1) by far Josh Lanyon with Fatal Shadows and Somebody Killed His Editor is first. Actually if I carefully think to both stories, Fatal Shadows is a little less "romantic", Adrien English meets hunky, and in the closet, detective Jake, but it's not until book 4 or 5 in the series that the sexual tension between them becomes good. Somebody Killed His Editor instead is like an Ellery Quinn plot, victim and all suspects in an isolated lodge in the wood, and of course the wanna-be detective (and writer) will meet his partner in crime/lover in that event.
Somebody Killed His Editor by Josh Lanyon
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (April 6, 2010)
Amazon: Somebody Killed His Editor
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Thanks to an elderly spinster sleuth and her ingenious cat, Christopher Holmes has enjoyed a celebrated career as a bestselling mystery writer. Until now. Sales are down and his new editor is allergic to geriatric gumshoes. On the advice of his agent, he reinvents his fortyish, frumpy, recently dumped self into the sleek, sexy image of a literary lion, and heads for a Northern California writers conference to try and resurrect his career. A career nearly as dead as the body he stumbles over in the woods. In a weirdly déjà vu replay of one of his own novels, he finds himself stranded in an isolated lodge full of frightened women—and not a lawman in sight. Except for J.X. Moriarity, former cop and bestselling novelist. The man with whom he shared a one-night stand—okay, maybe three—long ago. The man who wants to arrest him for murder. A ruthless, stalking killer, or a hot, handsome ex-lover. Which poses the greater danger? It’s elementary, my dear Holmes!
2) Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell. K.A. Mitchell is a favs among the Gay Romance readers. You cannot go wrong with her stories, and the pair in this one is good.
Collision Course by K A Mitchell
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (November 1, 2009)
Amazon: Collision Course
Amazon Kindle: Collision Course
Paramedic Aaron Chase doesn't have anything against love, but he knows it means a lot of responsibility, like when he had to step in to raise his siblings. With the last one off to college, Aaron's anticipating enjoying life on his own terms. He certainly isn't expecting Joey Miller to accidentally drop into his life. Sexy, funny and annoyingly optimistic, Joey's tendency to get into trouble keeps sending him Aaron's way; Joey knows all about love. He's fallen in it ten times. All that experience has to count for something, right? With Aaron it's different. Joey's fallen for good.
3-tie) A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan, I think originally the story setting is Australia, but it's easily adapted in any coastal small town. Bookstore owner falls in love for drifter with mental issues. Very involving story.
A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 16, 2009)
Amazon: A Note in the Margin
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John McCann, a man who judges life by the tally of an accounts ledger, has a supreme goal in life: To achieve, live, and enjoy the rarified executive lifestyle. But he's encountered one problem: The migraines are going to continue to get worse unless you make some major changes in your lifestyle. What you need is a 'sea change'... Perhaps buy a nice little business in the country, settle down, something easier to occupy your time... While John knows the doctor is right, he just can't resign from the job he's fought so hard for. He decides the sacrifice of taking a year's leave of absence won't interfere too much with his plans, and so he finds himself running Margins, a cozy little bookstore, with the help of the former owner's son, Jamie. John expects to put in his year, get his stress under control, and then get back to business. What John doesn't expect is how Margins and its denizens draw him in, particularly the quiet, disheveled man who takes refuge in the old leather chair in the second-hand book section. John's plans for an unattached year of simple business crumble when he meets David and is forced to reevaluate life, love and what he really wants from both. John and David are forced to come to terms with their pasts as they struggle to determine what possible future they might build together.
3-tie) Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton, here the only problem is the double settings (for the budget limit), Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but the story is good, fund trust/slutty boy falls in love for white collar executive. White Collar exc doesn't want to become kept man for Fund Trust boy.
Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Books, #4) by Marie Sexton
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 6, 2010)
Amazon: Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Books, #4)
Amazon Kindle: Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Books, #4)
When Jonathan Kechter agrees to a blind date with Cole Fenton, he expects nothing more than dinner and a one-night stand... but he gets more than he bargained for in Cole. Cole is arrogant, flamboyant, and definitely not Jon's type. Still, when Cole suggests an arrangement of getting together for casual sex whenever they're both in town, Jon readily agrees. Their arrangement may be casual, but Jonathan soon learns that when it comes to Cole Fenton, nothing is easy. Between Cole's fear of intimacy and his wandering lifestyle, Jonathan wonders if their relationship may be doomed from the start-but the more Cole pushes him away, the more determined Jon is to make it work.
