His Brother's Viscount

By Stephanie Lake

As a baron’s youngest son, Hector Somerville has no real prospects. He will not inherit, and he’s overshadowed by two perfect brothers. While searching for ways to improve his situation, Hector finds respite in an invitation to a country estate—and has a second chance at rekindling his illicit affair with Viscount Wentworth, captain of HBMS Dragon. The upcoming fortnight could be everything Hector dreamed of since their disastrous parting.

Wentworth has forsaken love, and yet, memories of guilt and heartache resurface. He loved a boyhood friend once, Hector’s older brother William, until the man left him, trampling his heart in the process. Years later, he wonders if he ever fell out of love. Is his heart bound by William, or can he create a life with Hector?

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Bulletproof

By Maggie Cummings

Dylan Prescott has all the answers, even when she doesn’t know the questions. She’s in her element cruising the singles scene and crushing cases as a newly minted NYPD detective. Equal parts free spirit and thrill seeker, catching bad guys and charming good girls are what she was born to do. 

Briana Logan doesn’t play. A successful Assistant United States Attorney with several convictions on her résumé, she’s a commanding presence in the courtroom. In any room, to be honest. Smart and sexy, she’s got her work-life balance down. It’s simple: career first, everything else second. That is, until Dylan Prescott is assigned to the team investigating a sophisticated narcotics ring. 

Their chemistry is undeniable, but the complicated NYC criminal justice system doesn’t leave room for real feelings. Keeping their emotions in check isn’t easy. Where the heart is concerned, no one is bulletproof.

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The Holiday Detour

By Jane Kolven

Sometimes it takes everything going wrong to make you see how right things are.

Dana Gottfried is a stressed-out Jewish lesbian who’s just quit her job and wants to get home to see her grandmother. When her car breaks down in Indiana on Christmas Eve, Dana is stranded—until she’s rescued by Charlie, a pig farmer who doesn’t identify as male or female. Although they come from different worlds, Dana is intrigued by Charlie’s sense of humor and kindness. Despite her better judgment, Dana says yes when Charlie offers a ride.

But the journey home is paved with detours. From car accidents to scheming ex-girlfriends to a snowy and deserted Chicago Loop, everything that could go wrong on their road trip does, but it leads Dana on a path of self-discovery that just might end in love.

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Every Summer Day

By Lee Patton

Friends & Community

Determined to record every summer day, young history teacher Luke Devlin starts school vacation imagining he’ll describe backcountry adventures in the Rockies and sun-splashed days home in Denver. But all too soon the season veers into crisis, when his older brother faces life-threatening illness and Luke becomes entangled in a love affair that’s as fast-moving and possibly as fatal as his brother’s diagnosis.

As Luke manages the household for his absent parents and struggles with the constant pressure of his unfinished master’s deadline, his fling with a Wyoming rancher grows serious just as his brother’s crisis overwhelms him. Luke’s love of his native ground and his search for romance collide with the hard realities of mortality and loss during an unexpected summer.

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Le Berceau

By Julius Eks

Coming Out
Friends to Lovers Romance
Close Quarters

Ben considers himself lucky. He found Gabriel early in life and he is loved.

But at twenty-one, he’s beginning to question if the boat of youthful independence will soon set sail without him. Will his devotion to Gabriel prevent him from exploring with other guys? Will he ever get to experience the heart-wavering thrill of falling in love again?

Vacationing on Gabriel’s family boat on the French Riviera, Ben is unprepared for the arrival of Leo, a beautiful adolescent thriving in the noontide of carefree nonchalance. Over the course of a single day, Ben battles his burgeoning lust and intensifying guilt.

Will he betray Gabriel, who has done nothing but love him? Or can he resist the carnal temptation of the most beautiful boy he has ever seen?

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The Mail Order Bride

By R Kent

Virgins/First Love
Small Town Romances
Close Quarters
Transgender

Austin’s killed a man. Escaping his nefarious past and running from those who would force him to live as a woman, Austin dreams of becoming an upstanding man and homesteading alone on the fringes of the wild frontier.

