1) Wayne Hoffman - Sweet Like Sugar (Double )
An exceedingly very good novel which had me trapped in its pages from the start and all I wanted to do was follow it along. Strange, because nothing really happens, just an old Jew collapsing on the young gay’s couch and the young man seems to be trapped by the old man’s voice and actions. Very few novels hold me as this one did; an exquisite writing job. My hat goes off to the author, “Shalom, very well done, indeed!” –Mick
A great character driven novel; Sweet Like Sugar explores the idea that love, lust, and spiritual enlightenment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. My compliments to Mr. Hoffman, and his publisher; we need more books like this one. --Tim
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; 1 Original edition (August 30, 2011)
Amazon: Sweet Like Sugar
In Yiddish, there is a word for it: bashert - the person you are fated to meet. Twenty something Benji Steiner views the concept with scepticism. But the elderly rabbi who stumbles into Benji's office one day has no such doubts. Jacob Zuckerman's late wife, Sophie, was his bashert. And now that she's gone, Rabbi Zuckerman grapples with overwhelming grief and loneliness. Touched by the rabbi's plight, Benji becomes his helper - driving him home after work, sitting in his living room listening to stories. Their friendship baffles everyone, especially Benji's sharp-tongued, modestly observant mother. But Benji is rediscovering something he didn't know he'd lost. Yet the test of friendship, and of both men's faith, lies in the difficult truths they come to share. With each revelation, Benji learns what it means not just to be Jewish, but to be fully human - imperfect, striving, and searching for the pieces of ourselves that come only through another's acceptance.
2) 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)
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.
3-tie) 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)
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.
Dirk Vanden - It Was Too Soon Before ()
I found it very difficult to put the book down and would often mull over what I'd read other times. Mr Vanden's ability to draw me into the story was fantastic; his recitation of his history was enthralling. Most of all it was him being true to himself I found the most inspiring. I experienced a raft of emotions as well: anger, sympathy, heartbreak, excitement, and always fascination. –Kathy
Top marks, extraordinary! –Lee
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (April 18, 2012)
Amazon: It Was Too Soon Before... The unlikely life, untimely death, and unexpected rebirth of Gay Pioneer, Dirk Vanden
It Was Too Soon Before... is the autobiography of Richard Fullmer who wrote under the penname Dirk Vanden. He was a serious novelist in the early days of the development of the gay literary genre. His first books were published--augmented with sex scenes inserted by the publisher--as porn pulps. This autobiography tells the story of his life from his upbringing as a devout Mormon to his discovery of sexual realities, to his move to the gay meccas of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1960s and discovery of the thriving gay counterculture with all its sexual and psychedelic dimensions, through the death by AIDS of his longtime partner, to retirement and obscurity, to a ''rebirth'' as his books have been rediscovered by modern gay literary scholars. Included is ''The Wit & Wisdom of Gabriel Horny,'' a collection of humor and wisdom in short aphorisms that express the profound and often whimsical spiritual wisdom Vanden has garnered through his seventy-eight years.
5) Abigail Roux - Stars and Stripes
This was the sixth book in the Cut & Run Series; which does a very nice job advancing the development of the relationship between the two main characters as well as their relationships with their respective families as their relationship is revealed. –Linda E.
This is the first novel by this author that I have read. I just bought the first one in this series. I loved this novel and look forward to beginning this series off the proper way. From the start. –April O.
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 13, 2012)
Amazon: Stars & Stripes: Cut & Run, #6
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)
Amazon: Chase in Shadow
7) Hayden Thorne - Renfred's Masquerade ()
Well written, great characters, if you’re into historical stories, this is for you. –Theresa
A true coming of age boy-to-man has an opportunity to live in 2 very different worlds, and begins to realize that even with human frailty, love will always hold the key to true magic. –Tame
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 15, 2011)
Amazon: Renfred's Masquerade
8) Elliott Mackle - Only Make Believe ()
Many characters had a tension throughout, the somewhat homo son, the underage daughter having sex with an older male, the two cops, they all fit together in an underhanded way. They may have not been perfect characters they were ideal for this story. Had me from the start and carried me to the end. Bravo! –Mick
Really enjoyed the book. The setting, early 1950s, was outstanding, the author’s knowledge of WWII and Korean War history, as well as the military hierarchy was also outstanding. The murder/mystery plot was solid. The book was well-written, well-edited and a pleasure to read. –Shira
Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (August 15, 2012)
Amazon: Only Make Believe
Marie Sexton - Blind Space ()
The main character in this story was constantly challenge. With all of his imperfections the reader still managed to identify with him and like him through-out the story. I thought the plot and the setting were unique and fun to read about as well. Overall, a great story. –April O.
I absolutely loved it, it was so refreshing. The temporary condition of the main character let him (and me as well) experience something unique and unusual. –Caroline
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Silver Publishing (December 15, 2011)
Amazon: Blind Space
10) Ken O'Neill - The Marrying Kind
A sweet and yet often emotionally charged story that is very topical (in the US), this novel really pulled me in. I couldn't read the book fast enough and when done almost wanted to start over again. –Kathy
I thought the New York setting was well used. You didn't really get a feel for the big city, so much as you got an insider's view of living there. I liked that. A comfortable book that you can pick up anywhere at any time and get right back into it. I liked the message it gave and there was a perspective there that was new to me. –Kirsten
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 5, 2012)
Amazon: The Marrying Kind
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