October 10th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling (60-03-25-2016)

1) Powerful from start to finish, Yesterday is a stunning story rich in culture and history. One cannot help but be pulled deep into the plight of forbidden love and the psyche of the characters. In a world filled with unspeakable horrors and oceans of pain, Yesterday is magically written and we live each moment through to a happy ending. Hauntingly beautiful, written in deft prose, Ms. Ashling’s Yesterday exemplifies the very essence of true storytelling.

2) The author has done her research and it shows in not just the setting, but the way the characters react. Kam's struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his beliefs feels very realistic, and I got hooked on his and Grady's story very quickly.

3) Interesting tale of worlds colliding in both cultural and romantic tendencies, set in a time of upheaval that lead to anarchy. A recommended read.

Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634766784
ISBN-13: 978-1634766784
Amazon: Yesterday
Amazon Kindle: Yesterday

In June of 1978 Grady Ormond, eighteen-year-old son of diplomat Peter Ormond, accompanies his father to his new posting as US Ambassador to Pakistan. Neighboring Iran is on the brink of a civil war, with the monarchy in danger of being overthrown.

Grady will be leaving for New York City in late August to study cinematography and has been warned to keep his homosexual orientation tightly under wraps while on vacation. Repercussions in the predominantly Islamic region could be severe.

On their first night in Karachi, his father hosts a cocktail party to meet the local dignitaries. Grady is introduced to His Highness Prince Kamran Izadi, nephew of the shah of Iran. Twenty-three-year-old Kamran has recently returned from the UK, where he spent eleven years, first as a student, and then as a financial analyst.

The attraction is immediate―unforeseen and dangerously powerful―but neither one dares to make a move. Odds are so stacked against them it’s futile to even entertain a friendship, but they do, and their world tilts precariously.

With his country in turmoil and Grady about to leave for college, Kamran makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Sleight of Heart by Aisling Mancy (034-03-09-2016)

Excellent story of supernatural love, written in exquisite style. The rescue is delicious!

Sleight of Heart (Morality of Magick #1) by Aisling Mancy
Gay Fantasy Romance
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing PTY Ltd; 1 edition (March 14, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Sleight of Heart (Morality of Magick #1)

Lord Taliesin Solitaire was born albino, cursed mute by the fey, and betrayed by a vampire lover. For two hundred years the vampire mage has vowed never to love again and has only used sex as a means to a meal. Until a palm-reading gypsy finds himself in peril and Taliesin can’t resist rescuing the beautiful young man.

Pesha is the eldest but smallest son of King Vaida Sinclair, the oppressive ruler of the Kåle RomaniCompania. Deemed impure by his father, Pesha is shunned and mistreated by his band and four half-brothers, and one brother in particular wants him dead. His pale, silent savior gives him safety, security and a love he never could have imagined. As Pesha falls in love with his handsome white knight, his half-brother does the unthinkable.

Can Taliesin rescue Pesha from the cruel clutches of his half-brother a second time?

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Second Harvest by Eli Easton (158-06-24-2016)

1) Loved this story and couldn't put it down. Engaging characters who hooked me in within the first few paragraphs. The setting is described really well and was easy to imagine. This is the first story I've read by this author but won't be the last.

2) A beautiful story about second chances and finding yourself. Christie and David are intensely perfect for each other. I can wait to revisit these men.

3) Well written story of two worlds combining to form a new reality for both the protagonists. One religious and one sexual, the pair of lifestyles mesh in a satisfying way. A+.

A Second Harvest by Eli Easton
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634774035
ISBN-13: 978-1634774031
Amazon: A Second Harvest
Amazon Kindle: A Second Harvest

David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with both his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness. "

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: How to Walk like a Man by Eli Easton (157-06-24-2016)

1) A delightful story with a strong plot, a lot of humor, a lot of vivid attention to details (e.g., dog behavior), very good writing, and complex characters that evolved through the story. Everything just came together really well for this story and it was a treat to read.

2) I don't usually go for adorable stories, but that's what this one was through and through, and it was completely delightful. Roman and Matt were great both separate and together, and the previous book in the series (which I haven't read yet, but will now) was hinted at but not necessary to understanding this one. It's funny, it's sweet and it has moments of real, true anxiety and tension as well. I can't recommend it enough.

How to Walk like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2) by Eli Easton
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: Howl at the Moon
Paperback: 436 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523691018
ISBN-13: 978-1523691012
Amazon: How to Walk like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2)
Amazon Kindle: How to Walk like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2)

Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble. Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If this job doesn’t kill Matt, sexual frustration just might. The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like 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: Under Leaden Skies by Sandra Lindsey (187-07-21-2016)

1) The characters in this story, although in love with each other, have kept their feelings for fear of losing what they have; a strong friendship which goes above their feelings, plus the fear of being found out. It's 1939 war-time and one of the boys goes to do his duty while the other stays behind working in the coal mines with his father and brothers. While at war, Teddy matures and becomes sexually involved with other men, while Huw, the man who holds his interest and his heart remain faithful. It was a pretty good story. It kept me curious as to what would come next.

2) There must be a new "Must have" in recent gay novels, to quickly add a sex scene a few pages to the end, maybe to appease certain readers. It's unnecessary, hit me off a bit and - for me - takes off value of overall really well done works.

Under Leaden Skies by Sandra Lindsey
Gay Historical
Publisher: Manifold Press (August 1, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Under Leaden Skies

Love. Loss. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Honour. Duty. Family.

In 1939, the arrival of war prompted 'Teddy' Maximilian Garston to confess his love to his childhood friend, Huw Roberts. Separated by duty - Teddy piloting Sunderland flying boats for RAF Coastal Command, and Huw deep underground in a South Wales coal mine - their relationship is frustrated by secrecy, distance, and the stress of war that tears into every aspect of their lives.

After endless months of dull patrols, a chance encounter over the Bay of Biscay will forever change the course of Teddy's life. On returning to Britain, how will he face the consequences of choices made when far from home? Can he find a way to provide for everyone he loves, and build a family from the ashes of wartime grief?

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

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