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Dear Author Recommends for December

I hope you spent all your cash on last month’s recommended reads because this month has slim pickings. (Obviously, this is a good opportunity for you readers to jump in here and say “read this, it was awesome.”)

Collision Course by K. A. Mitchell from Samhain is a wonderful gay male romance between Joey, a hyperactive social worker, and Aaron, a paramedic. One of the many great things about this book is that the men’s jobs are not just props, but integral to their personalities, their conflict, and the resolution of their story. Mitchell’s writing is brilliant–these are real people, with real personalities, real flaws, and real internal and emotional conflict. And the sex is smoking hot! Mitchell has the too-rare skill of writing multiple sex scenes and yet making them all different because they’re about the emotions, not the body parts. A hot romance, but one focused purely on the romance, which is refreshing in this paranormal and suspense age. Recommended (and to be reviewed soon) by Joan/Sarah F.

Jan, Jayne and I all recommend Yorkshire by Lynne Connolly. We gave away a few copies but it’s only $2.25 at MyBookstore and More for a full length, Georgian novel with an unusual hero and a smart, plain heroine. There’s intrigue, awesome comeuppance, hot sex, and a great pairing. Plus Connolly does a good job at incorporating societal structure to provide conflict. This is no wallpaper historical. You can read the conversational review here.

Jan also recommends Red Blinds the Foolish by Est Em. It’s a really unusual BL manga of high caliber about matador and the butcher who disposes of the bulls once he’s finished with them. It’s a weird subject matter used to great symbolic effect in her hands. The art is just gorgeous. (There will be no review of this book).

In Beth Kery’s Wicked Burn, I read one of the better erotic romances of late. Niall Chandler and Vic Savian live next door to one another in a high end apartment complex in Chicago. They’ve been attracted to each other but haven’t acted on their attraction until Vic hears Niall being hassled outside her apartment one night by an over eager date. Vic dispatches the date and the two embark on steamy encounter after steamy encounter. The two start dating and it seems that there is little conflict to impede the two from moving foward to the inevitable happy ending. Niall, however, has a big secret and ultimately her inability to lance the boil, so to speak, with Vic leads to a wound in their relationship that seems insurmountable. Vic, the hero, has a strong personality and it overshadows Niall from time to time. If you like your men hot, earthy, and alpha, then Vic is for you. Beware, though, that Niall can act the doormat and that might set off buttons. You can read the full review here.

This book can be purchased in trade paperback from Amazon or Powells or ebook format (Mobi only).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. cs
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 14:41:04

    I am so excited to read Collision Course. The author has won me over in her writing as of late ♥

  2. HeatherO
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 15:32:59

    My December list of wanna buys and maybe buys is really slight as well. Keeping in mind that I haven’t yet read any of these, here’s what’s on my list:

    Night Shadow by Cherry Adair
    The Treasure by Iris Johansen
    Blood Sins by Kay Hooper
    Dying for You by Beverly Barton
    The Flame by Jean Johnson
    Unlaced (Anthology)
    Undercover by Lauren Dane

    If you knew my buying habits, you would know that is pretty miniscule! January is looking a little better, thank goodness!

  3. LauraB
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 16:24:37

    At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost is due out on the 31st.

  4. Ann Somerville
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 16:39:43

    I reviewed Collision Course here and I do believe the author has hit the sweet spot with this one – it’s everything that you hope for when you pick up an m/m novel, and so rarely find. Rare for me to have absolutely no criticism to make of any book, but this one was a perfect score for me.

  5. Lissa
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 16:42:33

    I have Collision Course in my TBR pile – and I can’t wait to get to it, but Holy Smokes, that guy on the front looks like a 14 year old boy!

    I feel like a letcher just knowing what the content of the book is about.

  6. Angela James
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 16:45:19

    but Holy Smokes, that guy on the front looks like a 14 year old boy!

    I feel like a letcher just knowing what the content of the book is about.

    I increasingly feel that way about cover models, especially the stock photo models. I’m not sure if I’m getting that much older or if they look that much younger.

  7. Ann Somerville
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 16:55:42

    Joey in the story is rather short, and I guess looks rather youthful. The models are a good representation of the characters, I thought.

    If you want another good, if rather different read, can I recommend Steve Berman’s anthology of short stories, Second Thoughts: More Queer and Weird Stories? An unusual and clever collection of horror/sf/fantasy stories with a queer sensibility, made extraordinary by the author notes, which in effect, are a second set of equally unusual and gripping autobiographical tales. A very effective and thought-provoking format – I hasten to add, not a difficult one to read. Apart from a few editing glitches (which the author says he’s ironing out – the book is POD), this is pretty much a perfect 10 for me too.

  8. Jill Sorenson
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 17:01:59

    I like the cover. 14-year-old boys don’t have biceps like that! Which character surfs?

  9. Ann Somerville
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 17:21:20

    @Jill Sorenson:

    Joey surfs.
    14 year olds don’t have underarm hair either :)

  10. Paul Bens
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 00:10:49

    Oh, oh, oh!

