Okay, starting to add in some of the yaoi. I realize that I am missing most of those shorts in my TBR file which means they are still on-line somewhere I'll have to track them down. Sigh.
Okay, to begin (more to follow tomorrow)
Love Quest by Lily Hoshino (175 or so pages)
This is a story about two high school students who get sucked into an alternate universe to help a princess who is under attack. Seems the only way they can strengthen her power is to swap bodily fluids. Despite the fact one is "straight" they begin by swapping spit and move on to other, uh, fluids. Seems a girl who rejected straight boy is also in the alternate universe and nearly kills gay boy and he can't leave the world because of the healing. Other boy (now madly in love and desperate for bodily fluids :-) goes back to get him out. It was a cute little yaoi manga, not as angsty as some. There is also another random steamy short in the back.
Gentle Cage by You Shiizaki (274 pages)
Itsuki is sent by his famous sculptor boss (master) to ask semi-famous sculptor and former student Tokiwa to see him. Tokiwa and Itsuki used to be friends and almost started dating but then suddenly Itsuki started workig for the boss and acting weird so Tokiwa took off. Itsuki falls and breaks both ankles (clutz) and is forced to stay at Tokiwa's house. Its pretty dub-con for a bit but they start to get along until the boss calls and Tokiwa freaks and does rape him. Seems boss wants Tokiwa to inherit everything. You get the whole backstory as to why Itsuki accepted that life (for 8 years) and after the boss dies he disappears to start his life over eventually tracked down by Tokiwa and a more or less HEA ensues with Tokiwa allowing Itsuki more independence than most of these books seem to. I enjoyed it although I kept having to put it in the Japanese context. Things that in North America or Europe we'd go "What's the big deal, tell him to take a flying leap" in Japan is a big deal, honor and family and never putting yourself first. It wouldn't work in a NA setting, for me anyway.
The White Knight by Josh Lanyon (128 pages)
This is a continuation (of sorts) of The Dark Horse. Its continues the story of Daniel and Sean but through memory tells how they first met and the stalker case, how they got together and then what happened in their relationship after as they try to mesh their lives and Sean continues his quest of the ultimate gay movie role. There's a bit of a mystery thrown in when someone attacks Sean which brings Dan to Wales and Sean works through his amnesia to figure out why their relationship was on the skids. I really liked the way it went from far past (pre-Dark Horse) to recent past (their relationship and recent separation) and of course present with the mystery and yet didn't make you feel like you were crazily hopping like some "flashbacks" can do. I enjoyed getting a bigger picture of the two.
The Graft by Isabelle Rowan (25 pages)
Set in Australia (topical for Jenre) its about a long term older couple (40's maybe) and their discussions about previous failed relationships (marriages to women and kids) and why they got married and even though they can't, would they. The one makes secret arrangements for them to have a special handfasting ceremony to because they WANT to get married not because they feel obligated. A sweet little story about two guys understanding what marriage and committment should be about.
The Finest Thing by Lily Sawyer (78 pages)
Aiden left town with his lover and best friend when his parents rejected them. Years later his lover died of cancer and still his family maintained a silence. Two years later his friends are getting married and he agrees to go back to his small hometown and faces his mother, brother and homophobic father. While there for the wedding he meets Paul and they get on like a house on fire although live on opposite coasts. Aiden makes up with his mother (who split with his father) and brother and he and Paul decide they have something worth pursuing. All of these wedding stories are sweet and HEA (that's the point) and this was no exception. A cute little story where everyone lives HEA and annoying father gets told off. Go Paul.
Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson (80 pages)
Holy smokin'. Its a GFY although at first it appears two straight boys who are best friends and room mates for 4 years of college are getting ready to end their time together. Could they be any more butch, Duke and Maverick? They are on the soccer team, drink, whore it up, the works. But Duke has always been touchy feely and lately he's been into gay chicken. Mav strangely finds himself into it and before you know it they are daring each other into blow jobs and more. Seems that Duke was't so straight and has loved Mav all along. After Mav denies their relationship to the phobe on the team Duke moves out figuring there is no way they can be together. That's when Mav figures out he's in love and tries to get him back. The "str8te boys" is a semi-gay website that they do some pics for to raise rent money which is how the guy on the team figures out they are together. Very steamy and totally GFY, but I can see rereading this one a few times.
Seducing Light by K.C. Hendricks (170 pages)
Asher is a photographer who had his identidy stolen and lost everything. He has a chance to make a comeback by going to photograph the home of his celeb crush Nick Light in the boonies somewhere. Of course they fall into bed almost immediately but straight Nick bolts. They end up coming together later and can't seem to stay apart but Asher doesn't want to be in the closet and Nick is afraid to come out and is paranoid about photographers/papparazi and has trust issues. I thought Asher was way more understanding and patient than I would be and they have a fairy tale HEA, but it was it was. Not a realistic portrayal perhaps but on the whole a good read for me.
Protests and Proposals by Sean Kennedy (26 pages)
This is the story of Leo and Paul, a couple who are protesting the right to marry. Leo gets more fired up and Paul is more laid back and they bicker a bit about Leo's actions but are in love and united in the quest. At the next protest Paul tries to get Leo alone (at a protest? What were you thinking man?) but their friends keep showing up and interrupting his marriage proposal. Finally he just does it and it makes the news. This one really struck a chord with me because an on-line friend of mine had just written a newspaper piece about getting married in his state and having to have a formal wedding in Canada because it wasn't allowed and it touched me how totally unfair it is for so many people. In Canada I tend to take it for granted that anyone can get married and be as miserable as I was. ;-)
The Perfect Housemate by Winnie Jerome (21 pages)
Yes, I'm still reading Halloween shorts in June. Trent found the perfect housemate. Dance teacher Adrian who is neat and tidy, laid back, gorgeous and has a new guy in his bed daily much to Trent's dismay although he has the no sleeping with the roomie rule. They go to a Halloween party and Adrian steals a hot guy right out from under Trent's nose which pisses him off and he eventually goes and tracks him down. To his surprise the hot guy is now 7 feet tall and sprouting red skin and horns. Ooops. Seems Adrian is an incubus and hot guy is a demon. Trent is so turned on that Adrian gets him to join them and much sexy fun ensues with Trent happily accepting that Adrian is an incubus as long as he gets to keep having sex and Adrian doesn't move out. Not one of my fave Halloween shorts and not so much a romance, but it was okay.
Grey's Awakening by Cameron Dane (138 pages)
Grey is sick and tired of everyone happy and in love so escapes to his cabin in the mountains only to find it inhabited by hot guy Sirus (who I insisted on calling Sirius a la Harry Potter). Seems Sirus' cabin flooded and Grey's sister said he could stay there. Grey is as uptight and rich as they come and sworn to celibacy. Sirus is more laid back (artist/trucker) but also sworn off men. Of course that last about 8 hours until they are practically humping each other non-stop. But Grey is still all uptight and Sirus tries to get him to loosen up. Many misunderstandings and much smexin' occurs but they finally get their HEA. Unrealistic in that they went 3 and 2 years respectively without so much as a blow job and then suddenly meet one guy and fuck like bunnies, but that's the point I guess, instant lust if not love. I don't read for realism so it worked for me.
Okay, more tomorrow. Its bed time.