Last year, I did my books of the year in two parts. The first part was comprised of my favourite m/f books I'd read during 2008 and the second part the m/m books. This year I've only read a handful of m/f books and many of those were re-reads! Instead, this year I'm focusing on m/m books only and I've added more categories as my list of genres has expanded, 16 altogether. I shall do eight today and eight tomorrow.
Before I begin, let me give you an idea of how difficult it has been to choose my favourite book in each genre. This year I've read 123 novels, 98 novellas, 22 anthologies (188 stories altogether) and 82 short stories not in an anthology. Out of those books most of them have been either contemporary romance, mysteries or paranormal/UF. That's a lot of books to choose from, especially since I'm being ruthless and only choosing one book per genre, although I have separated the fantasy genre into three: Fantasy, Spec Fiction and Urban Fantasy. The books I've chosen are ones that, if I was asked to recommend a particular book in a genre, would be the book which would immediately spring to my lips.
As with last year, these books are not necessarily books which have been published during 2009 (although many of them were), but rather books that I have read this year. They are all books I've read for the first time during 2009 - no re-reads. I've added the links to the reviews I did for each book and you can go to the publisher for each book from the review pages.
So without further ado, here is the Well Read list of favourite m/m books for 2009:
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy
This book about the sharp tongued, yet emotionally vulnerable Simon Murray who meets and falls in love with a famous Aussie Rules Football player, Declan, blew me away with its sympathetic look at the pressures of fame and being gay in a macho sport. Review HERE.
The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke
The beauty of this story was in the characterisation. Craig's world falls apart piece by piece throughout the book as he seeks to discover the truth about his past. His boyfriend, Paul Maloney, has his own secrets but they gradually grow to become reliant on each other. The mystery isn't too complicated but each reveal sends a shocking punch to the gut. Review HERE.
Ghost Star Night by Nicole Kimberling
This book worked for me because of the slightly unsettling world building, where the souls of people can be extracted by wizards. I also liked that the three main leads were caught up unwillingly in the action of the story and yet were instrumental to the final outcome. Review HERE.
A Strong and Sudden Thaw by RW Day
This beautiful story, set in Virginia in the future after a sudden ice-age has swept the world, affected me deeply due mostly to the first person narrator, David. The view of his world is a mix of wonder and innocence, alongside the ruthlessness that is needed when trying to eke out a living in a harsh environment. I was transported into this world and reluctant to leave once the book was finished. Review HERE.
InDescent by KZ Snow
My love for this book has much to do with the love story between ex-vampire Adin and wizard Jackson. The paranormal aspects were well thought out and executed but it was these heroes and how they worked through the implications of their unusual relationship which kept me glued to the book. Review HERE.
Camp Hell by Jordan Castillo Price
The fifth in the Psycop series sees Vic really start to come into his own and become more comfortable with his powers. There's a few surprises too for Jacob. Along the way there's the usual mix of horror, embarrassment and humour as Vic tries to balance his job and newly emerging memories of the time he was training at Camp Hell. Marvellous. Review HERE.
Favourite Alpha Hero: Adam Bertoni from Immortality is the Suck by AM Riley. A delicious mix of sarcastic humour and complete cluelessness when it comes to his relationship with Peter. I wanted to punch him and/or give him a hug on several occasions. Review HERE.
Favourite Beta Hero: Simon Murray from Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. Here was another character I wanted to hug as well as shake some sense into him. He has a sarcastic sense of humour which he uses as a barrier to avoid getting hurt emotionally. Yet, I could identify with his fear of getting too close in case he ends up unhappy. Fortunately, the emotionally open, Declan, as well as his friend, Fran, is on hand to get him to talk about his feelings.
Well, that's it for today. Join me here tomorrow when I'll give you my favourite comedy, UF and historical, among others and I'll also reveal my book of the year.