Rank

By Richard Compson Sater

Workplace Romance
Military
Coming Out

Integrity. Service before self. Excellence in all things. The U.S. Air Force core values matter to Second Lieutenant Harris Mitchell, out and proud since the military ditched its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. But though the Air Force may be gay friendly, Harris isn’t so sure about his demanding new boss, Brigadier General Seamus O’Neill—unit commander, cargo pilot, perfectionist, infidel—hiding behind bluster, a magnificent mustache, and a secret. Harris is certain that General O’Neill hates him. So what’s a lieutenant supposed to do when he discovers that he’s fallen in love?

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Lysistrata Cove

By Dena Hankins

Financial gap/Class disparity
Celebrity
Pirates
Transgender
Non-Binary Gender
People of Color

Jack Azevedo captains his charter sailboat in the Caribbean. Life can’t get any better, especially once he discovers a mysterious uncharted island with a sugar-sand cove for his passengers to enjoy and an intriguing, if angry, inhabitant.

Superstar Eve La Sirena has an illicit plan to restore creative freedom to musicians worldwide…if she can keep an ocean between her public and her secrets. Jack’s arrival exposes her island retreat and jeopardizes years of work, but his sweet generosity whets her cruel appetites. 

As a transmasculine gender explorer and BDSM bottom, Jack’s used to flouting convention, not the law. When Eve’s clandestine project draws three kinds of cops, everything he has is endangered. Will the maelstrom of emotion strip the civilized veneer from his piratical heart?

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The Photographer's Truth

By Ralph Josiah Bardsley

Friends to Lovers Romance

Ian Baines seems to have it all—a career as a hotshot software programmer in Silicon Valley, a beautiful wife and family, a nice house in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, and a past that he’s mostly managed to forget. Life takes an unexpected turn for Ian when he finds himself in Paris for a three-month work project where he meets former fashion photographer Luca Sparks. The unlikely friendship grows and Ian sees a new side to life as Luca takes him on a journey through the glamorous and lustrous Paris nightlife. But something strange starts to happen during their adventures in Paris—the two start to fall in love. Both battle their own demons on the road to self-discovery, ultimately learning how to come to peace with their feelings and their pasts.

 

Lambda Literary says... 

Outwardly, Ian Baines’ life has all the clichéd trappings of success:  a rising career as a software programmer at a Silicon Valley start-up; a beautiful, accomplished wife; two above-average sons; a fabulous house in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood. The long hours at his job, however, begin to strain his marriage and threaten to unravel his perfect family life. Against his better judgement, then, he accepts a three-month work project based in Paris, creating a database of the fashion house Môti’s collection. While in Paris, alone, he meets the former fashion photographer Luca Sparks who introduces him to the Paris that is hidden from tourists, and together they enjoy the glamorous Parisian nightlife. Their unlikely friendship soon develops into something deeper, until finally Ian is forced to make a choice.

Such is the basic story behind The Photographer’s Truth by Ralph Josiah Bardsley. The two protagonists appear to share little in common: Ian, the unkempt and logical American contrasts with the impeccable, artistic, and cosmopolitan Frenchman Luca. But neither man is entirely what he seems on the surface: for example, buried in their pasts are Ian’s single sexual experience with another man, and Luca’s marriage to a female photojournalist. Ian, in typical American fashion, is rather out of touch with his feelings, so it takes a while for what is obvious to the reader to dawn on him, namely that Luca is attracted to him and is courting him. Perhaps it is Ian’s liberal Californian upbringing, or being thrust into a milieu so different from his normal world, but Ian is not consumed with feelings of “I can’t be gay or Bi”; instead he is consumed by guilt over cheating on his wife.

Bardsley allows the relationship between the two men to develop at a believable pace; as the narrative unfolds, we gradually learn more about the two men at the center of the story, and how they evolve over the course of the romance. Ian narrates the story, so it is clear to the reader how drastically his attitudes and life change; but when Ian meets Luca’s friends, and through them learns Luca’s backstory, it becomes apparent to him (and the reader) that their relationship has also changed Luca. A notorious recluse, once he meets Ian he begins ignoring even his close circle of friends; he also quits smoking.

