Rubble and the Wreckage by Rodd Clark

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Rating: 6/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Rubble and the Wreckage
Author: Rodd Clark
Genre: M/M Romance, Thriller
URL: Driven Press
Price: US $5.38
Other Information/warnings: Explicit violence
Summary [from the publisher]:
Gabriel Church knows you can’t take a life without first understanding just how feeble life is, how tentative and weak it stands alone. If you desire murder, you hold a life in your hand. Whether you release it to grant life or grip tighter to end it, it is at your command and discretion. Gabriel is a serial killer with a story he wants told. Christian Maxwell studied abnormal psychology in college but chose instead to focus on a career in writing. His background comes in handy when he thinks of writing about a serial killer. He can’t think of anyone more qualified to write the story of Gabriel Lee Church, and do so in the murderer’s own words. It’s been done before, but never with a killer who has yet to be captured or convicted. There was never anything more than a gentleman’s understanding between the two men that Christian would record Gabriel’s life story. The killer did not ask for his complicity in any crimes, nor did he ever ask for his silence. Christian’s interest in the man, though, is fast becoming something more than academic. When the writer and his subject become unexpected friends and then lovers, the question remains: What is Gabriel’s endgame . . . and why does he want his story told?

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Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor

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Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Six Metres of Pavement
Author: Farzana Doctor
Genre: Lesbian fiction
URL: Dundurn
Price: CDN $9.99
Summary [from the publisher]:

Winner of the 2012 LAMBDA Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction and of the 2011 Rainbow Awards

Ismail Boxwala made the worst mistake of his life one summer morning twenty years ago: he forgot his baby daughter in the back seat of his car. After his daughter’s tragic death, he struggles to continue living. A divorce, years of heavy drinking, and sex with strangers only leave him more alone and isolated.

But Ismail’s story begins to change after he reluctantly befriends two women: Fatima, a young queer activist kicked out of her parents’ home; and Celia, his grieving Portuguese-Canadian neighbour who lives just six metres away. A slow-simmering romance develops between Ismail and Celia. Meanwhile, dangers lead Fatima to his doorstep. Each makes complicated demands of him, ones he is uncertain he can meet.

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Richard Estes’ Realism by Patterson Sims et al.

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Richard Estes’ Realism
Author: Patterson Sims et al.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Art
URL: Portland Museum of Art
Price: US $40.00
Summary [from the publisher]:
Accompanying Estes’ first solo exhibition of paintings in the United States in over two decades, Richard Estes’ Realism surveys fifty years of his work and places him within the historical narrative of realist painting. The authors explore the ongoing modernist dialogue between camera and canvas, and discuss the situation of Estes’ work at the crossroads of painting and photography. Fifty full-page plates showcase the amazing precision of Estes’ paintings, and a thorough chronology and bibliography provide an enlightening account of his life. This handsome book offers a lavish presentation of Estes’ spellbinding body of work that attests to his enduring artistic impact.

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Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble

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Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Don’t Let Me Go
Author: J.H. Trumble
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
URL: Amazon
Price: US $10.69
Summary [from the publisher]:
Some people spend their whole lives looking for the right partner. Nate Schaper found his in high school. In the eight months since their cautious flirting became a real, honest, tell-the-parents relationship, Nate and Adam have been inseparable. Even when local kids take their homophobia to brutal levels, Nate is undaunted. He and Adam are rock solid. Two parts of a whole. Yin and yang.

But when Adam graduates and takes an Off-Broadway job in New York—at Nate’s insistence—that certainty begins to flicker. Nate starts a blog to vent his frustrations and becomes the center of a school controversy, drawing ire and support in equal amounts. But it is the attention of a new boy who is looking for more than guidance that forces him to confront who and what he really wants.

J.H. Trumble’s debut, DON’T LET ME GO, is a witty, beautifully written novel that is both a sweet story of love and long-distance relationships, and a timely discourse about bullying, bigotry, and hate in high schools.

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Like They Always Been Free by Georgina Li

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Like They Always Been Free
Author: Georgina Li
Genre: M/M Romance, Short Stories
URL: Queer Young Cowboys
Price: US $4.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Men play guitar at bonfire parties and find comfort in parking lots. Soldiers find sex and love amidst a devastated America. A surfer who is also a shark hunts a man he can’t stop thinking about. A magician follows the secret messages beneath the graffiti and signs of an urban landscape. A young woman traces the story of her grandfathers: scientists and lovers who established a new colony on a distant moon.

