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Best Gay Erotica 2014 Paperback – 23 Jan 2014

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Series is in Great Hands 6 Jan 2014
By Nathan Burgoine - Published on
Format: Paperback
It’s fair to say that most people see change as something inspiring nervousness at the least, or outright fear at the worst. People don’t often do well with change, and people like things to stay the way they are. I think that’s something we queer folk can understand – the oppositions we face are generally built upon that fear: different is scary, change is unwelcome.

So allow me to tell you that there’s a major change with Best Gay Erotica 2014, and that you shouldn’t fear anything.

Richard Labonté is a literary hero of mine. The man has been at the helm of the Best Gay Erotica titles since 1995, and I’ve long known that any anthology I pick up where Richard has had a hand involved is going to be a good one. More, I’ve been lucky enough to work with him a few times, and every time his guidance as an editor has been fantastic. Cracking open a Labonté book is a happy habit, and one I’ve grown accustomed to.

Richard has hung up his hat for the series as of this anthology.

I read that in the introduction by Larry Duplechan with my mouth a bit open. In my head I was still stuck at the notion that Richard Labonté wouldn’t be leading me through the anthology, and it took a bit to get past. I gave myself that moment, then read the rest of the introduction.

And relaxed.

I’ve read Larry Duplechan in more than a few anthologies, and I know to expect great things from his stories, and by the time I got into a few of the tales in the anthology, that knot of worry about change had unraveled, and I was happily enjoying the collection that Duplechan has built. Moreover, the judge for the collection is none other than Joe Mannetti, which definitely strikes the right tone, no?

This anthology, like the many Best Gay Erotica titles that have come before, has a solid mix of well-known writers and new (or new-to-me) authors. There’s a real range present, and I was quite happy to see that range get some really fresh takes.

“The Piñata Conquest” springs to mind here. Boot LS puts together a really fun scenario here, and fans of spanking and bondage will all have a good time with this story of a fellow who is made to endure the gang-spanking (and reward thereafter).

Some of the stories drive a straight line (pardon the pun), such as “The Power Man,” by Lee Hitt, which involves a blackout and a hot electrician flipping all the right switches, but even those straightforward tales of men hooking up in moments of kismet are enjoyable and well-written.

In fact, I found myself smiling through many of these stories. There’s even a lovely conversation-free comic mid-way through the book, “Everybody’s Doing It,” by Dale Lazarov (script) and Jason A. Quest (art) that is sure to make you smile – the ending is nigh upon heartwarming.

Similarly, my day-job in the mall made Huck Pilgrim’s “Five Finger Discount” chuckle-worthy, with a hunk of a mall-cop and a petty thief getting his come-uppance in more ways than one. If only the mall-cops in my mall looked that edible.

None of these stories are misses. Fans of threesomes (and moresomes), bondage, hairy fellas or smooth fellas, hook-ups and long-term relationships, and lovers of a fine range of kink are all going to find something here, and it’s all done with a strong eye for flow and cadence of the tales in the greater whole.

Am I sad to say goodbye to Richard Labonté? Of course. It feels like the end of an era to me, and if it wasn’t for Richard championing the first collection in which I ever had a story printed to Cleis Press, I doubt I’d have even begun my own writing career. I’ll probably always have a wee pang at the lack of his name on the cover of this beloved series. But change doesn’t have to be scary or a bad thing at all. And Larry Duplechan proves that beyond a doubt with his debut turn at Best Gay Erotica 2014.

Give him a hearty welcome. It’s obvious he cares about the job.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Short, Hot, and Savory 30 Jan 2014
By LibraryThingReviewer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Short, hot, sweet, and savory.

I don't know enough about the previous literary leadership of the series, so I'm afraid I can't speak to how this compares to other year's editions. Like a lot of anthologies, this one starts off with a good-not-great story ripped right out of a porn tale (that's a dig at originality, not porn). Still, like the other tales in this volume, the details are well-observed and the story is quick.

After that it just seems to get better and better. A lot of kinks are creatively explored (first time, men in uniform, transboys, bondage, public bathroom, etc..) but in stories so short if one isn't to your liking it's only a few pages or so until the next tale.

The only real clunker was one I'm still glad they included, a graphic novel that went for porn but, due to the blandness of the characters, read more like a guidance counselor's office pamphlet on how gay men can be found in all walks of life. It was daring for them to go the comic route at all, I just wish they'd found a stronger candidate.

tl;dr: A solid variety of hot, short tales. Some likely won't be your favorite subgenre of gay erotica but there's enough on offer for everyone to have a good time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Well written, erotic shorts by talented authors! 31 Jan 2014
By bettysunflower - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a collection of well written, erotic shorts. Each story has its own charm, story line, character, and talented author. All the stories are handled with respect for the characters. I will be looking for more from these fine authors.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best Gay Erotica 2014 edited by Larry Duplechan 27 July 2014
By Elisa - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Reading one of these anthologies is like going to a party, some people you know, some you don't, and maybe you will make some friends you will gain for the future. Of course you pick the book cause you know you will like the stories of the authors you know (Shane Allison, J.M. Snyder, Eric Del Carlo, Gregory L. Norris, Jay Starre, Dale Lazarov, Max Vos) but then it will be nice to be surprise to like very much some of the new ones (Lee Hitt, Tony Haynes, Landon Dixon, Boot LS, K. Lynn, Calvin Gimpelevich, Huck Pilgrim, David Holly, Dilo Keith, Dominic Santi, Thomas Fuchs, Dan Cavanagh).

The whole spectrum covers the "classical" themes of an erotica anthology: the blue collar worker, the college boy, the best friend's dad, the new neighboor, ... and all the stories are quick like a trick, that, indeed, is the right purpose of an erotica anthology, you can read these stories all at once, or just one, like a quick fix or a cigarette after sex. True, if you talk to my romantic side, I will say that my favorites are My Best Friend's Dad (that believe me, isn't as "usual" as you can think) and A Walk in the Park, cause there was romance other than erotica, but that was like finding a chocolate chip in a plain muffin, unexpected and nice, even if it wasn't in the menu.

Said that, the sex was good in all stories, and that is from a reader that usually don't care of sex if it is not good.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A book that delivers 8 July 2014
By Carole "The Romance Reviews" - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Reviewed by Susan Mac Nicol

This is a book that delivers what it says it is--an eclectic mix of stories, mostly lusty and raunchy, involving couples and ménages, and delivering a punch to the gut when it comes to the honesty of the writing, and the fact that this is a collection of tales about men having sex with each other with no holds barred and enjoying every minute. It's about pleasure, getting release and damn anything that gets in the way.

They say erotica is really about the sex first and the story second. I think this book offers a great mix of both. There are the occasional elements of realism and grittiness. 'Five-Finger Discount' is the story of Jimmy, a young man who is coerced into giving a store owner a good time after he (Jimmy) was found shop lifting. But then there are the moments of give and take, as in the story of Eliot, Michael and Jamie, in 'A Port in the Storm'. This is a tale about three people, all with their role to play in the sexual relationship and all extremely willing partners in anything the other two want to dish out. It's about the interplay of who really is the boss and just how much the others are prepared to take to make it work.

The writing is varied, the styles vastly differing form one story to another. Some stories are simply a case of giving and taking as hard as necessary, others have a seduction element to them, as in Max Vos' s "A Walk in the Park' about Hank and Burke, about turning the tables and letting the inner animal out to roar and conquer.

But in all of these stories there is raw passion, sex and downright dirtiness, as men literally get to grips with each other and simply let loose. After all, isn’t that what you'd expect in a book like this one?
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