Abigail Roux, Aleksandr Voinov, Amelia C. Gormley, Amy Lane, Andrea Speed, Anyta Sunday, Astrid Amara, Ava March, Beau Schemery, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Carole Cummings, Charlie Cochet, Cornelia Grey, Dani Alexander, Diana Copland, Eden Winters, Edmond Manning, Elyan Smith, Ethan Day, Ginn Hale, Hayden Thorne, Heidi Belleau, J.C. Lillis, J.H. Trumble, J.P. Barnaby, Jennifer Cierra, John Goode, John T. Fuller, Jordan Castillo Price, Josh Lanyon, Joshua Martino, Kaje Harper, L.B. Gregg, M.J. O'Shea, Maria McCann, Marshall Moore, Mary Calmes, Missy Welsh, Nicole Kimberling, P.D. Singer, Paul Alan Fahey, Piper Vaughn, Rhys Ford, S.A. Reid, The Year In Reviews, Violetta Vane, Z.A. Maxfield

2012 – A Year In Reviews

Well, it’s that time of year again, the time of year when we all wonder where the days and weeks and months have gone, the time to reflect on some of the great books we’ve read throughout the year, the time of year I scratch my head and wonder if I’ll ever live long enough to read all the books I want to read (The answer? Pfft. No.), the time of year I wonder how the flip I manage to read as many books as I do in an entire year, and then wonder how I’m supposed to compile a list of favorites that doesn’t include more books than some people read in a year’s time. Top Ten? Piffles. I can barely pick the top ten in a single sub-genre, let along manage it for an across the board list. So, do I get a little creative in my selection methods? Probably. Is it honest? Definitely. Do I feel badly for leaving some amazing books off my list? Certainly. But I have to draw the line somewhere. ::sighs:: And for that I apologize to all the very deserving authors out there who should be recognized and celebrated for their brilliant work.

Quite a few of the books that made my list this year weren’t even published in 2012; that’s just when I finally got around to reading them. ::slow:: There is one book, however, that was published in 2012 that has managed to make me do something I’ve never been able to do in three years of putting together a year in reviews list: name a top pick for Best Book of the Year. Yep, that’s a first for me.

And since I’m always looking for the “next great read”, if there are books you’ve read this year that didn’t make my list, leave a comment and share so I can add it to my ginormous reading pile. :)

So, without further ado, here’s my list of Favorite Books of 2012:

Category One: Best Contemporary by a New To Me author

1. Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
2. A Reason to Believe by Diana Copland
3. Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

*Honorable Mention: Inertia and Acceleration by Amelia C. Gormley*

Category Two: Best Contemporary by a Favorite Author
1. Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux
2. Sidecar by Amy Lane
3. Acrobat by Mary Calmes

*Honorable Mention: The Rare Event by P.D. Singer and One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea*

Category Three: Best Historical – 20th Century
1. Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov
2. Protection by S.A. Reid
3. Roses in the Devil’s Garden by Charlie Cochet

*Honorable Mention: Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper

Category Four: Best Historical – 19th Century or earlier
1. As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
2. When the Music Stops by John T. Fuller
3. The Affair of the Porcelain Dog by Jess Faraday

*Honorable Mention – His Client by Ava March

Category Five:Best Young Adult/Coming of Age (Contemporary)
1. End of the Innocence by John Goode
2. Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trimble
3. How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

*Honorable Mention – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz*

Category Six:Best Young Adult/Coming of Age (Fantasy and/or Historical)
1. The 7th of London by Beau Schemery
2. The Winter Garden and Other Stories by Hayden Thorne
3. (In)visible by Anyta Sunday

Category Seven:Best AU/UF/Fantasy
1. Infected: Shift by Andrea Speed
2. Mnevermind 1: The Persistence of Memory by Jordan Castillo Price
3. A Token of Time by Ethan Day

*Honorable Mention: Irregulars by Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale & Astrid Amara*

Category EightBest Short Stories/Novelettes – All Sub-Genres
1. Clouds’ Illusions by Hayden Thorne
2. Bounty Hunter by Cornelia Grey
3. Zones by Elyan Smith
4. Portside by Elyan Smith
5. The War at the End of the World by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
6. Same Time Next Year by Eden Winters
7. Tinsel and Frost by Eden Winters
8. Oscar’s Soul by Missy Welch
9. Singing Alone by Jennifer Cierra
10. The View from 16 Podwale Street by Paul Alan Fahey

