1) Lee Houck – Yield
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 1, 2010)
Easily one of the best books I've read in the last few years. Houck writes with an amazing voice, making what could have been an unsympathetic character relatable and likable. The story should be a familiar one, but it felt fresh and engrossing. Strong storytelling and a wonderful way with words. --Josh
In his evocative and mesmerizing debut novel, Lee Houck depicts a contemporary Manhattan thrumming with sex and violence as seen through the eyes of Simon—a twenty-something part-time hustler with a cadre of loyal, sometimes floundering friends. As Simon grows increasingly involved with a gorgeous, guileless client named Aiden, he tries to navigate a path to fulfillment in a city where love and honesty are as dangerous as they are rare. Witty, spare, and rapier-sharp, this is an exceptional story of the friendships that sustain us, the families we create, and the pain and joy that are always within reach, waiting for us to yield…
2) Timothy McGivney – Zombielicious
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (December 23, 2010)
Sexy and horrifying, Zombielicious is an innovative twist on the Zombie craze. The multiple point of view narration could have been a real mess, but the author really makes it work well. Fast paced and exciting; a refreshing change from all the whiny angst ridden plot lines being recycled again and again. This one's a winner. --Tim
Amidst a zombie outbreak, Walt, athletic and confident, meets shy and quiet Joey, the attraction between them both instant and electric. With strength in numbers, they band together alongside fellow survivors; Jill, an ex-porn star turned nurse who's made a startling discovery about her past; Ace, a disgruntled security guard who just can't live up to certain short comings; and Molly, the fiery redhead unwilling to give up on her dreams of stardom. In this apocalyptic new world of the dead, an anything-goes attitude has become the law of the land and lust, betrayal, true love and redemption are all just a gunshot away.
3) 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
Connecticut, 1720: In an attempt to give his family financial security, school master Jem Bradley hires himself out as an indentured servant – and thus begins an odyssey which will take him to the small settlement of Kennet and a burgeoning friendship with enigmatic blacksmith Will Middleton. Trouble is never far away, however, and when Jem is accused of committing a bloody murder his future begins to look very bleak indeed…
4) Feliz Faber - City Falcon
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
5) Mel Bossa – Split
It was told in a series of flashbacks told from Derek’s diary written achingly to ‘Dear Bump’ the longed for younger brother whose stillbirth caused the breakdown of his mother’s mental health. I felt that the author really caught the tone of a child’s story telling with beautiful touches of humour. This book was about a young boy who would have had a very arid childhood if it weren’t for his lovely Aunt and the wonderful friendship he had with the family of his best friend. I’m looking forward to more from this author. --Rachel
6-tie) R.A. Padmos – Ravages
Publisher: Manifold Press
The third person writing style through me initially, but once I got into the story I was able to appreciate the love between Daniel and Steve. In all honesty, I think the story could have been trimmed a little BUT it was still a wonderful tearful experience. --Janet
Well written gripping and visceral story of the aftermath of a gay-bashing - a bit repetitive at times, but a great read. --J.P.
Sophia Deri-Bowen - Young Man in Paris
The writing is what set this apart and elevated from the crowd. I liked the descriptions of Paris and their life there-- the parties and the time period were really well doneI also really liked the way this story was told from a future perspective-- we already knew how they'd end up. The story was how their journey started. --Kirsten
Michael Alenyikov - Ivan and Misha: stories
In Ivan and Misha, Michael Alenyikov portrays the complexities of love, sexuality, and the bonds of family with boldness and lyric sensitivity. As the Soviet Union collapses, two young brothers are whisked away from Kiev by their father to start life anew in America. The intricately linked stories in this powerful debut, set in New York City at the turn of the millennium, swirl about the uneasy bond between fraternal twins, Ivan and Misha, devoted brothers who could not be more different.
Kannan Feng - Lord of Misrule
Atia Selene is the premiere magical university on the continent, and Verity Fen is its brightest star. Handsome, spoiled, and too smart for his own good,Verity has his pick of his fellow students, breaking the heart of any young man who falls into his bed. One of the privileges of Verity's position is a servant who he treats with disdain, who may prove to be the one man Verity can't use and use up. Iskander cares for his master with grace, skill, and discretion, along with a heavy leather belt and a thoroughly commanding attitude.
Belo Miguel Cipriani – Blind
Imagine if the most severe physical pain and sorrow in your life were inflicted by the people you trusted most. In the spring of 2007, Belo Cipriani was beaten and robbed of his sight at the hands of his childhood friends. Blind: A Memoir chronicles the two years immediately following the assault. At the age of twenty-six, Belo found himself learning to walk, cook, and date in the dark. Armed with visual memory and his newly developed senses, Belo shows readers what the blind see. He narrates the recondite world of the blind, where microwaves, watches, and computers talk, and where guide dogs guard as well as lead. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1362269.html.