Reading List

Books are listed alphabetically by title. Please let us know if there are other titles you'd like to see added to our list!

The Water-Irises by Hayden Thorne

The Water-Irises by Hayden Thorne

Hugh LaCaille’s quiet, scholarly life is interrupted one day by a wealthy but obnoxious businessman who hires Hugh as a tutor to his young son. Ignace Fournier is incensed Aubin’s passion for nature and poetry is a threat to his dream of seeing the boy grow up to be just as successful as his father in commerce. When Hugh finally meets Aubin, he realizes there’s a great deal more than what meets the eye as far as the boy’s concerned ... particularly his curious and outlandish stories involving a strange kingdom found at the bottom of a pond filled with water-irises. 

The most alarming claim Aubin makes touches on a special friendship he’s nurtured with the young ruler of that mysterious kingdom. Forced under time pressure to instill discipline into the boy, Hugh grapples with questions he’s never before faced, and he finds himself looking deeper into his heart for difficult answers ... and even more difficult choices.

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Waterways by Kyell Gold

Waterways by Kyell Gold

Kory was having enough trouble in high school. His girlfriend just dumped him, his poetry made him a target for ridicule, and college applications were looming. The very last thing he needed was to fall in love with another boy. Waterways is the complete novel from award-winning author Kyell Gold that includes his beloved story "Aquifers". Join Kory as his feelings and faith collide, washing away the life he knew. His brother Nick, friends Samaki and Malaya, and Father Joe are there to help, but it's Kory who has to navigate the thrills and perils of the new waterways that make up his life. At stake? Nothing much -- just a chance at true love and happiness. And he still has to graduate from high school...

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Way to Go by Tom Ryan

Danny thinks he must be the only seventeen-year-old guy in Cape Breton--in Nova Scotia, maybe--who doesn't have his life figured out. His buddy Kierce has a rule for every occasion, and his best friend Jay has bad grades, no plans and no worries. Danny's dad nags him about his post-high-school plans, his friends bug him about girls and a run-in with the cops means he has to get a summer job. Worst of all, he's keeping a secret that could ruin everything.

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We Grow Accustomed to the Dark by Sarah Diemer

The Rapture begins quietly one June afternoon, while girlfriends Kate and Celia are walking home from school. Everyone in their neighborhood seems to have disappeared into thin air, but as the two girls try to make sense of what's happening, they find that they're not truly alone. Angels descend from the sky with golden wings and flaming eyes...and begin to hunt them.

"We Grow Accustomed to the Dark" is a post-apocalyptic short story about love and loyalty in dark times. "We Grow Accustomed to the Dark" is part of the forthcoming collection LOVE DEVOURS: TALES OF MONSTROUS ADORATION, Sarah Diemer's first anthology, a collection of queer dark fantasy and science fiction stories.

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The Weeping Willow by Hayden Thorne

A woodland shadow and a mortal fall in love, and a tragic cycle begins, haunting the steps of their daughter, Aeldra. At a young age, Aeldra finds herself pregnant, abandoned, and standing at a precipice, her child’s future hanging on a balance. Already physically weakened for having shadow and mortal blood in her veins, she remains defiant when her shadow kin demand her child’s life. She presses her faithful servant, Halfrith, to stand by the boy and make sure he remains unnamed, as it’s through his name that the shadow world will find the means by which they can claim him. Hope comes in the shape of Helena Butcher, a seventeen-year-old seamstress who brings shame to her family by getting pregnant out of wedlock. From beyond the grave, Aeldra looks to Helena and her unborn child to save her own son, who’s now cursed to remain caught between two worlds after a woodland shadow’s attempt at taking the boy away is thwarted by Halfrith. Though tragedy marks the births of Crispian Butcher and Aeldra’s son, who’s been turned into a weeping willow by the woodland shadows, something much deeper and more enduring will shape the curious friendship between a ragged boy and a mournful tree. And something stronger and more resistant to hate and prejudice will ultimately break a curse, end a dark cycle, and bring two lonely boys together.

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We're Working On It by Richard Norway

Cory Anderson is 15 years old and living on the streets. His father has rejected him and turned him out because he is gay. Richard Mathews is 50 years old, and his life is a mess. His business has grown and is now self-perpetuating and did not need him any longer. Richard hasn't made a decision about his life for years. Cory and Richard's lives were in ruins, but something amazing happened. They met.

