November 23rd, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk (105-05-09-2016)

1) Extremely entertaining story. The author engaged me from the very beginning of the story keeping me enthralled until the last page. This is a wonderful addition to the Hexworld series. Well done, Ms. Hawk! I'm anxiously waiting to see if there's a third book on this series.

2) I think the author did a fantastic job of building an alternate world filled with very believable characters.

3) This piece was beautifully researched and the setting and plot were just delightful. It was very unusual for the genre, to have a particular period piece with urban magic, and I was completely delighted to read it.

4) Intriguing plot, complex characters, shifters, and magic. What more can you ask for?

Hexbreaker (Hexworld #1) by Jordan L. Hawk
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: Hexworld
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Widdershins Press LLC (May 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1530911524
ISBN-13: 978-1530911523
Amazon: Hexbreaker (Hexworld #1)
Amazon Kindle: Hexbreaker (Hexworld #1)

Will a dark history doom their future together? New York copper Tom Halloran is a man with a past. If anyone finds out he once ran with the notorious O’Connell tunnel gang, he’ll spend the rest of his life doing hard time behind bars. But Tom’s secret is threatened when a horrible murder on his beat seems to have been caused by the same ancient magic that killed his gang. Cat shifter Cicero is determined to investigate the disappearance of one friend and the death of another, even though no one else believes the cases are connected. When the trail of his investigation crosses Tom’s, the very bohemian Cicero instinctively recognizes the uncultured Irish patrolman as his witch. Though they’re completely unsuited to one another, Cicero has no choice but to work alongside Tom…all the while fighting against the passion growing within. Tom knows that taking Cicero as his familiar would only lead to discovery and disaster. Yet as the heat between them builds, Tom’s need for the other man threatens to overcome every rational argument against becoming involved. But when their investigation uncovers a conspiracy that threatens all of New York, Tom must make the hardest decision of his life: to live a lie and gain his heart’s desire, or to confess the truth and sacrifice it all.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Embracing the Dawn by Jeannie Levig (185-07-21-2016)

1) A fresh take on an old trope made this a wonderfully readable book. The Author’s writing is her strong point, but it needs to serve a stronger plot. The characters were at once likeable and real.

2) A lovely romance with unique, well-written characters. A simply gorgeous that left me wanting more.

Embracing the Dawn by Jeannie Levig
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 14, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626395764
ISBN-13: 978-1626395763
Amazon: Embracing the Dawn
Amazon Kindle: Embracing the Dawn

Does love have a chance when no one knows she wants it?

Jinx Tanner is an ex-con trying to piece together a life on the outside and heal her relationship with her half-sister who hasn’t spoken to her in over twenty-five years.
Romantic love is now here on her radar. E. J. Bastien is a business executive with her life and heart under control. She has a successful career, a woman in her bed whenever she wants one, and a healthy relationship with her grown children—as long as they don’t find out she’s gay. She has no desire for romantic entanglements.

When these two women awaken after a one-night stand to find their lives inextricably entwined, love has its work cut out for it.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Dance by Suzie Carr (126-06-04-2016)

1) Nicely written story. Learned a lot about bees. The characters were well developed and I liked them all. Would have liked Sophie better if she was a little less harsh with Jacky but she came around.

2) I thought this was a lovely tale of moving on after a bereavement. I ached for Jacky and Sophie, caught in their web of grief, and loved it when Brooke managed to untangle the threads so that they could love again.

The Dance by Suzie Carr
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Sunny Bee Books, LLC (February 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0986388149
ISBN-13: 978-0986388149
Amazon: The Dance
Amazon Kindle: The Dance

The Dance is a book about love, family and friendship, and learning how to dance with life’s constant spin. Dog trainer Jacky Applebaum is focused on one thing – making up for a grave misunderstanding that damaged her relationship with her fifteen-year old stepdaughter Sophie. They are suffocating under the pressure of hurt and guilt. Old wounds begin to heal between them when a spirited beekeeper named Brooke Hastings contracts Jacky to train her overly-protective dog, Bee. A mutual affinity grows instantly between them, an affinity Jacky won’t allow herself to embrace. But, the heart knows what it needs. Meanwhile, Brooke hires Sophie as her assistant in the bee apiary. A trust forms, and soon Sophie begins to feel alive again as she comes face-to-face with the many parallels between her and the honeybees she nurtures. Just as they learn to open up and dance with life again, a hurtful truth reveals itself. Will this truth set them free or unravel all they’ve come to learn about life?

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Stumptown Spirits by E.J. Russell (125-06-03-2016)

1) This was a very enjoyable, fast paced story. I loved the chemistry between the main characters and the plot was original and kept me reading straight through.

