And the Rainbow Award goes to:
1-tie) Out of Position by Kyell Gold, The Sofawolf Press
Dev is a football player at Forester University, a small liberal arts college where he and his teammates get to strut around and have their pick of the girls on Friday nights. That's as good as it gets—until he meets Lee, a fox with a quick wit and an attractive body. Problem is, Lee's not a girl. He's a gay fox, an activist who never dreamed he'd fall for a football player. As their attraction deepens into romance, it's hard enough for them to handle each other, let alone their inquisitive friends, family, and co-workers. And if school is bad, the hyper- masculine world of professional sports that awaits Dev after graduation will be a hundred times worse. Going it alone would make everything easier. If only they could stop fighting long enough to break up.
1-tie) Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen, Lethe Press
New York City, 1919. His career as a concert pianist ended by a war injury, Sutton Albright returns to college, only to be expelled after a scandalous affair with a teacher. Unable to face his family, Sutton heads to Manhattan with no plans and little money in his pocket but with a desire to call his life his own. Jack Bailey lost his parents to influenza and now hopes to save the family novelty shop by advertising on the radio, a medium barely more than a novelty, itself. His nights are spent in a careless and debauched romp through the gayer sections of Manhattan. When these two men cross paths, despite a world of differences separating them, their attraction cannot be denied. Sutton finds himself drawn to the piano, playing for Jack. But can his music heal them both, or will sudden prosperity jeopardize their chance at love?
2-tie) A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W. Day, Lethe Press
The Ice fell upon the world nearly a hundred years ago, and if civilization didn't rightly collapse, it surely staggered and fell ill a while. In the small town of Moline, Virginia, folks struggle to survive, relying on hybrid seed sent by the faraway Department of Reintroduction and Agriculture and their own faith in God and hard work. But when a mated pair of dragons starts hunting the countryside, stealing sheep, and attacking children, the townsfolk quickly learn that they don t have the weapons or the skills to fight off such predators. David Anderson is a farmer's son who has explored the world through books. When he meets the new healer in town, Callan Landers, he doesn't quite know what to make of the strange warmth stealing over him. It's not until he surprises Callan with another man and both men are promptly arrested for sodomy that David finally realizes the truth about his own feelings. When David and Callan stumble over a secret in a nearby abandoned town, their personal problems fade before government politics and corruption that threaten lives. It seems the dragons aren t the worst dangers facing Moline.
2-tie) Conflict in Blood by Ariel Tachna, Dreamspinner Press
Partnership in Blood Volume 3: Conflict in Blood by Ariel Tachna As the Alliance wizard-vampire partnerships grow stronger, the dark wizards feel the effects and become increasingly desperate to find enough information to counter them, unaware of the growing strain of the blood-magic bonds on the wizards and vampires alike. The conflict is spreading. The strife of uncomfortable relationships, both personal and professional, is threatening to tear up the Alliance from the inside, despite the efforts of Alain Magnier and Orlando St. Clair, Thierry Dumont and Sebastien Noyer, and even Raymond Payet and Jean Bellaiche, leader of the Paris vampires, who is fighting to establish a stable covenant with his own partner so he might lead by example. As the war rages on and heartbreaking casualties mount on both sides, the dark wizards keep searching for clues to understand and counter the strength of the Alliance, while the blood-bound Alliance partners hunt through ancient prejudices and forgotten lore to find an edge that can turn the tide of the war once and for all.
2-tie) L.A. Heat by P.A. Brown, MLR Press
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.
3-tie) Aaron's Wait by Dorien Grey, Zumaya Publications
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.
3-tie) Brushback by Jamie Scofield, Dancing Fools Press
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-tie) Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell, Samhain Publishing
Paramedic Aaron Chase doesn't have anything against love, but he knows it means a lot of responsibility, like when he had to step in to raise his siblings. With the last one off to college, Aaron's anticipating enjoying life on his own terms. He certainly isn't expecting Joey Miller to accidentally drop into his life. Sexy, funny and annoyingly optimistic, Joey's tendency to get into trouble keeps sending him Aaron's way; Joey knows all about love. He's fallen in it ten times. All that experience has to count for something, right? With Aaron it's different. Joey's fallen for good.