It used to be said that “the camera doesn’t lie”—at least without irony before the advent of Photoshop and Instagram filters—but the truth is that the photographer carefully constructs the photograph (using light, shadow, color, setting, etc.) in much the same way that the fiction writer constructs a scene in a chapter. Both use their respective media to tell a story, and both use lies to tell a deeper truth. Luca acknowledges how much artifice goes into making art when he explains to Ian that the “photographer must make a decision. He must decide what his subject looks like before he takes the picture. We have to decide what we want to see….What do you want to see?  What do you want your world to be?” Of course, Luca’s explanation of how to be a good photographer could just as easily be applied to the question of how to live one’s life in an authentic manner.

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In Shining Armor

By E. L. Phillips

Krish Nayar is damp. He’s cold. He’s an American lost in the foggy woods of Wales and sporting a sprained ankle. When a handsome renaissance faire player in shining armor, Bleddyn ap Rhys, rescues Krish from stumbling around and getting even more lost, Krish thinks his prayers are answered. At least until Bleddyn brings him to Castle Gwydir, where everyone lives like it really is Medieval Wales, no one knows what an iPhone or indoor plumbing is, and where, by all accounts, the year is 1626.

Traveling four hundred years into the past is improbable, but apparently not impossible. Learning to fit in with medieval Welshmen is difficult, but not impossible. What’s impossible is Krish not losing his heart to gallant Bleddyn in a time when, if acted on, their love means a death sentence.

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The Long Season

By Michael Vance Gurley

Friends to Lovers Romance
Coming Out
Sports
Big City

In Roaring Twenties Chicago, eighteen-year-old farm boy and hockey hopeful Brett Bennet is drafted to the big leagues of the city's first ever team. His deepest secret catches fire when he meets the dashing but reclusive goalie, Jean-Paul Moreau. As they circle one another finding out who they truly are, their lives are changed in ways neither can control.

Brett will need the help of freewheeling flapper Margret to find a way to break through Jean-Paul's ice, and to navigate the high stakes world of professional sports from the opening game through to the championship. Only together do they have a hope of facing the deadly threat of a man who can bring it all down with one word.

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Men in Love: M/M Romance

By Jerry L. Wheeler

Spring approaches with the promise of new beginnings, fresh adventures, and the thrill of romance rekindled or discovered. Hot, sexy guys abound—meeting on the ball fields or the boardroom, at the theater or the classroom—falling in love and lust for the first time or celebrating a lifetime. Come join the rites of spring and indulge yourself in the passion and pleasures of our luscious men in love. Stories from some of today’s popular m/m romance authors explore the many faces of men in love: gay for you, seductions, weddings and more.

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Brothers

By Ralph Josiah Bardsley

At twenty-three, Jamus Cork's plans are simplegraduate college, stay in New York City, and write. But those plans change when his parents are suddenly killed and he finds himself the guardian of his little brother, Nick. Jamus ends up back in the Boston neighborhood where he grew up, with a crying toddler on his knee and the challenge of building a new life for himself and the boy. Jamus somehow finds a way to navigate the ups and downs of single parenting, but over a decade of raising Nick, Jamus never truly overcomes his struggles with loneliness and the guilt he feels as the sole survivor of the crash that killed his parents. That changes when he meets bookishly handsome Sean Malloy. There's a spark between the two men, but both must face down their own private demons to find love in the Irish enclave of South Boston.
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Midnight at the Orpheus

By Alyssa Linn Palmer

Big City
Financial gap/Class disparity
Good girls/Bad girls
Police
Gangsters

Chicago, the Roaring Twenties. Cecilia Mills is new to town and struggling to survive. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for gangster Franky Greco's moll Nell Prescott. Working at The Orpheus dance hall thanks to Nell, Cecilia becomes known as CeeCee and rubs elbows with gangsters and the city's elite, and she and Nell hide their affair from Greco.