2) Ho.lly.Crap! What a ride this story was! I'm so excited to have had the honor of reading this wonderful, fast paced book. At first, I wasn't sure what was going on with Logan, why he wouldn't reveal what his motives were, and why he hid so much information from from Rilley, the love of his life. But once the story picked up speed I was hooked. I couldn't put it down, thus, getting in bed super late. Then I picked it up once more and read through til the Oh, so exciting, end. Wonderful story. I wouldn't mind reading twenty books just like this one back to back. Stories that keep me at the edge of the proverbial seat are the ones I enjoy the most. Great work, Ms. Russell!

3) Logan and Riley are perfectly disfuctional. Add to that the well thought out mystery and paranormal elements, I couldn't put it down.

Stumptown Spirits (Legend Tripping #1) by E.J. Russell
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: The Aphrodite Project
Series: Legend Tripping
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (February 17, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626494096
ISBN-13: 978-1626494091
Amazon: Stumptown Spirits (Legend Tripping #1)
Amazon Kindle: Stumptown Spirits (Legend Tripping #1)

What price would you pay to rescue a friend from hell?

For Logan Conner, the answer is almost anything. Guilt-ridden over trapping his college roommate in a ghost war rooted in Portland’s pioneer past, Logan has spent years searching for a solution. Then his new boyfriend, folklorist Riley Morrel, inadvertently gives him the key. Determined to pay his debt—and keep Riley safe—Logan abandons Riley and returns to Portland, prepared to give up his freedom and his future to make things right.

Crushed by Logan’s betrayal, Riley drops out of school and takes a job on a lackluster paranormal investigation show. When the crew arrives in Portland to film an episode about a local legend of feuding ghosts, he stumbles across Logan working at a local bar, and learns the truth about Logan’s plan.

Their destinies once more intertwined, the two men attempt to reforge their relationship while dodging a narcissistic TV personality, a craven ex-ghost, and a curmudgeonly bar owner with a hidden agenda. But Logan’s date with destiny is looming, and his life might not be the only one at stake.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Adoni by Rider Jacobs (023-02-26-2016)

Clearly part of an ongoing series there were places that I felt a little lost when the characters were describing events or people that were not part of the immediate plot. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable, easy read.

Adoni by Rider Jacobs
Gay Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press, LLC (November 18, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Adoni

As King of the Celestial realm, Adoni should have everything he wants, but he lacks the one thing he desires, someone to love.

Inheriting the throne while still a child, Adoni always did as the council expected of him. He has watched others fall in love and start a family but was afraid he would never find a person who wanted him for anything other than his title. With the threat of war looming, Adoni does the one thing the council forbids, he tours his kingdom to unite his people. When Adoni meets Navarah, a mage from the Dark Realms, he enters into a love affair he knows will be forbidden, but when Navarah is kidnapped by those who wish war, will Adoni be able to save the one he has come 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: Banished Sons of Poseidon (036-03-11-2016)

Young Adult novel but with a complex plot that appeals also to adult readers, author weaves into the plot LGBT and ancient history. Plot, setting and characters all move smoothly and perfectly balanced together.

Banished Sons of Poseidon by Andrew J. Peters
Gay Young Adult
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626394415
ISBN-13: 978-1626394414
Amazon: Banished Sons of Poseidon
Amazon Kindle: Banished Sons of Poseidon

A new fantastical adventure by the author of The Seventh Pleiade. After escaping from a flood that buried the aboveground in seawater, a fractured group of boys contend with the way ahead and their trust of an underground race of men who gives them shelter. For sixteen-year-old Dam, whose world was toppling before the tragedy, it's a strange, new second chance. There are wonders in the underworld and a foreign warrior Hanhau who is eager for friendship despite Dam's dishonorable past.

But a rift between his countrymen threatens to send their settlement into chaos. Peace between the evacuees and Hanhau's tribe depends on sharing a precious relic that glows with arcane energy. When danger emerges from the shadowed backcountry, Dam must undertake a desperate mission. It's the only hope to make it home to Atlantis. It's the only way to save Hanhau and his people.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Getting Back by Cindy Rizzo (113-05-30-2016)

Very enjoyable read, those books you are sorry to see it ending. Well developed characters, and a spinning idea that wasn't easy to grow into a believable story, but the author managed to do so.

Getting Back by Cindy Rizzo
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr. (October 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955333957
ISBN-13: 978-3955333959
Amazon: Getting Back
Amazon Kindle: Getting Back

Elizabeth Morrison has ascended the ranks of her industry and now runs one of the most successful publishing companies in the US. But even after three decades, she has never been able to get past the devastating end of her relationship with the beautiful and brilliant Ruth Abramson. As Elizabeth approaches her 30th college reunion, she must face the woman who long ago acceded to the demands of her father, a famous Russian dissident, and married the young man who'd been chosen for her. It doesn't make it any easier that Ruth, now divorced and living openly as a lesbian, is the class luncheon speaker. As the two women face one another and attempt to reconcile their past, Elizabeth finds she must wrestle with a number of issues she has avoided confronting. And she must carefully decide whether she is more distrustful of Ruth or of herself. Is she headed for another fall with this woman? Or does she want to get close again, so she can be the one to walk away? When it comes to reuniting with the love of your life, it's not always easy to know the difference between getting back together and just getting back.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Every Breath I Take by J.P. Bowie (117-06-03-2016)

