To give to everyone the chance to enjoy the spotlight of their honorable mentions, I decided to post a little of them every day until October 1, when I will announce the finalists of the 2013 Rainbow Awards. An Honorable Mention means a judge really liked the book, so much they gave it a rate above 36 out of 40; an honorable mention doesn't necessarily mean the book is a finalist, you have to wait the actual announcement on October 1 to know that. So please, enjoy this year Honorable Mentions (in no particular order, 5 out of 5 post), and congratulations to all authors!Badges are designed especially for the Rainbow Awards by Paul RichmondAJ Rose – Safeword
Feliz: Thank you so much for giving me this book to read! A great reading experience and a joy to read! Beautiful prose. Gripping, compelling action scenes. I'd really really love to see this book among this year's winners. I think it deserves it.
Jon: I enjoyed the first one so much! And this one too.
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press (June 1, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Safeword (Power Exchange)Ally Blue - Hell's EndDoug: Hell's End built a captivating world right from the start. Her main characters were well developed, the sex was hot, and the action kept me riveted for the duration. I couldn't put the book down. Hell's End was a full package of greatness.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (May 21, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Hell's End (Hellscape)Amy Lane - Racing for the Sun
Carrie Ann: This is one of Amy Lane's darker titles. The characters grab a hold of you and don't let go, even when they do something so wrong for the right reasons.
Vicktor: Racing for the Sun is a beautiful, heartbreaking story about facing and overcoming the past and what lengths we will go to protect the people we love. Ace and Sonny are both broken characters who cling to each other in the service and make plans for a future together. The emotions, the need and the yearning that arcs between these two characters reached out of my iPad and gripped me in a stronghold that wouldn't let go until I got to the amazing conclusion of the story, where I was promptly asking for more of Sonny and Ace. Amy Lane did an amazing job with these characters and with this story and even hours after finishing this story my heart is still tingling with the effect of the emotions evoked in this story.Sar: The buildup towards the finale is great. Lots of emotional charge. It's steady and has a story that's very relatable. I actually know someone who is planning on doing this exact thing when they get out of the military (though it's with their wife), so the story is entirely plausible. Great use of the modern world. Nice to see a setting that's very different from a lot of what's I've been reading. Great use of reader's imagination to fill the gaps. Also, nice car detail where appropriate! It's nice to have two former army folk as the target of the story. Great details on what their past was and while I'm not a huge fan of street racing, I'm glad to see that it's a topic of the story! Very unique! Good length, great dialogue, LOVE the dialogue! It's one of the things that makes Amy's books that much more enjoyable.
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 26, 2013)
Amazon: Racing for the Sun
Amazon Kindle: Racing for the SunAndrew Grey - Love Comes SilentlyKatie: This was a poignant, highly enjoyable read, and touched me deeply. The characters were strong, particularly the main character, Ken, and the difficult fight against his daughter's leukemia was heart-wrenching. I would have liked to see a deeper POV, and a little more of Patrick's emotions. The return of the ex did not seem to have any real impact on the story, and could have been eliminated or more fully developed. Nonetheless, the overall impact of the story was profoundly moving.Kari: Patrick and Ken were so vivid. Excellent, just excellent. This story made me cry! :-)
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 1, 2012)
Amazon: Love Comes Silently
Amazon Kindle: Love Comes SilentlyAnn Lister - Fall For Me
April: Best book I've read in quite a while.
Theresa: I love when I pick up a book and want to cheer for a couple form the start. This was one of those times. Even when one half makes a stupid mistake that normally would make you think it would (and should) be over, I found myself hoping they come to their senses...
Paperback: 406 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 27, 2013)
Amazon: Fall For Me (The Rock Gods)
Amazon Kindle: Fall For Me (The Rock Gods)Ava Burquette - Held in DreamsLaura: I truly enjoyed this entry. As a reader I felt myself traveling with the heroine. Emotional ties were well executed and I felt as though I was in the world watching it melt away as the characters traveled from scene to scene. The writing keeps the reader engaged and made this a difficult book to put down. An impossible book to stop thinking of.
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing (May 26, 2013)
Amazon: Held in Dreams
Amazon Kindle: Held in DreamsBeth Burnett - Andy's Song
Henriette: Oh this was perfect! Very well written, thoughtful, witty. I have to look up if there is more by this author! Well done.
Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (April 15, 2013)
Amazon: Andy's Song
Amazon Kindle: Andy's SongCaren J. Werlinger - In This Small Spot
Tammy: This book is FANTASTIC from start to finish! All of the characters in this book were very well written and offered so much for the story itself. I will not forget them or the story anytime soon. This story actually brought tears to my eyes. Caren has a true gift.
Mariana: This is a moving, emotional story. A story of true love and devotion. A telling that affected me emotionally and spiritually. A beautifully written story of dedication, loyalty and courage; it is about how faith and spirit can move a human heart. It has been a privilege to read this book.
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Corgyn Publishing (May 13, 2013)
Amazon: In This Small Spot
Amazon Kindle: In This Small SpotCatherine Ryan Hyde - Where We Belong
Fernanda: This is a really good book. I have loved every single page and haven't been able to put the book down till the very end, because it's truly captivating. All the character are well built, and the protagonist is so right for this story. Is very refreshing to read a book where you can see that the author have make sure to develop so carefully the story, and where everything seem to be so well balanced. It's a story where the reader can enter totally right from the start and that allowed to feel every single sentiment that it's portrait.
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 26, 2013)
Amazon: Where We BelongDonna K. Ford - Healing HeartsChristina: I thought the characters connected nicely and grew closer at a good pace. It didn't feel rushed at all. I loved the setting as well. The scenery descriptions were beautiful and the characters were easy to become attached to.
Tammy: Lovely story, kept my interest throughout. I liked all of the main characters in the story, each with their own story to tell.
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (May 14, 2013)
Amazon: Healing Hearts
Amazon Kindle: Healing HeartsFeliz Faber – ThornsMichele: This one has it all: fascinating, diverse characters, engaging plot and detailed scenery.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (July 25, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: ThornsHuston Piner - My Life as a MythCherie: This book should be required reading for every high school student, assigned of the first day of school in their freshman year. Wow. I honestly believe it could do a great deal to eradicate bullying of every sort, and might well help more than one scared, lonely and hurting kid survive long enough to understand that people aren't just mouthing platitudes when they say it will get better. Frankly, the book is so well written that even the kids on the other side of the bullying equation would be drawn in, and learn what it's like to be the kid bullied. It might well save them too.
Publisher Prizm (May 22, 2013)
Amazon: My Life as a Myth
Amazon Kindle: My Life as a MythJack L. Pyke - Don'tMelissa: To be up front with my biases, I personally almost never read BDSM, and I never read menage - with a couple notable exceptions, these categories just largely don't appeal to me. Having said that - I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. The characters, the plot reversals, the mystery, everything appealed to me and everything was just so well done. The intricacies of the plot were handled masterfully and each character was vividly drawn and distinct, even Gray who by his nature remained more of a cypher than the other two protagonists. The secondary characters were also appealing - I particularly enjoyed bratty Sam very much. This was a lovely surprise - it's added to the two or three other books I count as my all-time favorite reads from my three years of judging the awards.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: ForbiddenFiction (January 3, 2013)
Amazon: Don't...: A Gay BDSM Thriller
Amazon Kindle: Don't...: A Gay BDSM ThrillerJay Bell - Something Like WinterCaroline: This was one of the best books I've read recently. It was not only a romance, but a very touching, gripping and multi-dimentional story. I felt for all the characters and I kept thinking about them long after I finished reading. Highly recomended!!! (this one and the rest of the series as well)
Paperback: 374 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 23, 2012)
Amazon: Something Like Winter
Amazon Kindle: Something Like WinterJohnny Townsend - The Mormon Victorian SocietyTom: This collection of short stories featuring gay Mormon characters slammed in the face from the first page, wrestled my heart and mind to the floor, and left me panting and wanting more by the end. Johnny Townsend has created so many memorable characters in such few pages. I went weeks thinking about this book. It truly touched me.
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (March 15, 2013)
Amazon: The Mormon Victorian Society
Amazon Kindle: The Mormon Victorian Society
Julian Griffith - Love Continuance and IncreasingVicktor: I found myself riveted by this story from the very beginning until the end. The characters was engaging, the setting beautifully described and the plot intriguing and entertaining from the first word. With it being a historical I admit that I was looking for inconsistencies and errors in language and attire and yet, none existed. I found myself so enthralled with the main characters, their backstory and where the story was taking them that I forgot I was reading it for review and not just pure enjoyment. I was sad to see the book end as I wanted more, but even the ending was beautifully written and flowed gracefully with the rest of the story.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Storm Moon Press LLC (August 2, 2013)
Amazon: Love Continuance and Increasing
Amazon Kindle: Love Continuance and IncreasingKate McMurray - Show and TellLaura: An original plot line that kept me reading to the last page. The settings and characters were beautifully described and obviously well thought out. Well written and thoroughly enjoyable.
