Oct 29 2014 1:45pm

Something For Everyone: Male/Male Romance for October 2014

Foundation of Trust by A.M. ArthurOctober has been designated Queer Romance Month, so it seemed like a perfect time to start a monthly m/m round-up. The slogan of Queer Romance Month is “because love is not a subgenre,” and looking at just some of this month's offerings, we see that m/m relationships aren't an isolated category, but can be found in virtually every type of story. If you're never explored a novel featuring a same sex couple, why not pick your favorite subgenre or trope and have a go?

Small town contemporary
Cost of Repairs Series by A.M. Arthur

Not everyone gets a second chance with their first love.

David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.

Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.

Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.

An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.  

Arthur's website is titled “Small Towns, Big Love” and this series has a strong emphasis on family, work, and friendship, in addition to plenty of angst and kinky sex, especially in the latest book Foundation of Trust.

Short stories
Another Place in Time by Tamara Allen, Joanna Chambers, K.J. Charles, Kaje Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Aleksndr Voinov

Welcome to another place in time...where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.

A self-published anthology for charity featuring six excellent authors, this takes us to five intriguing historical locales and one parallel universe. Along with the more familiar Regency and Medieval settings, check out m/m romances set just after World War I and during World War II.

Military romance
The Walls of Troy by  L. A. Witt

Just when the pieces begin to add up, danger blows them all apart…

MA1 Iskander Ayhan’s orders are simple: stay with Admiral Dalton’s son as a plainclothes bodyguard while the kid attends university classes. So typical—a high-ranking officer abusing Navy resources for unnecessary security.

It isn’t long before Iskander realizes there’s more to his assignment than protecting the kid from benign harassment by homophobic classmates. Behind those piercings, eyeliner, and bad attitude, Troy Dalton is scared. Truly, deeply, scared.

Troy is indeed hiding something. Iskander is the only one who’s ever taken his fears seriously, which gives him hope. Yet Troy isn’t sure one lone, armed-to-the-teeth bodyguard is enough to keep him safe, especially since he can’t risk telling Iskander the truth.

As Iskander slowly gains Troy’s trust, the walls start coming down. And before they know it, the warmth between them explodes into real heat. Until suddenly Iskander realizes he’s a magnet for danger, not a shield.

Now he doesn’t know how to keep Troy safe—stay close, or get as far away from him as possible.

Iskander is Turkish, which is certainly not something we see in our genre every day. This is also a bodyguard story and a May/December romance, so there's all kinds of tropey goodness.

Billionaire with Benefits by Anne TeninoBillionaire!
Billionaire with Benefits by Anne Tenino

It’s just a friend thing.

Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend . . . it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.

Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes . . .

Uh oh.

But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?

The second in the “Romancelandia” series follows the cute and funny Too Stupid to Live with a story about a troubled scion of the upper classes and a lip-biting personal assistant. Now what does that remind me of? Sam, one of the heroes of the first story, is also back with a spirited defense of the romance genre.

Prosperity by Alexis Hall

A breathtaking tale of passion and adventure in the untamed skies!
Prosperity, 1863: a lawless skytown where varlets, chancers, and ne’er-do-wells risk everything to chase a fortune in the clouds, and where a Gaslight guttersnipe named Piccadilly is about to cheat the wrong man. This mistake will endanger his life . . . and his heart. Thrill! As our hero battles dreadful kraken above Prosperity. Gasp! As the miracles of clockwork engineering allow a dead man to wreak his vengeance upon the living. Marvel! At the aerial escapades of the aethership, Shadowless. Beware! The licentious and unchristian example set by the opium-addled navigatress, Miss Grey. Disapprove Strongly! Of the utter moral iniquity of the dastardly crime prince, Milord. Swoon! At the dashing skycaptain, Byron Kae. Swoon Again! At the tormented clergyman, Ruben Crowe.

Hall brings his gift for vivid, cleverly constructed language to this adventurous tale of airships and revenge. Piccadilly, a streetwise, bisexual lad who calls to mind an older Dido Twite, narrates with cheeky effervescence, humor, and unexpected pathos.

