Romance and Me: Venturing into m/m Land

Filed in Romance and Me , The Latin Lover Posted on May 30, 2012 @ 3:00 pm 25 comments

I am a kinda m/m virgin (you’ll see why the “kinda” below).

Those who have been living under a rock and don’t know what m/m is, here is a very official (insert sarcastic snicker) definition: “m/m stories are romance stories with male protagonists” as in hero&hero instead of a hero and a heroine. 

Lately m/m stories are in a boom and now not just specific publishers like Dreamspinner Press are releasing this romantic subgenre, but mainstream publishers like Harlequin as well (their Carina Press imprint has a wide variety of m/m novels. Be it contemporary, historical or supernatural m/m you’ll find it.).

I first heard of this set-up in romance novels and that it had its own subgenre qualification through blogging: some of my favourite romance bloggers like Sophia from Fiction Vixen and Mandi from Smexy Books are big fans of this subgenre, but until recently, despite their praising reviews though my curiosity was piqued, I was happy with my more conventional m/f romances. But then two things happened: I read a romantic ménage erotica novella which explored the love and affection between two men beautifully and everyone’s glowing reviews of Ava March’s Brook Street series intrigued me. So now I am embarking on an m/m adventure, I’ve packed my bag and I’m ready to discover this subgenre. I think I’ll start by Thief by Ava March as it’s a historical m/m romance and with HR you can’t go wrong, right?

So tell me,

Have you ever read an m/m story?

Are you a fan of the m/m subgenre?

In your opinion what is its appeal (since it seems it is mostly women who read it)?

Why do you think they became so popular recently?

Any good recommendations in the genre you could give?

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • Anachronist May 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I read one short m/m story of Ava March. I wasn’t impressed. A friend of mine reviewed for me the Brook Street series not so long ago you can see it here and I wasn’t impressed either. I am sitting on the fence.

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:07 am

      Thanks for the link Anachronist I’ll check it out 🙂

  • June M. May 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I do love a good m/m story. With me, I love the heroes so when you have 2 or more hot, sexy heroes in a story it is even better! I think they are becoming more popular just because more readers are just trying different sub-genres and bloggers are reviewing a larger variety of stories.
    There are many great authors out there who write m/m stories. My favorite way of deciding whether to try a book or not is to look for excerpts and try the free sample on Amazon.

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:09 am

      Great idea and tip June, thanks! Nothing better than to decide if an author’s writing style is for me than to get a first taste of her writing through a sample. And it’s such a fantastic thing that Amazon enables you to try the first chapter(s) before committing to buy the book. Will have to try that 🙂

  • Stephanie K. May 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I love the m/m genre. You should check out the Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon. It’s so good!

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:10 am

      Thanks for the recommendation Stephanie, I’ll keep him in mind!

  • Jason May 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    As a gay man, I am more than a little biased toward the sub-genre. I hope you enjoy!

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:11 am

      Thanks Jason, I’ll let you know how my discovery went 🙂

  • Draconismoi May 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I’m a nerd. Of course I have read slash, though I am partial to femslash.

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:12 am

      Hm, weird, I haven’t tried that either yet… maybe next I’ll ahve to discover that subgenre 😉

  • Sheree May 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I haven’t read a whole lot of m/m romances. Years ago, I watched some yaoi anime titles which were geared toward women. Now, given the annoying high-pitched female Japanese voices, I totally understood why women would watch yaoi. Reading m/m romances though is just a “take it or leave it “thing for me; I’d read it if it’s around (or on my Kindle) but I have so many books in my TBR pile/list already that they’re not the priority reads.

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:13 am

      I agree Sheree, I have so many books on my TBR pile maybe that’s why I haven’t gotten around to read an m/m novel before now, I was innundated by other books which kept me busy.

  • JenM May 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I read the occasional m/m although it’s not something I specifically seek out. I’m drawn to angsty stories and often m/m stories have lots of that just due to the nature of the relationship and the outside obstacles that are often in the way of their love. I would highly recommend J.L. Merrow. I’ve read Muscling Through and Pricks and Pragmatism by her and both were great. I’ve also got Cut and Run by Abigail Roux/Madelaine Urban on my TBR pile and I’ve heard that is a great series.

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:14 am

      Thank you for the recommendations Jen, will have to put them on my list. Yes, I have heard very good things about Abigail Roux’s series.

      (ps. and those titles are great! made me giggle and they sure are memorable :-D)

  • miki May 31, 2012 at 5:59 am

    not for me at all

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 6:15 am

      We’ll see Miki how I like it..

  • SharonS May 31, 2012 at 7:12 am

    um, yeah I love it:) Mandi at Smexy books is a great place to get recommendations. I will have to say read anything by Abigail Roux (Cut&Run) or Josh Lanyon. Then there is Marie Sexton. My first was Faith and Fidelity. One of the best love stories. I like gay-for-you or out-for-you stories because I enjoy forbidden love stories. can’t wait to see what you think. I guest review over at a m/m review site
    and let’s not forget Qhuay!!!

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I’m taking notes Sharon, thanks for the recs 😉

  • sienny May 31, 2012 at 8:18 am

    yeah, i read some, and there are some great books in this genre. for instance, suzanne brockmann’s all through the night. this is my favorite in the genre, though it’ll have a strong challenge when qhuay’s book come out next spring

    • Stella May 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Oooh I’ve heard great things about Suzanne Brockmann’s series, I’m definitely putting them on my list, thank you! 🙂

  • Jason K. May 31, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I’m with the other Jason above, as a gay guy I prefer my reading to have m/m in them, all the time if possible.

  • Marg June 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I have read a few m/m stories but it has been a while since I last did so. One author I did try was Josh Lanyon.

  • Susan June 4, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I’m late to the party here, but wanted to put my 2 cents in since I read a lot of m/m.

    A couple of other posters have mentioned Josh Lanyon. He’s definitely one of my favorites, and the Adrian English series is the place to start with him. His books all have a mystery element in addition to the relationship.

    JL Merrow—try Wight Mischief (also has a mystery element).

    Jordan Castillo Price—her books also often revolve around a mystery (I’m seeing a theme here). The PsyCop series is an excellent starting point.

    Harper Fox—I’ve read a number of books, the last one being Last Line (which was very intense and disturbing, but good).

    Heidi Cullinan—A Private Gentleman (good period m/m).

    Tamara Allen—start with The Only Gold.

    Laura Baumbach—Details of the Hunt is an interesting futuristic m/m.

    NOT a romance series, but a fabulous fantasy series, Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunners series has a central m/m relationship that develops over the course of the books. I’m crazy about this series and am still on a high over the latest release, Casket of Souls.

    Amy Lane, ZA Maxwell, KA Mitchell, JL Langley—I could (and seemingly have!) go on and on. I prefer the authors/stories that are more relationship based, but you can dip your toe in the water and see what appeals to you.


  • Susan June 4, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Grr–I think auto-correct changed Adrien to Adrian in my reference to Josh Lanyon’s wonderful series. The “e” version is correct.

  • aurian June 5, 2012 at 11:24 am

    M/M is totally not my thing, and I do hope you will put the m/m lable in the top of the review if you read and review them. I usually skip those. But I do hope you like them, there are so many women out there who do.

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