Patrick Sheridan is fresh out of prison and bent on revenge, with Greco in the crosshairs. He gets a job as CeeCee's bodyguard, and despite her infatuation with Nell, love blossoms between CeeCee and Sheridan. When Sheridan sees his chance, thanks to a disillusioned cop seeking his own revenge, he must choose where his loyalties lie as CeeCee and Nell are caught in the middle.

Menage m/f/f.

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Heart of the Liliko'i

By Dena Hankins

People of Color
Transgender
Non-Binary Gender
Blue Collar

Human remains tangled in lilikoi roots bring the authorities to Kerala's construction site. Native Hawaiians say the passion fruit vine marks an ancient burial ground protected by guardian spirits, the 'aumakua. But these aren't ancestral bones. The fractured skull points to murder.

Secrets, sabotage, and indigenous sovereignty campaigns hinder the project Kerala leads: building an eco-dream vacation home for Ravi, CEO of a solar power company. Proud to be a tough dyke in the trades, Kerala can't believe she's so hot for the masculine genderqueer scientist. Their sexual connection is volcanic, but Ravi's craving for love and family aggravates burn scars from Kerala's past. As the lovers pursue justice for Hawaii and its people, Ravi turns his gift for harnessing the sun's strength toward cultivating his own power, and Kerala wonders if building deep, lasting love could be even more satisfying than constructing a home to last the ages.

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Don't Kiss the Vicar

By Charlie Cochrane

Small Town Romances

Vicar Dan Miller is firmly in the closet in his new parish. Could the inhabitants of a sedate Hampshire village ever accept a gay priest? Trickier than that, how can he hide his attraction for one of his flock, Steve Dexter?

Encouraged by his ex-partner to seize the day, Dan determines to tell Steve how he feels, only to discover that Steve's been getting poison pen letters and suspicion falls on his fellow parishioners. When compassion leads to passion, they have to conceal their budding relationship, but the arrival of more letters sends Dan scuttling back into the closet.

Can they run the letter writer to ground? More importantly, can they patch up their romance and will Steve ever get to kiss the vicar again?

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Play it Forward

By Frederick Smith

Sports
Dirty little secrets can lead to public scandals and unexpected love affairs"...

Malcolm Campbell is the director of a south Los Angeles organization focused on mentoring gay youth, and his nineteen-year-old nephew, Blake, is being sent to stay with him for the summer. Malcolm has always been a community and family role model everyone looks up to. But he also has a secret he never knew he had"... until it pops up on the Internet.

Across town, in the closed and closeted world of Black Hollywood celebrity, pro-basketball player Tyrell Kincaid and R&B singer Tommie Jordan are public heroes in a very private relationship. After a series of indiscretions and slipups, the relationship becomes fodder for speculation and outing by the paparazzi and nationally-known gossip reporter Livonia Birmingham.

Despite living in two different worlds in L.A., Malcolm, Blake, Tommie, and Tyrell find themselves in the same arena, where they'll have to risk it all to protect their hearts and their destiny.
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Blue Water Dreams

By Dena Hankins

Transgender
Non-Binary Gender

Lania Marchiol keeps a wary sailor's gaze trained on the horizon. Somewhere out there, the perfect boat is waiting to take her around the world in a self-sufficient home powered by wind, sunshine, and the strength of her will. When she finds it, she'll sell her beloved antique printing press, retire her renowned literary magazine, and wave good-bye to her life on land.

When a suave filmmaker flirts his way into her literary life, Lania must fight to maintain a steady heading toward the high seas. The magnetism of wickedly handsome trans man Oly Rassmussen send her trusty compass spinning off course and they must reimagine freedom and love in order to sail together in the greatest adventure of all.

