Guest Reviewers’ Top Picks for 2012

Aunt Lynn here.

We love our Guest Reviewers! Without them, this little ol’ site would not be able to function as each year the vast majority of the reviews are provided by this great team, and we are grateful that we have them. In 2012 we gained five talented new faces to the team — some have only been with us for a little while — adding to the veterans who have remained.

As usual at this time of year, Wave has asked us to come up with lists of top books we’ve reviewed in the last twelve months and you’ll notice that they range from just a few to ten (depending on length of time with the site and amount of time they could devote to reviewing)…and an essay. Also, I think this year for the first time we had complaints from two reviewers that they had such a hard time narrowing it down to a mix of ten that we just ain’t fair to limit it; I wish we all had such a hard time with great books! 😉

In alphabetical order, here are the books rated by Andrea, Barb, Cryselle, Feliz, Jeacyi, Jenre, Lady M, Larissa, Lasha, Leslie S, myself (Aunt Lynn), Lyoyd, Raine, Sammy, Sirius, Stuart, Tj and Victor as the best of 2012:

Andrea’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane
  2. Aaron by J. P. Barnaby
  3. Cleave by Mickie B. Ashling
  4. Chaser by Rick R. Reed
  5. The Good Fight by Andrew Grey
  6. Unconditional Love by Andrew Grey
  7. Mayon by Mickie B. Ashling


Barb’s Top Book for 2012

  1. Daddio by Mickie B. Ashling


Cryselle’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Diversion by Eden Winters
  2. He is Worthy by Lisa Henry
  3. Brand New Flavor by EM Lynley
  4. Melting Wax and Burning Feathers by Jennifer Cierra
  5. Boats in the Night by Josephine Miles
  6. The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper
  7. First Impressions by Josephine Myles
  8. Inertia Books 1 and 2 (i and Acceleration ) by Amelia Gormley
  9. Devil’s Night Anthology by Storm Moon Press


Feliz’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Tie: Bonds Of Earth by G.N. Chevalier/Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza
  2. Secret Light by Z.A. Maxfield
  3. A Hole in God’s Pocket by K.Z. Snow
  4. Cost of Repairs by A.M. Arthur
  5. Whistle Pass by Keva D
  6. The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper
  7. Fall Into The Sun by Val Kovalin
  8. An Immovable Solitude by S.A. Mc Auley
  9. The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux
  10. i by Mal Peters


Jeayci’s Top Books for 2012

  1. After Ben by Con Riley
  2. Cartography for Beginners by Jenna Jones
  3. Sub Zero by Angel Martinez


Jenre’s Top Books for 2012

  1. The Lost Gods Series by Megan Derr
  2. Scrap Metal by Harper Fox
  3. From Darkness to Darkness by Jay Bell
  4. Fire on the Mountain by PD Singer
  5. Infected: Shift by Andrea Speed
  6. The Island by Lisa Henry
  7. A Brush with Darkness by Erastes
  8. Sacrificed (Little Boy Lost book 6) by JP Barnaby


Lady M’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect by Julie Bozza
  2. The Legend of the Apache Kid by Sarah Black
  3. The Marrying Kind by Ken O’Neill
  4. Home Work (Life Lessons 3) by Kaje Harper
  5. It Takes Two by Elliott Mackle
  6. Only Make Believe by Elliott Mackle
  7. A Fresh Set of Eyes (David Lloyd Investigations 2) by Liz Strange
  8. Dreams of a Hero by Charlie Cochrane


Laissa’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Pledged to Magic Series by Brandon Fox
  2. Servitude by Rebecca Cohen
  3. Wacky Wednesday by J.A. Rock


Lasha’s Top Books for 2012

  1. A Chip in His Shoulder by L.A. Witt
  2. Riding With Heaven by L.C. Chase
  3. Waves Break My Fall by Kendall McKenna
  4. Private Eye (i #1) by SE Culpepper
  5. Brass Balls by Mia Watts
  6. Conduct Unbecoming by L.A. Witt
  7. Midnight in Berlin by J.L. Merrow
  8. Rock and a Hard Place by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow
  9. Pocket-Sized Prince by Stormy Glenn
  10. The Square Peg by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow


Leslie S’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Bomber’s Moon by Alex Beecroft
  2. Dogfighters by Alex Beecroft
  3. The Celestial by Barry Brennessel
  4. The Player and the Prude by Daisy Harris
  5. Brook Street: Fortune Hunter by Ava March
  6. The Painting of Porcupine City by Ben Monopoli
  7. Came Upon A Midnight Clear by Katie Porter
  8. Room to Grow by Kate Sherwood


Lloyd’s Top Book for 2012

  1. Cooper’s Hawk by Victor J. Banis: A beautiful story from a master storyteller.


Aunt Lynn’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Perfect Day by Josh Lanyon
  2. One Man’s Treasure by Nicole Kimberling


Raine’s Top Books for 2012

  1. The Boys and the Bees by Mari Donne
  2. Bear, Otter & the Kid by TJ Klunes
  3. Moon Shadows by Neena Jaydon
  4. Calling the Show by J A Rock
  5. Good Bones by Kim Fielding
  6. Gravitational Attraction by Angel Martinez
  7. Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino
  8. Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
  9. Academic Pursuits by Lou Harper
  10. Sins of the Father (Angel and the Assassin 3) by Fyn Alexander


