The following, rather eccentric list is exactly what the title says, my favorites: not the books I thought were best, but the books that I enjoyed the most, that I reread most often, and that for whatever reason became orientation points for me—books that I reflexively compare other books to. They were not all published this year. I've reviewed most of them on Goodreads. Click my Favorite Reads 2013 shelf to find the reviews.
So here it goes.
Claimings, Tales, and Other Alien Artifacts, by Lyn Gala
Bone Rider, by J. Fally
Kei’s Gift, by Ann Somerville
The God Eaters, by Jesse Hajicek
The Magpie Lord, by K. J. Charles
Richochet, by Xanthe
Favorite Hot Reads:
Collision Course, by K. A. Mitchell
Bad Boyfriend, K. A. Mitchell
Dirty Laundry, by Heidi Cullinen
Not His Kiss to Take, by Finn Marlowe
Favorite Feel Good Reads:
Physical Therapy, by Z. A. Maxfield
The Trouble with Angel, by J. M. Cartwright
Stroke Rate, by L. M. Sotherton
Favorite Dark Reads:
Gamble Everything, by Cari Waites
Last Rebellion, by Lisa Henry
Mind Fuck, by Manna Francis
Favorite Graphic Work:
Maiden Rose, by Fusanosuke Inariya
Gay Tentacles From Space, by Charlotte Mistry (also Favorite Title)
Mating Season, by Kari Gregg (in Bump in the Night, ed. Heidi Belleau)
Favorites From the M/M Romance Group's Love Has No Boundaries Collection:
When You Were Pixels, by Julio-Alexei Genao
The Lodestar of Ys, by Amy Rae Durreson
Worthy, by Lia Black
Most Read Author:
Keegan Kennedy (also filthiest, craziest, most holy-shit-I-can't-believe-I-just-read-that) See Cops and Robbers for a good example of his work
Favorite (and perhaps only?) Book with No Sex:
The Foxhole Court, by Nora Sakavic
Best of the Best:
If I had to pick one book from this list that represented my absolute top pick for the year, it would be Claimings, Tales, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reread it now, probably because it represents the perfect fusion of my two favorite genres, M/M and sci-fi. Click here for my very inadequate review on Goodreads, but really just read it.
As of this writing, The God Eaters, The Foxhole Court, The Last Rebellion, Not His Kiss To Take and all the stories from Love Has No Boundaries can be downloaded for free--just click the title's link. Maiden Rose can also be read for free online.
I'd also like to reissue the warning I posted last February. Every single one of these books is M/M, and except for the last, they are all ADULT ONLY. Several, and not just the dark reads, feature BDSM, rape, and/or non-consensual situations. It is crucial to know your own limits and pay attention to content warnings. Always feel free to ask me if have any questions or worries about this. I truly believe reading in this genre should be about pleasure, not about testing your triggers or restocking your supply of nightmare-fodder.
And in Conclusion:
I'd like to say a few thanks yous: first to Goodreads. Despite all the turmoil this past fall, the site remains the primary incubator for the M/M genre, bringing together authors and readers in endlessly productive and creative ways. My next thank you goes to my Goodreads friends for all the work they put into discovering, reading, and reviewing this emerging genre, and enabling me to discover authors I'd never know about otherwise. And finally, I'd like to thank the authors themselves for being so talented, for choosing to write in this genre, for writing such intelligent, enjoyable, and challenging books, and finally for getting their work out there so I could find it. Hopefully this post will help you find it too.
There are a lot of amazing books coming next year--I am already looking forward to sharing them with you in another post a year from now. In the meantime Happy Reading and Happy New Year.