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (January 7, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Show and TellL.A. Witt - Conduct UnbecomingBarbara: I really enjoyed this novel. Characterization was really excellent, and Ms. Witt has an amusing, witty writing style that I enjoyed. Both men were fully drawn, and not stereotypical. Witt’s description of the island of Okinawa was extremely descriptive and almost another character in the book.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (October 23, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Conduct UnbecomingL.T. Marie - Secrets and ShadowsTammy: LOVED this book. Enthralled from beginning to end. The main characters were awesome and written so I felt I was with them in the story. The author is getting better with each book she writes.
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 18, 2013)
Amazon: Secrets and Shadows
Amazon Kindle: Secrets and ShadowsLinda Kay Silva - Magical EchoGene: I loved this one. I was pulled right into the world of this book, and I could see and hear the characters. Vivid writing. A great read.
Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (May 1, 2013)
Amazon: Magical Echo
Amazon Kindle: Magical EchoM.A. Church - Shadows in the Night
Helen: Easy to say that I loved everything about this book, so much so that I stopped reading halfway through so I could order a print copy.
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 12, 2013)
Amazon: Shadows in the Night
Amazon Kindle: Shadows in the NightMarguerite Labbe - Make Me WholeSar: Museum came alive. Good use of reader imagination to fill gaps. Characters very lively for the most part. Real people, real problems, real quandaries. Supernatural element added nice twist to problems. Organic dialogue is LOVELY, LOVELY, LOVELY.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (August 25, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Make Me WholeMichael J. Bowler - Children of the Knight
Jo Ann: Mr. Bowers plot was well thought out; intricate and very detailed. The setting, modern day LA, was the perfect backdrop for this novel. King Arthur and the Children were brought to life; the children were children with all the hopes and fears coming through brilliantly. The adults were believable with all the fallacies, arrogance, fears, love and pride showing. His writing captures and keeps you. The story-line flows, fast paced but does not leave you questioning. All around if I could make this mandatory reading for all young adults and adults I would in a heartbeat. The premise of this novel is much needed in today’s society.
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (June 20, 2013)
Amazon: Children of the Knight
Amazon Kindle: Children of the KnightP.J. Trebelhorn - Trusting TomorrowTammy: Great story arc. Loved the relationship between Logan and Brooke, two very guarded women. Great supporting characters as well! PJ hones her craft with each new story she writes!
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 20, 2013)
Amazon: Trusting TomorrowRebekah Weatherspoon - Blacker than blueFernanda: This is a really good paranormal book, I could not stop reading the book until I finished it!!! This for me was really a page turning. I love Rebekah Weatherspoon style and she can grab my attention with the first sentence and keep me in the zone till the end. This series keep be better and better and that make me want to read the next one as soon as it will be available. Great story, fabulous characters, perfect balance of all the different emotions during the journey!
Series: Vampire Sorority Sisters (Book 2)
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (January 8, 2013)
Amazon: Blacker Than Blue: Vampire Sorority Sisters Book 2
Amazon Kindle: Blacker Than Blue: Vampire Sorority Sisters Book 2Sassafras Lowrey - Leather Ever After
Mariana: This collection of stories was pretty good overall. Some were truly erotic and very sexy.... others were complete kink. And while some felt as if they were too short, overall they were all very well done.
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Ravenous Romance (January 3, 2013)
Amazon: Leather Ever After: An Anthology of Kinky Fairy Tales
Amazon Kindle: Leather Ever After: An Anthology of Kinky Fairy TalesStephanie Motes - After the DawnLori: This is an author to keep an eye on. She has a very strong voice and i hope to see her books in the future!
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (September 30, 2012)
Amazon: After the Dawn
Amazon Kindle: After the DawnSunny Moraine & Lisa Soem - Line and OrbitRyan: I think what I found most interesting...and entertaining...about this book was how the strong romance was worked into such an unpredictable storyline filled with so much emotion. The writing is very solid, the characters are complicated, and each page kept me wondering what would happen next.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (February 5, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Line and OrbitTara Lain - The Aloysius Tales 3, Cataclysmic ShiftTheresa: A truly original approach, the plot was well written and thoroughly enjoyable. The characters were well written and developed nicely. An engaging read and interesting world.
