September 3rd, 2019

andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Strike Up the Band by Sam Burns

Strike Up the Band (Wilde Love Book 3)

"This book was an absolute joy to read. When I'm judging for these awards, I try to keep a little outside of the story so that I can make notes on my reading experience. It was impossible with this story: it grabbed me immediately and sucked me right in. I was invested in the characters so quickly it was a shock, but a welcome one. I didn't want to stop reading. The writing is top notch, both lyrical and uncomplicated; the plot proceeds so seamlessly, everything that occurs is organic, and the pacing is perfect; there is nothing forced or contrived about any of the characters or events. Elsi and Alex are unique and well-developed characters, Jake's grief and self-realizations are thoughtfully explored, and Brian's juxtaposition of self-chastisement and self-confidence is just beautiful. His kindness and his willingness to roll with what everyone else needs, entangled with the fragility of desperately needing to fit in, to do what's right, is lovely. The look into the world of touring and recording, of the almost... loss of control over one's own life/identity while in the entertainment business, was interesting and never overpowering the real reason we are here: the exploration of family, of healing, and of self. Full marks."

Jake McKenna doesn't want to be here. He doesn't want to be on tour, he doesn't want to be playing guitar, and he definitely doesn't want anything to do with Brian Mulholland. He's biding his time until the tour is over so that he can walk away from his music career for good.

Brian didn't ask to be here. Okay, maybe he did. Fine, you know what? He wanted this. He may not like the circumstances that have landed him in his dream job, but he's not going to let anyone ruin it for him, even if it's the insanely hot guitarist he's had a crush on since the first time he saw the band play. He will win over Jake McKenna if it's the last thing he ever does.

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Great Bones by Lynn Ames

Great Bones

"I adored this book. The story captured me and kept me turning pages. I wouldn't mind a sequel!"

"Charming and fast-paced ‘renta yenta’ tale involving a couple of grandmothers, a couple of grand-daughters and a whole lot of angst. When the grandmothers decide to play matchmaker, the lesbian grand-daughters don’t stand a chance. Snappy dialog, good character development, a few too many cliches but harmless and happily so."

Rachel Wallach has a great life--on paper. Millions of people fall in love with her words every day. Her greeting card sentiments are the stuff of legend in the industry. And yet ... and yet she couldn't find the right girl if you stuffed her into a Subaru full of lesbians.

Her overbearing mother and obnoxiously perfect siblings, with whom she shares Shabbat dinner every Friday, only want to know when she's going to get a "real" job and a life. Then her elderly neighbor suffers a catastrophic health crisis, leaving canine-phobic Rachel holding the leash.

Julia Spielman's grandmother, Gladys, a matchmaker descended from a long line of matchmakers, has just moved into the Shady Acres Assisted Living Community where she happily renews her friendship with Rachel's Grandma Goldie. When Goldie learns that Julia runs a successful online dating service, it seems too good to be true.

So, let's see. We have Rachel's deaf-as-a-post grandmother, her grandmother's clever, scheming match-making friend, and a mutt named Freud, all hell-bent on "helping" Rachel with her love life--what could possibly go wrong?

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