Steampunk — with Mounties!
Precious Metals by L.A. Witt

For Constable Paul Benson of the North-West Mounted Police, monotony is a blessing. As a provision inspector below the Chilkoot Pass during the Klondike Gold Rush, he’s seen miserable conditions and gold fever turn civilized prospectors into madmen.

Joseph Starling is on his way to the Klondike to find the men who savagely beat him, murdered his eldest brother, and stole their mining machine. They’ll kill his youngest brother if Joseph doesn’t operate the machine for them—it won’t work without him. With time running out, Joseph must purchase an expensive ticket aboard a crash-prone airship. But the station is miles away through dangerous terrain.

Under orders, Paul grudgingly escorts Joseph, but quickly finds himself intrigued by the young man. As they make their way toward Juneau, it’s not just the need for warmth that drives them closer together. But neither man can draw an easy breath until they make it to the gold fields . . . and there’s no guarantee that Joseph’s brother will still be alive when they do.

Fans of the unusual historical take note! Leah Breamel wrote a contemporary Mountie heroine in “I Need You for Christmas,” but have we ever had a historical Mountie hero before? Just don't have him look like Nelson Eddy, please!

This is a standalone story in the “Metals” universe, following Noble Metals.

Fantasy Based on Mythology
Liesmith by Alis Franklin

At the intersection of the magical and the mundane, Alis Franklin’s thrilling debut novel reimagines mythology for a modern world—where gods and mortals walk side by side.
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.
Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?
As Sigmund gets to know his mysterious new boyfriend, fate—in the form of an ancient force known as the Wyrd—begins to reveal the threads that weave their lives together. Sigmund doesn’t have the first clue where this adventure will take him, but as Lain says, only fools mess with the Wyrd. Why? Because the Wyrd messes back.

LieSmith by Alis FranklinThe first in an intriguing sounding series, featuring a black main character who's chubby and not conventionally attractive — *perk* — and lots of gaming jokes.

Rock Star Romance
Beaneath the Stain by Amy Lane

In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers— and their penchant for making good music when they weren't getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams—made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind.

Between the heartbreak of leaving Grant and the terrifying, glamorous life of rock stardom, Mackey is adrift and sinking fast. When he's hit rock bottom, Trav Ford shows up, courtesy of their record company and a producer who wants to see what Mackey can do if he doesn't flame out first. But cleaning up his act means coming clean about Grant, and that's not easy to do or say. Mackey might make it with Trav's help—but Trav's not sure he's going to survive falling in love with Mackey.

Mackey James Sanders comes with a whole lot of messy, painful baggage, and law-and-order Trav doesn't do messy or painful. And just when Trav thinks they may have mastered every demon in Mackey's past, the biggest, baddest demon of all comes knocking.

This was originally a serial, but is now available as an epic complete novel.

Young Adult Mystery/Paranormal
When Ryan Came Back by Devon McCormack

Steven's life changes forever the day he discovers his childhood friend and lifelong crush, Ryan Walters, standing in his bedroom. The problem? Ryan Walters committed suicide just days earlier.

Ryan tells Steven that he didn't kill himself. He believes he was murdered and that his death is linked to an article he was working on for the school paper. Steven sets out to solve the mystery, but as the story unfolds, so does Ryan's secret life of sex with guys and depression.

This isn't a genre romance, but an intriguing mystery and unrequited love story.

Trick or Treat by J.L. Merrow

The memory of this party could haunt him forever ...

Dragged along to a haunted house by his mates, Sam’s at the Halloween party from hell — the guy he fancied has turned out to be a bigot, and Sam has just outed himself to his whole football team.

Escaping to the garden, he meets James, an enigmatic stranger with a mischievous smile, and the evening soon takes a turn for the better. The night may be chilly but the heat between Sam and James is hotter than Hades.