The burgeoning tent township of Molasses Pond is clenched in the bloody fist of the deadliest gunslinger the country has ever known, Lightning Jack McKade. McKade knows who Austin is. In fact, McKade knows more about Austin’s past than Austin does. He had a hand in creating it.

On the last stagecoach until spring, a mail order bride, Sahara Miller, arrives in Molasses Pond. She claims to be Austin’s and has the documentation to prove it. But McKade’s gang will do anything to have her. Now Austin must choose: Strap on his twin six-shooters to protect the bride he never wanted, or turn a blind eye and keep his dream alive.

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Faux Ho Ho

By 'Nathan Burgoine

Marriage of Convenience/Fake Relationship

Silas Waite doesn’t want his big-C Conservative Alberta family to know he’s barely making rent. They’d see it as yet another sign that he’s not living up to the Waite family potential and muscle in on his life. When Silas unexpectedly needs a new roommate, he ends up with the gregarious—and gorgeous—personal trainer Constantino “Dino” Papadimitriou.

Silas’s parents try to browbeat him into visiting for Thanksgiving, where they’ll put him on display as an example of how they’re so tolerant for Silas’s brother’s political campaign, but Dino pretends to be his boyfriend to get him out of it, citing a prior commitment. The ruse works—until they receive an invitation to Silas’s sister’s last-minute wedding.

Silas loves his sister, Dino wouldn’t mind a chalet Christmas, and together, they could turn a family obligation into something fun. But after nine months of being roommates, then friends, and now “boyfriends,” Silas finds being with Dino way too easy, and being the son that his parents barely tolerate too hard. Something has to give, but luckily, it’s the season for giving. And maybe what Silas has to give is worth the biggest risk of all.

 

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Accidental Prophet

By Bud Gundy

Intelligent, handsome, and struggling to make his rent, thirty-year-old Drew Morten loses his only meaningful relationship when his grandmother dies. A famous television anchor, Claudia Trenton leaves Drew the legacy of her secret memoir. From the fate of a vanished medieval prince to a top-secret NASA study about a mystifying space object, her unreported discoveries hum with wonder. 

But history merges with the present and upends Drew’s life when he has a terrifying revelation. Teaming up with a brilliant woman who receives the same vision and a handsome man whose arrival is either fortuitous or sinister, Drew follows the clues in his grandmother’s memoir and races against time to save the world from an apocalyptic nightmare about to be unleashed in downtown San Francisco.

As catastrophe looms, so does the question: Who, or what, is the real enemy?

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In Case You Forgot

By Chaz Lamar and Others

Two newly single, Black, queer, and socially aware men have packed up to start again—in love, career, and life—in the West Hollywood neighborhood of LA.

Zaire James, on the cusp of 30, has decided marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Despite friends, family, and coworkers loving Zaire’s “perfect” partner, divorce is a necessary step for finding himself and being free. If only it were that easy.

Kenny Kane has made a career of deferring dreams, lowering expectations, and chasing partners not on his level in hopes of finding a love to call his own. However, on the verge of the big 4-0, he realizes the clock is ticking on all his dreams.

As Zaire and Kenny undo the significant relationships of their pasts, they hope new opportunities, energy, mindsets, and connections will reinvigorate what is missing in their lives—drama and all.

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Somewhere Over Lorain Road

By Bud Gundy

Amateur Sleuths
Small Town Romances

Advance Praise for Somewhere Over Lorain Road

"The author pulls all the stops out in this gripping story of love, tragedy, and redemption set against the backdrop of a murder investigation...a five-star win with the best mystery novel I have read in years." – Alan Chin, author of First Exposure, The Plain of Bitter Honey, and Buddha's Bad Boys

“Darker and more powerful than its outline might suggest.” – Daniel Curzon, author of Something You Do in the Dark

 

For more than forty years, the stain of horrific allegations against their father has haunted the Esker sons. When three little boys were murdered in 1975, their dad was suspected of the crimes. The immense strain of the unsolved case shattered the family, sending the brothers reeling into destinies of death, flight, and, in the case of Don Esker, shame-filled silence.

