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Summer is the perfect time to catch up on one’s reading, especially at the beach or by a pool. There are any number of books out there for the avid reader and while any of these books can be read year round, the following is a list of summer reading recommendations for people who enjoy the gay romance category.
- The Men of Honor Series by SE Jakes consists of six books published by Samhain Publishing. The books in the series include Bound by Honor, Bound by Law, Ties That Bind, Bound by Danger, Bound for Keeps and Bound to Break. Each of the books focus on a different couple, but there is some crossover between the books, as some of the characters get reintroduced or even discussed. This is a series about “men in uniform,” whether they are cops, military or even CIA. There is also a spin-off series which also brings back some of the characters, while introducing new heroes.
- Bear, Otter and the Kid Chronicles by TJ Klune is currently three books, which were released by Dreamspinner Press. These books consist of the appropriately named, Bear, Otter and the Kid, Who We Are and The Art of Breathing. Filled with humor, angst, drama and family, these books are captivating and compelling.
- The Terms of Release by BA Tortuga has to be on any reading recommendations list whether it is summer or not, as this gay romance is well crafted and filled with angst, drama and forgiveness. Another aspect of the story that one might find appealing is the cowboy/man in uniform combination. This book was released by Dreamspinner Press.
- The Vamp for Me Series by Bailey Bradford currently has two books released by Totally Bound. The books in the series are titled, My Life Without Garlic and Don’t Stake My Life On It. The second book in the series (Don’t Stake My Life On It) is set for a general release date of August 25.
- Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan is the first book in a new series called The Roosevelt, but it can easily be read as a standalone. The characters in this book are both flawed and easily identifiable. One of the characters suffers from clinical depression, while the other main character falls on the autism scale.
- The Under Wolves Series by Amber Kell from Totally Bound, currently has two books. These books are A Gamma’s Choice and An Omega’s Heart. Reading anything from Kell is probably a sure bet, but this series shows off just how strong those gamma and omega characters really are when it comes to matters of the heart. With a war brewing between werewolves and vampires, this series offers action, paranormal goodness and romance.
- Cade Creek Series by Stormy Glenn is a spin-off series from Siren-Bookstrand, that currently offers readers six books. Although it is not necessary to read the first series in order to enjoy Cade Creek, it does enrich the overall reading experience. The six books in the series are Happy’s Ever After, Farmer in the Dell, Fireman’s Flame, Jonny Be Good, Starting Something and Better Than Good. This series offers readers a little bit of everything, from drama, danger and romance, to cowboys and men in uniform.
- Welcome to Lobster Cove by Carol Lynne is book one in a new series from Totally Bound. Anything a reader picks up from Lynne is pretty much guaranteed to be a must-read, and this spin-off of her ever popular Cattle Valley series is sure to give readers a new set of books to fall in love with.
- Marked by Sean Michael is a revised version of the book which was reissued by Resplendence Publishing. Here is another author that a reader cannot go wrong with. This is a shifter story with secrets and a man who will not give up on his mate, which means this is the perfect paranormal romantic read.
- Axel’s Pup by Kim Dare is the first book in a new series called Werewolves & Dragons. The book was released as a self-published story on Amazon and All Romance Ebooks (ARe). Dare has a number of books that will call to readers, from books with BDSM themes to paranormal stories, such as this. In reading Axel’s Pup, one will get a taste of both of these elements combined.
- Searching for Eden Series by Kathleen Kerridge is currently a two book series that can be found on Amazon. The books consist of Into the Woods and The Call of the Dark. These books are epic fantasy with some darker undertones. There are references to past abuses and rape, so this is definitely not for everyone. However, if one can get past these themes in the story, this is a reading experience not to be missed. In the first book alone, the story is so well thought out and detailed, that while it ends in what is tantamount to a cliffhanger, readers are still left feeling like they have read a complete story.
- The Federal Paranormal Agency Series by Olivia Black is a spinoff series released by Siren-Bookstrand. There are currently three books in the series, Salvation, Absolution and Retribution. Although one does not need to read the previous series to understand what is going on in these books, the second book in the series does tie into the first series. As the series name suggests these stories bring together the idea of men in uniform with the paranormal world.
- Mating With Wolves Series by Marcy Jacks is just one of many paranormal books offered by this author from Siren-Bookstrand. There are currently three books released, A Shifter’s Worst Nightmare, Not To Be Messed With and Sweet, Seductive Wolf. Jacks has a number of paranormal series for one’s reading pleasure with the Mating With Wolves books just being the latest offering.
- The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur is book one of the Perspectives series, which is from Samhain Publishing. This series is a follow-up to the author’s Cost of Repairs series. There is something so tragic to this story, but also so refreshing and captivating. The story has a bit of darkness to it, with some references to a past abuse, plus there is enough angst and pain to make this perhaps not the lightest of summer reading list suggestions, but definitely worth picking up.
- Love Comes Around by Andrew Grey is one of the author’s many must-read offerings from Dreamspinner Press. Any reading list would be incomplete without at least one of Grey’s books included. This is a story of overcoming obstacles in an effort to find love and a sense of family.
- Better by Jaime Samms was released by Dreamspinner Press, and while there are some references to past abuse and trauma, this is also a story of moving on from one’s past and getting a second chance at life and love. There are any number of books by this author that easily fit the bill of must-read, but this is one book that will stick with a reader long after the story has been finished.
- Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane is the first book in the Johnnies Series from Dreamspinner Press. While all of the books in the series are summer reading list worthy, there is something about this first book that just demands special attention. The title character, Chase, is struggling with who he is and what he needs in his life, and his struggles hit a point that he nearly does not come back from. There is so much reality to this book that it deserves to sit alone as part of a “read this now” addition to the summer reading list.
- 3 by Jacob Z. Flores is another offering of Dreamspinner Press. This is a compelling read that is nearly impossible to put down. This story is about so much more than a single relationship, this is about redemption, forgiveness, love and pain. There is real beauty in a story that is so steeped in the reality of what relationships are all about.
- By Any Other Name by Tia Fielding can easily make any reading list. This book from Dreamspinner Press may have been released in the summer of 2011, but it still demands to be read. Here is another story with darker elements of past abuse, rape and trauma, By Any Other Name is a story of strength, love and growth. It is about finding one’s self and accepting that love can be healing.
There are a number of books and authors that also could have been added to this list, and really this is just a small sample of the vast majority of books currently available in this ever-expanding and growing genre. While everyone has different tastes in books, this list of gay romance recommendations for summer reading, offers a little bit of something for everyone. Whether one prefers a bit of paranormal or fantasy in their reading or even contemporary, this list of books gives just a small taste of the available stories out there.
Opinion Written and Edited by Kimberley Spinney