But James has a role to play in the evening’s ghostly entertainment, and it’s a story with a deadly ending. Unless Sam can change the script and stop history repeating itself, “till death do us part” will come sooner than he thinks.

We have to celebrate Halloween as well as Queer Romance Month — and Merrow is also an excellent choice for readers who enjoy offbeat characters and plenty of Britishisms. This is an expansion of a previously published short story.

These are just a few of the hundreds of choices for October. What will November bring?


To learn more about or order a copy of the books mentioned:

Foundation of Trust by A.M. Arthur  
Another Place in Time anthology  
The Walls of Troy by  L.A. Witt  
Billionaire with Benefits by Anne Tenio  
Prosperity by Alexis Hall  
Precious Metals by L.A. Witt  
Liesmith by Alis Franklin  
Beaneath the Stain by Amy Lane  
When Ryan Came Back by Devon McCormack  
Trick or Treat by J.L. Merrow  











Willaful has been diligently reading and reviewing romance for the past seven years, but for some reason just can't seem to catch up. She blogs at A Willful Woman and Karen Knows Best.

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Lege Artis
1. LegeArtis
Oh, nice list, Willaful!
Another chime in for Another Place in Time anthology, Liesmith and Prosperity.
KJ Charles and Aleksandr Voinov both released third installments in their widely popular series (Magpie and Scorpion), I enjoyed both.
I was also pleasently surprised by The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen. I didn't expect it, but I liked it a lot...
In terms of great reads...October was really good month for me. :)
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I'm going to read Prosperity next! I haven't read LA Witt yet, but quite a few Witt titles have caught my eye, I'm wondering if I'd like them?
Lege Artis
3. LegeArtis
@MFrampton - Oh, I just read your piece for QRM! :)
Yes, try L.A. Witt... She writes pretty much in any genre, but for some reason I loved her scifi titles the best (Wireless, Noble Metals,Sky Fall duology..). I still haven't tried The Walls of Troy, though....
And Prosperity is so quirky and original. I loved it; you are in for a treat. ;)
Wendy the Super Librarian
4. SuperWendy
Re: any historical Mountie heroes? Not m/m, but Kate Bridges wrote a series (?) for Harlequin Historical in the early-to-mid 00s that featured Mountie heroes. But honestly, those are the only ones I know about!
5. willaful
I wanted to include The Understatement of the Year, but unfortunately it was a September title. So cool to have a series mix things up a bit.
Stacey Wahrman
6. staceyw
Already read Foundation of Trust, Another Place in Time, and The Walls of Troy--thumbs up to all, but especially the incredibly diverse Another Place in Time anthology. It's rare to find an anthology where all of the stories are quite good. Flight of Magpies is next for me, but the rest of the books you mentioned are now also on my list--thanks! Also awesome this month is A.M Arthur's Stand By You (part of the Belonging Series), Duck Duck Ghost (Sequel to Fish and Ghosts), and of course, the new Whyborne and Griffin novel, Bloodline.
Helena J
7. Helena J
It's difficult being limited to October releases! I hope this is a regualr feature so that we can share more of our favourite m/m authors. I also recommend Another Place in Time, which could also appear under the heading "Historicals". You will want to read more by the authors, and I strongly recommend Think of England by KJ Charles and the Enlightenment trilogy by Joanne Chambers.

I loved Trick or Treat by JL Merrow. Also Sheep's Clothing by Elin Gregory; a werewolf in Wales, with a bit of a twist.

For those who like mysteries: Josh Lanyon is the best writer of m/m mysteries (I don't think that's a contentious statement), and arguably of m/m generally. He had an October release: The Boy With the Painful Tattoo. It is the third in a series, the Holmes and Moriarity (not a typo) series. The first book in the series is Somebody Killed His Editor. These are contemporaries, excellently written, very amusing.

See you next month!
8. willaful
It will be a regular feature!

Some great titles here -- literally. Duck Duck Ghost. Somebody Killed His Editor. Lovely to see some creativity.
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