Best of 2013 – Part 1 (2013 Releases) and Giveaway

Yep everyone does it.  It is in the blogger handbook.  At the end of the year, we make lots and lots of lists that no one cares about.  Well I blog about books, so my lists will be about books.  I think I am going to divide this into 3 parts.

  • Part 1 – Best books I read in 2013 that were RELEASED this year.
  • Part 2 – Best Books I have read in 2013 that were released anytime BEFORE 2013.
  • Part 3 – Best Books of 2013 I have yet to read.

Can you guess which part this is?  Yep, that is right, part 1.  The Best of 2013 releases (that I have read, of course).

And just for grins and giggles.  I will give one lucky commenter a e-book copy of their choice from this list 🙂  See below for rules. (this is not a sponsored giveaway, this is just because I want to spread the love of these fabulous books)

Best of Brandilyn’s Read Shelf 2013 Edition.

I read a lot of novels, novellas, and shorts.  Some are fabulous, some are great, some of horrible and most are in between.  I however can NOT read every single book that is released in the Gay Fiction and MM Romance genres.  I am only 1 woman, and I have a day/night/all-the-time job (they are 6, 4, and 2).  So that being said, if your favorite is NOT on the list, don’t blast me.  I would love it if you would mention it in the comments.  I may already have it on my to-read list, or I may not and would love to add it.  For what it is worth, I read about 700 titles this year, and this list only contains 11.  Needless to say I probably even left off a few of my favorites 😉


Learning Curve by Kaje Harper– Book 4 in the Life Lessons series that follows the life and love of Minneapolis detective Mac and high school teacher, Tony.  Aside from Kaje’s wonderful prose and impeccably designed characters, I love that Tony and Mac live in the real world and have to face real problems.  They do not get an instant HEA, but they persevere togethe.

Touch & Geaux and Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux– Yes, these are two books from two different series, but they are set in the same universe.  I love Ty & Zane (didn’t know that did you??) and I love the sidewinder boys (as introduced in Book 4 of the Cut & Run series – Divide & Conquer).  Shock & Awe is the best of both worlds and is a must for any fan of Cut & Run (just as I say the Warrior’s Cross is a must 😉 between Divide & Conquer and Armed & Dangerous).  Touch & Geaux is the 7th book in the award winning Cut & Run series.  It is probably one of my favorites.  It is not all sunshine and roses, as T&Z face some serious shit, both externally and in their relationship.  I have it on good authority that their angst is not yet over… but I trust the Roux will eventually give these two the HEA for which they are working so hard.

The Sky Is Dead by Sue Brown – Prepare to have your heart ripped out, but don’t worry Sue will repair it before the book is done. Danny has lost everything.  He is gay, homeless, and without much hope.  A friendship with Harry starts to give him hope, then tragedy strikes and all the happiness Danny has found is suddenly ripped away.  Journey with Danny as he finds love and life again.


Hidden Away by J.W. Kilhey – Okay so this one was totally released on 31 Dec 2012… but close enough.  It is very rare for a historical romance to get me talking.  Hidden Away was just awe inspiring.  John and Kurt are both survivors of World War II, but from very different worlds.  Kurt is quiet and reserved.  John is just coasting through life.  They come together to face fears and memories to try to find a future.


Strength of the Pack by Kendall McKenna – So I really wanted to read this one with all the great buzz it had been getting. In the end I wasn’t disappointed. Lucas and Noah were HOT together.  It is the first in a series, the second is not quite as good, but still a very enjoyable read.  Mix wartime with shifters and an alpha werewolf who finds his alpha human and you have heat and intrigue.

Undertow by Andrea Speed – When I started reading Prey, the first book in this series, I had serious doubts I would ever finish it.  It had a bit of a slow start.  By the 75% mark, I was absolutely hooked and by the end of book 2, I was completely obsessed with this series.  Undertow is the 7th book in the Infected series and the series as a whole just keeps getting better.   Roan is the only known, surviving virus-child, a Human born with the were-cat virus.  He is a former cop and current Privateeye who specializes in dealing with crimes commited by other infecteds.  Some of whom chose their affliction, some who have not.  The affects of the werecat virus on society has many parallels to other polarizing viruses that are present in our world.  Speed does a fabulous job with this series.

An Intrepid Trip to Love by Charlie Cochet –  A cute little Husky-shifter story.  A little family drama mixed in with a Friends to Lovers romance.  It is part of the M/M Romance group on Goodreads annual Don’t Read in the Closet event – Love Has No Boundaries, so it is a free download (I recommend you check out the other titles as well).


Prisoner 374215 by Angel Martinez – Another free read from the Love Has No Boundaries event.  It is a short little read (only about 10K words), but something about it just stuck with me.  It is a dystopic tale of a prisoner and his guard.  Things aren’t quite what they seem, of course.  It is well written and just drew me in from the prompt and left me wanting more at the end.  A sure sign of a great read.


Safeword by AJ Rose – I was in love with this book before I ever picked it up.  For one is has an absolutely GORGEOUS cover.  For another, I loved the first book, Power Exchange, so completely, it was a given that I would be reading SafewordSafeword picks up about a year after the events of Power Exchange.  Both of our heroes, Gavin and Ben, are dealing with the fallout of the vicious attack on not only their persons but also their lifestyle.  They work together to give each other what they need without going beyond what they can handle.  I love this duo of books because it isn’t a matter of BDSM can heal all wounds.  The characters have to work in other ways to heal and the BDSM is a side effect of that healing.  Gavin and Ben are neither one perfect, but they are perfect together.

