November 16th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Cold to the Touch by Cari Hunter (101-05-07-2016)

1) Cold to the Touch was a seamless narrative blending criminal mystery and romance. Hunter's style is so elegant that I feel like I experienced the story, not just read it.

2) A gripping story with well-developed characters and a pace that, at times, leaves you on the edge of your seat. Very clean writing style that managed to move the plot along without bogging down the reader in trivial details as sometimes occurs in crime procedurals. Overall, very nicely done.

3) Talk about cold! Cari Hunter writes winter so that you feel the snow creep down your collar or the wind whistle through the rip in your pants. She makes you feel the ache of fatigue from three nights in a row of too little sleep, and the terror of thinking you're losing your job, your career, your best friend, and your chance at love. I cared about Sanne from the start. Meg took a little more getting used to, but she grew on me. The crimes were bloody--very, very bloody-but realistically so, and not in an offensive way. The story is more police procedural than mystery, so don't expect to solve who dunnit from clues. If the clues had been there, I'm pretty sure Sanne would have figured them out.

4) A long story for its genre but excellent – no wasted words, no padding, and a very satisfying conclusion to the romantic story arc from other books. I marked plot down a couple of points because the backstory could have been explained more clearly. Good characterization even in minor roles; these people are individuals, not stereotypes. Since the series protagonist has had her ups and downs I wasn't sure if she'd be able to overcome the hurdles set up but – EXCELLENT storytelling and a real nail-biter denoument. Brava!

Cold to the Touch by Cari Hunter
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626395268
ISBN-13: 978-1626395268
Amazon: Cold to the Touch
Amazon Kindle: Cold to the Touch

Winter in the Derbyshire Peaks: months of knee-deep snow, short days, and rocketing crime rates.

Detective Sanne Jensen is living in self-imposed isolation and quietly falling apart, while Dr. Meg Fielding--Sanne's best friend and occasional lover--is struggling to cope with her violent brother, who is back in town and demanding money that she doesn't have.

When the murder of a drug addict is dumped onto Sanne's already unmanageable caseload, she suspects the death may be the start of something more sinister. But how can she investigate a crime when no one cares about the victim? And how can she stop a killer who has no identity, no motive, and no conscience?

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Loving Djinni by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus (365-08-31-2016)

1) Simply best read of the season. Sparkly and witty, this book brought multiple smiles and unforgettable characters.

2) An easy treat to read. This book was quite entertaining and allow me to call it 'cute'. I'd love to have a djinni like Sharu. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the awe Sharu felt every time he tried/experienced something new. He's been inside the bottle for so long he'd not realized the world had changed in leaps and bounds. This is a well-written story and would definitely read more from these authors. A job well done, Beryl & Osiris!

Loving Djinni by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 151961179X
ISBN-13: 978-1519611796
Amazon: Loving Djinni
Amazon Kinlde: Loving Djinni

‘Loving Djinni’ is a charming, screwball-y paranormal m/m romance about ancient magic meeting modern men, and how true love still is the strongest magic of them all. *** Left to die in a sealed tomb, David, an educated and good-natured New York arts dealer and part-time forger, stumbles over an old oil lamp. But instead of producing a little light for David’s last hours, it conjures forth a veritable djinni. An ancient, tempting, puckish djinni, who in David’s company prefers to show himself as an irresistibly handsome, fit and barely legal teenager. Quite literally an incarnation of trouble waiting to happen. So what’s a modern man to do with his three wishes, when he can wish for anything except the one thing the truly desires - to mend his broken heart?

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Bear Walks Into a Bar by Eden Winters (169-07-04-2016)

This book was incredible! I haven't read any of Winters' shifter books before, and I am actually liking it more than her contemporary! While maintaining some common shifter lore aspects, this book took on a whole new twist to a stale genre. The four young shifters made a family, and they cared for each other in a rolling tumble of fun and love, protecting each other and showcasing true friendship. Dillon, the young bear, needs a safe place to hibernate, and they think they might have a place to lay low when BAM! this big, sexy alpha bear saunters into the bar where they work, and chaos reigns! The background plot of territorial tensions was great, and the addition of elk shifters made this a fresh experience in an overwhelmed shifter genre.

