I’m a short story writer. I’ve pretty much accepted that about myself. Out of my 15 published stories, all but one have been under 25,000 words. I can write novels—I’ve done it once, and I’m nearly done with another—but it’s a long process. I don’t dare promise anything novel length by a certain date, but I have no trouble meeting deadlines for short stories and novellas.
I realize that most readers prefer novels. Heck, I read more novels than anything else too. But I don’t think most people have an appreciation for shorter stories. It can be difficult to put together a complete story in a smaller package: character development, relationship development, meaningful conversations and sex, happy endings—all take time and word count. It takes special skills to fit it all in without leaving threads hanging.
For today’s post, I wanted to highlight some of the shorter gay romance stories I find myself re-reading often. These run the gamut from silly to angsty, and each one is a perfect little nugget of goodness. I’ve limited myself to stories that come in under about 20,000 words/100 PDF pages, and they’re in no particular order, other than the ones I thought of or found in my favorites files first. I hope you’ll give these stories and their authors a try.
Christmas with Danny Fit by Amy Lane
In a perfect moment of cold November sunshine, pudgy accountant Kit Allen realizes Jesse, his new office assistant, is everything he’s ever dreamed about in a man. Feeling supremely unworthy and desperate to get a life—even an imaginary one—Kit embarks on a self-improvement campaign featuring DVD fitness guru, Danny Fit.
In the meantime, Jesse has begun a subtle campaign of his own, one designed to bring Kit out of his DVD dream world and into Jesse’s arms. Jesse isn’t perfect—he’s no Danny Fit—but he hopes that the kind, funny man who has been looking at him so soulfully since his first day at work has what it takes to be everything Jesse has always wanted.
Speechless by Kim Fielding
Travis Miller has a machining job, a cat named Elwood, and a pathetic love life. The one bright spot in his existence is the handsome guitar player he sometimes passes on his way home from work. But when he finally gathers the courage to speak to the man, Travis learns that former novelist Drew Clifton suffers from aphasia: Drew can understand everything Travis says, but he is unable to speak or write.
The two lonely men form a friendship that soon blossoms into romance. But communication is only one of their challenges—there’s also Travis’s inexperience with love and his precarious financial situation. If words are the bridge between two people, what will keep them together?
Bicycle Built for Two by Jeff Adams
While on a three-day charity bike ride from Boston to New York City, Jason Karn makes an unexpected stop to help a fellow rider having trouble with a flat tire. Ben Stewart is new to long-distance rides, and Jason takes him under his wing. The mutual attraction is obvious even before they make it to New York City, but there’s a minor roadblock: Ben lives in Chicago. Flying back and forth seems like the only option until Jason comes up with an idea that will bring them together permanently—if they can work out the details.
Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf by B.G. Thomas
Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.
Nick is a very unhappy man—he’s achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won’t deter him. That’s when he found Kit.
At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit’s personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle.
Numbers by Theo Fenraven
No matter how much Kellan is drawn to JD, his co-star in the umpteenth revival of the musical Grease, he knows he can’t act on the attraction. Since the first day of rehearsal, JD has been flirting outrageously, but Kellan keeps holding him off. JD is too appealing, too sexy, and Kellan has to put the play first. In fact, he has a hundred reasons why getting together would be a bad idea….
Yesterday’s Names by Vivien Dean
For Jonathan Lynch, traveling to Italy isn’t about having fun. It’s about fulfilling a promise he made to the one person in his life who meant the most to him. It’s about saying goodbye.
Before he can work up the nerve to perform the task he came to do, however, he decides he deserves one night in Rome to forget all his pain. The sexy Davide is the perfect answer to the escape Jonathan seeks. But when Davide offers his friendship as well, a much-needed shoulder to lean on, Jonathan can’t turn him down.
Since Jonathan’s already alone in the world, a caring friend who is willing to stand beside him is exactly what he needs…
Wanting by Piper Vaughn
Jonah Beckett has been in love with his older brother’s best friend, Laurie, for years. When his boyfriend, Dirk, breaks up with him for refusing to put out, Jonah uses his heartbreak over the situation to ask Laurie to teach him all about sex before he starts college. Problem is, he made Dirk up, and he has no idea what will happen when Laurie finally finds out.
Pole Star by Josephine Myles
It’s hard to flirt when sequins are chafing your bits…
Injured pole dancer Matt Lovell meets attractive radiographer Sal when he’s in casualty for an x-ray. Trouble is, Matt’s firefighter outfit is pretty convincing, and the longer he keeps up the pretence the harder it will be to reveal the naked truth: that there’s nothing underneath his costume but a sequin-covered thong!
Silver Thaw by Nora Catherine Price
It’s Christmas morning, and Ben wakes up to a spectacular… hangover. Ben has been mourning his break-up with Michael, the perfect guy, and now he’s lonely and alone while the city is in the throes of a power outage after an unexpected ice storm. But Ben is shaken out of his self-pity by his neighbor Javier, who is checking on everyone in the building after the storm, and during a cobbled-together Christmas celebration, Ben finds himself warming up to both Javier and life itself.
Hunting Season by AC Valentine (in the Snow on the Roof anthology)
Carson is over forty, unlucky in love, and his newly inherited house is falling down around his ears. He’s left NYC for rural Vermont, where there isn’t any hope for a love life, but there may be hope for friendship when he meets Travis, a much younger contractor who’s going to help him fix up the house. There’s a deadline, though. In two months, hunting season starts, and Carson will be left to get through the long cold, Vermont winters by himself, unless he learns to hunt the biggest game of all—Travis’s heart.
About the Author
Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe. Her latest release, “Clean Up on Aisle Me!”, is part of the Butt Ninjas from Hell anthology, available now from Wilde City Press. Buy link: http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-mainstream/butt-ninjas-from-hell
Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.
For the Grand Prize Giveaway, I (Nix) will be giving away ten of my top LGBT books. These books will be gifted via All Romance as the books are available to readers on all the types of eReaders (you just need to sign up for a free account to access the books and you can send them directly). If you have any of the books and you win the prize, speak to me and I’ll see what else I can do. All of the posts have prizes atatched and a list of these can be found here
The books are (and there are substitutions available for people who have copies)…
- With a Kiss by Kim Dare (MM)
- Hot Head by Damien Suede (MM)
- By the Book by Scarlett Parrish (MM)
- The Dom With a Safeword by Cari Silverwood (FFM)
- Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon (MM)
- How Sweet it is – Melissa Brayden (FF)
- Fatal Shadows – Josh Lanyon (MM)
- Faith and Fidelity – Tere Michaels (MM)
- How to Love – Kelly Jamieson (FMM)
- Cut and Run – Abigail Roux (MM)
- Paperback Tread Marks & Trademarks by SA McAuley
I tend to prefer novels, but I do read some shorter stories and I really admire the skill of authors who can write well in those shorter formats. I read and enjoyed a couple from your list: Christmas with Danny Fit and Wanting. I’ll have to check out some of the others. Thanks for the post!
I’ve read the Myles, Vaughn, and FIelding stories, but not the others–thanks for the recs!
I agree that I tend to prefer novels but I do read novellas/shirt stories when I am short on time.
Lots of fun titles here, some I’ve read and a few new ones to check out too!
I most of the time tend to steer away from short stories/novella’s. A lot of the time it seems like you’ve just started to get into the story, understand the characters and bam the story is done. That being said I have actually read some novella’s that pack more of a story into minuscule words then some actual novels do. It takes talent to be able to do that. I’ve read the one by Amy Lane and the Josephine Myles, I’ll have to check the rest of them out. Thanks for the recs!