2019 Round Up-Top 10 MM Books Pt. 1

I’ve read MM for years, but this year, it seemed to ramp up even more. It ramped up enough that I’m giving it its own Top 10 list this year. Remember, these are in no particular order.

K. Webster-Wicked Lies Boys Tell

Once a year or so, K writes an amazingly, overwhelmingly emotional book that rips you apart and puts you back together. Her books My Torin and The Day She Cried fall into this category. So does Wicked Lies Boys Tell. This is a friends to enemies to lovers kind of story with some coming of age tossed in. The relationship between Penn and Cope is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. I will fully admit that there were times that I cried during this. K really just knows how to create characters that break me down and stick with me for a while.

Nicky James-Long Way Home

Long Way Home was beautiful and devastating. It’s the story of Gavin and Owen. They were high school sweethearts, but when they turned 18, they ended up being split up, and the story spans many years of their lives. We get to see what happens to each of them. It sounds like it could be nothing but a heartbreak, but I promise that it’s not. It really is a beautiful story. It was the first Nicky James book that I read, but not the last.

Susan Hawke-How to Heal

Susan Hawke is also Susi Hawke, but she writes contemporary under this name. Her first series was the Lovestrong series, and How to Heal was the last book in that series. It’s a great series, with a lot of humor and love. There is also a lot of pain, especially in this book. This is my favorite book in the series. It’s a hurt/comfort, redemption, Daddy/boy kind of book, and it works so perfectly together. Clark had been a bully in the first couple of books, but this one takes place several years later, after he has changed, but he still thinks that he has to pay a penance for what he did. His journey is a hard one, but a beautiful one. I have all these books signed, and I ARCed most of them. How to Heal is also the book I’m currently listening to in my car when I’m alone. I’ve read it at least 2xx this year.

Lucy Lennox-Wilde Love

Lucy Lennox has two main series that she’s written. They are the Made Marian and the Forever Wilde books. The two series are interconnected. Marian came first, but I read the Wilde books first and I fell in love with Grandpa and Doc, because it’s totally impossible not to. I, like all of Lucy’s readers, was desperate to find out all of their story, and thus Wilde Love was born. I own both an e and an audio copy of this. I took a mini-vacation this year and listened to this on my drive. It starts with when the guys first meet, during Vietnam while they were both serving, and runs through the current day. There are so many beautiful little moments in here and so many heartbreaking ones at the same time, and sometimes they are the same moments. This book made me just love Grandpa and Doc so much more.

Alice Winters-The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love

I laughed hysterically the whole time I read The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love. Leland is a hitman, no really, a real hitman, and Jackson is the PI who is trying to help catch him. Leland is so fucking snarky and may or may not have a gun fetish. I mean, honestly, Alice writes a damn good story that keeps you interested, while letting you laugh at the most ridiculous stuff possible. I swear that Leland just has no filter at all, and it’s glorious.

Tune in for part 2 tomorrow!

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Nicky James-Long Way Home

Guys, this one made me all teary more than once. Long Way Home is a really emotional book and a helluva journey. It is intense, loving, draining, fulfilling, and just devastatingly good.

The book follows the story of Gavin and Owen from the time they meet as teenagers all the way through current day. I think it’s a 15 year span. Gavin is one of the stars of their high school football team, works for his dad in his vet’s office, and is planning on being a vet himself when he grows up. He’s happy, outgoing, and enthusiastic. Then we have Owen, who is much quieter and reserved. He’s not an athlete, but works for the school newspaper, and he’s planning on being a journalist when he grows up. He has been assigned to interview Gavin for the school paper. They both end up fascinated with each other, and over the rest of the school year, Owen keeps coming up with ideas for articles so that he can meet with Gavin.

At the end of the school year, Gavin invites Owen to his birthday party, and the rest is history. Or the beginning. They spend their senior year dating, but don’t tell anyone, because Owen is positive his parents will kick out. The football team knows, but none of them actually care. In fact, Lorenzo and Ollie become great friends to Owen, as well as Gavin. Two weeks before graduation, things happen, and Gavin ends up in the Marines and Owen ends up at Michigan State University, studying journalism.

This story starts in 2004, I think. That’s during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and it was really bad in the sandbox. So, you know that’s it’s going to be hard on Gavin. The stories we get from his time in boot camp are bad, but then we get stories from when he goes on deployment. What Gavin goes through is heart-wrenching and terrible, on so many levels, just so many.

Of course, it’s not easy on Owen either. The way that things go down is so hard on him, and he’s devastated. It’s like his insides have been pulled out through his nose and then hot sauce has been rubbed on the empty spaces.

We get glimpses of the lives that Owen and Gavin are leading while they are apart. They aren’t necessarily happy lives, but they aren’t completely terrible lives either. They each make friends, and have their good times and their bad times. But through it all, there is one thing that they both still have, and that’s the connection they have to each other, even if they don’t see each other. That connection is just visceral and raw and passionate and as unbreakable as vibranium. It’s an amazing thing to witness.

This book does deal with issues around PTSD, but since you are dealing with a Marine who has been through several tours of hell, PTSD is to be expected. Nicky handles it really well. There is no glorification or glamorization of it. You just get the straight, raw, grittiness of it. It’s really honest and unflinching and even maybe uncomfortable at times, but it’s excellent.

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I hate Gavin’s father and uncle. Just totally flat out hate them so much. Die in a fiery crash and drown in a lake of hellfire kind of hate.

I love Lorenzo. His fate made me cry.

OK, that’s all for me. Go check it out. Happy reading!