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Wes and Toren by J.M. Colail

Wes and Toren by J.M. Colail

It's not so easy being young, gay, and in love for the first time at the average high school. Senior Toren Grey cares more about his family and his grades than what brand of clothes he wears. He agrees with the majority consensus that he's a nerd. So he's quite surprised when resident bad boy Wesley Carroll speaks to him in the hall, stirring feelings that Toren has to hide.Disconcerted by Wes's free and easy ways, Toren can't deny the attraction between them. As he relaxes and gets to know Wes better, he finds there's more to the sexy rebel than his public image. Before long the young men are exploring new territory and falling in love, but life just isn't that simple. After they graduate, obstacles block their relationship at every turn: Wes working versus Toren in college, the virulent disapproval of parents, and everyday trials faced by any struggling young couple. Wes and Toren have to believe in each other... and never doubt that their love can conquer all.

Recommended Age: 18+ 

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What Happened to Mr. Forster? by Gary W. Bargar

What Happened to Mr. Forster? by Gary W. Bargar

In 1958 Kansas City, Louis Lamb is an attractive but vulnerable twelve-year-old boy who likes playing with china animals rather than joining in the ball games the other boys love. When new teacher Jack Forster, takes an interest in Louis, he gives Louis one-on-one softball coaching and helps him develop his writing talent. However, parents in the community, are suspicious of the teacher who lives with another man. Eventually, some of the children’s parents start a witch-hunt against Forster.

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What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson

What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson

JAMES AND ALEX have barely anything in common anymore—least of all their experiences in high school, where James is a popular senior and Alex is suddenly an outcast. But at home, there is Henry, the precocious 10-year-old across the street, who eagerly befriends them both. And when Alex takes up running, there is James’s friend Nathen, who unites the brothers in moving and unexpected ways. 

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What We Do Is Secret by Thorn Kief Hillsbery

What We Do Is Secret by Thorn Kief Hillsbery

“Why am I a punk? Because I wasn’t anything before, except different. And now it’s like I’m different, but with a vengeance.”

It’s been months since the suicide of Darby Crash, L.A. punk rock icon and lead singer of the Germs. He checked out on the same day John Lennon was shot: December 8, 1980. But for Rockets Redglare, it feels like yesterday. Darby was the hot-as-sun center of Rockets’s world. Part ringleader, part god, and all charismatic manipulator, Darby was as close to family as a hustler and street kid like Rockets might ever get.

Now, as Rockets amps up for another night looking for tricks and scrounging a meal, Sex Pistols and X lyrics on repeat in his head, he knows he’s come to a turning point–the scene is changing, and nothing’s as easy as it was when Darby brought him into the fold.

From the underground clubs to the back of the giant “H” in the Hollywood sign, Rockets and his crew of friends spend the night burning bridges, building new ones, tripping and talking and searching for answers. As the dark gives way to early morning, the punks and the cops engage in their ritual standoff–and Rockets faces the ultimate choice: Should he stay or should he go?

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What We've Been Waiting For by Louis Stevens

From the age of three, Tim Baily wanted to marry Tom Watkins. Many changes occurred during their formative years, but Tim’s love for Tom remained rock solid. Even when Tom temporarily broke up with him to date girls, Tim never stopped loving Tom. Because his father walking out on his family, Tim doesn’t trust easily. His friend Tom’s bisexuality makes him uneasy. Tom is a popular high school football player who can have anyone he wants, boy or girl. So why would he choose nerdy Tim? The fact Tom won’t come out at school further feeds Tim’s insecurities and suspicions. Tom has always felt the pressure from his dad and his friends to be the typical jock. This means hiding the gay side of his bisexuality and only acknowledging Tim in private. Tom has promised once they’re at college in New York, he and Tim will be able to live openly as a loving gay couple. Tim just needs to be patient. Things come to a dramatic head at an event everyone has been waiting for, their end of year graduation party. Many truths are revealed, old scores are settled, and everyone’s lives are changed. Can Tom keep his promise to always love and protect Tim, or will previous lies and secrets kill off what has been growing between the boys for fifteen years?

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When Romeo Kissed Mercutio by Kathy Sutcliffe

Alex Hunt, a senior student in a high school in the small town of Rotorua, New Zealand, has his world turned upside down when a new neighbour, Piers Yzel, moves in next door. Piers is cool, lonely and has similar interests to Alex, unlike his cheating girlfriend Shonnie who has retreated back across the Tasman to Australia. This coming-of-age story exposes adolescence and young relationships from an unexpected angle, leaving the reader to reflect on the consequences and meaning of love.

