Best of the Wrong Reasons

By Sander Santiago

When Franklin—Fin—Ness makes up his mind it tends to stay made. Running, med school, and caring for his healing mother are things Fin never second-guesses. More stubborn than his mind, his heart picked Orion a long time ago. Seeing Orion again proves his heart is still invested, but his temper and fears about their past repeating have Fin wondering if following his heart is worth losing his mind.

Musician and drifter Orion Starr expects ghosts at his mother’s funeral in his rural Georgia town. He never expects one to be his former crush, Fin. Especially since he ghosted the guy in college. The surprises keep coming as Orion waits to spread his mother’s ashes. He runs into friends, an old bully, and the cops, but the redheaded Fin threatens to make Orion do something he hasn’t done in years—look forward to the future.

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I Am Chris

By R Kent

When your life falls apart, couldn’t you just be someone else? Especially if that someone else was you all along anyway? 

Seventeen-year-old Chrissy Taylor is orphaned to a stepmama who squandered their sizable inheritance on drinking and drugging. Now, with their ranch lost, they squat in a run-down, rented trailer on the outskirts of small-town-podunkville where Chrissy cares for her nine-year-old half sister, Luce. But landing on the wrong side of the tracks puts them on the radar of the local sheriff and social services.

There’s one saving grace to losing everything and moving away. Nobody knows her. Chris can now live who he truly is.

As Chris Taylor, he knows he’ll have to cowboy up to make enough money to keep his stepmama out of jail and his half sister out of foster care. There’s only one way a kid growing up in the shadow of a world champion bull rider can earn that kind of cash. But Chris never expected to chase a championship title of his own, even with a lifetime of training on bulls.

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The Queen Has a Cold

By Jane Kolven

Remy, the heir to the throne of the tiny nation of Montamant, is finally free of their royal chains as they start graduate school in Boston. No one here knows Remy is royalty or intersex. It’s the break Remy has been looking for—until they meet Sam, the sassy lesbian across the hall. Sam doesn’t tolerate Remy’s snobbery and won’t let anything distract her from getting a PhD in gender studies. But Sam understands Remy in ways no one else ever has, and Remy pushes Sam to see beyond her books.

As things are starting to heat up between them, Remy is summoned home. The queen has a cold and can’t perform her royal duties. There’s just one problem: the people of Montamant haven’t seen Remy since puberty and the changes might mean Remy’s not the princess they expect. When Remy asks Sam to come with them, it might be the chance they both need to conquer their fears and find true love.

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Fleur d' Lies

By MJ Williamz

DJ Sander is transitioning, as a civilian, as a cop, and from female to male. A fresh-faced rookie, he’s excited to be working in New Orleans’s French Quarter, until he discovers his brothers in blue don’t follow the rules. In fact, they break them. 

Ashleigh Jorgenson’s father is DJ’s partner. Raised in a cop family, Ashleigh knows right from wrong, but the more involved she becomes with DJ, the more she starts to question everything. Bobby “Stringbean” Aiello has been a friend of the family for as long as she can remember, and despite her deepening feelings for DJ, she knows there’s no way he’s right about Bobby.

DJ suspects Bobby is guilty of a major crime and it’s up him to prove it, even when threats and attacks on his life make it mission impossible. He’s determined to get to the bottom of things and keep Ashleigh from getting hurt, but who is the real enemy? The bad guys? Or the supposed good ones

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Not Broken

By Lyn Hemphill

Rose Pereira is drifting through life when she’s first introduced to Stare at the Sun, an up-and-coming indie band led by the puppy-eyed Harley. The energetic group pulls her in, and she finds herself living for the first time in ages. Especially when she meets a friend of the band, Max, a trans guy. 

With his bizarre sense of humor, his gorgeous arms, and the way he talks about music, Max is a danger to her don’t-care attitude. He’s her best friend, in her corner no matter what, he makes her laugh, and he gets her.

Even when she screws everything up, Max is on her side. Pregnant with Harley’s baby, she absolutely can’t be in love with Max.

Rose is not in love. Because if you don’t fall in love, then you can’t get broken.

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Village Fool

By 'Nathan Burgoine

Owen is only confident in two places: at work, supporting clients through IT woes, and when he's sitting around a gaming table in the role of a smooth and charming bard. He's never acted on the crush he's had on his physiotherapist—and total cubcake—Toma. Even though they're no longer patient and client, and his crush hasn't dialed down in the slightest, Owen can’t figure out how to make a move.

When a friend decides to play a prank involving Owen's contact list, Owen spends the morning of April Fools’ day inadvertently texting smooth and charming thoughts about Toma... to Toma himself.

By the time Owen discovers the prank, things are completely out of control. Discussions of thighs and awards for the World's Best Chest have been handed out—not to mention they've set an accidental coffee date—and there's no taking that sort of thing back. When this joke finally gets told, Owen's convinced he’ll be the punchline, but with a little luck and some nudging from his friends, the last laugh might be the best of his life.

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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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The Holiday Detour

By Jane Kolven

Non-Binary Gender

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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