“Surviving the Merge” by C.P. Harris

about
My name is Justin, and when I was seventeen, I fell in love with a boy named Damon.

Damon was sick, only I didn’t know it at the time. And like any disease left untreated, it festered and burrowed into the unaffected areas of us, until we were both so far from healthy, we were killing one another. Then a tragedy sparked our implosion.

With nothing of us remaining to salvage, I was left to pick up the pieces, while Damon found his escape in the abyss. Leaving me alone with Blake.

Damon and Blake are two halves of a whole. But Damon is the coldest part of darkness, and Blake the warmest part of light. Which form of ecstasy would you choose?

I love Blake with a ferocious intensity akin to the peeling back of skin. But Blake isn’t Damon. And Damon was gone—until now.

What once threatened to tear us apart has become our catharsis.

Outnumbered in the relationship with the man who was my life, I’ve begun to learn more about love than I ever thought possible.

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“Love Can’t Conquer” by Kim Fielding

about

Bullied as a child in small-town Kansas, Jeremy Cox ultimately escaped to Portland, Oregon. Now in his forties, he’s an urban park ranger who does his best to rescue runaways and other street people. His ex-boyfriend, Donny—lost to drinking and drugs six years earlier—appears on his doorstep and inadvertently drags Jeremy into danger. As if dealing with Donny’s issues doesn’t cause enough turmoil, Jeremy meets a fascinating but enigmatic man who carries more than his fair share of problems.

Qayin Hill has almost nothing but skeletons in his closet and demons in his head. A former addict who struggles with anxiety and depression, Qay doesn’t know which of his secrets to reveal to Jeremy—or how to react when Jeremy wants to save him from himself.

Despite the pasts that continue to haunt them, Jeremy and Qay find passion, friendship, and a tentative hope for the future. Now they need to decide whether love is truly a powerful thing or if, despite the old adage, love can’t conquer all.

 

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“Unquiet” by Melanie Hansen

about

Loren Smith has been in love with Eliot Devlin almost his entire life. During their turbulent childhood and teen years, Loren didn’t always understand Eliot, and sometimes he could be a challenge, but Eliot was the only one to ever truly ease Loren’s deep loneliness and accept him. When Eliot’s increasingly erratic and self-destructive behavior culminates in a suicide attempt at seventeen, Loren is devastated.

Upon meeting again by chance nine years later, Loren is enjoying a successful career as a police officer while Eliot’s life has been a constant struggle for stability. In and out of mental hospitals, with a rap sheet a mile long, he continues to be buffeted by the twin storms of mania and depression. Loren’s love and protectiveness for Eliot are deeply ingrained in him, however, and their feelings for each other are quickly rekindled.

Loren has issues of his own he’s dealing with, and trying to understand and cope with Eliot’s bipolar disorder isn’t easy. They believe they’re meant to be, and Eliot brings a fulfillment to Loren’s life that no one else will ever match. But as they both come to realize, love by itself can’t cure all.

 

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