September 15th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards: Someday by Sierra Riley (380-09-03-2016)

Someday by Sierra Riley
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1530993970
ISBN-13: 978-1530993970
Amazon: Someday
Amazon Kindle: Someday

“When you’re around, you’re all I can see”

“Someday, my prince will come.”
Danny is an artist, and he has the best job in the world. He gets to create beautiful things at the bakery his best friend owns. The only thing that would make life better is finding his own personal Prince Charming, but despite a life-long addiction to happily-ever-after, he doesn’t really hold out much hope for that. He’d rather be alone than compromise who he is for men who are only interested if he tones down his flamboyant personality.

“Someday, I’ll find a better life."
Mace learned to protect himself while growing up in a harsh foster care system. Serving an unjust prison sentence taught him even more valuable life lessons. Don’t let your feelings show. Trusting people only gets you hurt. It’s okay to want things, but don’t expect to hold onto them. Now that he’s out, Mace keeps to himself, quietly enjoying the work he’s found caring for beautiful things while he saves for a better life. Even if he has no idea what that will actually look like.

“It’s you. My better life is you."
When Danny bursts into Mace’s life, the beautiful man has him questioning everything life has taught him, from his sexuality to the wisdom of trusting someone with his heart. Danny makes him want things he’s not sure he believes in, and when a series of local robberies lead to his arrest, his faith in what’s possible is put to the test.

Someday is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhangers. It is set in the same series-world as “Delicious,” Gavin and Ben’s story, and “Falling,” Jeremy and Nick’s story.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Lucky Starflowers by Kate Pavelle (017-02-23-2016)

This book was a surprise. Kudos for an unusual premise--cross-dressing professional poker player meets struggling gay florist--and a realistic plot, given that far-fetched premise. Kudos, also, for never resorting to the trite and formulaic. Everything seemed fresh and original. Pittsburgh loomed so large as the setting that I looked it up online and considered it as vacation destination. Most wonderful of all are the work milieus. Although the gambler/casino thrill and fear were well done, they didn't hold a candle to the small-business owner angst. This love affair survives or fails not because of misunderstandings that strain credulity but because of economic realities. This book drives home the difficulty of making a living from a small business and the panic the surrounds a sink-or-swim business risk. It was wonderful to see the struggles of a small-time florist facing a mostly red balance sheet and trying to come up with plans to resuscitate a business on the brink. Again, kudos for no deus-ex-machina that rescues Theodore from his miscalculations.

Lucky Starflowers by Kate Pavelle
Bisexual Contemporary Romance
Series: A Steel City Story
Paperback: 334 pages
Publisher: Mugen Press; 1 edition (February 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1942920032
ISBN-13: 978-1942920038
Amazon: Lucky Starflowers (A Steel City Story)
Amazon Kindle: Lucky Starflowers (A Steel City Story)

Theodore and his cousin Rickey inherited their aunt’s flower shop, Starflowers. They decide to run and improve it with their families’ financial support. Starflowers gives Theodore’s life meaning after a depressing breakup. Focusing on work is easy when he’s absolutely sure there’s no space for a man in his life. If he did allow for a boyfriend, it would be someone boring and everyday. Someone unlike the exotic Attila. He’d have a cubicle job, wear a cheap suit, and drive a Kia. Sam Grey is a professional gambler who got caught counting cards one too many times, and consequences can be severe. He got beaten up, robbed, injured, and ends up homeless in Pittsburgh, living out of his Porsche. His temporary job helping with the Valentine’s Day craze makes him yearn not only for the perky florist, but for a slower, friendlier way of life. When the shop runs into financial trouble, Sam’s dangerous and exotic skills might be just the thing to help Theodore and show him he’s not just a deadbeat moocher who’s “just passing through.”

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html


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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Bouncing Back by Joe Cosentino (049-03-17-2016)

As a whole the story shines, but individual characters and their arcs sometimes border on cliche. The large cast of characters occasionally overwhelms, but the story is never dull and ends satisfyingly.

Bouncing Back (Cozzi Cove #1) by Joe Cosentino
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: NineStar Press (March 19, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Bouncing Back (Cozzi Cove #1)

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are open for summer and love.

Mario and Harold are brothers and college students who happen to look alike, but couldn’t be more different: Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. Josh and Greg, a wealthy older couple, are matchmakers for their son, Christopher.

When it comes to Connor, the maid, packed with muscles and a roving sponge, anything can happen. Opposites attract as wild Tim with the secret past meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist.

And what will happen when computer-game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman? Even married Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected.

What secrets and passions lie in magical Cozzi Cove?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Gun to My Head by Dira Lewis (226-07-26-2016)

1) From the first page I was hooked to our antihero's voice and presence. This has been one of my favorite books of the year. I even had a friend from Montreal translate some of the sacre québécois. Some phrases will not only confuse you with their literal translation, but blow your hair back. Very interesting.

2) This is a strongly plotted vampire story with two complex, appealing characters. The narrator's Quebecois background is well-done. The love interest character is very three-dimensional even though he is only revealed through the narrator's first-person viewpoint. Both characters are very different personalities with great chemistry between them. The plot is clever and complicated, and the writing is smooth, confident, and atmospheric. Only the setting is so non-descript as to be average, but everything else in the book deserves the highest rating.

Gun to My Head by Dira Lewis
Bisexual Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (July 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620047896
ISBN-13: 978-1620047897
Amazon: Gun to My Head
Amazon Kindle: Gun to My Head

Sin is a vampire at the end of his rope. Having escaped forcible conversion by a vampire cult, he temporarily kills himself and rises again only to immediately imprint on a human: eighteen-year-old Dominic. Thanks to the cult's conditioning, Sin can't bite Dominic, but because of the imprint he also can't leave him alone. Protecting Dominic from a local vampire named Oriana puts Sin between a rock and a hard place. With nowhere else to turn he does his best to convince Dominic to like him—but finds himself becoming just as attached to Dominic, which definitely isn't making his life any easier.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Decade of Visions by Cameron Ramses (276-08-14-2016)

1) Unusual, intriguing, very different style and narrative; beautiful in all its shadows.

2) This book feels more like gay lit than true romance – the arc is strongly related to the setting, as it relates to the development of the main character who is genderfluid, or perhaps M2F. There is a fascinating historical feel, a very interesting psychology, and some delving into the mind of a character with more than their share of questions and demons. There is a love story here, but the romantic element does not feel like the focus. Recommended for those who like something different and particularly appreciate a focus on character thoughts and personal changes.

A Decade of Visions by Cameron Ramses
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 414 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press (August 16, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1911153846
ISBN-13: 978-1911153849
Amazon: A Decade of Visions
Amazon Kindle: A Decade of Visions

Born to a single mother in Dust Bowl-era Nebraska, Roy Manger learns to deny his true self from an early age. The rural Midwest is no place for a boy who wears girls’ clothes for fun—let alone for one who suffers gruesome hallucinations. It is only when he leaves home that he can embrace his true identity, spending his days as Roy and his nights as Raina, working as an escort in a ritzy Chicago bordello. But after a run-in with the law, Roy is torn between extremes: to live as a man or as a woman; to ignore his grief or struggle to accept it; to suppress his visions or seek to understand them. With the support of Woodrow, a convict with a murky past, Roy will have to come to terms with the fact that, in life, all of the greatest joys must come from within—and the greatest dangers, too.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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