November 20th, 2015

andrew potter

Book Blast: 959 Brenton Street by Thianna Durston

959 Brenton Street (Men of Falcon Pointe 1) by Thianna Durston
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623807409
ISBN-13: 978-1623807405
Amazon: 959 Brenton Street (Men of Falcon Pointe 1)
Amazon Kindle: 959 Brenton Street (Men of Falcon Pointe 1)

Blurb: Trent Farnsworth moves to Falcon Pointe to get as far away from his controlling family and religion as he can. While his conservative upbringing makes it hard for Trent to admit he’s gay, he accidentally outs himself in front of his four new roommates. None of the men living at 959 Brenton Street are what the world would consider normal, but all four accept him for who he is. And when Trent falls for his much older landlord, Dr. Cory Venerin, he’s as surprised as anyone, but discovering Cory feels the same makes Trent realize he’s truly in the right place at the right time.

Until he tells his family he’s gay. His father uses any resource at his disposal to destroy him, including Trent’s love for Cory. As his father schemes to send Trent to a hospital whose sole purpose is to rip the gay out of him, Cory battles to save not only Trent—but also the possibility of a future together.

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Meet the author: Thianna likes to say she’s eclectic, fun, and just a bit naughty. She can also add, subtract, multiply, and divide in her head, but if people ask her to do it at parties, she isn’t impressed. While she would love to say there wasn’t a genre she had read that she didn’t enjoy, it would be a lie. For some reason, she keeps skipping to the ends of mystery books to find out who done it.

The creator and acquisition editor for the Corbin’s Bend Romance series, she wants to know: Who else wants to be safe, secure, and spanked in Colorado?

Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page:
Goodreads Link:

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: 24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4)​ by EM Lynley

24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4)​ by EM Lynley
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634760425
ISBN-13: 978-1634760423
Amazon: 24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4)​
Amazon Kindle: 24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4)​

Sequel to Jaded

Precious Gems: Book Four

Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.

This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.

Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond―until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past: his relationship with his estranged family.

Enjoyed this story, and couldn't put it down. I'd read book 1 a couple of years ago for Rainbow Awards so was great to catch up with Reed and Trent again, and see how far they'd come both in their relationship and as individuals. Easy writing style that sucked me into the storyline very quickly. Loved the descriptions of the settings - made it seem very real, and easy to imagine. 

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Threads of the Heart by Jeannie Levig

Threads of the Heart by Jeannie Levig
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (July 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626394105
ISBN-13: 978-1626394100
Amazon: Threads of the Heart
Amazon Kindle: Threads of the Heart

No one travels this life alone.

Maggie Rae-McInnis is happy in her twelve-year relationship with Addison and renting out the rooms in their large home in the Hollywood Hills. Her one nagging fear is that her partner is not as happy as she is—and she is right. Addison is a hot mess. Though she loves Maggie, she feels something is missing. When she meets Victoria Fontaine, a confident, sexy, and manipulative younger woman, she is swept into something new, exciting, and a little dangerous.

Tess Rossini and Dusty Gardner, the couple’s closest friends and long-term tenants, face their own fears as they navigate the uncharted waters of love, and Eve Jacobs, newest arrival, finds herself on a path of self-discovery.

The love and friendship these women share make up the threads that weave together to form the unbreakable bonds that last a lifetime.