Sammy’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Last Dance with Mary Jane by John Goode
  2. Play it Again, Charlie by R. Cooper
  3. Countdown to Daddies by K-Lee Klein
  4. Somewhere Only We Know by William Neale
  5. Half Moon Chambers by Harper Fox
  6. Redemption by Fire Series by Andrew Grey
  7. Earthly Concerns by Xavier Axelson
  8. By the River by Katey Hawthorne
  9. Need You Now by Mary Celeste
  10. How to Raise an Honest Rabbit by Amy Lane


Sirius’ Top Books for 2012

  1. Gives Light by Rose Christo
  2. Latakia by JF Smith
  3. Magic Mansion by Jordan Castillo Price
  4. Fadeout (Dave Brandstetter number 1) by Joseph Hansen
  5. The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff
  6. Captain Harding and His Men by Elliott Mackle
  7. You Will Meet a Stranger Far from Home: wonder stories by Alex Jeffers
  8. Out of the Ashes by Olivia Duncan Craig
  9. Kamikaze Boys by Jay Bell
  10. Punk Ass (Sticky Shorts) by D. River


Stuart’s Top Books for 2012

  1. Day of the Dead by Erik Orrantia


Tj’s Top Books for 2012

  1. I Spy Something Christmas by Josh Lanyon
  2. Love in La Terraza by Ethan Day
  3. A Token of Time by Ethan Day


Victor J Banis’ Top Book for 2012

I feel sort of like an imposter joining the list this year, since I only reviewed one book, Erik Orrantia’s Taxi Rojo, but I can certainly recommend that one. Orrantia’s writing can run hot and cold (good writers aren’t just typewriting machines; I have said often, only the mediocre artist is always at his best) but happily he is near the top of his form in this charming story of a group of strangers brought together by a shared tragedy, the fatal crash of one of Tijuana’s red taxis – which, by way of explanation, run on routes sort of like busses, but without a locked in schedule – the drivers wait until the taxi is full of passengers headed to the common destination. Orrantia is at his best writing the minutiae of everyday life, though in this case the characters are not all of them the “everyday” sort. At his best, he reveals a fragile kind of poetry in the shabbiest
of settings. His affection for his fellow beings is palpable. He loves these people, flawed though they may be, and he makes his reader love them to. These are rare gifts indeed, and sufficient recompense for any shortcomings.According to the rules, since this was my only review, this is the only book I can recommend – but I have made something of a career out of bending the rules, and I will give myself permission to do some bending here, if only a little.

I would have reviewed and certainly recommended the wonderful Junction X by Erastes, but someone beat me to it, so I will settle for adding my recommendation to his.

I can always recommend books by Anel Viz. Even when he doesn’t quite hit a bullseye, they are each of them so unique and so thought provoking that the discerning reader cannot but be glad to have discovered them.

I recommend Mykola Dementiuk also, but with a caveat or two – Mick has been called “the bard of 42nd Street. He writes about gay life in the New York City of the 60s and he writes down and dirty. So, his works are not for the squeamish nor for those who insist on fairy tale endings – If you are having a Christmas tipple, he’s more a shot of Jack than a sip of champagne.

Of course, we are fortunate in that there are so many fine writers producing fine books in the m/m and gay genre, more than anyone could hope to keep up with. I take a particular pleasure in that knowledge, remembering as I do a time when good reads in these genres were rare indeed, and might land a publisher or a writer in prison.

So, a tip of Santa’s hat to all our writers, and to those who encourage them by writing reviews, here and elsewhere.


  • Thank you so much for including me! That’s swell and I really appreciate it. Although I just want to point out (sorry!) that the link to the “Bombora” review contains an error! Nevertheless, thanks again! :)

  • Thanks Victor for recommending me. That comes as a nice surprise on this New Year’s Day. I may have been called “the bard of 42nd Street,” but in this very cleaned up world its very lonely out there. Thanks for the heads up;)

  • Guys

    You outdid yourselves with your selections. Obviously I’ll be spending a lot of my Christmas money on new books, but I don’t mind.

    There are also many books on this list that I’ve read and loved and now they are like old friends.

    Thank you for putting the selections together Lynn, and everyone have a happy New Year celebration and wonderful 2013. :).

  • Barb and Andrea-Thank you for including my novels on your list! It’s such an honor to be recognized for doing something I love.

    Thanks to Wave, Aunt Lynn, Christian, and all the people behind the scenes who make this site possible.

  • Just to say my list is not in order of merit, it was hard enough choosing
    just ten, I couldn’t possibly rate them more than that. 😯

    I have to say my very favourite book for this year was reviewed by Sirius – Gives Light / Rose Christo is a very special book. :flowers:

  • So many great books in other reviewers’ lists that I would not mind to put on my list too :-). Bonds of Earth was superb, just wonderful.Albert Stern too. I still have not read Alex Beecroft’s series – there is a potential pet peeve of mine in there and so I am periodically coming back and wonder if I should read or not lol. And Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander – loved that book. Yeah must stop.

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