A well-written romance with enough tension to keep me reading along to discover how it was all going to turn out at the end. I would have enjoyed more detail to setting, there was enough here that I didn’t feel like I had to work the whole time I was reading, trying to imagine those details for myself but I could have used more. I realize that’s an issue within the genre as there are many readers who don’t like much or any setting details. That being said, I’m selfish and greedy, and therefore always asking for more. : ) While the characters all felt real and I became invested in what happened to them, for me, there were perhaps too many POV’s for such a short novella length book. I would have preferred less in this size word count, or perhaps a longer book to allow the reader more time with and insight into each character. This felt like a second book in a series, so perhaps there is more to be found in an earlier work. I did appreciate that while this felt like a sequel to another book, the author provided enough backstory that I never felt lost in this book. All in all, well done!

Every Breath I Take (All I'll Ever Need #2) by J.P. Bowie
Gay Erotic Romance
Publisher: Pride Publishing (April 5, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Every Breath I Take (All I'll Ever Need #2)

Troy Kendall was a bad boy, an addict with attitude, but, since Detective Mark McLennan entered his life, all he wants to do is help others—even if they really don’t want him to.

Life for a recovering drug addict isn’t easy. Fortunately for Troy Kendall, he has handsome Detective Mark McLennan to lean on for love and support. When Mark asks Troy to move in with him, Troy is over the moon, sure that now his future will be everything he has dreamed of.

Now that he’s able to think about the bigger picture without himself as the main feature, he starts taking an interest in others. Like his ex-roommate Kevin. Troy feels a bit guilty about finding happiness when it’s obvious Kevin is lonely and miserable. Or Teresa, the food server working at the corner diner. Troy is sure she’s a victim of domestic abuse.

Ignoring Mark’s opinion that he’s being annoyingly nosy, Troy goes on a mission to try to help those he feels are lacking in the happiness department. He’s given excuses from Teresa when he asks her how she came by all the cuts and bruises he sees her suffering from on a daily basis. Is it the boyfriend or her domineering father who’s making Teresa’s life a misery?

After a conversation over a drink with Kevin, he’s worried that his ex-roomie is on the verge of signing up for gay conversion therapy. When Kevin goes missing, Troy and Mark along with Kevin’s new roommate, Roger, go on a search that leads them to a basement in the suburbs where a homophobic couple are holding Kevin captive.

Is Troy’s plan to find happiness for others doomed to failure? Or can he and his friends change the course of disaster both Kevin and Teresa are on?

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Ivan vs Ivan by Princess S.O. (204-07-24-2016)

This was my first romance set on an oil rig. Intriguing premise, to be sure. And to top that off... this one was smoking hot! Two inked, bearded, muscle-bound nordic gods clashing in and out of bed, what's not to love? Their interaction was a hoot. These two bears bicker and argue, scuffle and fight, steaming things up in the best way possible. The plot involves one Ivan coming out, the other Ivan learning from adversity. This story is so visceral and palpable, a sensory overload, full of hot and heavy action, plus heaps of angst and heartbreak. Loved this!

Ivan vs Ivan (The Teddy Bear Collection #3) by Princess S.O.
Gay Romantic Suspence
Series: The Teddy Bear Collection
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Talon ps (October 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692550593
ISBN-13: 978-0692550595
Amazon: Ivan vs Ivan (The Teddy Bear Collection #3)
Amazon Kindle: Ivan vs Ivan (The Teddy Bear Collection #3)

Out here in the North Sea, love usually passes a man by like a ship in the night. So it’s a nice surprise when the captain of the ship hired to transport Ivan’s ocean platform rig into port for the winter might actually offer some unexpected non-business type amenities as well. Ivan Voloshyn owns and operates the Marianna Shoal, a deep sea oil rig. It’s hard work and long days out in harsh weather. And he loves it that way. Because that’s what he knows. Seabeds— rigs— oil— and bad weather. He’s also about to find out the Norse Gods have a sense of humor. For who should it be to come riding in on the Sea Dock Heavy Lift ship? Another Ivan. Captain Ivan Blaževic knows who he is and what he wants; problem is, he also knows he can’t have it. Just because the rest of the world is coming out of the closet doesn’t mean every gay man can or should. Out here on the seas, the weather can change in an instant. He needs to trust his crew to do their job, and their hostility towards gays would get in the way of that if he was ever found out. Ivan-the rig-owner’s very presence threatens Blaževic’s closet doors, nevertheless it’s hard to turn that away, because he wants him to keep doing so. Out here, the North Sea can change a man’s life— but hatred can take it away. THE TEDDY BEAR COLLECTION Their Plane from Nowhere Big Spoon & Teddy Bear Ivan vs. Ivan Gay Fiction / Mature – Bear Romance / Industrial Blue-collar Theme / Adult Content

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