It’s time for the March four-in-one feature at Ebook Review Central. This is the point in the cycle where ERC covers Amber Quill Press, Astraea Press, Liquid Silver Books and Riptide Publishing, and usually wraps up whatever the month is that we’ve been covering.
Well, this is still the four-in-one, but it’s not wrapping the month. Next week ERC will be doing a “leap week” post and adding in some new publishers. It’s both a way of bringing some new titles into this wrap-up, and, pushing out the calendar a bit. I started ERC three weeks after the end of the covered months. Now I’ve caught up to it. I have to push back, and the best way is to add in some fresh material.
All the publishers in ERC are going to stay in.
Meanwhile, back to the March titles for our current four publishing contenders…March was not an all-Riptide month the way February was. Almost, but not quite.
In reverse order this time, just to keep you guessing until the end…
The third place finisher this month was Dark Soul Vol. 5 by Aleksandr Voinov, published, of course, by Riptide. I’ll admit I was expecting this one to make the list, the only question in my mind as I looked at the review sheets for this month was how it would stack up. The built-in audience for this final volume of Voinov’s tale of mafiosi, their enemies and their even more dangerous secret lovers had a lot of pent-up emotion just waiting for this. As one reviewer said, “just beautiful”. These are stories about dark characters who make all their choices in shades of grey, but the ending is very satisfying for those who love watching their heroes struggle with the darkness inside.
From characters who hold their secrets inside, we switch to a character who is forced by circumstance to display at least some of his difficulties where everyone can see them. Permanently Legless by J.L. Merrow (Amber Quill) easily rolled into second place in this week’s tally. Being “legless” usually means drunk, but in this case, it refers to the wounds Chris sustained fighting in Afghanistan. He’s adjusted to the loss of both legs, with his love of life and confidence intact, but when he meets Josh again, the guy he had a one-night stand with just before he left on that last tour of duty, he’s uncertain again. Josh isn’t. Readers loved this story of a wounded warrior finding his HEA with a guy who doesn’t care about his disability.
The number one book this week by an absolute landslide was Frat Boy and Toppy, written by Anne Tenino. From the reviews, it looks like everyone loved it because it made them laugh. The “frat boy” in the title is Brad, and he starts the story as a typical frat boy jock with a lot of frat boy friends. But there’s something different about Brad. In spite of appearances and outward behavior, Brad has a crush on the Teaching Assistant for his History Class. The male Teaching Assistant. Brad’s pretty sure he’s gay. The book is the story of Brad figuring out what to do about it. Especially since that TA doesn’t do relationships. Which is what Brad wants, once he starts figuring out what he wants in general. The one thing the reviews have in common is the phrase “laugh out loud”. Actually, there are two things, the other one seems to be “love Brad”. Romantic comedy fans, take note of this one.
So this week’s features can be summed up as light-hearted (Frat Boy and Toppy), heart-warming (Permanently Legless), and soul-searing (Dark Soul Vol. 5), but not all in the same book!
It’s also notable that, looking back, the last time the featured books in this four-in-one post were not all male/male romances was the December 2011 feature. Will this trend continue? We’ll see in the coming months!
That’s it for this issue. Come back next week to see which publishers will be added to Ebook Review Central in “Leap Week”.