-happy sigh- What a beautiful and moving story about five women learning invaluable lessons about love, self-awareness, cause and effect, consequences, betrayal, trust, truth, relationships, friendships, family... and life. I was nervous reading this. With the different POVs, I wasn't sure if maybe one character would be lost in the shuffle, their voice silenced in the cacophony of the others, but that did not happen. Each character was able to speak, to shine, to grow, form, be fleshed out, to endure hardship and then to find resolution to that hardship. Though it would seem as if there would be much confusion with five women speaking in one novel, all dealing with their own angst, all living together in one home (I shudder to think of it), the home they lived in was remarkably peaceful and was, in fact, the focal point. The touchstone for them all. The author did a remarkable job of making me feel as if I were an invisible, empathic observer in every scene. Not only seeing everything that took place, but experiencing every visceral emotion and reaction that each character had. I must admit that I wasn't surprised by some of the things that took place, but they worked well within the scope of the book. I WAS surprised that Dusty and Tess turned out to be my favorite couple, however. I couldn't wait for either of them to appear back on the pages. Rebecca, a secondary character, was even well fleshed out and a wonderfully rounded character. I found myself nodding at many of her wise insights. Finding out that this was the author's debut novel only served to further amaze me. I will definitely be looking forward to reading more by her, lesbian romance or not, and I hope there's another book about these five women or that each couple gets their own book. I want to read more about Dusty and Tess!

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe

Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 29, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634760964
ISBN-13: 978-1634760966
Amazon: Brick by Brick
Amazon Kindle: Brick by Brick

They say that time heals all wounds, but losing Parley, his one true love, left Zach with a hole in his heart that no one else can fill. After forty-eight blissful hours alone together as teens in an abandoned house, Parley disappeared. Parley is what he is, and the pray-away-the-gay camp his parents ship him to won’t change that. However, finding the balance between accepting his true nature and not losing his family means tough sacrifices.

Sixteen years later, Zach is thunderstruck when Parley stands on the front doorstep of his house―the house that had been their refuge, which Zach restored. But Parley isn’t alone, and Zach wonders if he’s found Parley only to lose him a second time. If they can overcome the terrors of the past and the situation of the present, maybe they can build a new relationship just as Zach rebuilt the house―brick by brick.

This story is like the most delicious dessert for the brain! How beautifully written it was and what a great romance between these two so likeable men! This is for sure a well deserved ten across the board. Nothing less will do for this beautiful story. It's such a delight when one comes across a story so well written, a story that wraps you up in the softest wool cotton keeping you warm way after 'The End'. More stories like this one need to come out. So, I suggest to these two wonderful Authors to Get Going! I Want More!!!

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Inheritor by Laura Antoniou

The Inheritor, Book 6 of The Marketplace series, by Laura Antoniou
Transgender Erotica
Series: The Marketplace Series
Paperback: 692 pages
Publisher: Circlet Press (August 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613901275
ISBN-13: 978-1613901274
Amazon: The Inheritor, Book 6 of The Marketplace series
Amazon Kindle: The Inheritor, Book 6 of The Marketplace series

The long-awaited sixth installment of Laura Antoniou's Marketplace series! A surprise hit when first published in the 1990s by Masquerade Books, THE MARKETPLACE launched a series that eventually grew to five books. The author, Laura Antoniou, wrote them slowly, while working a day job, and after Masquerade went under, moved to a small press. After that press's demise, the series faltered, but in 2010 Circlet Press began to re-issue the series in new ebook editions. The revitalization of the entire franchise in the face of "50 Shades" mania has been nothing short of incredible. Antoniou's work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Life Story, and elsewhere as a safe, sane, and consensual alternative to "50" and now, at last, after a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, a brand new, never before published sixth installment is ready to foray into bookstores! When last we saw Chris Parker, he had been bought by master trainer Tetsuo Sakai and was blissfully ensconced in Japan under Tetsuo's wonderfully sadistic boot. And here we join Robin Cassidy, now contentedly serving a slave contract for a rich Chicago businessman. But the Marketplace is shaken when a new Trainer of Trainers must be anointed and the resulting machinations and clashing loyalties threaten to tear their world apart. Everyone has a stake in the outcome and Chris Parker is about to find out who is with him and who is against him. Richly told, interconnecting threads of Parker's previously unseen past with his complicated present, The Inheritor also weaves in the narratives of many favorite Marketplace characters, including Robin, Ken Mandarin, Ron Avidon, and features appearances by many more, including Jiro, Rachel, Michael, and Grendel. Laura Antoniou is the award-winning author of The Killer Wore Leather and the long-running series that began in 1993 with The Marketplace.

