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Best Gay Romance 2009 Paperback – January 6, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Best Gay Romance
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573443360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573443364
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,026,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Labonte´ assembles as fine a collection of stories focused on male-to-male relationships as you’re likely to find. A big plus: the writing is top-notch." —EDGEBoston


"Whether you like the notion of happily ever after, or happily for now, Best Gay Romance offers a good variety of stories that gives readers a sweet taste of love between men."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allan Eňghan on June 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is now among my favorite books! I cannot tell you how many times that I have read it now! Nothing quite like that warm, fuzzy feeling, especially when you and your sweetheart are reading it together.

What is more, there is not excessive, explicit, meaningless sex thrown in your face; the sex is present, but as a vehicle for the intimacy and romance, which I find wonderfully refreshing.

Some of these stories will make you cry:

Coming Back to Me: Two boys fall in love in San Francisco in 1967, but one desires to seek success in New York qhile the other opts to stay. Twenty years pass, the one who sought New York has returned to California and is in a wheelchair when the pair is suddenly reunited.

What We Leave Behind: A couple who has volunteered to take dying, neglected dogs into their home to let them die in comfort. As the first dog dies, one of the pair dies of cancer. The owner of the current dog and the surviving partner suddenly find themselves falling in love with each other.

Chiaroscuro: A young British couple, Michael and Peter, come to an Italian village in the 1960s to teach and become much-loved by the local people. When an aged Peter dies from cancer, a despondent Michael finds healing in the friendship of a young American artist, Daniel, and that of the village who have long-seen him as part of the family.

Kindred Souls: A recently-divorced, fifty-something father living in New York finds a kindred spirit in Will, a twenty-five-year-old from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Despite their age difference, they are as attracted to each other physically as emotionally. It made me sad in that Will may very much find himself alone when his love (the narrator) dies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Burgoine on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
In Richard Labonté's introduction to BEST GAY ROMANCE 2009, he makes mention that of all the romantic stories included in the tome, none involve marriage, even now that it is legal in Canada and some of the States.

Instead, to me, the theme that popped out among all the tales was instead the notion of the wounded. From physical wounds (T Hitman's "One," Simon Sheppard's "Coming Back to Me," and Shanna Germain's beautiful "What We Leave Behind") to emotional scarring and losses (J.M. Snyder's painful "Afflicted," and Jay Mandal's lovely "Chiaroscuro"), it seems that romance is a tale best told by those who've had loss and suffering.

This doesn't blunt the delivery, and indeed, there's a fair mix of erotic to the romantic, and there's some sweet and happy tales mixed in as well ("The Baker," by Neil Plakcy, is charmingly cute) for those who enjoy their romance with a dash of sugar.

For me, the two tales that stole the show were Jay Mandal's "Chiaroscuro" and Mark G. Harris's "As Sweet by Any Other Name." Mandal's beautiful progression through a relationship born, bloomed, and fallen, and the connection to a younger generation, was a delight to read. Harris' doughty ability to spin prose with a sly humor turns even the wounded and love-shy hero of his tale into someone you admire, and his witty plot leaves you grinning.
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By Xanlthorpe on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There must have been better romance stories in 2009. This starts off with a couple of OK stories and then slowly slides into that dark realm where there is more pontificating and pretense and less reality and romance. Art stories these were called when I was in college. I didn't care for them then and I still feel the same now. Maybe you'll like some, but I found that most of the tales were too dark, painful, or morose for me to care a whit about the characters.
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