I have never actually recommended any type of writing before. It is not something I think I would be particularly very good at. I am however taking a plunge to rec. two stories I have thoroughly enjoyed.
The first is "Esperanza" by ocotillo_dawn
Nearly a century after an engineered virus wipes out most of Earth's population, Tesla is a drifter, moving from town to town, staying alive as best he knows how, and leaving when residents begin to suspect his secret. He's heard stories of the heathen traders, of their societies and their sinful ways, and when two arrive at his latest village, he decides to follow them. He expected many things, but not that they'd make him prisoner for his genes
I love the characters ocotillo creates; they are flawed, far from perfect and at times I really wasn’t too sure I was going to like one of them.
There are two things which go a long way in making a story enjoyable for me. One is background information about the characters, I don’t need it all at once, but if done throughout the story, it gradually fills in a picture for me. The other is descriptions of where the story takes place, these add another dimension to what I am reading and my picture then has more depth. Ocotillo does both of these. Her descriptions of the location add a great deal to what is a wonderful read.
The warnings for the story are clear----no need to say more, apart form the fact that if I am recommending this, it is obviously m/m!!!
The second is completely different, though again m/m and in this case----more males!
This rec. is actually for two novels which are not on LJ. As soon as the words “discipline story” are uttered, many eyes glaze over, not in this case.
"Falls Chance" and "Three Traders" written by Rolf and Ranger are about as far from the average as you can get.
Are you worried about your executive? Is he burned out? Frazzled? Less than stellar? Is he an excellent employee that you don’t want to lose? If the answer to those questions is an unqualified yes! then you need to think about sending him to Falls Chance Ranch. In a matter of weeks or months, we’ll turn around your executive and return him to you fit and ready to pick up the reins again.
Falls Chance is a working sheep ranch deep in the heartland of Wyoming. Your executives will be put to work on the ranch while we retrain bad habits into good ones. Executives will remain on the ranch until we’re assured that they’re safe to return to their jobs. The average stay is eight weeks but can run shorter or longer depending upon the person. Our program is completely confidential and has a highly proven track record. Our graduates are in many of the top companies around the globe.
The men in these stories are definitely multi-layered and fascinating. It is a working ranch, with all the usual activities taking place. One of the things I love about this story is how the normal is so much a part of the whole setting.
These are long stories with plenty of time, so that nothing is rushed. There is a lovely mix of psychology and plain common sense in dealing with the client, who has arrived stressed and really not wanting to be there.
I really liked getting to know these characters, they are some of the most well developed I have read. These are gay men, but that is not the main focus of the story and I should perhaps say here that sex, though it is obviously a part of their lives, is also not a main focus. This is a story about family, about making a life together and all that that entails.
One last thing. The descriptions of the ranch and surrounding countryside are beautiful, as is the detailed history of the area and the people. I found myself almost standing in the middle of this countryside, and it was indeed quite lovely.
The first story can be read on the website;
The second is on a Yahoo Group which was formed, after many of us requested a place to read each other’s comments;