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When You Don't See Me by Timothy James Beck

When You Don't See Me by Timothy James Beck

For nineteen years, he's been "the one who disappears" to his disapproving, Midwestern family. And now in New York City, a metropolis of anonymity built on not making eye contact, he feels right at home. Walking the streets of the Village, sneaking into dive bars, cleaning apartments, and trying to co-exist in a cramped apartment with his three roommates, Nick's trying to find his way without doing anything to put his wounded heart at risk, all the while wondering, "Does anything last?" But Nick's vanishing act is about to be challenged in ways he never dreamed. Little by little, he's being forced into the land of the living-into relationships and opportunities, love and sex, truth and acceptance, into the heartbreaking secrets of his past and the hopeful chances of his future. And the more visible Nick becomes, the more he realizes that in life and love, disappearing is not an option.

Recommended Age: 18+

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Where No One Knows by Jo Ramsey

After almost setting an attacker on fire, Kellan McKee is thrown out of his home and travels across the country to find safety with a group of young psychics. Kellan McKee has been forced to leave his home and is traveling to find a place to belong. Sixteen years old and transgender, Kellan has felt out of place in his family since his mother married Gene. Now Kellan must keep Gene and his friends from tracking him down to get “justice” for the man Kellan accidentally set on fire. Kellan has psychic powers, including pyrokinesis, and when he’s threatened he loses control.On the run, Kellan meets Shad, a young man who also has psychic powers, who steers Kellan to Boston where a group that protects psychic teens is ready to take him in. But will Kellan find a safe haven, or will he bring danger to his new friends? - See more at: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24&products_id=670#sthash.CqrgZpEJ.dpuf

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Where You Are by J.H. Trumble

Where You Are by J.H. Trumble

Robert Westfall’s life is falling apart—everywhere but in math class. That’s the one place where problems always have a solution. But in the world beyond high school, his father is terminally ill, his mother is squabbling with his interfering aunts, his boyfriend is unsupportive, and the career path that’s been planned for him feels less appealing by the day. Robert’s math teacher, Andrew McNelin, watches his best student floundering, concerned but wary of crossing the line between professional and personal. Gradually, Andrew becomes Robert’s friend, then his confidante. As the year progresses, their relationship—in school and out of it—deepens and changes. And as hard as he tries to resist, Andrew knows that he and Robert are edging into territory that holds incalculable risks for both of them.

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Who I Am by M.L. Rice

Who I Am by M.L. Rice

Devin Kelly—Air Force brat. Band nerd. Bookworm. Loner. After the death of her father, she and her mother move to Los Angeles to start a new life. Devin is "welcomed" to her new school by Jason, an arrogant bully who promises to make the rest of her senior year miserable. Things turn around, however, when beautiful, intelligent Melanie Parker, who happens to be Jason’s sister, comes to her rescue. Devin is inspired by her new friend, and for the first time, begins to excel in school and is able to nurture her inherent musical talent. As Devin's and Melanie's relationship grows, Devin finds herself becoming increasingly drawn to her new friend’s vivacious spirit. Devin's newfound confidence is severely tested, however, when Jason's bullying takes a violent turn...and she realizes that her feelings for Melanie are more than platonic.

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Who’s Watching Whom?  by J. Tomas

Who’s Watching Whom?  by J. Tomas

It's the first Saturday of summer vacation. But upcoming high school senior Logan Bradley can't celebrate -- he has to watch his younger brother Dylan while their mother attends her monthly book club meeting. She even forbids him from inviting his boyfriend Chad Adams over when she isn't home! Logan's only consolation is his cell phone, which connects him to Chad. Now, if Dylan will just leave him alone long enough to chat up his boy, the evening might be salvaged… 

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Wide Awake by David Levithan

Wide Awake by David Levithan

In the not-too-impossible-to-imagine future, a gay Jewish man has been elected president of the United States. Until the governor of one state decides that some election results in his state are invalid, awarding crucial votes to the other candidate, and his fellow party member. Thus is the inspiration for couple Jimmy and Duncan to lend their support to their candidate by deciding to take part in the rallies and protests. Along the way comes an exploration of their relationship, their politics, and their country, and sometimes, as they learn, it's more about the journey than it is about reaching the destination.

Only David Levithan could so masterfully and creatively weave together a plot that's both parts political action and reaction, as well as a touching and insightfully-drawn teen love story.

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Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

They strip her naked, of everything—undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love . . . Originally published in the UK, this well-paced, provocative romance pushes on boundaries—both literal and figurative—and, do beware: it will bind you, too.