A Bear Walks Into a Bar by Eden Winters
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books; 1 edition (January 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626220328
ISBN-13: 978-1626220324
Amazon: A Bear Walks Into a Bar
Amazon Kindle: A Bear Walks Into a Bar

It takes one strong alpha with a tight grip to keep a mountain full of shifters under control. Sawyer Ballantine’s contending with an uppity wolf leader and a herd of shifter elk bound and determined to take over. He might be the lone bear on the mountain, but he’s not going to allow another four shifters to just move in, especially not when they whiff of power. They’ll either be his in all ways, or they’ll be gone. Dillon, Jerry, Kevin, and Brad have no one but each other since their groups kicked them out. The young bear, wolves, and fox make a merry ménage, pooling their meager skills and serving beer. They’ve stumbled into more than they understand, caught in the dispute between the Urso of Ballantine Mountain and the elk. But winter’s setting in, and they don’t know how to keep Dillon safe for hibernation. And then a bear walks into their bar.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Island Doctor by Sue Brown (186-07-21-2016)

Well written and engaging. Great setting. I really didn’t expect this book to become an “I couldn’t put it down” read, but it did! The characters just pulled me in and wouldn’t let go.

Island Doctor (Island Medics #1) by Sue Brown
Gay Contemporary Romance
Series: Isle
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634767551
ISBN-13: 978-1634767552
Amazon: Island Doctor (Island Medics #1)
Amazon Kindle: Island Doctor (Island Medics #1)

Island Medics: Book One

An Isle Novel

Dr. Jeff Martin has spent five years as a rural general practitioner on the Isle of Wight, hiding the fact he’s gay. He travels in secret to see his partner, Tris, but when he discovers Tris has been cheating on him, he ends their relationship. Then Jeff meets island native Cameron Gillard. Cameron is down-to-earth, lively, and treats Jeff like he’s the most important person in his life. Jeff blooms under Cameron’s attention, and he decides to come out to his colleagues and friends.

Just when things are going well, Tris reappears out of the blue. Jeff is no longer interested in Tris, but it seems he has two men to convince. Tris, who can’t believe Jeff is serious about wanting to end their relationship, and Cameron, who can’t hide his jealousy of Tris.

Jeff is certain about one thing―the only man he wants in his life is Cameron. Now he just needs to prove it to him.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Gone Away by Elizabeth Noble (280-08-15-2016)

I enjoyed this story. There were a few areas that I felt were a bit rushed towards the end, and the main characters of Reice and Mason could have been a bit more fleshed out in order to really extract more of an emotional reaction from the reader when they were in danger, but all in all, the story was still a great one. The descriptions given for every setting was brilliant, and even the sex scenes were hot and sensually stimulating. The author did an amazing job with this book, and I look forward to reading other books in this series soon.

Gone Away (Circles #4) by Elizabeth Noble
Gay Romantic Suspence
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (December 28, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Gone Away (Circles #4)

Circles: Book Four

Mason Arquette isn’t one for mincing words. In fact, he often rubs people the wrong way—with the exception of Riece Burrell. Riece came with his own set of social issues, but he saw right through Mason’s tough exterior, and they made a perfect couple. Or so Mason thought… until Riece abruptly ended their relationship without much explanation.

Years later, Mason and Riece are thrown back together. As a US Forestry Service photographer, Riece is sent on assignment to the Black Hills, where Mason works. When Mason is tasked with guiding Riece around the territory, old feelings are quickly rekindled.

But nothing is ever easy. Just as Mason and Riece begin to work things out, they’re targeted by people with motives so vile and twisted they defy imagination. In a desperate race for their lives, they must depend on one another and take a big step out of their personal comfort zones to find their way back to safety—and back to love.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger (311-08-24-2016)

Genuine, believable dialogue, and characters who felt real and weren't perfect. I loved it, and this author has definitely become an auto-buy for me.

What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger
Transgender Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (August 20, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1535376066
ISBN-13: 978-1535376068
Amazon: What It Looks Like
Amazon Kindle: What It Looks Like

Eli Bell is the only son of a police chief inspector and a forensic scientist. He's grown up wonky in a world that only deals with the straight and narrow -- and his new boyfriend isn't helping.

Rob Hawkes is six feet of muscle, tattoos, and arrest warrants. A career criminal and a former guest of Her Majesty's Prison Service, he'd rather hit Eli's parents than sit down to dinner with them. One wrong move, and Rob could destroy Eli -- and his family -- without a second thought.

But this isn't what it looks like.

Rob's not in control here -- and Eli's the one to blame.

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

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