Rule Britannia

(Posted August 01, 2012)

I love the United Kingdom! I lived in London for 13 years and loved everything about it …. the people, the pubs, Walthamstow Dog Track (after my initial tears for the poor dogs :(), the Football – specifically Ipswich Town, and EVEN the weather, the long light summer nights and the early dark winter afternoons, everything was exciting to me. I often wonder why we ever left …. but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

So given that the whole world is focussed on London and the Olympics I thought I would look at the m/m authors Brit-pack as a whole too.

There seems to be a different feel to books written by British authors – I, for one, just love seeing words spelled the way I spell them 🙂 and there is just a unique vibe to the way so many British authors write. I know a lot of the time they are probably forced to “Americanize” the books if they want a bigger audience – and that’s a shame. A big part of reading is to lose yourself in another world, and I love needing to google different words, products, places even. (can you guess what I thought a “strip mall” was :))

First up is Kim Dare. She is an amazingly prolific writer – impossible to keep a book list up to date. She seems to have new releases every week. Incredible! I probably own 90% of her books – but at this point I have only read her Rawlings Men Series, With a Kiss and Duck! which is the highlighted book. I just loved Duck! so much. I really cannot recommend it highly enough…. Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high-ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

Next is JL Merrow. I have read and loved Muscling Through, Pricks and Pragmatism and Sex, Lies and Edelweiss. I just love JL’s writing, her Xmas story A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou  – is a little bit zany and a whole lot of fun. I so hope we get more! Next up for me is Hard Tail…. finding love can be a bumpy ride. His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: dead in the water. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother’s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon. The young man who falls—literally—through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he’s even in the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob. There’s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he’s beginning to love, means coming to terms with who he is—in public—in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.

Harper Fox is one the best examples, in my opinion, of capturing that British vibe – there is something about her way of telling a story that is just unique. It is a fine line between detailed descriptive writing and being wordy or verbose  – Harper seems to really get that balance just right, she can set a scene and spin a written web that has you totally enthralled. Her Xmas story Winter Knights was just amazing. A short story should not be able to make you cry so much, to get so into the characters in so few words. Yet that is what happened. Beautiful, beautiful story. Next on my Harper list is Scrap Metal On a rainy Scottish island, Nichol is struggling to save his grandfather’s farm. Lonely and nearing the end of his rope, he almost shoots the intruder who breaks into his barn one stormy night. But Cameron, on the run from a Glasgow gang, quickly charms his way through Nichol’s defences and into his heart. Even Nichol’s curmudgeonly old grandfather takes to Cam, whose hard work and good head for figures help set the business back on its feet. Nichol is grieving for lost family and the academic life he’s had to leave behind him in Edinburgh. As a cold Arran springtime melts into summer, Cam’s presence restores all his love of the island and his joy in life. He’s falling in love – with a young man whose heart is full of secrets and who stays resolutely silent about his past. When tragedy strikes the farm, Cam’s secret is finally revealed. Now Nichol has to face the truth. He’s given his heart to a stranger, and it’s time to pay the price. Is their bond strong enough for love to survive – no matter what Cam has done?

Clare London is one of my favourite people – she was part of the Petit Morts team, and how great was that series? Chance is one of my favourite literary lads, ever! I also loved 72 hours and Freeman. PLUS Clare loves YAOI … nuff said! Next up on my kindle from Clare’s extensive book list is True Colors, and the follow-up short stories Ambush, Payback and Switch … From the very first, Zeke Roswell and Miles Winter are like oil and water. After a tragic fire claimed his brother’s life, Zeke’s personal and professional life spiraled out of control, and now he has no choice but to sell his gallery to cover hs debts. Enter successful entrepreneur Miles, who buys it and plans to make a commercial success out of Zeke’s failure. Their initial hostility stands no chance against the strong passion that ambushes them. Zeke’s talent and lust for life intoxicate Miles, and Zeke finds Miles’s self-assurance and determination equally fascinating. But it’s not until an unsolved mystery of violence and stolen sketches threatens to sabotage any chance at happiness that Miles and Zeke realize they have a chance at all.

Last on my list is S.A. Meade – I have had a few of her books on my TBR for way toooo long! So have decided to have a bit of a Meade-fest this month. I intend to read Stolen Summer, Orion Rising and Mourning Jack. With Mourning Jack pipping the others to the post – yes, it took me this long to get to any sporting jokes 🙂 … When Ade loses his best friend he soon learns that mourning Jack brings not only sorrow but happiness too. Restaurant chef Ade is a man of his word. When his best friend is killed while serving in Afghanistan, he honours a promise to look after Jack’s lover, Cal. Ever the white knight, Ade does his best to console Cal in spite of losing his job and nearly losing his life. Ever the fool, Ade falls in love and learns the hard way that loving someone who can’t love him isn’t enough. With a new job in a new place comes the possibility of a new love, but Eric has baggage of his own. Can Ade and Eric leave their old heartaches behind and find new happiness with each other?

Of course there are loads more great British writers – Voinov, Daniel Kaine, Erastes, Sue Brown, Josephine Myles, Charlie Cochrane, Chris Quinton, RJ Scott … the list goes on and on. On the side bar is a link to a book site specifically for the best of British, for your convenience I am adding it here too  – not that I’m pushy. Much. I would love to know what you all read or love about British authors. A random winner will be selected from the comments – and he/she can choose any book, from those featured above, as their prize.