3-tie) With the Band by L.A. Witt, singer and bassist of Metal Rock Band fall in love trying to hide from the rest of the band. Good story, but how you can manage the stage scenes and all the music?
With the Band by L. A. Witt
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (March 22, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: With the Band
Hard rock band Schadenfreude is finally on the verge of the success that’s eluded them for the last several years. With Aaron McClure as their new lead singer, nothing’s going to stop them…except maybe a steamy, secret relationship between Aaron and bassist Bastian Koehler. Aaron knows all too well what can happen when band members get involved with each other. After all, his last band was a casualty of his last relationship, and Schadenfreude forbids band members from dating for that very reason. But Bastian is too hot to resist, and besides, it’s just sex, so what’s the harm?
Bastian has just gotten out of a long relationship with his volatile ex-fiancée when Aaron catches his eye. The sexy singer is irresistible, and in spite of the potential for strife within the band if this comes out, Bastian can’t help himself.
Their passion in the bedroom is rivaled only by their ambition as musicians, though, and pretty soon, it's going to tear them, and Schadenfreude apart, if they can't get back to playing with the band.
4) Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger, this is a favorite of mine; the story is good, the ending surprising, and Steve Kluger is a icon in the Lit Gay Community. You cannot go wrong with this one.
Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; First Edition edition (May 11, 2004)
Amazon: Almost Like Being in Love: A Novel
Amazon Kindle: Almost Like Being in Love: A Novel
A high school jock and nerd fall in love senior year, only to part after an amazing summer of discovery to attend their respective colleges. They keep in touch at first, but then slowly drift apart.
Flash forward twenty years.
Travis and Craig both have great lives, careers, and loves. But something is missing .... Travis is the first to figure it out. He's still in love with Craig, and come what may, he's going after the boy who captured his heart, even if it means forsaking his job, making a fool of himself, and entering the great unknown. Told in narrative, letters, checklists, and more, this is the must-read novel for anyone who's wondered what ever happened to that first great love.
5) Hot Head by Damon Suede, you know I love this story, but with the 911 and the firefighters setting can be difficult; if you manage to remove all the "expensive" scene, the rest of the story is cheaper, you need to find a very in need of care house (Dante's house) and you are fine.
Hot Head by Damon Suede
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 17, 2011)
Amazon: Hot Head
Amazon Kindle: Hot Head
Where there's smoke, there's fire... Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies' man, and the FDNY isn't exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish. Griff's caution and Dante's cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there's nothing Griff wouldn't do... until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there-together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?
I suggest not to overlook
Self Preservation (or Sno Ho) by Ethan Day
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (February 10, 2009)
Amazon Kindle: Self Preservation
Davis always assumed they would wind up back together, until Jack calls and invites Davis to his wedding to Tadd Austin, a prominent architect in Chicago. Jack's only known Tadd for two weeks, so whatever Jack feels for Tadd couldn't possibly compare to what he shared with Davis. There's no way in hell Davis can stand by and watch the life he always expected to get back slip away to some guy Jack barely knows. Tadd Austin, indeed…more like Toad Ass-ton, Davis thinks.
With his best friend, fashion designer Deseree Wildwood in tow, Davis has to shed his sweet, guy-next-door persona, and re-vamp his image into a self-confident, hot piece of eye candy. He's going to the wedding with only one goal in mind: to do whatever it takes to win back Jack. The Toad is toast!
Once in Chicago, Davis discovers it isn't going to be as easy as he thought. Not only is Tadd very un-Toad-like, but a mysterious British playboy named Alex Parker manages to interject himself into the mix. Only true love will survive as the tug of war ensues in this Bermuda love triangle from hell.
Tinseltown by Barry Brennessel
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (June 2, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Tinseltown
Film student Micah Malone learns the hard way that when life sucks, you can't just yell "Cut! Let's do another take!" His grades are a box-office bomb. His friends create more drama than a soap opera. And his love life needs a laughtrack. While there's no script to dictate what happens next, can Micah find the direction he needs? Life, after all, is no film school project. But it /is/ great source material. The /only/ source material. Let the cameras roll. Micah's quirky story has begun filming.