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (July 23, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: The Aloysius Tales 3: Cataclysmic ShiftTrin Denise - Hallowed Be Thy NameDeb: Good book. Top rate.
Paperback: 334 pages
Publisher: Ragz Books USA (May 6, 2013)
Amazon: Hallowed Be Thy Name
Amazon Kindle: Hallowed Be Thy NameViki Lyn - Sins of LustSandra: Marvellous setting, great descriptions and a very unique plot.
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc. (November 28, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Sins of LustZ.A. Maxfield - My Cowboy HeartJo Ann: Wow, let me just say wow. Both men have non inspiring childhoods, but deal with it in their own way. Malloy an Introvert, and Crispin an Extrovert. They clash but begin to blend perfectly. I loved Malloy coming to terms with his feeling, losing but getting new dreams. Kudos ZAM!!!
Publisher: InterMix (August 20, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: My Cowboy Heart: (Intermix)Angela Peach – 47Myranda: A really excellent, tightly-plotted whodunit/murder mystery that was equal parts thrilling, legitimately scary, and horrific enough to satisfy me, the horror writer. My biggest complaint is that some of the plot twistiness at the end comes out of left field. Closed door murder mystery in SPAAAAAAAAAAACE! I have no quarrel with this. I’m a huuuuuuuuuuuuge fan of sci fi/space opera and I loved the way the author wove together strands of time and plot to bring everything to a satisfying conclusion.
Paperback: 134 pages
Amazon Kindle: 47Steve Berman - Where Thy Dark Eye GlancesMyranda: Anthology of stories by Poe reimagined, ranging from the elegantly delicious to just plain delicious. Delightful in any case.
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (July 15, 2013)
Amazon: Where thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe
Amazon Kindle: Where thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan PoeJacob Z. Flores - The Gifted OneMyranda: Excellent, well-realized, and very pleasantly character-driven. Despite the fact that I am weary unto death of semi-supernatural love triangles, I really *liked* all the characters in this book. Matthew is the sort of character I wanted to bring home and serve cookies to while smiting anything that might do him harm.
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 5, 2013)
Amazon: The Gifted One
Amazon Kindle: The Gifted OneRiley LaShea - Black Forest, Kingdoms FallMyranda: I cannot express in words alone how much I loved this book, and unfortunately this is not the appropriate medium for interpretive dance. The retelling of classic fables and fairy tales is one of my very favorite things in the world and this book not only does that, it takes the theme a step further. Altogether excellent.
Series: Black Forest Trilogy
Paperback: 466 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 18, 2013)
Amazon: Black Forest: Kingdoms Fall (Black Forest Trilogy)
Amazon Kindle: Black Forest: Kingdoms Fall (Black Forest Trilogy)Shira Anthony - Stealing the Wind
Myranda: Pirates! And mermen! And pirates who are also mermen!
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (August 11, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea)Dorien Grey - Dante's Circle
Lee: Well-paced and plotted, nice variety in age and personality among the gay characters. A strong continuation of an interesting series.
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Zumaya Boundless
Amazon: Dante's Circle
Amazon Kindle: Dante's CircleLori L. Lake - A Very Public EyeLee: Good story, realistic portrayal of a person learning to live with a physical disability, and Lake makes this characterization a seamless part of an absorbing story. Brava!
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Quest by RCE (November 10, 2012)
Amazon: A Very Public Eye: Book Two in The Public Eye Mystery Series
Amazon Kindle: A Very Public Eye: Book Two in The Public Eye Mystery SeriesAndrea Bramhall - LadyfishHenriette: Great story, great characters, sweet romance --- and the next time readers might wish for more British colouring to make the read even more enjoyable.
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 16, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: LadyfishJ.P. Bowie - Highland Vampire VengeanceKari: Vampire brothers and a hot cop -- what's not to like? :-)
Publisher: MLR Press
Amazon Kindle: Highland Vampire VengeanceSara Alva - Social SkillsJane: Ooh, this was a bitter sweet tale of finding love and coming out to friends and family, of trying to live up to the expectations of others and losing one's self along the way. Jock stories aren't usually my thing but this was very enjoyable because of how the main character, the socially awkward Connor, grew throughout the story. The writing flowed effortlessly.
