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2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mentions

Waiting for the winners to be announced on December 8, I will post daily the 2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mentions: an honorable mention means a judge gave a rate of 36 or above out of 40 to the book; an honorable mention doesn't mean the book is among the winners or runners up, could be could be not, but it's important to understand there were more than 500 books in the literary contests, more than 250 among the finalists, and the difference between winners or not is only few decimal points. So please, congratulate with me this year honorable mentions:

Gay Contemporary Romance
A Threefold Cord by Julie Bozza
Published May 1st 2014 by Manifold Press
ISBN13 9781908312235

Oh my, this was stunning, a gently told and tender ménage. I felt expertly navigated through difficult emotional waters by an assured storyteller.

Gay Contemporary Romance
Because of Jade (Vasquez & James Series) by Lou Sylvre

Series: Vasquez and James
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627989471
ISBN-13: 978-1627989473
Amazon: Because of Jade (Vasquez & James Series)
Amazon Kindle: Because of Jade (Vasquez & James Series)

This is the first book I have read by this author and is the fifth story in the series, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t know what was going on with regards to backstory and references to characters from past books. I need not have worried; Ms Sylvre gave just enough information when necessary about past events and characters for me to be able to enjoy this book as a standalone. I loved absolutely everything about this story, the plot, the setting, the characters and the writing style; In fact, as soon as I finished reading the story I bought all the previous stories in the series.

Gay Contemporary Romance
Chasing the Dragon by Kate Sherwood
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632160315
ISBN-13: 978-1632160317
Amazon: Chasing the Dragon
Amazon Kindle: Chasing the Dragon

This book is fool of surprises. Just as you think you figured what is going to happen, new twist is taking you to the opposite direction. Super soldier Hunter saves a little street junkie and falls in love with him but it is only the begging...

Whether or not you have ever experienced drug addiction, this story is likely to grab you and touch your heart.

Gay Young Adult
Educating Simon by Robin Reardon
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Kensington (July 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758284764
ISBN-13: 978-0758284761
Amazon: Educating Simon
Amazon Kindle: Educating Simon

This book captivated my imagination from the first page. The narrator's voice is compelling and his dilemma made me ache for him. I love this story and will seek out more from this author.

One of those stories that starts out making you want to slap the living holy crap out of every single main character but ultimately makes you care about them, warts and all, with excellent development.

Gay Erotica
Games Boys Play by Zoe X. Rider
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (April 15, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Games Boys Play

The plot reads as an original for me, the characters were very believable even though they behaved bizarrely. I went in and out of belief with every new action they devised. A real page turner.

Gay Fantasy
Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Blind Eye Books (May 20, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193556028X
ISBN-13: 978-1935560289
Amazon: Highfell Grimoires
Amazon Kindle: Highfell Grimoires

Lovely attention to detail in both the physical aspects of this world – the airborne schools and vehicles - and the society therein – one that banishes its aristocratic bastards to a life of misery in the air. I also liked the blend of the steampunk world and the Grimoire spells and blood magic of the heirs to the books. Nice slow burn romance, in a world where such things are taboo, and depth of insight into the MC’s (Neil) feelings and motivations. Descriptive narrative that flows easily. Good to read at the end of an exhausting day. A couple of surprises I didn’t see coming at all. The mystery of Highfell Hall was quite engrossing and kept me turning pages. Once the main mystery was solved by Neil and Leofa, the issue then was one of proving what was happening at the school whilst trying to stay alive. All in all, the author has crafted a great story.

Gay Contemporary Romance
Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
Publisher: Love Lane Books Ltd (January 17, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Last First Kiss

This is not my thing at all, but it is charming and domestic and everyone is an adorable moppet in it. It is just plain nice. I feel that sort of thing should be encouraged and rewarded.

Gay Paranormal Romance
Monsters Under the Bed (Lifting the Veil) by Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (October 22, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Monsters Under the Bed (Lifting the Veil)

I've been enjoying this series and this book is a great addition. The story was well written while the mystery aspects of the story is not very mysterious it does not detract from the story and the great characters.

Although this was book 4 in a series I have not read, it was easy to notice what had gone before. Engaging; humorous at times; good use of description of setting and emotions. Sex scenes realistic and relevant. The description and atmosphere of the murder victim's run down mansion, was particularly good. I could visualize the rooms and grounds completely. Oh, I really liked the main character. Being told in first person, he leapt off the page with his humor and narrative. I am going to have to read the other books so I can enjoy more of his journey. I struggled a little at first to work out some of the references, with not having read the earlier books, but things soon became clear. A nice twisty plot with several unexpected revelations, but for a 10 I would have liked more tension in the plot.

Gay Young Adult
Omorphi by C. Kennedy
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (December 19, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627980083
ISBN-13: 978-1627980081
Amazon: Omorphi
Amazon Kindle: Omorphi

The author did a great job with the characters in this book. Christy was such a well-written character; I had no choice but to fall in love with him.

Wonderful balance handling tough subject without making the story depressing and negative.

Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Powerline : Nicholas Book One by Derekica Snake
Amazon Kindle: Powerline : Nicholas Book One

OMG! I started to read the book and it hit me - I definitely read it before. I do not read much fan fiction - but here it was. The story advised to me by one of my friends a couple of years ago. Cleaned and straightened and still very entertaining. Congratulations to Kiix - she is definitely progressed from a good armature to the professional writer. Thank you for bringing this story back to me - definitely worth rereading.

