And the Rainbow Award goes to:
1) L.A. Heat by P.A. Brown, MLR Press
"I have finished reading L.A. Heat by P.A. Brown and after thinking long and hard about it, I really must give it full marks (30) as it was a fantastic read. The style of writing was great and really captured a "whodunnit" atmosphere. I was left guessing right up to the end who was the "Carpet Killer" and I loved the red herrings thrown in along the way. The author did a very good job of combining a crime thriller with romance. The crimes were given just the right amount of grusomeness it deserved and the erotic scenes seemed realistic. The setting was so vivid that I was soon wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the LAPD. Life in L.A, both the glitzy and seedy parts, is so far away from my own life but the author wrote it in such away that I could connect to the world without loosing myself to it. The Character development was very well done. There was a sense of closure for both David and Chris. Although the author doesn't delve too deeply into the characters' pasts or the reasoning behind why they are the way they are at the start of the book, it was as if this wasn't even necessary. The author decided to focus on the characters' lives now and how they can move forward, rather than going into great detail to explain how they got to this point in their lives and i think this was the right decision to make." Rose
In-the-closet detective, David Eric Laine has kept his desires secret. Until he meets Christopher Bellamere, proud and openly gay. When a series of horrific torture/murders of gay men leads the police to Chris David is torn between his attraction for the most beautiful man he's ever met and his fears that he's a vicious killer.
2-tie) Aaron's Wait by Dorien Grey, Zumaya Publications
"TERRIFIC Chicago background, the city is a character in itself! Definitely a winner!" Lee Rowan
Aaron Stiles is dead. He’s been dead for four years but doesn’t seem to know it. He’s waiting for his partner Bill to come home, and until that happens, he’s not going anywhere. The trouble is, Bill Somers won’t be coming home—ever—because he’s dead, too. The official verdict was suicide, but... The last thing Elliot Smith needs in his latest renovation project is a ghost, especially one who won’t let him sell the place until he solves the mystery of who killed Bill. He has John to help with the spectral side of things, but that just leaves him with the quandary of how to get information on the case. After all, he can hardly explain he’s investigating on behalf of one dead man with the assistance of another.
2-tie) Brushback by Jamie Scofield, Dancing Fools Press
"This was one the best books I've read. The author is a master at characterization. The main Character, Evan is so incredibly likable." April
"A very detailed style of writing, it was smooth, enticing me along and keeping me intrigued. I felt like I was a detective along side Evan Austin, slowly putting the peices together. It was fun to read. A very vivid setting, highlighting the fine divide between the high life and the seedier underbelly. Some of the characters did seem to have unlimited supplies of money but this didn't detract from loosing myself in this world. It took a little time to warm to the characters but once it had warmed up, I fell in love with the detective. He was such a nice, good guy and his characteristics that at first came across as stuck up, actually ended up edearing him to me even more by the end. The blossoming romance was absolutely wonderful to read, moving deliciously slow, making me mork for it. I do wish there had been more of the romance though!" Rose
EVAN AUSTIN, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR It couldn't be simpler. All Evan Austin needed to do was find R.J. Gibson before his eighteenth birthday and the kid would inherit a huge trust fund. Everybody would go home happy: R.J. would be set for life, the mom would appease her guilt, and maybe Evan would finally be able to put a tragic case from his past behind him. But nothing in life is ever that easy. Adding to the confusion are a young woman whose boyfriend liked to slap her around and the murder of an Assistant U.S. District Attorney, for which one of Evan's former clients is now a suspect. Throw in his growing attraction to R.J.'s guardian, artist Roman Cavanaugh, plus the Mariners having another really bad season, and Evan's got a bit more on his plate than he can handle. Not that it's ever stopped him before. The First Evan Austin Mystery
3) The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke, Dreamspinner Press
"A story with a mystery, trauma from the past and the how childhood can affect adult life. Very interesting, very well written." Caroline
When Craig Robertson's religious fanatic father disappears, Craig is forced to return to the home he'd left behind after an underage affair in order to look for answers. His new lover, private investigator Paul Maloney, agrees to help so they can continue to enjoy their fledgling relationship. During his initial search, Craig finds items that belonged to Michael, his lover in that long-ago ill-fated affair, and soon discovers that Michael has disappeared as well. The search becomes an investigation into Craig's past, and, because of distressing gaps in his memory, he's terrified of the truths he might find. Finally Craig tells Paul his deepest fear: that Michael is dead and he himself is responsible. While Paul refuses to believe his lover is a murderer, Craig's obsession with uncovering clues grows, and their fragile relationship begins to disintegrate. Now on his own, haunted and stalked, Craig has to face down the horror of his memories if he wants to have any hope of a future at all.
4) Murder on Camac by Joseph R. G. DeMarco, Lethe Press
5) Bashed by Rick R. Reed, MLR Press
6) Hard Fall by James Buchanan, MLR Press
7) Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux, Dreamspinner Press
8) Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville, Dreamspinner Press
9) The Jade Owl by Edward C. Patterson
10) The 38 Million Dollar Smile by Richard Stevenson, MLR Press