Category Nine: Best LGBT Non-Romance
1. Fontana by Joshua Martino
2. The Infernal Republic by Marshall Moore

Category Ten: Best Series – AU/Fantasy
1. The Wolf’s-own Series by Carole Cummings
2. The Rifter Series by Ginn Hale
3. The Infected Series by Andrea Speed

Category Eleven:Best Series – Mystery/Suspense
1. The Cut & Run Series by Abigail Roux
2. The Cole McGinnis Mysteries Series by Rhys Ford
3. The Romano and Albright Series by L.B. Gregg

Category Twelve: Best Series – Erotic/Kink/BDSM
1. The Dark Soul Series by Aleksandr Voinov
2. The Bound Series by Ava March

Category Thirteen Best Series – Contemporary
Tied for First place: (Seriously, I can’t choose)
1. The St. Nacho’s Series by Z.A. Maxfield
1. The Johnnies Series by Amy Lane
1. The A Matter of Time Series by Mary Calmes
1. The Tales From Foster High Series by John Goode



And now….




Finally, it comes down to my choice for Best Book of 2012, which goes to the brilliant and beautiful King Perry by Edmond Manning. I can say, with all honesty, I’ve never read a book quite like it in my entire life. Simply put, it is the reason I read and read and read, because every so often I find a book that leaves me both speechless and wanting to shout its praises from the rooftops at the same time. If you haven’t read it yet, do. Soon. Like maybe right now, soon. :)


Now it’s time to get to work on adding to my list for next year!

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Alexa Snow, Ava March, Elyan Smith, Jane Davitt, Joey W. Hill, Katie Porter, Kim Dare, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

O Come All Ye Kinky Edited by Sarah Frantz

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Let’s be naughty and save Santa a trip. – Gary Allan

Well, happy hot, hot holidays, everyone. Seems ‘tis the season to be bound and gagged and spanked and sexed up to the nines, when gifts aren’t tied up in ribbons and bows as much as folks are tied up in leather and ropes and are begging for the gifts of pain and pleasure, and all that glitters is duct tape, and everyone is giving the gifts of dominance and submission, those gifts that just keep on giving all year long.

O Come All Ye Kinky is a collection of eight BDSM themed stories:

Tree Topper by Jane Davitt
’Twas the Night by Ava March
Fireworks by Katie Porter
Candy Caning by L.A. Witt
Submissive Angel by Joey W. Hill
Open Return by Elyan Smith
Ring Out the Old and In the New by Alexa Snow
His Very Last Chance by Kim Dare

And each individual story in this anthology makes reading them all more than worth it. From a couple trying to figure out their roles in a relationship; to a woman struggling so hard to believe that she could ever come first in anyone’s life; to a transgendered man who’s coming home after a fifteen year absence, unsure of whether he still has a place there; to a man trying desperately to recover from the aftereffects of a violent crime, these stories all seem to have one underlying similarity, regardless of the author—they each center around a couple (or a threesome) who find that love is the one gift you can give away and will be more than glad when it’s returned.

Honestly, O Come All Ye Kinky has a little bit of something for everyone. Before I picked it up, I was one-hundred percent certain that four of the eight authors were going to deliver because I was already a fan of their work. After reading it, now I can say with one-hundred percent certainty that I count myself a budding fan of those new-to-me authors as well.

Whether you’re looking for historical erotica, something with an ethereal magic to it, something that will tug at your heartstrings, or something that’s just flat-out dead sexy, you’ll find it in this well written and complementary collection of short fiction. I can guarantee you there are more than noses being nipped at here, so go ahead and be naughty; add a little fetish to your holidays. You may never look at candy canes and wrapping paper and Christmas lights quite the same way again.

