1-tie) Marten Weber - Benedetto Casanova, The Memoirs
Paperback: 414 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 18, 2011)
Amazon: Benedetto Casanova, The Memoirs
I liked this book very much. Had sex and history all beautifully combined that you lose yourself in his words, his descriptions, his passions. It was expertly done, very nice and reading more than 500 pages I wanted it to go on for more, a 1000 pages still would be enjoyable. What a story Casanova writes! A beautiful history lesson. --Mick
This was an incredible piece of literature and should definitely be considered for the final award. While the writing was excellent and the historical research was compelling, I had a serious problem with the fact that so much of this book was centered on sex. It was like reading a glorified hand job digest. --Johnny
Great pastiche of the original, but just too long. --Lee
No doubt you have heard of Casanova, the famous womanizer, and maybe you’ve seen the movie, or read the account of his life. But did you know he may have had a gay brother? Benedetto, a few years Giacomo’s junior, was pressed into service of the Church, to follow the famous lover of women through the courts of Europe. On the way he had amorous adventures with countless men, but, unlike his brother, fell in love and kept alive a romantic relationship with a strapping German soldier over time and distance. Benedetto Casanova’s (fictional) memoirs were discovered only in 1881, when an English traveler rummaging through a private library in Rome found them glued to the pages of a book. They were written in Italian and have never before been published in English. Marten Weber delivers a wonderful "translation" of this challenging text, full of linguistic cunning and his usual talent for breathtaking eroticism.
Tamara Allen - The Only Gold
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 21, 2011)
Amazon: The Only Gold
I loved this book, couldn't put it down and stayed up way too late several nights running to finish it. --Anne
Ms Allen writes some of THE best historical romance stories ever; she does it very well. She can drop a reader into the era and locale within a handful of paragraphs and never look back. In ‘Gold’, her plot thickened and developed, foreshadowing events with just enough mystic to not give it all away. This was a most excellent story and one I will read again and enjoy with as much verve. --Merith
Jonah Woolner's life is as prudently regulated as the bank where he works. It's a satisfying life until he's passed over for promotion in favor of newcomer Reid Hylliard. Brash and enterprising, Reid beguiles everyone except Jonah, who's convinced Reid's progressive ideas will be the bank's ruin. When Jonah begins to discover there's more to Reid than meets the eye, he risks succumbing to Reid's charms-but unlocking the vault to all of Reid's secrets could lead him down a dangerous path. Losing his promotion-and perhaps his heart-is the least of Jonah's difficulties. When the vengeful son of a Union army vet descends upon the bank to steal a government deposit of half a million dollars during the deadliest blizzard to ever sweep New York, Jonah and Reid are trapped, at odds and fighting for their lives.
2) Tracy Rowan - Suffer the Little Children
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (January 26, 2011)
Amazon: Suffer the Little Children
When Victorian private investigator Nick Romney’s step-father, an Anglican bishop, is murdered, Nick refuses to get involved. At the urging of his family, though, Nick and his lover Davy step in to investigate. Together they uncover the truth of the bishop’s involvement in the dark and horrifying world of child prostitution, the reason why he was killed, and the shocking identity of the murderer.
3-tie) Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon - The Nobleman and the Spy
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (September 28, 2011)
Amazon: The Nobleman and the Spy
A beautiful book, takes place in England in the 1850s or so and filled with espionage, terroristic bombings and two men carelessly falling in love with each other. I liked it very much, one of the best books I've read in a long, long time. Congrats to authors Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. I'm still amazed that it was two women who wrote such a man's book, and as a man, I'm struck by it and always shake my head from disbelief yet I know that it's true. Great, wonderful job! --Mick
It’s a nicely written historical romance. I really liked how the relationship between two main characters has developed. The main intrigue was a bit boring sometimes, but the conversations between Karl and Jonathan rewarded reading the boring parts ;-) --Barbara
They once faced each other on a battlefield. Now soldier-turned-spy Jonathan Reese must keep watch over the man he’s never forgotten. A close encounter reveals Karl von Binder, the count’s son, also recalls the day he spared Jonathan’s life. Sparks fly between the former enemies and Jonathan begins to lose perspective on his mission. He knows he must maintain distance because the heat he encounters in Karl’s touch stirs him far too deeply for his own good. He can’t keep away -- especially when he suspects someone is trying to kill the nobleman. The spy becomes a protector as Jonathan guards the man he’s begun to care for. Together the men try to puzzle out who would benefit from Karl’s death -- and how much they’re willing to trust each other when a torrid sexual fling threatens to become an affair of the heart.
Erastes - Mere Mortals
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (March 23, 2011)
Amazon: Mere Mortals
Erastes is truly gifted in bringing a historical setting to life. The novel overflowed with detailed description, but never felt bogged down by it. And the language was completely on the mark for the time period. Plus, the characters warmed me and the mystery intrigued me. The story has a refreshing unpredictability that is often missing in gay romance. --Jem
Nice. Loved it. --Julia
Orphaned Crispin Thorne has been taken as ward by Philip Smallwood, a man he's never met, and is transplanted from his private school to Smallwood s house on an island on the beautiful but coldly remote, Horsey Mere in Norfolk. Upon his arrival, he finds that he's not the only young man given a fresh start. Myles Graham, and Jude Middleton are there before him, and as their benefactor is away, they soon form alliances and friendships, as they speculate on why they ve been given this new life. Who is Philip Smallwood? Why has he given them such a fabulous new life? What secrets does the house hold and what is it that the Doctor seems to know? Trust acclaimed author Erastes to tell a moving story in the field of gay historical romance.
6) Erastes - Last Gasp
Tributary by Erastes: It's 1936 and a generation of disaffected youth waits in the space between a war that destroyed many of their friends and family, and a war they know is bound to come. The White Empire by Chris Smith: Escaping in 1838 from the drawing rooms of Belgravia and the constraints of his landed family, Edgar Vaughan takes up missionary work in the trading post of Hong Kong. Sand by Charlie Cochrane: People come to Syria for many reasons: tourism, archaeology, or because they need to leave Edwardian England to escape potential disgrace. The Ninth Language by Jordan Taylor: Thousands of outsiders descend on Canada's Yukon Territory during the 1898 gold rush, wreaking havoc on the landscape and the indigenous people who live there.
7-tie) Rowan McAllister - A Devil's Own Luck
Rowan McAllister is one of my favourite authors in this genre. Great, as always. --Julia
Historical novels are in my sweet spot. This, I thought, was exceptionally well written. I've read this author before, and have enjoyed their previous works as well. --Jorgi-Anne
Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon - House of Mirrors
I liked both the romance and the mystery and felt that the story didn't rush in to tell us everything we needed to know in order to enjoy it. There's plenty of ambiance between the carnival and the early 20th century aspects. I didn't feel like I was hit on the head with too much info about the way things were back then either. The authors did a good job of giving the dialog enough of an "old times" vibe without making it sound too old school. --Luce
9) Morgan Cheshire - Solemn Contract
Publisher: Manifold Press
This book is sweet and charming. Set in early American history, it's not your usual m/m setting, which makes it all the more fun because the period feels accurate, as do the characters. The plot is not complex, but neither is it overly grim or unnecessarily harsh. Classic melodrama which a deft hand for keeping the same melodrama in check. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and recommend it happily. --Heidi
10) KC Warwick - Prove a Villain
Having returned to Elizabethan London after an absence of two years, Hugh Seaton is happy to resume his old job as tailor to the company of actors known as Strange's Men. He is less content when he finds himself looking for a murderer, and hiding his former lover, playwright Christopher Marlowe, who is suspected of stabbing one of the players to death.