Years later, Don returns to the family home in North Homestead, Ohio, to help care for his dying father in his final months. His dad longs for the peace that will only come with clearing his name. If Don can find the killer, he can heal his family—and himself. His own redemption begins when he becomes romantically involved with Bruce, who joins the hunt and forces Don to confront the unthinkable answer they’ve uncovered.

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Sweet Boy and Wild One

By T.L. Hayes

Transgender
College Life

Graduate student Rachel Cole is feeling the weekend blues and heads to her favorite lesbian hangout, looking for Ms. Right Now. She is immediately attracted to a brown-haired, brown-eyed, flannel-wearing soulful singer named Bobby Layton. But when Bobby introduces himself to Rachel, Rachel questions things about herself—things like her own sexuality and her very identity. Could she be falling for this sweet boy?

Bobby Layton lost a lot when he came out as trans. And he's sworn off dating lesbians because dealing with hate from the straight world is hard enough. Who needs the drama? But something about wild girl Rachel Cole keeps him coming back.

Love may be enough to take them to unexpected places beyond their expectations.   

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A Careful Heart

By Ralph Josiah Bardsley

Workplace Romance

Travis Gaines and Stephen Davis are as close as two best friends can be. Born less than a month apart, they grew up as neighbors in a small northern New Hampshire town. After college, they make their way together to Boston, craving the excitement and fast pace of New England’s biggest city. 

As they get their bearings in Boston, Travis falls hard for Benson, a senior executive at the financial services firm where he works. Benson is wealthy, handsome, and well connected among Boston’s well heeled. At first it seems like Benson is everything a guy could ever want, but behind that glossy veneer is a dark side that threatens to tear Travis and Stephen’s friendship apart and change their lives forever.

 

Advance praise from Foreword Reviews:

"A Careful Heart is a romance novel by way of domestic abuse. Sound improbable? Perhaps, but Ralph Josiah Bardsley takes on that often-neglected subject within the genre well. The book follows two best friends from childhood to early adulthood. One finds romance, and the other thinks he has but realizes that the “perfect guy” comes with a devastating price....Bardsley crafts the family dynamics of both characters well, giving enough information to enrich the story without lingering too long on secondary characters....Violence in relationships can affect anyone, as A Careful Heart compellingly proves."

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Rank

By Richard Compson Sater

Coming Out
Military
Workplace Romance

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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Smoldering Desires

By C.E. Knipes

Evan McGarrity is a sophomore at Milton University in Western New York. Tired of one-night stands, he’s looking for honest love and someone to share his life with. When he meets Sebastian Tantalos, his life unexpectedly takes a turn for the better. The new romance is everything Evan has hoped for: Sebastian is funny, intelligent, exciting, articulate, and handsome as hell. Just as Evan realizes he’s starting to fall in love with Sebastian, trouble in the form of Sebastian’s old boyfriend, Brent, rears its ugly head.

Brent is determined to win Sebastian back, no matter the cost and by any means necessary. As Brent begins to weave his web of hatred and deceit, Evan starts to doubt Sebastian’s love for him. When Evan turns to his old flame for comfort, the relationship is torn apart.

Can these two men find their way back to each other and salvage their love?

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Lysistrata Cove

By Dena Hankins

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

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 Man on Top of the World

By Vanessa Clark

Jonathan Maxwell’s life can’t get any better as the drummer of the world’s hottest glam rock superstar, Izzy Rich. Despite the money, the nonstop excitement of touring, and the groupies, Jonathan wants something more. He wants Izzy to be his lover. 

Unbeknownst to his team, his fans, and the world, for fun, Izzy transforms in drag for Jonathan, becoming a songwriter/songstress called Holly. Though meant to happen for only one day, Jonathan and Holly’s relationship lasts for weeks. Until one day, Izzy rids himself of Holly forever.  

Transitioning from boyfriend and girlfriend to boyfriends, Jonathan and Izzy are on cloud nine. Their love is still a secret, but they couldn’t be happier. Until the tour jumps across the pond to America, where a bold, teenaged fan-girl, Roxanne Shengyi, will impact their relationship—and their lives—in ways that none of them can imagine.

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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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