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And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Amy Lane – Sidecar (Double )

Totally engaging book. Loved the depth and the humor. Author has a light and careful touch with a haunting and horrifying subject and it just sucks the reader in. –Lex

Absolutely one of the best books I've read so far this year. There is a lot to love about this character-driven story: exquisite depth of emotion, excellent writing, and a plot that spans several years but feels just right. I just loved how Joe and Casey created their own family with each other. Beautiful story. –Natalie

Really liked this one! The author did a great job developing Casey and Joe's relationship. –Leah


Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 29, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161372568X
ISBN-13: 978-1613725689
Amazon: Sidecar

The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley. But that's just the beginning of their story. Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Suddenly Joe's life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can't conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him. Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they're both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn't be is alone.

2) Jeremy Pack - To Touch the Stars ()

A wonderful novel which takes place in the early 1960-70s when American was attempting to reach the stars. There is no sex in the story. I liked the non-sex element of the story, made it seem more real and true. –Mick

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623800064
ISBN-13: 978-1623800062
Amazon: To Touch the Stars

For happenstance news correspondent Tait Williams and newly minted astronaut Nicholas Sullivan, 1966 is a year of beginnings. Idealistic Tait dreams of changing the world with his pen, and Nick has his sights set on the moon. With the Apollo program in full swing, Nick is on the fast track to his dreams-even as Tait's hopes of covering the Vietnam war are sidelined by a cause he doesn't believe in: a correspondent assignment with NASA. It is here, in the golden age of the US space program, that the hearts of two men collide, setting them on a path of discovery spanning two decades. From war-torn Cambodia to the decadence and heartbreak of the early 1980s, Nick and Tait come together time and again only to be ripped apart by social conventions and their own ambitions. As they strive to realize dreams that remain elusively beyond their grasp, through each other and the extraordinary people that touch their lives, they will come to understand that the things that matter most-the brightest stars of all-have been within their reach all along.

3-tie) Rick R. Reed – Caregiver ()

This story sucked me right in and didn’t let go. Key details were dead-on perfect. It was very like the writer painted a portrait of the scene for me. Rich, multi-faceted characters, each with a fully developed arc. The author just won over another auto-buy reader! –Kari

Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 24, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613722087
ISBN-13: 978-1613722084
Amazon: Caregiver

It's 1991, and Dan Calzolaio has just moved to Florida with his lover, Mark, having fled Chicago and Mark's addictions to begin a new life on the Gulf Coast. Volunteering for the Tampa AIDS Alliance is just one part of that new beginning, and that's how Dan meets his new buddy, Adam. Adam Schmidt is not at all what Dan expected. The guy is an original--witty, wry, and sarcastic with a fondness for a smart black dress, Barbra Streisand, and a good mai tai. Adam doesn't let his imminent death get him down, even through a downward spiral that sees him thrown in jail. Each step of Adam's journey teaches Dan new lessons about strength and resilience, but it's Adam's lover, Sullivan, to whom Dan feels an almost irresistible pull. Dan knows the attraction isn't right, even after he dumps his cheating, drug-abusing boyfriend. But then Adam passes away, and it leaves Sullivan and Dan both alone to see if they can turn their love for Adam into something whole and real for each other.

J.L. Merrow - Hard Tail

I really enjoyed reading this one so much. The setting was beautiful, and I am so in love with the characters especially Tim *he was written wonderfully*. –Darien

As always, Merrow's voice sparkles here as she captures life in a small village and a hero in transition. The love story unfolds organically, and I liked that she didn't rush things for the heroes. When they finally arrive, the love scenes are smoking hot. Well-done. A gem of a story. –Annabeth


Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (April 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619210576
ISBN-13: 978-1619210578
Amazon: Hard Tail

Finding love can be a bumpy ride. His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: on the rocks. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother’s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon. The young man who falls—literally—through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he’s even in the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob. There’s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he’s beginning to love, means coming to terms with who he is—in public—in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.

A.B. Gayle - Red+Blue

I blame this book for a lot of late nights, as once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. It wasn't quite what I expected from the blurb, but that turned out to be a good thing. –Anne B.

Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 25, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725205
ISBN-13: 978-1613725207
Amazon: Red+Blue

An Opposites Attract novel Fresh from backwoods Minnesota, actuarial student Ben Dutoit is ecstatic to land a job with Sydney Sutherland Family Insurance, one of the few companies that offers life insurance to people in the high-risk category. The fact that he gets to work in Gay Central, aka San Francisco, is just the icing on the rainbow-colored cake. Ben sets himself just three goals: be out and proud enough to participate in the Pride parade; seek out the company of like-minded souls in the clubs; and maybe, if he's lucky, fall in love. But the men Ben meets are everything he's not: suave, confident, sophisticated, and sexy. Unlike redneck Ben, they're blue bloods from blue states, born with status, wealth, and the responsibility that comes with the package. Ben's still wondering if red and blue can mix when he discovers what risk really means. The global economy tanks. The job he looked forward to is in jeopardy, and every dream Ben ever had is threatened, especially love, the biggest dream of all.

Honorable Mention:



6) Amy Lane - Chase in Shadow ()

I love Amy Lane’s work, but I have to admit I read the blurb for this one on Amazon and had decided not to read it because it sounded so...harrowing. And it was. But damn...Amy’s good. I’d like to give her more than ten on the character development scale. –Ellen

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724217
ISBN-13: 978-1613724217
Amazon: Chase in Shadow

7) Sue Brown - Final Admission ()

This story was a pleasure to read. Sue took on a difficult subject (especially for a romance) and acquitted herself amazingly well. I was uncomfortable at first that her two main characters were engaging in an affair while one of them was still married... but she wrote the story with such depth of compassion and unwavering honesty that by the end I was enraptured by their journey. Well, done to Sue, and thank you for the opportunity to read this fine work. :) –Cherie

Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing (December 17, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Final Admission

8) Z.A. Maxfield - The Pharaoh's Concubine ()

Read this one in two big chunks over the course of a day. Unusual premise; well-drawn setting; compelling characters; good plot payoff (although I could see the end coming). Loved it. –Ellen

Emotional Romantic Suspense with heartbreaking religious overtones. –Ro


Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (December 6, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609283473
ISBN-13: 978-1609283476
Amazon: The Pharaoh's Concubine

9) K.A. Mitchell - Not Knowing Jack”

This was a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed. She has a great writing style and she’s very strong in all the areas with this story. –Lex

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609283139
ISBN-13: 978-1609283131
Amazon: Not Knowing Jack

10) Sue Brown - Complete Faith ()

Although this book is actually a sequel to Ms Brown's earlier “Morning Report”, it is written with strong enough development of the characters and plot where it is easy to read as a wonderful standalone love story. –Theresa

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 30, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724756
ISBN-13: 978-1613724750
Amazon: Complete Faith

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
zamaxfield
Dec. 2nd, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
Oh, hey! Wow. So thrilled to be included!
qbeeqt
Dec. 2nd, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
I love that you've honoured William Neale! Brava!
elisa_rolle
Dec. 2nd, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
the least I could do...
a_b_gayle
Dec. 2nd, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
Totally unexpected but much appreciated. I'm gobsmacked. If you only knew how tough this book was to finish. The award should go to Josh Lanyon, Alex Voinov and my great betas Kate and Don who never hesitated to point out its defects so it could become the book it deserved to be.

Thanks agaim, Elisa for putting all the work into the whole competition. Winning a place in this competition means a lot to me.
jenniferthorne
Dec. 4th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC)
Congrats to everyone!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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