At first glance when I see m/m romance I’m at a loss as to what it could possibly stand for; so I ask my fellow twitter pals just what is m/m romance? Monster and Monster romance, no, mister and mister….close, and to my surprise, it’s male/male romance. Initial gut reaction, yikes! Might not be my cup of tea. My exposure to male/male romance has been extremly limited, J.R. Wards’s Black Dagger series (one minor m/m kiss), a late night documentary on HBO featuring the inside scoop on pornography actors who are “Gay for Pay,” and a brief rendezvous with Kate Douglas’s Wolf Tales. As I research further I’m stuck with all these questions I have as a hetero woman. Do women actually read m/m romance? How popular is this genre? Do I need thearapy?
Mandi aka Smexybooks, comes to my rescue to shed some light on this fascinating newish genere on why the heck would I read m/m romance? So my challenge to myself is to read a full-fledged m/m romance to see what all the hype is about. If I didn’t stretch myself I’d still be reading historical romances written by Julie Garwood and missing out on all these great books. So my challenge this year is to work up to read 1 m/m romance book with an open mind.
Guest Interview with Mandi from Smexybooks
Smokinhotbooks: As my expert/guide on m/m romance: what is the 411, what can we expect for those of us who are m/m romance virgins?
Mandi (Smexy): I am definitely NOT an expert on m/m!! However, a year ago, I was a m/m virgin and for those who are interested in trying it out, first of all don’t be scared. You can always stop reading if you are not comfortable with the subject matter. There are many m/m authors out there that write amazing stories, that happen to have m/m romantic elements. There is contemporary, paranormal, western, etc.. and the level of romance or eroticism varies greatly. There are many great blogs out there devoted to mm books, two of my favorites are: Reviews by Jesswave
(www.reviewsbyjessewave.com) and Well Read (jenre-wellread.blogspot.com)
Smokinhotbooks:Can you share a little with me about your first m/m romance and how did you react? My first m/m expose was with Kate Douglas’s Wolf Tales, here I thought I was reading about werewolfs when all of the sudden one male wolf is dominating the other wolf to show his alpha status. Next thing I read he forcefully dominating Mr. Beta Wolf and my eyes about buldged out of my head and I swore I had a minor heart arrhythmia. Because I was ill-prepared for this type of lovemaking I felt a bit traumatized. But, I will say, it made reading books that snuck in hardcore BDSM a breeze.
Mandi (Smexy):It was after I read JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books, I realized I enjoyed the scenes with Vishous/Butch and Qhuinn/Blay. There was a thread set-up on her messsage boards called “manlove junkies” (still there if you want to check it out) and the thread was very active. I thought, well there must be something to m/m books! Someone on the thread was reading Heaven Sent by Jet Mykles so I decided to go for it and bought it. So I lost my “virgnity” to Johnnie and Tyler.
Smokinhotbooks: Is m/m romance as fulfilling as a female-male romance? How does the experience differ for the reader?
Mandi (Smexy): To me, m/m romance is just as fulfilling as m/f. It really is hard to say why. This is what I can come up with – I am not a huge contemporary romance fan, and I think it is because it is not “fantasy” enough for me. When I read, I want to escape..whether it is to the 1800′s, or present day but vamps and shifters are walking around. I am in a m/f relationship, so the m/m relationship is just different to me. It is something new, something unknown. And I find it hot when two men get together..especially two men that are both more alpha. I tend to shy away from the mm books where one of the males acts more feminine. But that is the great thing about mm books, there are tons of different styles out there!
Smokinhotbooks:What suggestions would you have for those of us who want to lightly dip our toe in the water and aren’t ready for a full-on maletopia, erotic experience?
Mandi (Smexy):I would start with Josh Lanyon. He is not only one of my favorite m/m authors, but his stories are witty murder mysteries, with a hero that just happens to be gay. The romance usually takes a backseat to the murder investigations so those who are nervous about the sex scenes will have an easy transition. There IS sex, but usually only a couple of scenes. He has many books out, but I would suggest Somebody Killed his Editor, first in his Holmes and Moriarity series.
Smokinhotbooks: Can you give me any tips, or guidance on picking an author to start with?
Mandi (Smexy): Just do research before you start. Read reviews so you know what type of book you are getting into. My suggestion would be: Start with a Josh Lanyon, if you like it move on to L.B. Gregg. If you are still happy, try Chris Owen or something by JL Langley.
Smokinhotbooks:What would be your list of fav m/m books?
Mandi (Smexy): Adrien English Series by Josh Lanyon is my favorite, but I love all his books.
Gobsmacked and Happy Endings
L.B. Gregg Bareback
9-1-1 by Chris Owen (9-1-1 is a m/m/m *waggles eyebrows*)
Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
Mexican Heat by Josh Lanyon
Laura Baumbach, My Fair Captain – JL Langley.
Mandi (Smexy) KC – thanks so much for having me!! Here are is a link to my review of Somebody Killed his Editor And here is my review of LB Gregg’s Happy Endings.
Smokinhotbooks: I can’t thank Mandi enough for taking the time to answer some of my burning questions about this specific genre. Even though she said she wasn’t an expert, *whisper* she is still one in my book.
Mandi makes an excellent point, that although this might be outside of my midwestern, methodist comfort zone, the whole reason we read these books is for the fantasy! Come on, who hasn’t dreamt of being in a hot, stud manwich, *raising hand high*. I now venture to go where I have never gone before, to the x-treme games of romantic fantasies and pledge to read a m/m romance with an objective and open mind.
P.S. It took all my effort not to write this post with a Barbara Walters accent style. Ever read m/m romance let me know what you think!
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