October 9th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Across the Pond by Cheri Crystal (295-08-17-2016)

1) Good 1st book. Took me a while to get into it but it finished strong.

2) A really good book. I am always pleased if a book become more and more interesting as the pages goes by, and this is what happened to me with this read. I have found myself more into the story the more I entered into the story. The story is simple but well developed; the characters felt real and the setting is perfect for this story. A very good debut book, so good that I will keep my eyes out for this author next work.

Across the Pond by Cheri Crystal
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr.; 1 edition (July 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955333876
ISBN-13: 978-3955333874
Amazon: Across the Pond
Amazon Kindle: Across the Pond

After having been betrayed by her partner of thirteen years, Janalyn isn’t looking for another relationship, especially not one separated by miles of ocean. But when she travels to Devon, England, for a conference and meets a sporty Brit named Robyn, desires Janalyn thought were permanently lost are suddenly back and stronger than ever. Despite cultural differences, poking fun at each other’s use of the English language, and Robyn coming off as a player, Janalyn can’t help the attraction she feels, no matter how hard she tries. Can she and Robyn find a common ground upon which to make a life together? Will Janalyn throw caution to the wind and risk her heart again? If Janalyn does indeed venture across the pond, will love be her life preserver?

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Arrangement by Felice Stevens (234-07-31-2016)

The characters showed great personal growth within the story and the story line drew me in and made me not want to put the story down. I think I've found a new favorite author.

The Arrangement by Felice Stevens
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1535217979
ISBN-13: 978-1535217972
Amazon: The Arrangement
Amazon Kindle: The Arrangement

Carter Haywood lives for the weekends—specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he's not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again. Damaged goods. That's all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it's the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share. As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Femme by Marshall Thornton (236-07-31-2016)

1) I’ve never given a perfect score before, and I never expected to. Marshall Thornton pulls out the stops in bringing Lionel and Dog alive in “Femme.” The men’s voices are distinct, as are their personalities, thought processes, wardrobes, and histories. Only their values are the same: each tries to be a good guy. The plot arc deals with everyday problems of real people, described in a convincing language of someone well familiar with the issues that encounter “femme” gay men, as well as why the rest of the world, both gay and straight, reacts to “femmes” the way they do. Lionel and Doug’s heartwarming journey is lubricated by the goodwill of their friends and leavened by humor as they navigate the unfamiliar path from a casual hook-up to a serious, committed relationship. I had to read this book on one go - Lionel bossed me into it. Go try it, you won’t be sorry!

2) Amazingly realistic characters. The author has an incredible writing style.

Femme by Marshall Thornton
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Kenmore Books (July 28, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1534906967
ISBN-13: 978-1534906969
Amazon: Femme
Amazon Kindle: Femme

Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Kept by Jim Arnold (259-08-11-2016)

This was an unusual book, not easy to read, but the author did a great job by sticking by his guns and not yielding to arbitrary genre “conventions.” It took me a two or three chapters to get past the literary feel of it. I had to slow down, and when I did I began to marvel at the craft of it, and the characters began to grow close to my heart. I’d recommend this read to anyone interested in a more literary, less formulaic piece of gay fiction.

Kept by Jim Arnold
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Eureka Street Press; 1 edition (January 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996938001
ISBN-13: 978-0996938006
Amazon: Kept
Amazon Kindle: Kept

Palm Springs: Jorge Gomez leaves his poor family behind and remakes himself as ambitious George Gomes. Soon young gay George is picked up by Connor Hurst, who takes him to an empty mansion for a night of lust. Connor convinces George to work alongside him in a scam targeting gullible retirees with classic desert homes. George appears to be on a strange path to the American Dream, until his help covering up a violent death propels him toward bigger risks—perhaps even murder, one that seems justified, one promising a sizable payday. George doesn't know his role is to take the fall. Yet he isn’t as stupid as everyone thinks. Left alone, literally hanging on a wire with a corpse, George must fight enemies real and imagined if he has any hope of finding his dream—or even staying alive long enough to enjoy it.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Hollywood Secrets by T.S. McKinney (290-08-16-2016)

Loved the characters and the writing style. Great storyline, definitely going to read more by this author!

Hollywood Secrets by T.S. McKinney
Gay Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press, LLC (September 2, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Hollywood Secrets

Ethan Weatherby. Well…Vic and Grayson are smackdab in the middle of their happy-ending, loving each other with so much sugary sweet sap and disgustingly dirty sex that it’s turning my stomach…or making me green with jealously. Magnus and I broke up months ago, making me the laughing stock of Hollywood and leaving me drowning in a big black pit of despair. In an attempt to hide away from all the Hollywood glitz and gossip, I accompany Vic to Florence, Alabama for her latest movie. In my messed-up mind, I tell myself that I’ll get me a little Southern Boy Nookie that will miraculously make me forget all about Magnus. As it turns out…I get so much more than nookie.

Jeremy Michaelson. He’s hands down the hottest, most innocently beautiful person I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Every alpha instinct in me comes to life the first time I see him and the overwhelming desire to make him mine comes roaring to life. After our first encounter, I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about me.

At least I thought he did…until I realize there is so much more to my Southern heartthrob than what he wants me to see. He has secrets, potentially deadly secrets that risk putting an end to us before we even have a chance for our beginning. The more I try to unravel his past, the harder he pushes me away.

Here’s the deal…when I want something, I don’t give up easily…and I want Jeremy Michaelson.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen (114-06-03-2016)

1) This book was heart wrenching and realistic and I especially like that there wasn't a pat answer to the story question. The only negatives it did get a little long winded with the introspection and the mourning at the beginning of the book didn't read as realistic as other parts.

2) First, I loved that this book was part of a series but that I could read it and not feel like i was missing something. It stands alone wonderfully and it made me buy the first book in the series. Secondly, I really got sucked in by the characters.

Signs of Life (Resilient Love) by Melanie Hansen
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 28, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634761774
ISBN-13: 978-1634761772
Amazon: Signs of Life (Resilient Love)
Amazon Kindle: Signs of Life (Resilient Love)

A Resilient Love Story

Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all―a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids―he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

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

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