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. 

Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.

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The Winter Garden by Hayden Thorne

The Winter Garden by Hayden Thorne

Fifteen-year-old Nicholas’ fragile health forces him into a life of isolation and loneliness, his connection to the outside world nothing more than a glimpse between the bars of an iron gate in his family’s spacious and paradise-like garden. His life changes when a bold young stranger not only befriends him but also dares to trespass into Nicholas’ quiet world. 

The two boys’ friendship deepens as Adrian’s visits increase, their connection strengthening in defiance of too-real dangers posed by the coming winter on Nicholas’ health. It’s a bond that withstands the sting of separation, bringing both boys back to each other again and again, weathering time and ensuring that the impossible is, in the end, very much attainable.

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To Wish for Impossible Things (Tales from Foster High, Book 3.5) by John Goode

To Wish for Impossible Things (Tales from Foster High, Book 3.5) by John Goode

After coming out to the whole school, Brad Greymark and Kyle Stilleno could use some downtime. They should be studying, but soon their focus wanders to the pursuit of the impossible. Together, they just might find where they belong.

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With or Without You by Brian Farrey

With or Without You by Brian Farrey

When are you too far in to get out?

Eighteen-year-old Evan and his best friend, Davis, get beaten up for being loners. For being gay. For just being themselves. But as rough as things often seem, at least Evan can take comfort in his sweet, sexy boyfriend Erik

—whom he’s kept secret from everyone for almost a year.

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Without Sin by J. Tomas

Without Sin by J. Tomas

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Smithson has a temper. He's picked on because he likes boys, and fighting gets him kicked out of public school. As a last resort, his parents place him in St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Boarding School for Boys. At his first mass at St. Thomas he sees Avery Dendritch, a senior who serves as altar boy during the service. When they meet, the attraction between them is hard to deny. The two become fast friends, and as the school year progresses, their friendship deepens until Jacob feels he's found a place where he belongs. But the other students gossip about their growing relationship. Avery can ignore them; Jacob can't. As the rumors and slurs start up again, can he curb his temper, or will his fighting get him expelled from St. Thomas, too? 

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Wollstone by Hayden Thorne

The moment Emil Gogean sets foot inside Wollstone Academy’s fairy tale-like campus, he realizes his freshman year in high school is bound to be a very strange one. The school itself, a uniquely romanticized boarding school for boys, boasts remarkable elements that appear to be deliberate -- as though a hidden power has chosen woodland details, a chapel ruin, and school masters who seem to hearken back to a long-gone age, with a clear purpose in mind. When strange things begin to happen to Emil, an unnerving warning from his late grandmother returns to haunt him. A warning about Emil attracting the attention of the king of the dead. Strange faces in wood patterns and mullioned windows. The apparition of a boy among the trees. The unfathomable feeling of sadness permeating the idyllic environment. Emil gradually learns that Wollstone is more than just a school, that the answers to a three-hundred-year-old mystery surrounding a tragic romance lie in the ruined stones of a small chapel and in Nature itself. And that Emil, whose appearance in school has set certain wheels in motion, will have to place himself at the mercy of three mysterious students if he wishes to learn the truth about Wollstone, the boy lost in the woods, and himself.

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Wonderland by David Matthew Barnes

Wonderland by David-Matthew Barnes

After her mother loses her battle to cancer, fifteen-year-old Destiny Moore moves from Chicago to Avalon Cove, a mysterious island in South Carolina. There, she starts a new life working part-time as a magician’s assistant and living with her eccentric uncle Fred and his hottie husband, Clark. Destiny is soon befriended by two outcasts, Tasha Gordon and Topher McGentry. She accepts their invitation to accompany them to a place called Wonderland, a former boarding house owned by the enigmatic Adrianna Marveaux. It’s there that Destiny meets and falls in love with Dominic, Tasha becomes enamored with Juliet, and Topher gives his heart to Pablo. When Destiny uncovers the reason she and her friends have really been brought to Wonderland, she’s faced with the most crucial choice of her life.