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 20, 2013)
Amazon: Social Skills
Amazon Kindle: Social SkillsLarry Benjamin - Damaged AngelsTim: The Characters are vibrant and the description in the writing was Sublime. Over all though, Damaged Angels is an excellent anthology.
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (April 8, 2013)
Amazon: Damaged Angels
Amazon Kindle: Damaged AngelsKay Berrisford - Bound for the ForestKatie: I enjoyed reading this immensely. The connection between Scarlet and Melmoth was scorching hot, and their entwined destinies well painted. I did find their continued hostility a little drawn out, but it was well-repaid with the sparks between them.
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (September 10, 2012)
Amazon: Bound for the Forest
Amazon Kindle: Bound for the ForestGeorge Seaton - Saving Skylar HandEthan: I enjoyed this book immensely. The characters developed through childhood, into puberty and beyond and it all felt real, and I found all the characters relatable. The author has a beautiful writing style and knack for providing a sense of setting w/o needing no overkill in details - that being said, I could have personally handled a little more. But I did find myself able to see the story unfolding inside my head w/o having to work to fill in the blanks. I thoroughly enjoyed both protags. A simple story, which I can totally appreciate as well as a little bittersweet here and there, nice.Katie: This was a deeply moving, profound look at the coming-of-age and maturation of two young men learning about life and love together.
Publisher: MLR Press (Dec 13, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Saving Skylar HandKim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou - The Gemini DeceptionCherie: Though I'm not normally a big fan of mystery/thrillers, this one really drew me in. Are there flaws? Yes, but the writing, plot, setting and characters are so strong they pulled me past them with scarcely a chance to notice.
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 16, 2013)
Amazon: The Gemini Deception (Elite Operatives)
Amazon Kindle: The Gemini Deception (Elite Operatives)Terri & Vince Cook - Allies And Angels
Cherie: Well written, fascinating look at the journey of one family through the difficult and largely uncharted terrain of cis-gender parents raising a transgender child. Powerful stuff. Angels and Allies should be a must read, especially for healthcare providers.
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Hallowed Birch Publishing (July 1, 2013)
Amazon: Allies & Angels: A Memoir of Our Family's TransitionRick R. Reed - Raining MenAmie: Good read, among the highest rate for this round.
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 31, 2013)
Amazon: Raining Men
Amazon Kindle: Raining MenBen Monopoli - Homo Action Love StoryMichelle: This was such a surprising book. I was very apprehensive at the beginning – firstly the title is very misleading, serving more as a tongue in cheek synopsis than an indicator of the type of story being told. It also opening with a sex scene, followed by 'and then I woke up' - together, I was prepared to not like this book, and expected I would drop it fast. And yet – it was one of my favourites this year. From paint balling to contemporary commentary on gadgetry, technology and enviro/politics realised on the high seas, it shot us with big colourful dollops of humour, glamour, and yet still had insightful moments of being in one's early twenties: being an adult with adult responsibilities, but not always with the wisdom and experience to be able to handle things the best way possible. But that's not to say this turns in anyway a serious novel. The end, whilst logical and satisfying, does suffer a little bit because of what could be seen as a very fickle protagonist. Again, this makes sense given who the character is, and all is forgiven at the end, but it is hard to empathise with someone who comes across as shallow and self-absorbed for so long.
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 25, 2012)
Amazon: Homo Action Love Story!: A tall tale
Amazon Kindle: Homo Action Love Story!: A tall taleIsabella Carter - Dragon SlayerMichelle: I love a bit of forced marriage in my crack fiction, but the set-up in Dragon Slayer is put together well enough that it is elevated beyond a fic trope. There's typos, which always throws me in a published work. Ingram's motivations and integrity are usually well developed, but there are a couple of moments where it felt clunky – not enough to expose the story's undergarments, the scaffolding holding up the stage, but the set did wobble a little for me. The plot was satifying, logical, but not predictable, so it was an entertaining ride. A few things though – the ending felt rushed – we ought to have seen more of Ingram's fabled strategy at work, also, the story with Roderick falls apart too easily, and we don't see enough of him strong arming his castle for me to believe how Ingram was treated, nor that everyone else let it happen so. Mallory is a satisfying enigma – enough personality whilst remaining separate and intriguing. Would happily read the sequel!
Publisher: Less Than Three Press; 1 edition (June 18, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Dragon Slayer
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