A special Series Spotlight this week. I’m taking a page out of Amy Jo Cousins’ book by putting a spotlight on my favorite titles from Samhain Publishing.
Samhain Publishing just announced that they’re beginning to ramp down operations in preparation for closing their doors for good. The news is incredibly upsetting, and the entire romance community seems to be reeling as hundreds of authors, editors, and artists find themselves without a publishing home.
I want to highlight some of the incredible novels that Samhain has put out. They have a wide range of LGBT titles, and some of my favorite authors are published through them!
Click on the book cover to be taken to SP’s website!
I think the first Samhain LGBT title that I read was K.J. Charles’ The Magpie Lord. Take one wealthy Lord who spent two decades as a Shanghai dock worker, add in one pint-sized commoner who literally has the magic touch, and mix with class differences, culture clashes, and some spicy sex to taste. It’s an amazing combination of characters, plot, magic, and history. [Series Spotlight: Charm of Magpies.]
]One of my favorite SP series is Bend or Break, and my favorite book is The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins. Not only is one of the MCs a fierce bisexual lady, but it’s an M/F pairing in the middle of an M/M novel (extremely rare, we’ve discovered)! Steph is my biggest book crush, and Cash is the kind of man I wish we had more of. And I think even M/M fans will enjoy this one; it has the compelling writing that AJ is known for, riveting characters, no damsels in distress in sight, and some steamy-but-fun sex! [Book Review.]
A book that actually changed my life was Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan. It’s about a young man stuck in a small town, who takes a leap of faith and runs away with a long-haul trucker who’s several years older. It’s about taking chances and believing in yourself, and it was the first book I read that showed kinky sex in a casual setting, instead of in a dungeon.
And just because I can, another Heidi Cullinan masterpiece. The third book in the Love Lessons series is Lonely Hearts (should be read after Book 2, but can be read stand-alone). This book is… gods. Soul-shattering, heart-wrenching, best-kind-of-book-hangover amazing. Two lonely boys taking shelter in each other, both with their own demons to face down. Contains a frank– but important– look at how disability affects people, homophobia and transphobia from family and strangers, and casual drug use as a coping mechanism. [Book Review.]
This book was a really fun read, and from an author who’s not afraid to push boundaries. It’s a bisexual romance. It’s a menage romance. It’s a BDSM romance. And… it’s centered around the President of the United States. Intrigued yet? But Lauren (aka L.A. Witt, among others) puts so much emotion into this book, showing the confusion and hope, the desire and conflict when three people come together in unusual circumstances. [Book Review.]
I love the amnesia trope. Love love love it. But The World As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur does something very unique. Tristan has no long-term memory after a traumatic accident. When he meets Gabe, though, an unusual relationship forms, as Tristan uses notebooks and emails to relearn Gabe every time they interact. It’s a beautiful relationship about two damaged men who see each other as whole and perfect as-is.
I love books that “cross genres” (so to speak), and Spice and Smoke by Suleikha Snyder is a great example. It’s a novel with both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships, featuring a couple with an open marriage. I know a lot of readers prefer to read books with one or the other, but I think Suleikha does a fantastic job of showing intimacy and sexual attraction, regardless of gender.! Plus, this book is basically a Bollywood movie in print form, which means it’s a ton of fun!
Plus, coming soon…
Samhain isn’t going away just yet, and there are some fantastic books on the horizon for them! Here are some books to pre-order:
Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles: a new branch in the Magpies series, this book follows Ned and Crispin as they solve a magical mystery while struggling to overcome the differences that divide them.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Amy Jo Cousins: this dulogy contains Hard Candy and Love Me Like a Rock, NA novellas about friends-with-benefits Vinnie and Austin as they find love (just… not with each other).
Tempest, by Cari Z: a sweeping fantasy novel about a young man seeking answers about who he is and where he comes from, and finding mystery, love, and forbidden magic along the way.
To Live Again by L.A. Witt: contains an older guy who’s waited half his life for this, a younger guy who didn’t realize how lonely he was, and some very hot visits to the upstairs VIP lounge at Wilde’s. (Bisexual romance with POC MC!)
The Heart as He Hears It by A.M. Arthur: contains a neurotic porn star with body image issues, a virgin hero with severe agoraphobia, and a fluffy ball of gray cuteness you’ll want to take home and cuddle.
The rumor is that tomorrow, February 29, 2016, Samhain will be having a store-wide sale on their ebooks! So take a look through these recs, check out the other recommendation lists that I’ll link to at the bottom (I’ll add on as I find them), and get ready to buy some books!