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The Man Who Was Not

By Jane Hoppen

In 1843, Stephen Hyde appears before the select board of Salisbury, Connecticut, to claim his voting rights. Stephen is effeminate though, and when he approaches the board, other members challenge his maleness. To end the dispute, the board leader summons the town doctor, Dr. Martin Smythe, to examine Stephen. The doctor informs the board that Stephen Hyde is, indeed, a man, and Stephen wins the right to vote. But Stephen has a secret, and three weeks later, he is suffering from increasingly severe menstrual symptoms. The only way he can get pain medication is to visit Dr. Smythe and reveal his true biology. With the truth in the open, Stephen and Martin bond as friends, eventually becoming intimate. Six months into their relationship, both are surprised beyond belief when Stephen becomes pregnant. The two men must then formulate some way to create and keep a family.
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Bonded

By Rosalie Tarr

Alec Whitehall is old-fashionedliterally. Approaching his 123rd birthday, the steely vampire has nothing better to do with his time except to investigate and hunt murderous vampires as a means of regaining some sense of his withering humanity. While trailing his current case in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the last thing that Alec expects to find is his bonded matean unwelcome distraction, he's sure of it. But that's exactly what happens, and he's shocked to realize that his mate is a young attractive man named Aidan Copperfield.

How do two straight men deny an attraction that they have absolutely no power over? As their stony resolve begins to crumble and they start to succumb to the fiery magnetism between them, a sadistic killer continues to roam the city streets at night, narrowing his sights on the newly bonded couple.
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Awfully Glad

By Charlie Cochrane

Big City
Actors/Artists

WWI hero Sam Hines is used to wearing a face that isn't his own. When he's not in the trenches, he's the most popular female impersonator on the front, but a mysterious note from an anonymous admirer leaves him worried. Everyone realizeseventuallythat Sam's not a woman, but has somebody also worked out that he also prefers his lovers to be male?

When Sam meetsand falls forfellow officer Johnny Browne after the war, he wonders whether he could be the man who wrote the note. If so, is he the answer to Sam's dreams or just another predatory blackmailer, ready to profit from a love that dare not speak its name?

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Light

By 'Nathan Burgoine

Magic
AnimalsĀ 
Big City
International Setting

Kieran Quinn is a bit telepathic, a little psychokinetic, and very gay—three things that have gotten him through life perfectly well so far—but when self-styled prophet Wyatt Jackson arrives during Pride Week, things take a violent turn.

Kieran's powers are somewhat underwhelming but do have a habit of refracting light into spectacular rainbows for him to hide behind. Even so, it's not long before Kieran is struggling to maintain his own anonymity while battling wits with a handsome cop, getting some flirting in with a hunky leather man, saving some drag queens, and escaping the worst blind date in history. It's enough to make a fledgling hero want to give up before he even begins.

One thing's for sure: saving the day has never been so fabulous.

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Following Grandpa Jess

By TJ Baer

Jess Madison has problems. His aging parents seem hell-bent on belittling him in new and increasingly infuriating ways, he's fallen for his bestand, unfortunately, heterosexualfriend David, and his grandmother has recently taken to climbing out on her roof in hopes of contacting the spirit of her late husband, the much-beloved Grandpa Jess.All Jess wants to do is live his life and feed his goldfish in peace, but instead, he finds himself at the heart of a familial clash that seems ready to tear his family apart. With the help of his two younger brothers, uber-manly AJ and lovably weird Thomas, Jess sets out to reconcile his family, keep Grandma off the roof, and sort out the mess his life has becomewith just a little help from Grandpa Jess.

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Contemporary Gay Romances

By Felice Picano

Small Town Romances

Contemporary Gay Romances is the third collection of short fiction by legendary novelist and memoirist, Felice Picano (The Lure, Like People in History, Ambidextrous). It is also his most diverse in terms of the times, places, themes, characters and situations he writes about. Filled with the unexpected, the true, and the amazing, Contemporary Gay Romances moves with ease from gas-lit, upper class London, to a future, climate-altered Bay Area; from semi-rural Florida to Southern California beaches, to an extrasolar planet where people have surprising existences. His characters range from ordinary American suburban housewives to extraordinary children, from grieving young geologists and memory-haunted middle aged men, to British Midlands soccer stars and 22nd Century war heroes. Picano subtitled this collection of stylish, unique, and moving works "Tragic, Comic, Mystic & Horrific," and they are all that and more. The ten tales include prize winners as well as stories published here for the first time, and are as different from any standard "romances" as you can get, but they will linger in the mind and memory.

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