    Recs….lordy…on the gay fiction front (novel/novella length)… [I hope I did the links right as the preview button isn’t working for me]

    Drawing Bloodby Poppy Z. Brite: Horror. A haunted house and a realistic gay male relationship that is dynamic and romantic. This is how blended genres are done well.

    Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman – YA novel with some lovely characters and a nice old fashioned ghost story with a gay twist to it.

    King of Cats: A Life in Five Novellas by Blake Fraina – A rock and roll fable torn to shred. Lots of messy (but utterly realistic) gay male relationships.

    Letters to Montgomery Clift by Noel Alumit. Not romance, but a wonderfully uplifting coming-of-age story about overcoming the wounds of the past.

    Fixer Chao by Han Ong. Dark humor and satire and a remarkable debut novel.

    Master of None : The Eight of Pentaclesby Lee Benoit. Just lovely speculative romance.

    And Ann is going to yell at me for this, but since these two novellas were amongst my favorites this year I have to rec Ann Somerville’s On Wings, Rising and its sequel (which isn’t released ye, but I got to read in advance), Reaching Higher. Just wonderful tales of Angels…but not the Angels you’re thinking of (Seriously, Ann, I had to.)

    Short m/m Fiction – all worth the small price:

    The Runaway by Jaime Samms. Coming home is full of all kinds of anxieties. If only there were someone there to make things better.

    Checkpoint by Kit Zheng. Hot encounter with a TSA agent, post 9/11.

    The Match by Dakota Flint. A little bet gone erotic.

    HISTORICAL FICTION (Non-gay, non-romance):

    Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. An amazing novel about a young Hawaiian girl diagnosed with leprosy who lives out a very full life with dignity at the Kalaupapa Leper colony on Moloka’i.

  11. Paul Bens
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 00:33:56

    Ahhhh…the internet ate my long rec post. I’ll try to recreate it tomorrow.

  12. Amie Stuart
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 10:42:22

    Ann….*ahem* My son had underarm hair at 14. Maybe not a TON but he had plenty *ggg*

    I can’t wait for the new Kay Hooper book!

  13. Paul Bens
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 11:40:50

    Oh..It showed up. I’ll be darned.

  14. Jayne
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 11:49:04

    LOL, Paul our spam filter caught it last night when you posted it. I fished it out this morning and posted it.

  15. Ann Somerville
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 15:44:16

    @Amie Stuart:
    What can I say? I’m officially at the age where policemen look too young to be in uniform, and the new US president is just a year older than me.

    But at least tell me your son doesn’t pose nude for stock photos :)

    Paul, your smiting will come privately. And later ;)

  16. Lissa
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 16:15:05

    As the mother of a current 14 yo boy – and the mother of two others who are now older – I can tell you that yes 14 yo boys have underarm hair and biceps like that.

    At least my 14 yo swimmer does. And before you ask Ann – no he doesn’t pose for stock photos, nude or otherwise! LOL

  17. Marg
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 21:40:31

    I just finished Collision Course and I thought it was really great. A weird thought occured to me that Joey kinda reminded me of a Jane Ann Krentz heroine. He was a little quirky, cute, seemed more naive than he really was, and he believed in his hero even when everyone around him was saying Aaron was bad news. I loved the complexity of both characters.

  18. CJ
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 22:00:15

    I’m in the middle of Collision Course. I picked it up based on what was said here, and while I’m liking the story set up, and Joey, who’s adorable, I’m having trouble warming to Aaron. I hope his character becomes more likeable for me before the end of the book.

  19. Joan/SarahF
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 22:06:01

    CJ, he certainly became more likeable to me as the story went on. You see into him a little more, come to understand him a little more, especially around his family. But he’s still an arrogant prick at the end of the story–you just end up liking/understanding him more. Or at least, I did.

  20. Ann Somerville
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 00:46:35

    CJ, what Sarah said. I like that he doesn’t fundamentally change so much as Joey highlights the best side of him. He never does become sappy, which I found delightful.

  21. CJ
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 02:19:18

    Thanks. That’s good to know. I don’t want him to become sappy, I just want a reason to like him.

  22. jmc
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 09:07:58

    Like Sarah and Ann Somerville, I liked/understood Aaron by the end of the story. I even sort of liked Cam, who was still pretty much an ass at the end of his/Noah’s book, Diving in Deep.

  23. Estara
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 11:44:42

    Awww. I miss the manga reviews. I guess Jan no longer has time for them? Ah well.

  24. REVIEW: Jaime Samms (mostly free short stories) | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 10:00:48

    […] to Paul Bens’ recommendation of your published story “The Runaway,” I clicked through to your website and read the […]

  25. Jaime Samms
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 19:17:44

    Thanks, Paul. Guess I owe you one. Or a bunch. Now I’m going to go look up a few of the other books you rec’d. You seem to have good taste. :D


  26. Paul Bens
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 21:33:59

    Thanks, Paul.

    You’re very welcome.

    Now I'm going to go look up a few of the other books you rec'd. You seem to have good taste. :D

    And I’m pretty, too. 8-0

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