It’s that time. I’m going to talk about the books that rocked my world this year. I know, the year isn’t over, and I am quite sure I will read some great books between now and January. I promise if any of them completely blow my mind, I’ll give them a special mention in my New Years resolution post.
First, you’ll notice many of the books on my list are gay (m/m) romance. This is not a coincidence–I read a lot more gay fiction this year than I ever have before, and discovered some new to me favorite writers, whose books I’m thrilled to talk about here.
In no particular order:
First up: No Souvenirs by K.A. Mitchell
This book was published in 2010, but I read it for the first time (and the second, third, fourth and beyond) this year. To me, No Souvenirs is a perfect romance. I adore both Dr. Kim and the Scuba Cowboy. These are NOT perfect characters. Both men were deeply flawed, and I love them all the more for it. The way Mitchell unfolds the story is absolutely delightful, and by the end, I was rooting for these guys and their happy ever after.
Next, Deep Desires by Charlotte Stein
I don’t know what the WHAT with this book. I loved it even as it made me feel lonely and scared and voyeuristic. The main character, Abbie, is terrified and turned on when she watches her neighbor masturbate through a window. The next night, he’s written on the window that it’s her turn. This book occupies all those dark, scared places in Abbie’s brain where she’s not certain she is capable of loving and being loved by another person, and it is brilliant. Told through windows and on screens, between two ends of phone conversations, the reader feels like an interloper, a voyeur, an eavesdropper. It’s brilliant and beautiful.
Where There’s Smoke by L.A. Witt
She did it. She made me fall in love with a smoker. I’m a junkie for political stories, and how fitting that I read this one during an election year. Two words: tension and yearning. L.A. Witt does sexual tension better than perhaps any other writer I’ve read this year. I’ve slowly been tackling her backlist to read as much of her writing as possible and it is ALL because of THIS book.
Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless
Oh, Ryan, what you did to me with this book. ❤ A man with tourettes falls in love with a man who sees through his tics to the beauty within: his neighbor who suffered a traumatic brain injury years before. This was in some ways one of the most “feel-good” books I read this year, even though it dealt with some serious stuff. A book as beautiful as its cover.
Chairman of the Whored by Lucy V Morgan
Oh, THIS book. Lucy writes funny and sexy better than just about anyone, but she also writes dark and edgy erotica like nobody’s business. This book goes to some very dark places, involves knife-play, prostitution. It’s raw and bloody and addictive like running your tongue over a toothache, and it’s hot and sexy and fantastic all at the same time.
And a late favorite, one I read for the first (and second, and third) time just last week, Skybound, by Aleksander Voinov.
Skybound is a 13k word short that takes place on an airfield outside Berlin in the last days of World War II. There was danger and longing, and the very real-feeling desperation of the ugly war hanging overhead. At the end of it I absolutely ached for both Felix and Baldur and the things they’d seen and the fear they felt for each other, and even as I ached for them, I felt so hopeful for their life after the war. Brilliant and beautiful.
There you go, six stunning reads that I absolutely loved. There is actually a seventh book that truly deserves to be here, but it’s not published yet. I look forward to telling y’all about it next year though. 🙂