Georgina Li writes with humane poetry, capturing both the profane staccato of soldiers and the blown-grass whispers of country boys. In these eight short stories, Li explores the literal and metaphorical wars of men: on the battlefield, in poverty, and of the heart. Her men are complex, covered in grit but filled with love.

Li’s work slides comfortably from genre to genre, proving that good storytelling is good storytelling regardless of literary conventions.

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The World Feels Smaller by E.W. Murks

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Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: The World Feels Smaller
Author: E.W. Murks
Genre: LGBT Fiction
URL: Amazon
Price: US $.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Recovering from a difficult breakup, a young man visits Thailand hoping to put the past behind him, and finds comfort where he least expects it.

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Jeb and Dash: A Diary of Gay Life, 1918-1945 by Ina Russell

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Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: Jeb and Dash: A Diary of Gay Life, 1918-1945
Author: Ina Russell, editor
Genre: Biography, Memoir, History
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Price: Out of Print
Summary:
Here is the journal of Jeb Alexander, a gay man who lived in Washington, D.C. during the first half of the 20th century. Documents his life and details the joy and anguish of his on-and-off love affair with college chum C.C. Dasham.

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Diventando: The Vessel by J.C. Wallace

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Rating: 4/10 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Diventando: The Vessel
Author: J.C. Wallace
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
URL: Amber Quill Press
Price: US $6.00
Summary [from the publisher]:
Owen McIntyre is no stranger to the Grim Reaper. Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of fifteen, he’s spent the last ten years slowly dying. With only two weeks until his next checkup, Owen’s body is already warning him that he is no longer in remission. Tired of the countless meds and chemo, not to mention the way his family coddles him, he decides to live and die on his own terms and forgo treatment. When he meets a lively college professor named Turk, conquering the man becomes part of Owen’s bucket list. But as Owen gets to know Turk, he starts to see him as more than a fling, a luxury that a dying man doesn’t have.

But what if, suddenly, everything Owen knew to be true turned out to be a web of lies and deceit—even his diagnosis of cancer?

Taken hostage, tied to a bed and subjected to painful experimentation, Owen’s nightmare of leukemia is a far cry from the horrors he will face. No longer able to trust anyone in his life, including Turk, Owen is alone and cut off from the world. He has to make the hard decision to trust those who have betrayed him, including Turk (for whom he deeply cares), or die a lonely death.

Soon, with time running out, Owen will not only fight to live, but fight to want to live again. But will that be enough to save him from the evil that lurks inside his body and mind?

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Yogi and the Bear by Nix Knox

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Rating: 2/10 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Yogi and the Bear
Author: Nix Knox
Genre: M/M Romance
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $5.50
Other Information/warnings: Explicit sexual content
Summary [from the publisher]:
If the fall is inevitable, might as well enjoy the tumble.

Months after a scaffolding accident leaves him in chronic agony, construction worker Ryan Powell has exhausted all that Western medicine has to offer. He’s willing to try anything, even yoga, to get some relief.

He expected to feel out of place at the New Age Center, but he never expected a power-outage bathroom encounter to magically erase his pain. When he discovers the man with the magic hands is his drop-dead-sexy yoga teacher, Ryan decides that there might just be something to this metaphysical thing, after all.

Yogi Niklas Baumgartner has found it remarkably easy to keep his shiny vow of chastity untarnished—until now. Still, a bathroom hand job doesn’t really count as sex, right? But his footing on the no-nooky wagon slips when he realizes the big, blond bear at the back of the class is his man in the dark.

Their unlikely attraction brings out sides of themselves they never knew lurked beneath the surface, sides it takes courage to accept. But when trust is broken, repairing the damage might just tear them apart.

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Mnevermind 1: The Persistence of Memory by Jordan Castillo Price

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Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: The Persistence of Memory
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre: Science Fiction, M/M Romance
URL: JCP Books
Price: US $4.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Every day, Daniel Schroeder breaks his father’s heart.

While forgetting your problems won’t solve them, it does seem like it would make life a heck of a lot easier. Daniel thought so once. Now he knows better. He and Big Dan have always been close, which makes it all the more difficult to break the daily news: the last five years were nothing like his father remembers.

They’re both professionals in the memory field—they even run their own memory palace. So shouldn’t they be able to figure out a way to overwrite the persistent false memory that’s wreaking havoc on both of their lives? Daniel thought he was holding it together, but the situation seems to be sliding out of control. Now even his own equipment has turned against him, reminding him he hasn’t had a date in ages by taunting him with flashes of an elusive man in black that only he can see.

Is it some quirk of the circuitry, or is Daniel headed down the same path to fantasy-land as his old man?

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