Training Season is Leta Blake’s debut novel and the first book I’ve read by this author. It features the romance story of Matty Marcus a once Olympic skating hopeful and Rob Lovely a rancher/cowboy with a heart of gold.
Matty’s lack of discipline previously cost him the gold and a back injury completely sidelined him from skating. Now recovered he’s in search of a top coach and a comeback. But in-demand coaches don’t come cheap. A wealthy skating patron steps in to generously contribute to his Olympic dream in exchange for a six-month housesitting stint in rural Montana. This leaves Matty with plenty of free time to train and make enough money to hire the best coach in skating.
Much to his surprise, local residents in small town Montana turn out to be tolerant and friendly, especially his next-door neighbour rancher Rob Lovely, who proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. They begin a relationship and Matty learns much from Rob and about himself. With his newfound self-assurance, he drives himself harder to go straight to the top. But competition has a timetable and to achieve his Olympic dream Matty must leave Rob behind to join his new coach in New York City and focus on winning the gold.
Second Chances by Arianna Paige is a short novella of less than fifty pages and the debut publication for this new author. It is the romance story of Richard Forrest and Adrian (Rain) Moore who meet up again by chance, and resume their relationship after a two year separation. What initially ended their friendship was Rain’s cocaine addiction. But Rain is now clean and sober, in recovery and trying his best to put his life back together.
Prior to Rain’s disappearance they had a close friendship, although it suffered because of Rain’s drug use. Despite the sexual tension between them, Richard was too afraid to admit to anyone that he is gay and to let Rain know that he’s in love with him. But when Richard finds out that Rain is drug free he welcomes him back into his life as a second chance at what he wants most – to be with Rain. He finally admits to his feelings and they agree to take things slow. Everything moves ahead in a fairy-tale manner until Rain’s all too familiar past behaviours start to resurface and Richard’s suspicions and fears threaten to tear them apart.
Inertia by Amelia C. Gormley is the first of three books in the Impulse series and the debut publication for this author. It is a well-written novella-length m/m erotic romance that chronicles the beginnings and slow development of the relationship between Derrick Chance and Gavin Hayes.
“Finding the courage to face the pain of the past in order to have a future.”
Title: The Agony of Joy By: Red Haircrow Published: February 17, 2013 ISBN: 9781301334520 Length: 350 pages Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, GLBTIIQ Interest Price: $4.99 in e-book format Available at:Smashwords; soon at other online distributors Book Trailer:The Agony of Joy
Blurb: For many survivors of child sex abuse, there is a lifelong battle for understanding and acceptance, not only from others, but also from themselves. From London to Berlin, to the frozen seas of far east Russia, this is an unforgettable journey of rebirth, revelation and redemption as two men struggle to overcome their separate past agonies and allow themselves to experience friendship and love.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Reading Round Up. This post, however, is slightly different from my periodic summaries of the books I’ve read and reviewed in that it is focused on reading and music.
Music has always been a very important aspect of my life, including my reading life, and as with books my tastes in music are varied and eclectic. There is almost always a connection between a story that I’m reading at any given time and a particular piece of music. It is the rare occasion when no musical piece comes to mind for a particular story. One of my favourite features of LiveJournal is the ability to list a specific song or music with each post. Something I have taken full advantage of over the years when posting or linking my book reviews there.
When I began writing this post I had the intention of listing ten of my favourite books in gay fiction for 2010. But it quickly became apparent that it would be impossible to restrict the list to only ten. Despite the fact that my reading time was more limited over 2010 due to the demands of real life and work and I read much less than in previous years, there were too many reading gems that I did read and could not omit from the year’s best.
Over the course of the year I made several wonderful discoveries in new-to-me authors, finally got around to reading books that had been sitting on my shelves for years, I received some great recommendations from online friends, some of my favourite authors released incredible stories and I gave myself permission to re-read some past favourites without guilt.
In the end, twenty books (novels, novellas, anthologies and short stories) made the final cut of my best in gay fiction for 2010 across several genres – contemporary, erotica, horror, historical, mystery, romance and young adult. Some were weighty stories, others lighter fare with happy endings, and several had unforgettable characters that continued to haunt me long after I was done reading their stories. But all the books listed as my best of 2010 in their own way dealt with the stuff of life and fed my mind, heart and soul.
Painting By Numbers by David Thyssen is a visceral account of the journeyed descent into hell of an adolescent boy who has been pushed into the darkest of emotional places and as a result, his life and those of many around him end in tragedy. Although a fictional account, the story is based on the author’s own experiences of being bullied and humiliated in school.