This list is made up of books I liked but which fell into the twilight zone between a romance and something else.  That made it a difficult list to compile.  Sometimes, as in the first book on the list, the romance didn’t work for me on several levels, one being that the protagonists had fallen in love in the first book of the series.  This was a second-chance-at-love story, but I put it on the list anyway because it showed the characters growing from their previous relationship.  I grant that is purely personal opinion, but then this is my list so you should expect that.  You’re welcome to disagree.  Just don’t shout.

     Beck, Timothy James I’m Your Man (2004) The third book in a series.  Daniel and Blaine (from It Had to Be You) have had a falling out and separated.  The whole book is about them trying to get together again.  The first story was told from Daniel’s point of view, this one from Blaine’s.

     Benbow, Dave Male Model (2004) I liked Blake and Cameron, but they fell for each other immediately and too much of the remainder of the book was about Cameron’s wife, his past, and control of the company.

     Clinger, Rob Just a Boy (2007) I enjoyed this teenage romance though I found the drug interlude hard to accept.  Since Jove was a varsity wrestler, I found this even less likely.  Okay, so this was a personal opinion.  It was a good book.

     Forster, E.M. Maurice (1914) I loved the movie, but despite this being considered a classic, I didn’t like the book.  There was far too much discussion of religion and similar issues and very little about the men themselves.  I think the real significance of the book lies in the fact that it was published in 1914. 

     Fox, John The Boys On The Rock (1984) Sixteen-year-old Billy meets twenty-two-year-old Al while working on a political campaign.  They fall in love but fall out because Al won’t come out even though Al insists he loves Billy.  Billy seems to have no understanding of why Al isn’t ready to shout to the world that he’s gay.  NOBODY did that back in the 80’s, especially not when they were first coming out.  I have to include it as a romance but of the broken sort.

     Kenry, Chris Confessions of a Casanova (2004) Tony is basically a slut who likes making a conquest then moving on to the next one, but he really connected with a Dane named Peter who followed him to the States, married his mother, yet continues to have sex with Tony.  Only when Peter decides to go back to Denmark does Tony come to his senses.  Lambda Nominee

     Langley, J.L. Without Reservations (2006) This was an interesting book.  Both characters were werewolves, but that played into the story so well it enhanced the story rather than detracted from it.  There was lot of humor in the book, but so much sex I nearly put it on the erotica list.

     Lawson, Vince Odd Man Out (2006) Dean Davenport is approaching forty.  His best friend is dying of cancer and everyone else he knows is in a relationship.  When he meets Tony Finelli, it’s instant magic, but Dean is afraid to love because everyone he loves leaves him (friends from AIDS, father, mother, best friend).  When Tony tells Dean he loves him, Dean starts to back away.

     Murphy, Timothy Getting Off Clean (1997)  Eric Fitzpatrick is a bright high school senior in Mendham, a working-class town in Massachusetts. He is determined to fit in, be popular, and go to college. The only problem is that he is gay and just coming out – a problem complicated when he begins having an affair with Brooks Tremont, a black student who attends a prestigious prep school outside of town. When racial violence breaks out in Mendham, both Eric and Brooks have to make some hard choices.

     Perronne, Michael Holloway A Time Before Me (2005) Jason feels suffocated by his small hometown until he and his best friend Billy have sex.  But after graduation, Billy heads to New York and Jason goes to stay with an aunt in New Orleans where he becomes interested in Joey.  Billy comes back and confuses things so much Joey leaves town.  The men represent two different choices, and Jason has to decide which one he wants.

     Quinn, Jay Back Where He Started (2005) This book is more about Chris’s past than about his future.  About the family he left behind.  He doesn’t meet Steve until late in the book.

     Rettenmund, Matthew Blind Items (1998) I had conflicting feelings about this book.  I liked David, but I didn’t like his gossipmongering friend Warren and I didn’t like the way David let Alan’s secret out of the bag.

     Roeder, Mark A. Someone Is Watching (2004) Another in Roeder’s Gay Youth Chronicles.  Ethan and Nathan didn’t come together as a couple until toward the end.  Before that, Ethan had been fixated on his best friend and the fact that someone was threatening to expose him.

    Schell, Andy My Best Man (2000) Harry has turned his back on his blue-blood family and their fortune to become a flight attendant.  He will inherit 20 million if he marries before his next birthday.  He’s attracted to Amity, an ambitious flight attendant who agrees to marry him for the money, but Harry meets and falls in love with Nicolo Feragamo.  He has to decide what he wants most:  to win the money and foil his greedy, lying  brother, or forego the money and take the man he loves.

     Smith, Frederick Down for Whatever (2005) The story of four men attempting to find romance.  Generally speaking, I don’t like books with multiple couples.  You don’t have space to do justice to any one of them.

     Tyler, Ben Gay Blades (2003) This book was more about the bad guy than about the main couple.  And when they finally did get back together, it was more about making sure the bad guy got his just reward.

     White, Edmund The Married Man (2000) I need to stop reading White thinking I’m going to like his books.  There is a relationship here and the makings of a good story, but he’s short-changed the romance, buried the story in endless descriptions, and treated the book like a diary of a man’s life.


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