2020 Top Ten Gay Romance brings together the best-selling short stories published by JMS Books that year.
From first love to true love, from submission to sensual, from heat to sweet and everything in between, the couples in these stories are sure to keep you turning the pages as you fall in love with them.
With stories by Kris T. Bethke, Ofelia Gränd, Nell Iris, Shawn Lane, Marco May, J.L. Merrow, Amanda Meuwissen, K.S. Murphy, Elizabeth Noble, and K.L. Noone, this head-over-heels collection goes beyond bedtime reading. Whether happily ever after or happy for now, there’s an ending for everyone in here!
Contains the stories: Once and Floral by Kris T. Bethke, Turning Wood by Ofelia Gränd, Always You by Nell Iris, A Thankful Heart by Shawn Lane, The Sir by Marco May, The King's Honour by J.L. Merrow, The Immaculate Marlow King by Amanda Meuwissen, Pretend You Are for Five More Minutes by K.S. Murphy, The Freedom of Submission by Elizabeth Noble, and A Demon for Forever by K.L. Noone.
EXCERPT FROM "Always You" by Nell Iris:
The next morning, I'm one hundred and ten percent certain something's wrong. It's 6:17 A.M. and I'm waiting for Lee in the kitchen, leaning against the sink, trying to make my glass of water last so I have an excuse for hanging around, doing nothing but staring in the direction of his bedroom.
Every morning, we go out running together at six A.M. on the dot. Without fail, come rain or shine, weekend or workday. The only exception is if either of us is sick or if it's a world-ending kind of storm outside. And Lee is a stickler for being on time: between him and me, I'm the one who's always late and leave him waiting impatiently for me to get ready.
And now it's almost twenty past six and he hasn't showed his face yet?
Outside, it's a lovely May morning. The birds are chirping, waking up the neighborhood, and the first rays of sun promise to finally heat up our corner of the world. So no world-ending storm in sight, and yet he's nowhere to be seen.
Is he dying?
Any other day, I would march into his room, pull off his down comforter, and yell in my best -- albeit not very good -- imitation of a drill sergeant -- Get up, get up, get up! -- but today I'm strangely reluctant.
On one hand, I want an explanation for his weird mood from yesterday -- and his tardiness! -- but on the other hand I still want to give him time if he needs it. And part of me isn't entirely sure I'm not over-reacting.
But I can't help thinking that it has to be something about me. What if he found out how I really feel about him and can't deal with it? Not that I can recall doing something to show my hand, but I can't be sure.
Maybe it's something Debora said? Did she figure me out and tell him? She's never shown any homophobic tendencies, so I don't think that would be the reason. But maybe she's jealous? She wouldn't be the first of Lee's girlfriends to be jealous of our close friendship, and I can't really blame her if that's the case.
But that can't be it either. Every time someone has complained about our friendship in the past, Lee's shut them down immediately. He wouldn't accept it from her. And to be perfectly honest, Debora has always been friendly and nice whenever we've met and not shown any indication of being jealous.
And I'm back to thinking he must have figured out how I feel about him, even though it seems highly unlikely. I mean, I haven't told him specifically -- or written my feelings down on a sign -- but whatever it is, I hope it won't come between us.
I can live without having Lee Conway as my life partner, but I can't live without his friendship. Losing it would kill me.
In the end, I decide to give him time, and live with his ire if it turns out he overslept -- yeah, right! -- and I neglected to wake him. I shove my feet into my shoes and head out on my own.
Running alone is weird. Lee is the whole reason I'm a runner at all; when he decided he wanted to become a professional football player when he was ten, he told me he needed to start taking his "fitness routine" seriously and he was going to start running every morning. When I made a disgusted face over the thought of getting out of bed in the buttcrack of dawn to go out and run of all things -- wake me up and take me to the library and I would have been game, but running? -- he zeroed in on me and started lecturing me on how even science geeks needed to stay healthy. He went on and on -- and quoted me honest-to-God, real, actual facts! -- until I broke down and agreed to come along. I've never been one to resist science. Or Lee. And the combination was deadly even when I was ten.