Gay Young Adult
Red Devil (Dangerous Spirits Book 2) by Kyell Gold
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Sofawolf Press (February 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936689359
ISBN-13: 978-1936689354
Amazon: Red Devil (Dangerous Spirits Book 2)
Amazon Kindle: Red Devil (Dangerous Spirits Book 2)

Kyell's writing was faultless. He built a rich and detailed world that I easily became immersed in. The characters individual voices were clear and crisp and they each grew in a believable way throughout the story. Nothing was predictable and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I have never read anything like this - I've read few anthropomorphic stories and rarely read supernatural stories, but I found this an excellent book and quite enthralling, although its complexities have meant I have taken a long time to read it. It didn't matter that I hadn't read the previous book, but it may have added to my experience. Vivid characters. I really felt the cold winds of Siberia whistling around my ears.

Gay Contemporary Romance
Saving Liam by DP Denman

Publisher: North Shore Press (April 8, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Saving Liam

Perfect TEN on writing style, really well done

Gay Contemporary Romance
Spencer (A Survivor Story) by J.P. Barnaby
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 21, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627987010
ISBN-13: 978-1627987011
Amazon: Spencer (A Survivor Story)
Amazon Kindle: Spencer (A Survivor Story)

I like this one... I like reading stories where the characters survive something and come out the other side a little stronger... Beautiful read.

Gay Historical Romance
The Dead Past (Puddledown Mysteries) by Kate Aaron

Publisher: Croft House (April 20, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: The Dead Past (Puddledown Mysteries)

A killer lurking in the shadows, traumatized man, blood, murder and homophobic people... It seems there is no place for love but the author managed to write a gripping love story. Love it!

Gay Young Adult
The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (February 20, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627987150
ISBN-13: 978-1627987158
Amazon: The Red Sheet
Amazon Kindle: The Red Sheet

This book moved me deeply. Maybe because the voice of the teen narrator was so genuine and heart-felt. Maybe because his struggles were so wrenching. Maybe because it is simply a damn fine story told in a very compelling way. However, after reading this book, I want to buy it for every young person I know, especially my granddaughter who already has a strong sense of social justice, if only to show her she has chosen the right path. I love this book!

This story hit all of my sweet spots in terms of characterization and plot – the only thing I am more of a sucker for than a retold fairy tale is a redemption story, and mixing it together with a coming-of-age is just a stroke of brilliance.

Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Walking the Camino Sagrado by Michael Chavez
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises, LLC (December 11, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619291347
ISBN-13: 978-1619291348
Amazon: Walking the Camino Sagrado
Amazon Kindle: Walking the Camino Sagrado

This was an extremely enjoyable story. I did get confused at times with the many, many characters and different plots, though. Some of the female members of the families on both sides, I had to stop and think whose family it was, either Patrick's or Esteban's. However, once I figured it out (after having to remind myself time and time again), it was one hell of a ride. The story, to me, flowed like a movie where I could see the switch of scenery/plot from one to the next. Well done, Mr. Chavez!

Lesbian Historical Romance
Agnes by Jaime Maddox
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (January 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626390320
ISBN-13: 978-1626390324
Amazon: Agnes
Amazon Kindle: Agnes

Didn't see this one in the "traditional" historical genre. Well researched and written with great plot and complex characters.

Gay Contemporary Romance
Behind the Curtain by Amy Lane
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627985093
ISBN-13: 978-1627985093
Amazon: Behind the Curtain
Amazon Kindle: Behind the Curtain

I couldn't stop reading this novel it was so good, so have an early rating. Now I shall go and order the paperback, because this is exactly the kind of book that I want to have sitting in physical form on my shelf and to read repeatedly. More than a romance, this is a true love story: a story about different kinds of love, about friendship and family and yes, romantic love too. It is love that facilitates change and healing; not in a cheap ""love-cures-all"" plot, but by showing how love can give the strength to heal and grow. In addition, it is very well done, too. From the first spark of attraction to Dawson and Jared dancing around each other to their connection that fuels the second half of the plot.

Wonderful characters, emotional storyline. Really enjoyed this one.

Lesbian Historical Romance
Club Storyville by Riley LaShea
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Riley LaShea (April 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1499645384
ISBN-13: 978-1499645385
Amazon: Club Storyville
Amazon Kindle: Club Storyville

Other than the occasional structural glitch where I had to go back and re-read a sentence to make sense of it, this story is one of those wonderful experiences that remind me why I do this.

Good fun, good reading & entertaining plus a happily ever after. A compelling coming of age love story.

Couldn't put it down, I wanted more! Extremely well written in all areas. Especially loved the characters and their relationship with each other. Could not put it down, I wanted more! Extremely well written in all areas. Especially loved the characters and their relationship with each other.

Gosh, this was lovely - the writing is a bit ropey sometimes (nothing major) but it's a very beautiful, languorously told story, with a deep sense of time and place. Loved it.

Lesbian Romantic Comedy
Eight Dates: A Romance by Lori L. Lake
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Launch Point Press; 1st edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1633040003
ISBN-13: 978-1633040007
Amazon: Eight Dates: A Romance
Amazon Kindle: Eight Dates: A Romance

Best of the finalists. I was laughing aloud many times. The ending left me wanting more. The characters were vivid and memorable.

This was another new author for me—I really enjoyed the read... I like it when a book makes you feel for the character whether it has to cheer her on or commiserate with her.

In my opinion the best read in this category of finalists. A good romance, more unpredictable that the start could lead one to think and a good pace. A strong writing style that makes me enjoy this book even more.

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