I've been blown away by the fantastic "Love Has No Boundaries" event sponsored by the m/m romance group on goodreads. Throughout June they've published FREE m/m romance stories by both well-known and new authors. This huge collection is like a sampler box of the best m/m romance in the business. There's also a selection of genres--contemporary, historical, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi. I read mostly contemporaries so this has been a great way to break out of my comfort zone.
I haven't read ALL the stories published so far, but I've read quite a few. ALL the authors who've submitted work, completely unpaid, deserve kudos. This list I've compiled includes all of the releases rated over 4 stars by the goodreads readers plus a few of my other favorites.
Note that all these stories are m/m romances and most have some explicit m/m sex.
The books are all rated over 4 stars by the goodreads readers.
NOR IRON BARS A CAGE by Kaje Harper, Rated 4.59 on GR (of 5 stars), 103K words
This is a monstrous fantasy novel at over 100K words. And it is stellar. I read it without stopping it was so good. It's a rich fantasy world and the story involved a scarred ex-mage and an ex-soldier who helps pull him out of his shell.
YOU GET FULL CREDIT FOR BEING ALIVE by Cari Z, rated 4.42 on GR (of 5 stars), 39K words
Contemporary/Thriller. Wow, this is definitely one of my favorites of this event. An ex assassin finds a man nearly beaten to death in the woods behind his home. He takes him to the hospital, but the two of them make a connection. The assassin watches over the man and eventually rescues him from the people who still want him dead. Excellent thriller/espionage details, a sexy romance, and one bad ass motherfucker of an MC. Yum.
TREASURE by Kim Fielding, rated 4.29 on GR (of 5 stars), 38K words
Kim Fielding has some excellent books out ("Brute" is on my top ten list). This story is also a delight to read. It's in a fantasy setting that is vaguely 14th century or so and involves a sickly young man who is sent to vacation in a sea town for his health. He rescues a man on the beach and finds himself at odds with pirates. Fun and sexy.
WINTER WINDS by Misouri Dalton, rated 4.26 on GR (of 5 stars), 40K words
A story about a beautiful deaf vampire rejected by his own kind who finds an ally and true love. I haven't read this one yet, but it's very highly ranked by the GR readers!
THE SENTINEL by Eden Winters, rated 4.25 on GR (of 5 stars), 16K words
Sci-fi m/m romance. A part-man-part-droid who is a somewhat mindless soldier for the Federation saves a baby and breaks free of his programming. To save the child he hides on a remote planet and falls in love with the fisherman who rescues him. This is an interesting tale with some nice myth-building and family dynamics. Imagine the Terminator turning into a softie over an infant!
PRISONER 374215 by Angel Martinez, rated 4.22 on GR (of 5 stars), 10K words
This is a sci-fi story set in a prison during a dark, dystopan future. This story is about a prisoner so abused that he's lost his own name and the male prison guard who helps him remember who he is. Very poetic and hurt-comfort-y!
THE ONLY WAY OUT IS IN by Lyn Gala, rated 4.20 on GR (of 5 stars), 40K words
An excellent character-driven sci-fi story about a gunner on a spaceship who is uber macho and homophobic--only to discover that his admiration for his new commander is beyond platonic. It's fun to see this character turn around and to see these two guys both bond and out-alpha each other. The world building is interesting too, particularly around sexual identity designations.
WORTHY by Lia Black, rated 4.19 on GR (of 5 stars), 47K words
This is a master/slave story set in a dystopian fantasy world. It reminds me a little of Anne Rice's early erotica written as A. N. Roquelaure (the Sleeping Beauty series). Seven was born a 'dreg' with a birthmark over part of his face. He's rescued from poverty by a noble, Demetrie. At first their relationship is very much one of master/slave but it grows into something much deeper as Seven's inner and outer beauty blossom under Demetrie's care. It's a sort of very kinky My Fair Lady story--and I loved it.
SIX by Tara Springs, rated 4.17on GR (of 5 stars), 49K words
Contemporary. This is a long novella about a gay kindergarten teacher who is left with a baby when his lover runs out. Fortunately he meets the father of one of his students and a lovely romance blossoms. Sweet contemporary with a baby and a five-year-old. I loved it!
THE LION AND THE CROW by Eli Easton, rated 4.15 on GR (of 5 stars), 32K words
A historical m/m romance set in medieval times between two knights, Sir William and Sir Christian, who are forced together on a journey to rescue Sir William's sister. This is a realistic look at same-sex attraction in medieval times as well as an action/romance story.
SO HOT WITH LOVE by J.H. Knight, rated 4.12 on GR (of 5 stars), 8K words
Contemporary/Established Couple. Another quite short one that's popular with readers. I haven't read this one yet but it's about two men on the night before their wedding remembering their journey to get to that point.
AN INTREPID TRIP TO LOVE by Charlie Cochet, rated 4.06 on GR (of 5 stars), 34K words
This is a contemporary shifter story with excellent, funny writing, clever banter, two macho wolf-shifting MCs, and cute kids.
NOTHING'S MISSING NOW by Westbrooke Jameson, rated 4.03 on GR (of 5 stars), 8K words
Contemporary. This is a short read about a man who's lost his leg and his new boyfriend. Some nice hurt/comfort, a little humor, and some explicit sex.
A few more I really enjoyed.
Above are all the ones ranked 4.0 or above on goodreads (as of 6/30). Here are a few more I personally really enjoyed:
HUMAN FRAILTIES by Jaye McKenna, 39K words
Fantasy. A human who has 'never quite fit in' finds himself in a fantasy world with a god/hunk with a severely bad attitude. This is a fun and sexy fantasy story with excellent writing and good banter. There're also some nice, scary action scenes.
#FIRST IMPRESSIONS, #SECOND CHANCES by Heidi Belleau, 13K words
Contemporary, college setting. A guy with a fashion-plate online persona and anxiety disorder is courted by a genuinely nice/cute jock. Very fun story with lots of references to tumblr and online media.
ANYTHNG FOR YOU SIR by Max Vos, 52K words
Contemporary, BDSM. A compelling and oddly sweet BDSM story. Jerome is an older, grumpy Dom who lives in New Orleans. Due to a tragic past, he's not looking for anything other than someone to work in his shop. Enter Jason, a new 'boy' who thinks Jerome is the hottest thing ever and wants to earn his love. The New Orleans setting is evocative, the characters are fun, and the sex is hot and surprisingly tender.
WHEN IT'S RIGHT by Aria Grace, 33K words
Contemporary. I'm a sucker for men-with-dogs stories, and this is a good one. Alex, a man with an injured dog, falls for the new vet assistant, Shane. Shane just moved to Colorado from Wyoming and is in the process of coming out. Their romance blooms apace but trouble back home threatens their future.
There are many more excellent stories published FREE for this event in June. You can find a complete list here. These free stories will continue to come out through July.