Buy O Come All Ye Kinky here: https://i0.wp.com/riptidepublishing.com/sites/all/themes/riptide/logo.png

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Elyan Smith, Riptide Publishing, Small Gems

Small Gems – Portside by Elyan Smith

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

I knew as soon as I read Elyan Smith’s short story Zones in the UK MAT anthology Lashings of Sauce that he was an author whose work I wanted to know much better. Zones is the touching story of a transgender woman who is trying desperately to find her place in the world, to find her place within herself, and to find her place within her partner’s family. This story was so moving and memorable to me not only because of the subject but also because of the author’s writing; it is dense with emotion and atmosphere and sometimes felt cloying, like a heart-wrenching yet hopeful dream.

I can now honestly say that this wasn’t a fluke, because Portside, Elyan Smith’s debut short story, is equally and beautifully oppressive, which is a huge oxymoron but true nonetheless. This is a story set in a bleak town where Iwan lives a bleak life in a bleak house where anything resembling hope is quashed by the harsh economic times and lack of opportunities for him, for his best friend Lyn, for his family. His life is a place where cigarettes and alcohol are comfort in their constancy, where picture postcards of faraway places are the one dimensional dreams of everything his life isn’t, where the depthless face of the television screen pays mocking tribute to the austerity of his life.

Portside is in no way a romance. It is pure literary fiction and it explores the life of a young man who wants for everything but doesn’t dare want for much. He is a young man trying to fit in his own skin, even though that skin doesn’t quite fit who he is. He is a young man who has dared to hope, and in that hope he might find a way to connect with the one person about whom he dreams of something more—a portside boy, Jonah—who is the golden prize at the end of the monochromatic rainbow.

This was a difficult story for me to relate to on some levels, mostly because I couldn’t be looking at it from further outside Iwan’s perspective, but that’s really what made me try all the harder to empathize with him and his longing for something more than what he had, and in the end, it worked with a certain sort of somber beauty.

Buy Portside HERE.

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Anne Brooke, Becky Black, Charlie Cochrane, Clare London, Elin Gregory, Elyan Smith, Emily Moreton, JL Merrow, JMS Books LLC, Jordan Castillo Price, Josephine Myles, Lillian Francis, Rebecca Cohen, Robbie Whyte, Sandra Lindsey, Tam Ames, Zahra Owens

Lashings of Sauce by UK MAT

“Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.” – William Cowper – The Task and Other Poems

• Post Mortem by Jordan Castillo Price
• Dressing Down by Clare London
• Et Tu, Fishies? by JL Merrow
• Zones by Elyan Smith
• Sollicito by Charlie Cochrane
• A Few Days Away by Elin Gregory
• Vidi Velo Vici by Robbie Whyte
• Shelter From Storms by Sandra Lindsey
• Faulty Genes by Rebecca Cohen
• Lost in London by Tam Ames
• My Husband by Zahra Owens
• Waiting for a Spark by Lillian Francis
• Social Whirl by Emily Moreton
• School for Doms by Anne Brooke
• Dragon Dance by Josephine Myles
• Reclaiming Territory by Becky Black

Lashings of Sauce is an anthology that is truly a celebration of LGBT fiction and all its diversity, with sixteen equally fantastic short stories that run the gamut from lighthearted to erotic to poignant, as each author places his or her own personal and memorable stamp on this collection, giving me something to love about every story, whether it was the characters who made me laugh or those who touched my heart as they struggled to find an identity in a world where pronouns and Self are sometimes at conflict with one another.

Some of these authors are new to me, some are reliable favorites, but whichever the case they all delivered in a big way. It would take forever for me to list, story by story, what drew me into the lives of each of these characters, but suffice to say there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of historical, paranormal, or contemporary fiction, and regardless of how you identify.

There are stories of new love, lost love, and renewal; stories of temptation and unrequited love; stories of healing and hope; stories that made me laugh out loud, smile, sigh, brought a lump to my throat, and a few of them were just flat-out, unapologetically sexy. Whatever the case, whatever the conflict, whatever the course, each of the characters found the way to the beginning of their happy ending. These are stories of loving unconditionally and finding the perfect someone who makes you feel perfect in yourself, discovering a common bond that makes you feel an uncommon joy.

I read this book, expecting with each story that I couldn’t possibly love the next as much as the previous. This is one time I can say I’m so glad I was wrong.

Buy Lashings of Sauce HERE.

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