Monday, January 16, 2012

Top Ten Books for Readers Who Are New to M/M Romance

This week's top ten theme from The Broke & The Bookish is "Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To Someone Who Doesn't Read X."
Since my big genre discovery of 2011 was m/m romance, I bring you: Top Ten Books for Readers Who Don't Read M/M Romance. I've tried to give examples of which books might work for which readers! I've included links for the titles I have reviewed on here. (Note as Top Ten has a number of YA reviewers: Like the vast majority of books I review these have varying degrees of explicit love scenes--I've tried to specify, but my personal tolerance may be different than yours. If you are under 18, you probably want to skip these. If you only read YA or only books with closed-door love scenes, try one of the more mild titles I reccomend! You might be pleasantly surprised.)

  1. When Tony met Adam by Suzanne Brockmann Who will love it? Regular readers of the Troubleshooters series probably already bought this. Her other m/m couple Jules & Robin was my first fictional m/m couple other than a few coming of age YAs. Other romantic suspense and military romance readers will love this short novella. The only love scene is short, not very explicit (but boiling hot nonetheless!). Proceeds from the novella's sale are benefiting HRC which make a fabulous first m/m read!
  2. Promises by Marie Sexton Who will love this? Fans of first person contemporary and character driven contemporary. Think Diane Chamberlain and others who use first person POV on occasion for an intimate, subtle character portrait. There's certainly plenty of lighter moments, but it's not a comedy like a lot of first person chick-lit. This was my first "real" m/m romance and it's absolutely an all-time top ten books for me. I love this entire series. The love scenes are on par with a Harlequin Blaze. Readers of contemporaries with explicit love scenes won't be shocked here. I also love her Sinners & Saints which is a 3rd person, dual hero POV novel that should appeal to Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Susan Wiggs, Bella Andre fans. If you love a romance with a big, meddling family backdrop with plenty of angst thrown in among a lot of lighter moments, this book will join your keeper shelf.
  3. Bad Company by K.A. Mitchell--Who will love it? Fans of Victoria Dahl, Julie James, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Donovan. This is another friends-to-lovers tale and a great intro to the amazing voice of K.A. Mitchell. Most of her other titles are closer to erotic romance with a higher percentage of love scenes. This only has a few love scenes towards the end of the book, on par with other contemporary romances. If you are ready for a little more heat, I think the other best example of her voice is Diving in Deep which opens an addictive series set in Florida. (Great Dear Author review here).
  4. Prove it by Chris Owen--Who will love it? Readers of Susan Wiggs, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn--character driven saga with lots of humor and great secondary characters. This might be one of the best intro to m/m for most readers. It's a friends to lovers tale that manages to span two decades in a novella while keeping crisp pacing. (Great Dear Author review that made me buy it here).
  5. Mercury Rising by Daisy Harris--Who will love it? Fans of lighter paranormals like those by Katie MacAlister, Erin McCarthy and others will love her greek god parody. Her extensive backlist includes mermaids (and meremen!), zombies, and sharks. She writes both m/m and m/f titles, so she's a great choice for someone new to the genre. The m/f subplot in Mercury Rising provides a lot of funny moments. With two love stories to juggle, the book provides plenty of love scenes. I think readers of light, hot paranormal won't be shocked ;)
  6. Dance with Me by Heidi Cullinan--Who will love it? Erotica Fans who want a little more meat (pun so very intended!) with their sexy will really love this--Lorelei James, Cara McKenna, and Megan Hart fans would all find something to love here. Angst fans unite. Tortured heroes ahoy! Both heroes have had their former lives ripped from them. Ed is learning to live with a serious injury and Laurie is figuring out how to live with a crippling choice that took away his love of dance. This is the tamest Cullinan title I have read, and it's still burning hot. (Dear Author review that made me click buy here).
  7. Improper Holiday by K.A. Mitchell--Who will love it? Regency readers will welcome this novella. It's very hot, but readers of sexier regencies like Elizabeth Hoyt shouldn't be shocked. If you are looking for a less steamy historical m/m read, I almost put Alex Beercroft here.
  8. Camwolf by J.L. Merrow. Who will love it? Regular readers of werewolf and paranormal will feel right at home here. But, as most of you know, I'm not usually much on the fur and fangs, and I still loved it. The love scenes are on par with most hot paranormal--short, explicit but not overly graphic. (The Dear Author review that made me set aside my werewolf prejudices here).
  9. Song of Oestend by Marie Sexton. Who will love it? Fantasy readers will adore this. Fans of Deadwood, Firefly (imagine a romance set on one of the lawless border planets), magical realism and subtle paranormal will adore this. A sweeping friends to lovers tale, this one is Sexton's most epic work. It's also her hottest by a long shot--very explicit love scenes with some BDSM themes. But they are beautifully tied to plot and character.
  10. Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon--Who will love it? Mystery fans, noir fans, lovers of 1950s detective stories and art house films. This is a mystery first, romance second, with a very angsty, period appropriate 1940s romance with subtle love scenes. A bit more explicit than cozy mysteries for sure, but on par with others in the suspense genre.
Have you read a m/m or LGBT love story? Do you have a favorite title?


  1. I have a friend who loves M/M romance (although she mostly reads fan fiction for it). You've provided me with a great list of possible presents for her, thanks!

  2. I haven't read many M/M stories, just mostly the ones I'm beta reading for, but maybe I should pick up a couple! Thanks for this great list!

  3. This is a genre I haven't read much. I am definitely going to take a look at these books. Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. Aw, I'm glad my reviews are working for you! I'm trying to get a few more done. :)