With or Without You by Lauren Sanders

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Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: With or Without You
Author: Lauren Sanders
Genre: Fiction
URL: Akashic Books
Price: US $14.95
Summary [from the publisher]:
Summer 1987. Lillian Ginger Speck, high-school graduate, sits in her jail cell contemplating the steps and missteps that led her to murder soap opera star Brooke Harrison in cold blood one bright and muggy New York afternoon. Lily had admired the young star for some time, and her loss is palpable. Her story is therefore part apologia, part love note and suicide pact. Meanwhile, Brooke Harrison’s mother has a tale of her own to tell. In this edgy and compelling “whydunit,” the accounts of predator and victim intertwine. The result is a wry exploration of the contemporary American melting pot of status, beauty, celebrity, violence, and obsession.

With or Without You combines the aching adolescent heart of The Catcher in the Rye with the dark suburban soul of The Great Gatsby—set against the starstruck voyeurism of American Idol. This book asks the quintessentially American question: Is life worth living if you can’t be famous?

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Without You by Anthony Rapp

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Without You
Author: Anthony Rapp
Genre: Biography/Memoir
URL: Simon & Schuster
Price: US $16.00
Summary [from the publisher]:
Anthony Rapp had a special feeling about Jonathan Larson’s rock musical Rent as early as his first audition, which won him a starring role as the video artist Mark Cohen. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent opened to thunderous acclaim off-Broadway — but even as friends and family were celebrating the show’s first success, they were also mourning Jonathan Larson’s sudden death from an aortic aneurysm. And when Anthony’s mom began to lose her battle with cancer, Anthony found himself struggling to balance his life in the theater with his responsibility to his family.

In Without You, Anthony tells of his exhilarating journey with the cast and crew of Rent as well as the intimacies of his personal life behind the curtain. Marked by fledgling love and devastating loss, Without You is an exceptional memoir of the world of theater, the love of a son for his mother, and maturity won far too early.

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Taken by Tentacles by Jessie Snow

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Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Taken by Tentacles
Author: Jessie Snow
Genre: M/M Erotica
URL: Amazon
Price: US $2.99
Other Information/warnings: Explicit sexual content, dubious consent
Summary [from the publisher]:
A love triangle unlike any other…

Captain Liam Conrad never expected to find a giant octopus in a rainstorm. But when he’s thrown overboard and dragged into the sea, tentacles take him in unforgettable ways. To complicate matters, he’s falling for the handsome marine biologist aboard his boat. And the octopus doesn’t like that.

Not one little bit.

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An Angel in Eyeliner by Hunter Frost

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Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: An Angel in Eyeliner
Author: Hunter Frost
Genre: Romance
URL: Beaten Track Publishing
Price: US $.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
All Mitch wants for Christmas is a quiet holiday free from grief. Patching up the face of the target of a mugging in the back alley of his bar seems to throw that wish right out into the cold Chicago night. But the tatted, pierced, and skinny-jean wearing Keller Graham is fearless and proves to be more than a pair of icy blue eyes lined in black. Keller may be a thief, but Mitch never expected him to steal his lonely heart.

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Champagne by Debbie McGowan

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Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: Champagne
Author: Debbie McGowan
Genre: GLBT Fiction
URL: Beaten Track Publishing
Price: £1.79
Summary [from the publisher]:
Haunted by the abuse of his now missing father, seventeen year old Sammy stumbles upon the seedy world of drug addiction and prostitution of London’s West End in the 1980s. Cold, desperate and exhausted, he takes shelter in a trash-filled alley behind a strip club, unaware that what is about to unfold will change the course of his life.

Set during a period of significant social and cultural change in the early 1980’s, Champagne opens up a world of seedy revue bars, prostitution, abuse, drug addiction and the devastating effect of AIDS. Centred around the events of a declining revue bar and its regeneration, a young man comes of age and finds his first love whilst looking for his estranged, abusive father. Through dark humour and strong characterisation the book is not only eye opening but also manages to capture a truly unique time in popular culture.

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Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

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Rating: 6/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Golden Boy
Author: Abigail Tarttelin
Genre: Young Adult
URL: Atria Books
Price: US $16.00
Summary [from the publisher]:
Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he’s the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He’s even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max’s mother, is determined to maintain the façade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years, but now that the boys are getting older, she worries that the façade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband Steve has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won’t his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he’s starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him—desire him—once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really?

Golden Boy is a novel you’ll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.

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Liesmith by Alis Franklin

liesmithRating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Liesmith
Author: Alis Franklin
Genre: Fantasy/horror
URL: Random House
Price: US $5.97
Other Information/warnings: Horror, gore
Summary [from the publisher]:
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.

Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?

As Sigmund gets to know his mysterious new boyfriend, fate—in the form of an ancient force known as the Wyrd—begins to reveal the threads that weave their lives together. Sigmund doesn’t have the first clue where this adventure will take him, but as Lain says, only fools mess with the Wyrd. Why? Because the Wyrd messes back.

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En Memoriam by Tami Veldura

22572278Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: En Memoriam
Author: Tami Veldura
Genre: M/M Erotic Horror
URL: Tami Veldura
Price: US $2.99
Other Information/warnings: Explicit sexual content
Summary [from the publisher]:
Paul has seen Victor before, he just can’t remember where. The rush of fear in his stomach when Victor glances his way is familiar. Paul knows the slant of his smile. There’s nothing safe here, but when Victor offers to meet over coffee, Paul is swayed by this sense of knowing. Victor’s touch feels like an old lover. His hands have been here before.

Paul is sure he once learned something Victor is trying to hide. His hair stands on end whenever Victor gives him attention, like his body reacting to danger that his mind can’t recall. He’s not sure uncovering more is a good idea but he craves what Victor might give him.

Paul wants to know why he longs for Victor’s voice. He dreams about conversations they’ve never had. He desires a darkness he’s never seen before. They met only once, but this longing is too intense. Victor is keeping secrets, Paul just can’t remember them.

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Think of England by K J Charles

think-of-englandRating: 9.5/10 ★★★★★★★★★½ 
Title: Think of England
Author: K J Charles
Genre: Historical m/m, country house mystery
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $4.50
Other Information/warnings: violence, anti-semitism, racism, explicit sexual content
Summary [from the publisher]:

Lie back and think of England…

England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.

Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.

As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.

As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…

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Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father
Author: Alysia Abbott
Genre: Biography/Memoir
URL: W.W. Norton & Co.
Price: US $15.95
Summary [from the publisher]:
After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation—few of whom are raising a child.

Steve throws himself into San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to raucous parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. But the pair live like nomads, moving from apartment to apartment, with a revolving cast of roommates and little structure. As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate who can transform the ordinary into magic, but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference.

In Alysia’s teens, Steve’s friends—several of whom she has befriended—fall ill as AIDS starts its rampage through their community. While Alysia is studying in New York and then in France, her father tells her it’s time to come home; he’s sick with AIDS. Alysia must choose whether to take on the responsibility of caring for her father or continue the independent life she has worked so hard to create.

Reconstructing their life together from a remarkable cache of her father’s journals, letters, and writings, Alysia Abbott gives us an unforgettable portrait of a tumultuous, historic time in San Francisco as well as an exquisitely moving account of a father’s legacy and a daughter’s love.

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