November 19th, 2017

andrew potter

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Country Jeff Mann


1) This is a gritty tale of love. It’s not the typical "boy meets boy, boy likes boy, boy chases boy, and both boys fall in love with each other" story. Mann weaves a tough tale of two different people. Brice is a unlkeable character in moments, and Brice unknowingly seeks approval and forgiveness when he returns back to his small town where he is not looked upon favorably. Maybe he seeks a new break in life. That’s at least the gist of why he returned to a place still homophobic. While there he meets the person, Lucas, who changes his course in life. Fairly erotic; not the typical HEA story, but it has teeth. 

Country Jeff Mann
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Paperback
Publisher: Lethe Press (September 3, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212401
ISBN-13: 978-1590212400
Amazon: Country Jeff Mann

Brice Brown sings about loyalty and broken hearts, the earnestness of being a proud Southerner, yet his popular country music lyrics are misdirection because Brice has kept hidden his attraction to men for all his life. But when a former lover--and band member--goes to the press with the truth, Brice finds himself sick of all the lies and returning to the sanctuary of his West Virginian hometown. The neighbors who used to be proud of the local boy made good now turn on him. His record label cancels contracts, his wife files for divorce, and he finds himself disgraced and despondent.

But then Brice learns from a fan that there is a compound in central West Virginia run by a man who has helped troubled gay youth overcome their self-loathing. Brice takes a chance at redemption at the forest retreat. There he meets Lucas, the handyman at the compound, who simmers with resentment at his past, angry at how he sees his future will be. While Brice thinks that Lucas is attracted to him both men are suffering. Can they rise above the condemnations the world has given them and find something meaningful...together?

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andrew potter

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) Tara Lain


1) I especially liked that though it is part of a series, this book stands very well on its own. Info from the other books is referenced, but effectively, without overly summarizing or depending upon that info to follow the plot of this story. The characters were very likable; what's more, I didn't like them all at first, but by the end, I had gotten to know the real people behind the actions, and that is quite rewarding as a reader. I appreciate that though character conflicts were resolved to satisfy the story, they were not all fully tied with a bow, which gives the story a certain realism. The epilogue ending did feel a little too good to be true in some ways, but it almost didn't matter because I wanted that extra cherry on top for these characters, and I ended up wondering happily about how their lives would further play out. Watching Tom inadvertently put idiots in their places just by being his unassuming, sweet self was lovely. Merle's narrative tone had me laughing outright at places; I don't know many authors who can use phrases like "the cockles of his balls" without distracting me from the mood! But the turns of phrase were very entertaining. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book!
2) Love the characters, setting, and plot.  Deeply invested in the series and it's characters.  
3) So much in The Fool of Main Beach was a surprise. Tom Henry was unique and interesting. Merle Justice was a character it was easy to empathize with even though he wad a movie star. All around, this book was well done.
4) I like this book. A Romance if ever there was one! And delightfully moving, too. I give it full marks: a 10 all around

Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) Tara Lain
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: Love in Laguna
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635339650
ISBN-13: 978-1635339659
Amazon: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) Tara Lain

A Love in Laguna Novel

Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.

Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?

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andrew potter

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Amy L. Stone Cornyation


1)This was a non-fiction work that documented the history, rise and influence of Cornyation Fiesta, an event that takes place in San Antonio. The book highlights the great aspects of the show: that is part satire, part vaudeville, part drag show, and lots of entertainment, woven with history. It has struggled to become accepted and by becoming involved in the AIDS crisis, has developed into a great organization.
2) I loved this book, and it has obviously already been through professional editing and design. This is a wonderful success story for an entire GLBTQ community in a conservative area of Texas. I debated for a time if it had too much of a local interest to have a wide appeal, but I don't think so. For one thing, lessons learned in San Antonio can apply elsewhere. It was just fun to read about how humor and satire transitioned an entire GLBTQ community to general acceptance in the wider city. The length of time covered by the history of this satirical festival could not help but cause the occasional overload, but Amy did a good job of keeping the story on-track and relevant. Outstanding job of showing the social, political, and cultural environment of San Antonia and how it affected Cornynation and vice versa. The people behind the pageant came alive for me. The greatest complication was the vast number involved over the decades. At times, that came a tad difficult to track. Excellent! She managed to keep the historic facts accurate while maintaining an entertaining read.

Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition
LGBT - Non Fiction
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Maverick Books (April 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159534800X
ISBN-13: 978-1595348005
Amazon: Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition

Fiesta San Antonio began in 1891 began as a parade in honor of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto and has evolved into an annual Mardi Gras-like festival attended by four million with more than 100 cultural events raising money for nonprofit organizations in San Antonio, Texas.
At Fiesta's start, the events were socially exclusive, one of the most prominent being the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo, a lavish, debutante pageant crowning a queen of the festival. Cornyation was created in 1951 by members of San Antonio's theater community as a satire, mocking the elite with their own flamboyant duchesses, empresses, and queens, accompanied by men in drag and local political figures in outrageous costume. The stage show quickly transformed into a controversial parody of local and national politics and culture.
Told through more than one hundred photographs and dozens of interviews, Cornyation is the first history of this major Fiesta San Antonio event, tracing how it has become one of Texas's iconic and longest-running celebrations, and one of the Southwest's first large-scale fundraisers for HIV-AIDS research, raising more than two million dollars since 1990.

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andrew potter

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mentio: M.A. Church It Takes Two to Tango (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #3)


1) I enjoyed the book, Remi was quite the character. I loved how the sense of loyalty prevailed. I did not like the stalkerish (do not really think that is a word) feeling throughout the book, some have too little, this had too much. All around I liked it. I have not read anything else from this series so I would assume reading the first two would better prepare me for this one, but even that did not diminish the story-line. It engaged the reader from the first line to the last.
2) I want to read the earlier books because this is a paranormal universe I can definitely sink my teeth into.

M.A. Church It Takes Two to Tango (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #3)
Gay - Paranormal Romance
Series: Fur, Fangs, and Felines (Book 3)
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 26, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634776046
ISBN-13: 978-1634776042
Amazon: M.A. Church It Takes Two to Tango (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #3)

Fur, Fangs, and Felines: Book Three

Can two very different men find the love they need to survive?

Remi Ginn’s an easygoing werecat with a love of snarky T-shirts. He would be perfectly happy with a human mate. Is that what the goddess Bast gives him? Of course not. Instead she gifts him with Marshell, a Vetala, a snakelike nonshifter who drinks blood to survive. A man who’s just as toppy as Remi—and even more powerful than the West Falls Clowder’s Alpha and heir apparent.

While Remi is deciding whether he can handle the fates’ choice, hunters attack Marshell. Afterward, in an explosion of passion, Remi and Marshell mate and Remi declares Marshell his. Now they have to figure out how to make their relationship work as they dance around each other.

The clowder is in turmoil, and Remi’s acceptance of Marshell rocks the very foundation of the insular group. The consequences will be far-reaching. And if that isn’t problem enough, the situation with the hunters is far from resolved… as proved by the appearance of an Alpha werewolf.

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andrew potter

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Caraway Carter 7 With 1 Blow


1) The writing grabbed you and didn't let go. This is totally not my type of book but the writing itself helped me get through it. The setting was believable and vivid. The lessons learned, the training, the individuals (Cadre) involved in Taylor's re-education totally blew my mind with the caring and concern they showed and willing gave to him. The changes, mentally, took him from arrogant and hurtful to knowledgeably caring and considerate. This was overall a fantastic read!

Caraway Carter 7 With 1 Blow
Gay - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (October 21, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786450739
ISBN-13: 978-1786450739
Amazon: Caraway Carter 7 With 1 Blow

When Taylor Little, who styles himself "Dom Seven," is unwillingly taken into custody by the Cadre, he is put between a rock and a hard place. Either he will go to jail for his abuses against the local BDSM community, or he will accept retraining from the bottom up, learning to be a slave before he ever lays a flogger on another human being again.

In this tale of redemption, Taylor must face his demons as he learns to accept his status with mouth, mind, and heart.

WARNING: This story contains scenes of sexual intimacy and BDSM.

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