November 28th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan (343-08-30-2016)

1) This is a fantastic read! Two broken men. One, a famous singer. The other, an abused young man. They meet at a mental hospital. Cameron Fox, the singer, after a DUI, sentenced to a work-release at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility. Jonah Radley is a writer and reclusive man who admits himself to the same facility twice a year to deal with hallucinations and nightmares that cloud him caused by childhood trauma. The two for a bond almost from the beginning being that Jonah has always had a crush on Cameron or the role he played in a teen TV show when he was younger. Being that Cameron works at the facility while Jonah is a patient they are not allowed to start a romantic relationship. It's not allowed. But once the year Cameron is sentenced to work at the facility they start a beautiful relationship, helping each other battle Jonah's monsters. Well written, well done. Will look forward to reading more from this new to me author. Cheers!

2) A fascinating page turner. The subject of mental illness is handled very well and the relationship between all the characters including the secondary ones is very well done. It’s not easy to build a relationship between two men when one has a mental illness but this author has done an amazing job with it. A must read!

Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press, LLC (July 29, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925506142
ISBN-13: 978-1925506143
Amazon: Strong Medicine
Amazon Kinlde: Strong Medicine

Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn't possibly find happiness together--could they?

The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work release program at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.

Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret--one he refuses to speak about in therapy.

Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness--and find a new normal together.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Tested Love by Kayla Jameth (71-04-01-2016)

It was extremely interesting to read a story set in an ancient world of Sparta. It let me understand their culture better and, what is more, to see Spartans as people (who had feelings after all) and not only soldiers fixed on killing.

A Tested Love (Spartan Love #2) by Kayla Jameth
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634769791
ISBN-13: 978-1634769792
Amazon: A Tested Love (Spartan Love #2)
Amazon Kindle: A Tested Love (Spartan Love #2)

"Sequel to A Spartan Love"

"Spartan Love: Book Two"

"The Epics of Apollo s Men"

Lured by seductive promises, Andreas risked his life to be with Theron, only to find himself betrayed. Abandoned and alone, Andreas resigns all hope of seeing his fierce warrior again and resumes his life as a helot.

All too aware of the harsh punishment Sparta demands of men who love other men, Theron reluctantly surrenders Andreas in hopes of keeping him safe. The warrior returns to Sparta to embrace his destiny in place of the helot he has grown to see as a man, not just a slave. Cold but honorable duty will be his new lover.

Duty proves to be a jealous lover when Sparta demands the final test of Theron s loyalty. Sent to kill Andreas, Theron must find a way to come to terms with his burning desire for his handsome helot before their forbidden love destroys them both."

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor (387-09-03-2016)

1) The setting and world building elements were unique and atmospheric, making this an enjoyable steampunk read.

2) A short read with a lot of story packed into the pages. The way Jess Faraday wove the main character's story with the supporting cast was a skill I find missing in a great deal of writing these days.  From the opening sequence, Rosetta Stein, is an adventurer, a searcher, a scientist, grabbed me, and did not let go until the very end.  Nothing was superlative in this short; spinning an intriguing story of a lost artifact, accusations of anarchy, and a blooming romance.  Though the main character is a lesbian, there are other same sex relationships that play into the telling. Jess Faraday's masterful writing has these relationships enrich the story rather than distract from it.

3) Enjoyable quick easy read.  The author kept me engaged in the story. I really liked the "steampunk " feel. Usually not my favorite genre. Quirky but fun.

The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor by Jess Faraday
Lesbian Historical
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 15, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor

Billiwack, California, 1884. When translator Rosetta Stein comes across her rival, Bartholomew Vincent, under attack by weird, raven-headed man-beasts behind the infamous Puckered Rosebud Gentleman’s Club, she senses opportunity. She rescues him in exchange for a crack at the commission he stole from under her nose—a strangely inscribed artifact found by Big Sur bigwig George Taylor Granville in the Santa Lucia mountains. Misfortune has stalked Vincent from the moment he took on the project, and he’s only too happy to share it. In the meantime, a lady marshal has come to Billiwack, investigating rumors of strange, unlicensed weapons, and she can’t seem to decide if she’d rather kiss Rosetta or arrest her. And Vincent is suffering romantic complications of his own, in the forms of Rosetta’s charming layabout brother, and an amorous professor who won’t take God, no! for an answer.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Four Point by Max Ellendale (030-03-08-2016)

1) Four Point starts with banging suspense, and it ratchets up from there. This is a gritty read about a subject matter I generally avoid, survival of rape and sexual torture. It's not for the queasy, but Salinger is a heroine easy to like despite her many faults. A slow-burning romance rises eventually to a sexy sizzle, making this a satisfying read.

