Thursday, 6 December 2012

5* Books of 2012

Yes, it's that time of year again. I targeted myself to read 300 books this year, and am bang on schedule for that with 25 days to go and 278 books down. So which did I love the most? I've reviewed some already, but here's my pick of the best of what I've read this year. Some of them are even free!

Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay) - T. Baggins
One of my favourite writers, this is so much more than the title suggests. Not a parody at all, but a compelling and wonderfully realistic love story, not a BDSM story but a strong critique of the whole 'mummy porn' phenomena.

Say You Love Me - Marion Husband
A writer I discovered this year, and oh! how glad I am that I did. Husband writes absolutely stunning, literary queer novels and this one, focusing on childhood sexual abuse and its aftermath, is raw, honest and brave. (Trigger warning: Childhood sexual abuse; incest).

The Boy I Love Trilogy (The Boy I Love , All the Beauty of the Sun , Paper Moon ) - Marion Husband
The first books of Husband's that I read, this series follows Paul, a soldier returned from the trenches of WWI a broken man, as he attempts to reconcile his life as a married man and soon-to-be father with his attraction to men. The trilogy continues up to the late 1940s, narrating the experiences of Paul's son as he is also wounded fighting for his country in WWII. Check out my reviews for The Boy I Love and All the Beauty of the Sun.

Fifty Sheds of Grey - C.T. Grey
Probably the best parody of That Book that I've read, this book is a string of laugh-out-loud one-liners. Followed by Stephen Fry on Twitter!

Junction X - Erastes
Another literary historical queer novel, this one set in the 1960s. Another married man, this one dallying with the proverbial boy next door. Beautifully written, this book will break your heart.

Between You and Me - Alex Mar (free)
The theme of this short(ish) free story is incest: in specific, between twins. Rather than starting with the brothers already involved with each other, as so many of these books do, this story looks at the beginnings of a love that really does dare not speak its name. (Trigger warning: Incest).

Falling Off The Face Of The Earth - JF Smith
Another great author I discovered this year through his bestselling novel Latakia, Falling Off the Face of the Earth is the story of a smalltown boy made good, who dated a filmstar who tragically took his own life. Returned back to that small town, unable to tell anyone the truth about what went wrong, James must confront his future, his childhood bully, and his own guilt about what happened to his lover.

Evening Rounds - Steelwhisper (free)
A beautifully-written vignette of a man telling his lover about his experiences of hazing in a very English boarding school. Quiet, understated, not a word is out of place, nothing is overdone. It is simply prose poetry: perfect.

Beyond Duty - S.J.D. Peterson (free)
A lovely military story with older guys, mild BDSM, DADT and just the right amount of angst.

Are You Sitting Down? - Shannon Yarbrough
This is pure Southern Gothic, the story of one family as they all meet for the holidays, each nursing their own secrets and pains. Perhaps a touch hyperbolic, but compellingly written - I couldn't put it down.

Something Different - T. Baggins
Rarely has a book been so aptly named. This is just a wonderful, magnificent, masterful tale, and I've already gushed about it here.

City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments) - Cassandra Clare
The fifth in Clare's Mortal Instruments series -- the first film is out next year: squee! -- and I just love these books. YA at its best.

Brook Street: Rogues (Brook St. Trilogy) - Ava March
Finally! A 5* book from March! (For more on my love/hate relationship with March's books, check out my earlier post). I really, really wanted this one to be good, and it was. Two alpha men, friends-with-benefits since they were fifteen, realise that their arrangement isn't enough anymore. But when they're both preceded by formidable reputations, can either trust the other to be faithful?

Protection - T. Baggins
No, I'm not on a commission! The first of Baggins' books I read, this is a brutal, unflinching story about life in an English gaol in the 1930s. Prepare to sob. Lots. (Trigger warning: Rape).

The Need in Me - Sophie Duncan
A supernatural love story about a man terribly wronged many years ago.

A Pirate's Life for Me, Book Two , Book Three - Tricia Owens
I started reading this series after snagging Book One for free on Amazon. Yes it's silly, the set-up borders on absurd  and it all gets a little bit Lord of the Flies in places, but as I said in my earlier review, it's just great. Total brain candy, in the best possible sense.

Don't Read in the Closet V4 - Various Authors (free)
The final collection of stories commissioned by the Goodreads M/M Romance Group in the summer of 2011. A hugely laudable venture and the quality of the stories is high.

Inertia - Amelia C. Gormley
A lovely, lovely story about a man who's been alone for so long, he doesn't know how to reach out to find someone special. And when someone reaches out to him, he might just be too scared to risk it all on love.

Kate Aaron is the bestselling author of contemporary and fantasy gay romances.
Find all her books on AmazonAReB&N,  iTunesSWSony & Kobo


  1. Oooh, enticing selections! Several of these are going on my "to read" list...


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