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World of Normal Boys by K.M. Soehnlein

World of Normal Boys by K.M. Soehnlein

K.M. Soehnlein's trenchant, emotionally honest debut novel unfailingly captures the spirit of a generation and an era. "The World of Normal Boys" is told in the haunting voice of thirteen-year-old Robin MacKenzie, a modern-day Holden Caulfield, whose struggle for a place in the world is as ferocious as it is real.It is the late 1970s in suburban New Jersey, and while "normal boys" are into cars, sports, and bullying their classmates, Robin Mackenzie enjoys day trips to New York City with his elegant mother. He dutifully plays the role of the good son for his meat-and-potatoes father, even as his own mind is a jumble of sexual confusion and self-doubt. But everything changes in one, horrifying instant when a tragic accident wakes his family from their middle-American dream and plunges them into a spiral of slow destruction. As the MacKenzie family falls apart, Robin embarks on an explosive odyssey of sexual self-discovery that will take him into a complex future, beyond the world of normal boys.

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The World’s a Stage by Gail Sterling

The World’s a Stage by Gail Sterling

After his younger sister is killed in a tragic accident, William Palmer's family flees their quiet Warwickshire village for the bustling metropolis of Elizabethan London. The deaths of his parents and the marriage of his remaining sister soon separate William from his family. Taken on by a company of actors in an era where women are forbidden onstage, William makes a good living playing the parts of young girls and beautiful maidens. As he gets older, William finds himself growing out of the female stage parts, even as he develops a less than strictly professional interest in his co-star, Jack Hawkins. The course of true love never did run smooth, and William soon finds himself torn between Jack, the return of an elder sister who needs his help, and the mysterious and intriguing son of the company's patron, Lord Evering. 

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Worth the Wait by J. Tomas

Worth the Wait by J. Tomas

If everybody's doing it, shouldn't you? Sometimes the pressure to give in can be overwhelming. For a young high school football star, he can think of nothing else. Sex is foremost in his mind, not just because he wants to do it but because he isn't. He doesn't want to give in, but he doesn't want to risk losing his boyfriend by saying no. He wants to do it, he does. But he's afraid. If they love each other, isn't that enough? Just because everyone else thinks it's time doesn't mean he has to give in. Or does it? Sometimes respecting someone's decision -- even one you don't like -- says more about the love you share than words ever could. 

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Wrestling With Desire by D.H. Starr

Wrestling With Desire by D.H. Starr

Derek Thompson is a senior, a wrestler, and has a secret. He's gay.Scott Thayer is a new student who has just moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts from Iowa. On the first day of school Derek and Scott meet and their lives change in an instant.As Derek and Scott discover the things they have in common, they enter into one of the closest and most loving relationships either of them has ever experienced. When unexpected circumstances threaten their relationship, they both have to make a decision. DO they protect their secret and separate? Or fight for what they want...each other? 

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Wrestling With Love by D.H. Starr

Wrestling With Love by D.H. Starr

Derek Thompson and Scott Thayer met in high school. Facing challenges and overcoming obstacles that would make lesser young men fold, they now have the chance to forge a life together. As they enter college, they finally have the time and space to discover each other sexually and give their virginity to each other. However, in spite of the erotic thrill of exploration, there are still challenges ahead, challenges that will test their love and devotion… While Derek wants to live as an openly gay man, Scott wishes to maintain a degree of privacy. Not only that, but another freshman, Tyrell Jackson, becomes infatuated with Derek and wants Derek for his own. In the face of these threats to their burgeoning relationship, Derek and Scott are forced to look within themselves and make difficult decisions which will change both of their lives forever. Is their relationship strong enough to bear the strain of balancing their needs as individuals and as a couple? The only way Derek and Scott will attain their ultimate reward is by finding the courage to face their fears. Will they rise to the challenge? 

Recommended Age: 18+

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Wrong Boy Right by Drew Hunt

Wrong Boy Right by Drew Hunt

Sometimes it feels right, even when it’s wrong.

In this collection of stories about young gay love, authors Drew Hunt and Terry O’Reilly explore different aspects of what it’s like to develop strong feelings for the wrong guy. Four stories, four different outcomes.

Milton’s Hero by Drew Hunt
What should JJ do when he learns Milton has a crush on him? JJ’s girlfriend Maggie thinks it’s cute. How can they solve this impossible triangle?

Milton’s Ultimate Hero by Drew Hunt
Dressing as Superman, Steve begs Milton for a second chance. But did he show his true colors when he didn’t rescue Milton at school?

Ricky by Terry O’Reilly
A new school gives Dave Felder a fresh start where no one knows he’s gay. He’s determined to keep it that way…until he meets Ricky.

The Batboy by Terry O’Reilly
Thad’s job as a batboy puts him near his favorite ball player, Iggy. As Thad fights fears of being gay, things get complicated when he discovers Iggy’s secret.

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