa—not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. But before his mother died, he promised her he’d grow up to be a good man, so he needs a stable career and a good husband, not a dead-end job and empty sex. Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to an affair, and when Mitch offers to take Sam on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure with his fantasy man... but Mitch also comes with a past. A threesome with the other man in Mitch’s life would have been just another kinky ride, but somewhere between the Mississippi River and the Colorado Rockies, Sam falls in love. But can a relationship born out of escape and indulgence become something that lasts? Will a fantasy man be willing to settle down into reality, or is the adventure and excitement Sam finds with Mitch just another stop on a delivery man’s journey? For better or for worse, eventually Sam is going to discover the answer, because no matter how far away he travels, eventually all roads lead home.
3-tie) Donald Hardy - Lovers' Knot (Running Press)
My first historical and surprisingly great w/ mystery and paranormal aspects to it. Thanks for this - who knows how long I would have gone without reading a historical if it weren't for your contest! : ) --Ethan D.
This was a wondefully told story-and for the M/M genre it rises well above most. The characters were well developed and quite real (important), the setting was marvellous, and the story was one that will not only keep you interested but will linger. I loved the supernatural element and all that went with it. A nice big thumbs up for this one. Love the Cover TOO!!! --Robert
Jonathan Williams has inherited Trevaglan Farm from a distant relative. With his best friend, Alayne, in tow, Jonathan returns to the estate to take possession, meet the current staff, and generally learn what it’s like to live as the landed gentry now. He’d only been there once before, fourteen years earlier. But that was a different time, he’s a different person now, determined to put that experience out of his mind and his heart….The locals agree that Jonathan is indeed different from the lost young man he was that long ago summer, when he arrived at the farm for a stay after his mother died. Back then the hot summer days were filled with sunshine, the nearby ocean, and a new friend, Nat. Jonathan and the farmhand had quickly grown close, Jonathan needing comfort in the wake of his grief, and Nat basking in the peace and love he didn’t have at home.But that was also a summer of rumors and strange happenings in the surrounding countryside, romantic triangles and wronged lovers. Tempers would flare like a summer lightning storm, and ebb just as quickly. By the summer’s end, one young man was dead, and another haunted for life.Now Jonathan is determined to start anew. Until he starts seeing the ghost of his former friend everywhere he looks. Until mementos of that summer idyll reappear. Until Alayne’s life is in danger. Until the town’s resident witch tells Jonathan that ghosts are real. And this one is tied to Jonathan unto death…
Geoffrey Knight - The Riddle of the Sands (Cleis Press)
Geoffrey has created a fascinating novel! I found this to be a superb and fast-paced book to read. It could conceivably become a James Bond or another Indiana Jones movie, but with sexy, male-to-male sexy relationships. I could not put this book down! I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more books by the author! --Byron
I enjoyed this book. It ended up being my favorite of the five I read. --Ken
This is the second in the Fathom Five Adventure series-the previous book being The Cross of Sins. This book picks up where the other leaves off, and once again Knight delivers and exciting erotic tale filled with action and suspense. Some may feel that the things get repetitious at times, but then consider what someone who picks up this book wants from it. This is not literature (as such) but it delivers the goods in a respectable way. Fans of Knight will be delighted. The cover of course will motivate many to pick it up (smart move), but those who actually pick it up to read it will get what they want and more. Cleis is again a publisher you can count on. --Robert
Hot gay tomb raiders. Blackmailed by Jake's nemesis—the vengeful Pierre Perron—Professor Fathom's team of gay adventure-hunters is sent on a seemingly impossible mission. Will they uncover the legendary Riddle of the Sands in time to save one of their own from a rare and deadly poison? Is the Riddle a myth, a mirage, or the greatest engineering feat in the history of ancient Egypt?