The Flesh Cartel, Season 2: Fragmentation by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz – Okay so this serial fiction started in 2012, but it has had 10 releases this year.  This is not an easy read, but it is oh so good.  You can read my review of Books 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 here on this blog.  Mat and Dougie are taken from their home and sold into slavery. No this isn’t a historical, this is a modern tale of human trafficking from the inside.  You alternate between wanting them to break and wanting them to fight.  You rip out your heart, but have to wait to have it repaired.  The series will be coming to a close in 2014.

Quid Pro Quo by LA Witt and Aleksandr Voinov – One of the hotest reads of the year.  It is the beginning of a series centered around the high-end club, Market Garden, and the high-end rent boys that work there.  QPQ focuses on Tristan, Jared, and their rich, voyeuristic client, known as Rolex.  It is basically one scene, but did I mention it was freakin HOT.  The series is available through book 5 currently with at least 1 more title to come.  I have been promised, by Ms. Witt, that we will get to see more of Tristan, Jared and Rolex in an upcoming release.  You can read my full review here.

Giveaway info:

Comment to be entered to win.  Answer the question: “Why do you love M/M Romance?”  Final selection will be made randomly. Make sure I have your email address (if you put it in the little box labeled “email” that is sufficient).  Must be 18 or older, void were prohibited, etc, etc, etc.  You must be able to receive e-book gifts from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or All Romance eBooks.  Contest ends on 6 Dec 2013 at 11:59pm CST.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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17 thoughts on “Best of 2013 – Part 1 (2013 Releases) and Giveaway

  1. The first M/M book I read was Heart of Texas by R.J. Scott and I loved it. The story was great, the writing was excellent and I discovered that M/M sex was a lot more exciting to read than M/F. Let’s face it: if you’re a female, you already know all about M/F.

    • Heart of Texas is a favorite of mine as well. I have had Texas Family sitting on my Kindle since it was released. I need to read it so I can read Texas Christmas. Gah!

  2. I think it’s the male psyche that attracts me more than anything. The m/m sex is certainly a plus. I think Amy Lane’s The Little Goddess series was one of the first I read that had m/m characters. I went on to read the Promise Rock series. I was hopelessly hooked, on Amy Lane as well as m/m.

  3. I love M/M because I love men & they are so hot together 🙂 I can’t remember the first M/M title I read, it was at least 8 years ago, but I was hooked.

    Love your list – only have about half of them, so will be checking out the rest shortly!

  4. I like M/M romance because I like men, and I like romance. :). If one man is good, then 2 (or more) is even better, right? LOL.

    For a slightly less tongue-in-cheek reason, M/M romance has additional interesting issues that can be addressed that are not found in m/f romance. For example, homophobia, coming out/staying in the closet, marriage, DADT, difficulties with adopting kids, and no accidental pregnancies as a plot device (mostly….there’s the tried and true “I was drunk” or “I wanted to try out girls” tropes).

    And excellent choices for best books of the year….I’ve read about half, I’ll have to check out the other half now. 🙂

  5. I think for me it’s that the stakes are higher with M/M I guess. The MCs have to struggle and decide if the relationship is worth forever altering their lives. The choices are harder and have more weight. Is the risk worth the reward? A lot of the “conflict” in M/F was eye-roll inducing after a while and the obstacles just don’t seem like anything really important or more than personal hang ups/refusal to see things from another perspective. I hope I explained that well enough.

  6. M/M seems to touch places inside of me that M/F doesn’t. I also just love the guys. If one hot guy is good two must be better, right? There is no competition either. With het romance there is a presence in the back of my mind thinking ‘she is better (younger, prettier, what have you) than me. With gay romance I don’t have that. Of course these guys wouldn’t want me, they’re gay. I find it liberating in a way.
    Thanks for the contest…Michelle

  7. Hello, I like M/M because it helps me get over some of my issues around being (mostly) gay. I’m also a closet romantic/pragmatist mix who’s only recently entered the dating field, so M/M fic helps me figure out how I want to be when I find my one-and-only/one-night-stand(s).

  8. Great list! I definitely agree with some and have added others to my TBR pile.
    I love M/M romance for so many reasons. I got sick of reading about whiny females who did stupid things and had to be ‘rescued’ by the guy. But mostly I just love reading about guys and 2 is better than 1. 😀

  9. Definitely some favorites of mine in that list too! I love m/m romance because… well, a lot of reasons, really. I love romance in general, and two sexy men getting it on? Hot. But the relationship dynamics can be so different from m/f and that makes it a nice break for me.

  10. What’s not to love! A lot of the stories I read bring me in and let me escape.

    I have to say that I fangirled all over Angel Martinez at GRL over Prisoner 374215. I told her that I had to stop myself from looking for the encyclopaedia that held Tal’s history.

  11. I love the way the authors develop the romance in M/M stories. The first M/M romance I read was Rough Canvas when I was reading through that BDSM series and I just loved how that love story unfolded.

  12. I started by reading m/f fanfiction and then discovered m/m and they touched me deeply and then discovered a whole lot of books. It’s strange, I’m a female that later figured out I like girls more but reading gay romances I still like. I can identify with their struggles. It’s weird thinking about het couples (not that it’s weird, I just can’t seem to connect with them)but I can identify with liking someone that society says it’s not accepted.

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