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Best Gay Contemporary Romance

And the Rainbow Award goes to:

1) Sloan Parker – Breathe
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 16, 2010)
Amazon: Breathe

Lincoln McCaw lost everything -- his home, his job, his partner -- after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has. Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything -- a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.

2) Kimberly Gardner - Too Soon For Love
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608202992
ISBN-13: 978-1608202997
Amazon: Too Soon For Love

I liked everything of this book. The pace from grieving to new love was perfect. --Anke

A touching m/m romance about loss, second chance and deception. It also has a pretty intriguing plot that creates tensions and valid conflicts in the story. Extra points for including the struggle for a gay character with disability, that aspect enriched the story a lot. Overall, a solid romance with right amount of angst and plot. --Eve

Emotional story with great characters --Juni

Michael Stricker is still reeling from his partner's sudden and untimely death when he meets someone new, someone he could really care about. But first he needs time, time to get his life back in order and time to get over is lost love. But learning to live alone again is nearly impossible with his well-meaning relatives treating him like a poor helpless blind guy. When Alan Stuart befriends Phillip DiMartino's grieving partner, the last thing he expects is to discover hidden lies and infidelity. Guilty over his attraction to the still-grieving man, Alan resolves to stay silent. But the truth has a way of coming out, and soon a dead man's secrets bring about more heartbreak than Alan could have imagined. Although both men vow to keep their distance, staying away is easier said than done, even when it's Too Soon For Love.

3-tie) A.B. Gayle – Caught
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 7, 2010)
Amazon: Caught

When Daniel's invalid landlady asks for his help preventing a possible suicide from the clifftop near their home, he doesn't want to disappoint her. So he grits his teeth, picks up his camera, and goes out to play the Chinese tourist. He's done it before: befriended the lonely, lured them away from the danger zone, acted as a safety net. This time, the figure staring out to sea is way out of his league, his complete opposite, the sort of man Daniel's always admired from afar. Then the attractive Taylor turns the tables and lures Daniel out from behind the safety of his camera, and as Daniel finds himself fighting off an attraction he can't deny, he realizes he's in danger of being caught. Will the camera expose truths about himself that he wants to keep hidden?

Ally Blue - These Haunted Heights
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608201848
ISBN-13: 978-1608201846
Amazon: These Haunted Heights

The way Ron and Drew met and got together was well-paced. The story felt real--including the small town reaction to seeing two out gay men having a quiet dinner at a local restaurant. Sad but true. Again, the author did a wonderful job in the way the isolation yet beautiful countryside was both a paradise (for city boy Ron) and a cold place (for country man Drew). --Luce

The tiny town of Sebastian's Bluff is a photojournalist's dream come true. But Ron Winters doesn't expect the moody, mysterious man next door to get under his skin and stay there. When Drew LaSalle meets Ron, feelings he thought twenty years gone stir to life again. He wants what he could have with Ron. But does he want it enough to get past his own walls and grasp it? Secrets, spirits and tragedy converge as Ron peels back the layers of Drew's past and Drew fights both Ron and his own ghosts on the haunted road to happily ever after.

Honourable Mention:

5) Anel Viz - P'tit Cadeau
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456552430/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Generally, I loved the story and thought the writing style to be good. The main character development for Ben was pitch perfect - I understood his complexity but I had a difficult time believing Jean-Yves authenticity. --Janet

6) R.J. Scott - The Christmas Throwaway
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/145647796X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

From the first chapter, the author draws you into the story and you cannot put the book down until the very end. I like how the author described just enough about the setting and did not bog it down with a description of everything. You still got the feel of the people of the town and the feeling of the season. Oh wow! I just can't say enough about the characters. Plain and simple, every now and then a reader can come across a story and you FEEL what the characters are feeling and that is exactly how I felt reading this story. -- Rachel

7-tie) Sue Brown - Nothing Ever Happens
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1615818561/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

LOVED IT! I love how Ms. Brown starts a story at the beginning and takes all the way to the end. When she writes about her characters, you get to know them, love them, or hate them. She makes you feel these are people that you personally know. The story flows from beginning to end. There wasn't any part of it where I felt like I was lost in what the author was trying to say. --Rachel

Heidi Cullinan - Dance with Me
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005OD5ZP8/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Wow. This book just bowled me over - the characterizations and plot development created just enough angst to make my heart ache for them to come together. By far and away the best book I have read in a long time. --Jorgi-Anne

This held my interest despite the whiny character of Laurence, the dancer. The dance details were interesting and used cleverly. --J.P.

9-tie) Feliz Faber - City Falcon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/161372098X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The premise of this story was very unique, the writer's voice was strong, the characters were strong and well-drawn, and the sex was very hot. I really enjoyed the book and found it very engaging once I started it. --Ellis

Mickie B. Ashling – Momentos
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1613721544/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Generally not a fan of 1st person narrative but the way the author describes the setting is truly magnificent. Even on the first page as they describe the scent of curry in the air and the feeling of the warm crowded apartment, it's as if you're actually living it. --Alannah

Amy Lane - Living Promises
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1613720467/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Six years ago, Jeff Beachum comforted a frightened teenager outside an HIV treatment clinic, and Collin Waters has remembered his kindness ever since. Now, after six years of crushing on the kind, brown-eyed sweetheart of his dreams, Collin is feeling adult and together enough to make his move. Too bad fate, which has never been kind to Jeff, has something else in mind. Jeff's life had fallen completely apart before that long-ago day, and it isn't much better now.

Anah Crow & Dianne Fox - One Real Thing
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GB1T86/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The story was good and both characters very likable. Holly at times was hard to believe, but such a person, you wanted to believe him. I enjoyed this story a great deal, and might even read again, if the mood strikes. -- Merith

M. King - Light and Water
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608202542/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

This is by far my favorite of the bunch! I was really hesitant to start this book, as I read somewhere a bad review, but after starting it I was captivated! The story moved along very nice, the development between Dan and Cesare was really believing, the way they dealt with each other and their problems was totally comprehensible and the writing style was just perfect. --Anke

Katrina Strauss - Sonoran Heat
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/160272766X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Tony is newly single, lonely, and stuck in the past. When he grabs a late-night meal at an old haunt, his trip down memory lane is derailed by gorgeous waiter Josh. Tony sees a chance for a fresh start with the twenty-one-year-old, but worries chasing a man half his age will lead to heartache. It's hard to resist when Josh intrigues Tony on an intellectual level--and fires the landscaper's libido hotter than the Arizona desert they call home. Josh has goals.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC)
I'm really honored to be included amongst these great books. I do appreciate all the work you do promoting the genre and giving encouragement to the authors. Thanks Elise.
Dec. 8th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
Elisa, what a wonderful surprise to receive an Honorable Mention for Momentos! Being included in this group of outstanding writers is a prize in and of itself.

Many thanks to you, the judges, and the readers who have helped to make this annual event such a success.

Dec. 10th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)

I'm going to buy ''Breath'', although I suspect it might be a bit too intense for me (or melodramatic, to use the words of a friend of mine). But I'd like to make up my own opinion.

I've already read ''Caught '': that was good!


Dec. 10th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
I read Breathe yesterday, and it's not so angst as expected by the plot. Now I'm missing only Ally Blue to complete this category. Gardner and Gayle were quite good too. I notice all these books are heavy on the drama, maybe it's this year trend.
Dec. 10th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)

Well, it's a trend I don't much appreciate...
Dec. 10th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind to see a bit of comedy here and there ;-)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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