The Inheritor. Wow. That was all I could say when I finished this book. Intense. Gripping. Uncomfortably erotic and achingly real. The aspects of the book that closely mirrored and reflected aspects of the BDSM Lifestyle were so spot on that I couldn't help but nod, smile, or feel a thrum of satisfaction that they were there, explained with such grace, simplistic complication, and yet, blunt realism. Each character was awash in full 3-D development. And with each scene I felt as if I were standing there, a quiet, invisible observer. The only problem took place at the first half of the book and persisted throughout the book. There were so many various POVs that having one be in 1st person when the rest are in 3rd person, and then to only have that 1st person POV appear in less than 20 full chapters when the book is 80 chapters long, made each 1st person POV jarring when the rest of the book was seamless, with each new POV that appeared it was like being slapped as the reader tried to catch up with where the book was and who they were with. Other than that, the book was fantastic.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Semper Fi by Keira Andrews

Semper Fi by Keira Andrews
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: KA Books (April 30, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0993859844
ISBN-13: 978-0993859847
Amazon: Semper Fi
Amazon Kindle: Semper Fi

The war is over. The battle for love has just begun.

As Marines, Cal and Jim depended on each other to survive bloodshed and despair in the Pacific. Relieved to put the horrors of war behind him, Jim went home to his apple orchard and a quiet life with his wife and children. Knowing Jim could never return his forbidden feelings, Cal hoped time and an ocean between them would dull the yearning for his best friend.

But when Jim's wife dies, Cal returns to help. He doesn't know a thing about apple farming--or children--but he's determined to be there for Jim, even as the painful torch he carries blazes back to life. Jim is grateful for his friend's support as he struggles with buried emotions and dark wartime memories. Then Jim begins to see Cal in a new light, and their relationship deepens in ways neither expected.

Can they build a life together as a family and find happiness in a world that would condemn them?

This is a historical that is very well done by Ms. Andrews.  The characters really pulled me in and I loved the way the author allows them to find their happily ever after.

Of the three historicals I’ve read this is by far my favorite. The author did an excellent job of writing an accurate historical piece and making the love story appealing to the reader. Normally I don’t like a lot of flashbacks, but this was written in a way that made the flashbacks keep the characters story moving forward. The plot itself was original and creative. Excellent job of taking the reader to both the South Pacific and Upstate New York. Both the main characters were written excellently. Their backstories were done well and their growth throughout the story realistic. Language was appropriate to the times. Good use of showing. Pace was enjoyable.

This was by far my favorite book this year.   The characterizations were fantastic; the plot moved along at a good pace.  I liked the way the chapters went back and forth between past and present as well.  

This was a gorgeously written book.  Usually, I don't enjoy books that flip between timelines, but in this case it worked very well - the arc of a young Cal and Jim surviving Okinawa and reaching the end of the war carefully mirroring the modern arc of Cal and Jim struggling to come to terms with their relationship and ultimately building a life together with their family.  The secondary characters were thoughtfully drawn and the storyline was treated in a lovely, understated and sensitive way.  Even the smallest throwaway line of Sergeant Tyrell smiling at Cal to tell him that he was now a Marine was perfectly meaningful, leading the reader to understand that Tyrell had not been abusing his power in treating Cal harshly but hoped to give him the skills to survive wartime and that Cal, to an independent observer, really appeared to be a promising but undisciplined young man.  I felt that Jim's agonizing over balancing what was best for his children against what was best for himself and Cal went on just a touch too long and dragged the pace of the plot a bit, but that's a pretty minor complaint.  One of my favorite reads this year. 

Wow! Two books in one: the story of the war years, then the recovery and journey of self discovery skillfully blended together. Bitter-sweet and utterly enthralling, I cannot recommend this book enough.

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