The Perils of Praline by Marshall Thornton
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (October 9, 2010)
Amazon: The Perils of Praline
Amazon Kindle: The Perils of Praline
When he falls in love with a contestant on a reality TV show, Peter "Praline" Palmetier decides to leave his home in rural Georgia and, failing to realize this might be considered stalking, travels to Hollywood to find his soul mate, Dave G. Once in tinsel-town he meets a collection of startling, and often horny, characters in his quest. They include a studly steward, a conservative talk show host, the Godfather of the Gay Mafia, and casting assistant Jason Friedman, who always manages to be there in time to save Praline from total disaster. Will Praline find love with the illusive Dave G., or will he recognize the charms of appealing but untelegenic Jason?
Between Boyfriends by Michael Salvatore
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation (May 25, 2010)
Amazon: Between Boyfriends
Amazon Kindle: Between Boyfriends
In this sharp, entertaining, wry-but-tender debut, Michael Salvatore follows one man's search for the perfect boyfriend in a hilariously imperfect world.
Single, slightly neurotic Steven Bartholomew Ferrante loves his sharp-tongued loyal friends, his chaotic job as producer for the daytime soap If Tomomorrow Never comes, and his crazy Sicilian mother, not necessarily in that order. Yet at thirty-three, his life is a little like the peppermint mocha coffee drinks that are his favorite indulgence---fun, frothy, but only superficially satisfying. Four years after his boyfriend kicked him to the curb, Steve is still trying to find a replacement. There's been no shortage of casual couplings and one night (or less) stands, but while other body parts are catered to, his heart wants something more. Someone to share sexy Sunday mornings and shopping trips to buy unnecessary kitchen appliances. Someone he can trade knowing smiles with while dishing with his crew at their favorite Chelsea haunts. Somebody to love.
And maybe he's finally found it. Because if Steven's learned one thing from If Tomorrow Never Comes, it's that every storyline has it's twists---and the beauty of living spoiler-free is that you never know who's waiting on the wings...
Gulliver Takes Manhattan by Justin Luke Zirilli
Paperback: 426 pages
Publisher: AmazonEncore (May 1, 2012)
Amazon: Gulliver Takes Manhattan
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Gulliver Takes Manhattan (first published as Gulliver Travels) is the tale of twenty-something Gulliver Leverenz, who abandons sunny L.A. for a fresh start in New York. He’s leaving behind his family, his friends—and one bastard ex-boyfriend who can’t take a hint. With no money, job, or direction, Gully gratefully accepts an invitation to crash with his former fraternity brother Todd. As luck would have it, Todd lives in Hell’s Kitchen, New York’s hottest “gayborhood,” and is a rising star in the gay nightlife scene, complete with a crew of incredibly hot friends. Not long after, Gully snags a job with a talent agent and even finds himself a new boyfriend. There’s just one catch: Gulliver knows this budding relationship could get him in a lot of trouble. And inevitably, it does just that. Gulliver’s streak of good fortune soon takes a turn for the miserable as his choices unleash an onslaught of catastrophes that leaves him in a tragic and seemingly hopeless situation beneath the skyscrapers. But Gully’s tougher than he realizes and is determined to prove, for once and for all, that he has what it takes to make it in New York. By turns exciting, sad, and hysterically funny, Gulliver Takes Manhattan is a refreshingly candid tale of one man’s quest to stake a place for himself in the greatest city in the world.
all 5 stories are good from a romantic, light, story of friendship and gay community point of view
Plus I highlight
Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 15, 2010)
Amazon: Special Delivery
Amazon Kindle: Special Delivery
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.
Too Soon For Love by Kimberly Gardner
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 19, 2011)
Amazon: Too Soon For Love
Amazon Kindle: Too Soon For Love
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.
Slow Bloom by Anah Crow & Dianne Fox
Ricky Talbot, fresh from his first year at university, is looking for a perfect summer. He wants to work for the man he's had a crush on for years and spend the rest of his days in the pool, training for the swim team. Jack Corson, on the other hand, is a suburban hermit with a tangled past. Jack's lot more experienced than Ricky, cantankerous and more than a little anti-social.
When an unexpected one-time encounter between the two of them turns into more, Ricky and Jack must see if they have what it takes for love to bloom despite all of their differences, the distance between them while Ricky's away school, Jack's past and Ricky's parents. Can their slow-blooming love come to fruition?
since, even if heavy on the romance, they have good contraposition in characters.