My Top 10 in LGBT Fiction:
Supposed to name my 10 favorite LGBTQ Books of all times, I find it very hard to limit myself to only ten. However, if I absolutely have to choose, here you are.
- Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville (2009) – I can’t even count how often I’ve reread this book. D and Jack have a timeless, beautiful charm that I‘ve yet to find rivaled in any book that came after them. I find myself sucked into their story, thrilled and touched by it every single time I happen to pick it up once again. As far as I’m concerned, this book is a classic of the genre and a must-read.
- The Definitive Albert J. Sterne by Julie Bozza (2010) – This book has the most unlikely hero EVER and the most unlikely pair of men to fall in love with each other.
The story isn’t easily accessible. The underlying mystery/ thriller plot revolves around a truly scary serial killer; one of the main characters is hard to take to at best, despicable at worst and not even physically present for most of the story while his love interest gets involved with someone else; and as for the actual romance, the reader, along with Ash, is left to search for and decipher the clues because of Albert’s inability to understand, much less voice his own emotions. And yet, what a brilliant, brilliant book. Food for thought and a philosophical and literal work of art.
- Bonds of Earth by G.N. Chevalier (2012)– This book took my breath away with its feeling of time and place. The glimpses granted into the half-world of gay early 20th century New York were particularly fascinating to me, although the other settings, from the Bowery to the veteran clinic, were equally well worked out.
This is the kind of book I can lose myself in, a book that’s all about the story and not in the least about the effect. Nothing in here seems forced, let alone put in just for playing to the gallery. It was intense, engrossing, poignant and amazingly well written.
- Basic Training by Marquesate(2009/ 2011) – This is a story about accepting what and who you are, about realizing what really counts in life and about being honest with yourself and others and abiding by yourself and the one you love. Wonderful, well-rounded characters and a sweet yet in no way saccharine love story. Encouraging, uplifting and engaging.
- Apples and Regret and Wasted Time by Cornelia Grey (2011) – Over the course of its mere 13 pages, this tale of two lovers separated by almost insurmountable obstacles creates an atmosphere of desperate yearning that gripped me immediately. Even though I didn’t even know their names, I felt deeply connected to both characters; I suffered with them and hoped for them, longed to see them happy together forever even though I was afraid they simply couldn’t be. Impressive, poignant and highly recommended.
- Safeword by A. J. Rose (2013) –It’s not uncommon for me to only like one book of a series, and this was one of these instances. The romance part of this novel was flawless. The development of Ben’s and Gavin’s relationship, the obstacles they had to overcome, the way they dealt with them–everything was firmly rooted in their characterizations, their backstories, their very personalities.
The crime scenes, the scene backgrounds, the surroundings were vivid and well-drawn without exception. The writing was smooth, seemingly effortless and interspersed with bits and pieces of prose so beautiful I deliberately stopped to reread them. Gripping, compelling action and sex scenes (and as far as I’m concerned this book has the single most erotic masturbation scene I’ve ever read!) and the above-mentioned great characterizations made this book a wonderful reading experience and a joy to read.
- Uneven by Anah Crow (2008) – An outstanding, unusual BDSM – themed book where it’s all about the mindset and not about rituals, tools or games.
I’ve never read a book of this genre which went so deep into the protagonist’s very souls, bared them so completely it’s disturbing at times.
The sex scenes in their raw, cruel explicitness are not for the faint at heart but they’ re highly revealing and always necessary to forward the plot and allowing the characters to develop their loving, emotional relationship.
- Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling (1997)– This was another serial book that I loved a lot more than the rest of the series. I read this series waaaay back before I’d ever heard of such a thing as m/m romance, and this book isn’t even what I’d consider a romance. First and foremost it’s a high fantasy story in all its epic magnificence, with quests and impossible choices, treasures, magic trinkets, wise mentors and eager pupils, true friendship and tragic betrayal and so on. Yes, and a budding, beautiful love that happens to happen between two men. Still one of my all-time favorites and an occasional reread.
- Aimee & Jaguar by Erica Fischer (1998) – A real life love story between two women in 1943 Berlin, this book made a great impression on me. I read it during a difficult time in my life, and it helped me gain insight into many things that still bothered me back then. However, all personal aspects aside, this was a wonderfully written book, and those two women’s fierce love and commitment against all odds was what stayed with me through all these years.
- Almost Mine by Eden Winters (2014) – Again a short story, but it packs such an emotional punch. This story deals with what comes after the happy end, with how everyday life and take-for-grantedness can nearly lead to disaster – and with the way you sometimes have to stop and reconsider basically everything, even life itself. Wonderful, poignant and full of love and hope.
- 72 Hours by Clare London (2010) – Ever since I first picked it up, this book has been my go-to escapism read. I’m very much into enemies-to-lovers, and this story even does one better with its lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers plot. Add to that a cast of wonderfully quirky side characters and a thrilling mystery, and I don’t need much more to be happy.
- Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price (2009) – This is JCP at her best, issuing some very special traits to her actually very ordinary heroes and then heaping awkwardness and mortal danger on them while they’re only busy getting by from day to day. Also, this had a whimsical take on the vampire trope that I liked a lot and there were so many sparks between the main characters, it managed to be sizzling hot with almost no sex at all.
- When Irish Eyes Are Sparkling by Tom Collins (2011)– This warm, sweet tale featuring a pair of twins – one gay, one straight – their respective significant others and their wonderful extended family is my perfect comfort read.
- Irregulars by Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale, Astrid Amara (2012) : Stick four of the – in my opinion – greatest writers in the m/m genre together, and the result is an outstanding anthology of fantasy stories, all set in the same universe and yet into different worlds. Fantastic, alluring, and simply awesome.
I just realized I cheated… those are twelve 😉
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