2) Dark, gritty, damaged three-dimensional characters, and a well written suspenseful mystery kept me engaged start to finish.

Four Point by Max Ellendale
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: September 17, 2015
Amazon Kindle: Four Point

Thirty-two bodies, twenty years, and a cold case that lives inside her alone. Detective Sali James teeters on the edge of sanity as she's forced to unearth her darkest days in order to stop Washington's most elusive serial killer. "Isn't watching beautiful?"

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Ringed Love (Sentries #6) by Elizabeth Noble (341-08-29-2016)

1) Absolutely loved this book. Great continuation of the series. Fascinating world and wonderfully developed characters. The writing style allows the reader to be carried away in the story, it flows around you with no jarring discordance to pull you from the story.

2)  This book is the perfect ending to a fascinating, enthralling, compelling, and emotional series that captivated me from the very first book.

Ringed Love (Sentries #6) by Elizabeth Noble
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 23, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634772474
ISBN-13: 978-1634772471
Amazon: Ringed Love (Sentries #6)
Amazon Kinlde: Ringed Love (Sentries #6)

"Sequel to Tethered Pair "

"Sentries: Book Six "

New Colorado Protectorate fell with the assassination of Chancellor Clarke. Afterward, like many others, Todd and Nick Ruger left the land of their birth and made a home up north in Yellowknife. Though they have to say a sad farewell to friends and loved ones, they are taken in with open arms and in turn offer shelter to others.

They must still contend with angry ghosts, Windigos, and water spirits, but through it all, their love and devotion for each other never falters. Nick is awarded a degree in veterinary medicine and trains students from Yellowknife, while Todd becomes the town sheriff and takes on new sentry apprentices of his own. They remain steadfast in their duty as sentries as well, leaving a legacy meant to protect and defend those who need it the most.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Beast That Never Was (254-08-07-2016)

1) Great plot development. The story is easy to consume and to follow and has a lot of logical progression to it. The plot is a little predictable in places, but overall, it's fun to read and enjoyable. They did some research and had some details that were very uncommon, but thoughtful. I can really appreciate that. It's the hallmark of a good writer not just to be able to put prose onto paper, but also to be able to use the setting and the culture of the setting in the plot in unique ways. The characters feel like real people. They have troubles and wants. Conflict is present. They don't feel like they fall flat, and characters whom you don't expect to relate to end up having some serious worries, flaws, and concerns. Good show overall! Clean and simple. A bit too much adverb use in some places where the adverbs can simply be replaced with a stronger verb. Overall, very pleasant and easy to read/consume, which is a pleasure. Recommended for consideration for an award.

2) This gorgeous re-imagining and refreshing interpretation of a classic fairy tale is a literary tour de force that awakens a fountain of possibilities for readers. As the forces of good and evil meet the conflicting reflections we each bring to our understanding of what it means to be different, Werlinger has achieved a poignant and powerful verbal picture of love, heroines and humanity.

The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger
Lesbian Fantasy
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Corgyn Publishing (May 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996036865
ISBN-13: 978-0996036863
Amazon: The Beast That Never Was
Amazon Kindle: The Beast That Never Was

What if Beauty was the Beast? Lise’s father is dead, and the life of plenty and freedom that she has known as the daughter of the King’s Huntsman is gone. She must now live a life of duty to her mother and sisters, helping them to cope in their altered circumstances. But where her mother would have her wed a childhood friend to secure their future, Lise knows that is not what she longs for. When she meets a mysterious woman in the forest, Lise feels the stirrings of emotions she cannot give voice to, but with this woman, she doesn’t have to say anything—Senna knows. Cursed, hunted, and feared, Senna has been forced to wander from place to place for more years than she cares to remember. She gave up hope long ago that there could ever be an end to her isolation. Odd sightings in the forest—monsters of legend come to life, old enemies back from the past, fearsome beasts on the prowl—begin to frighten the people of Lise’s village. Somehow, all of these things are connected to Senna. As the villagers’ fear grows, so does their hatred. Senna prepares to flee, accepting what has become her fate, but Lise isn’t ready to give up her one chance for happiness. Soon, only Lise stands between the villagers and the woman she has grown to love.

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

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