I became a reader of m/m romance after being exposed to m/m stories in fan fiction. M/m romance is not all that different from traditional romance except instead a love story between a man and a woman, it's love story between two men. Who reads m/m romance?
Men make up part of the audience, but women are the biggest consumers. Why do women like m/m romance? Lots of reasons.
1. Long-time readers of traditional romances may be bored with the same-old-same-old.
2. Well, it's two men. Many women find the idea of two men together particularly erotic. Double the pleasure, double the fun?
3. M/m not only offers new character dynamics and new erotic possibilities, but also a host of new 'conflicts' and angst options, always a key part of any romance subplot. These include things like being in the closet, being (supposedly) straight, being in denial, issues around school, a sports career, military or traditionally macho profession. And, hey, what if they're both tops?
4. It expands one's horizons. Many of us have never had to think about LGBT issues. It's interesting and eye-opening. (And many of us writers think it ultimately has a social impact as well.)
Eli's Top Ten List 2014:
Want to try some excellent m/m romance? Here's my top ten list for new m/m readers. All of these authors are terrific and you can seek out more of their work on goodreads.com.
1. "The Truth in the Dark" by Amy Lane.
If you like more of a historic or 'fairy tale' kind of setting, this is a wonderful choice. It's a take off on the "Beauty and the Beast" story by the excellent Amy Lane.
2. "Hot Head" by Damon Suede
A contemporary story about two long-time friends who are firemen. The 'friends-to-lovers' is a popular m/m romance trope and it's done very well here. Griff has been in love with his friend Dante forever, but when Dante suggests they do some 'gay-for-pay' porn together to get him out of a tight financial spot, Griff gets his chance. The characters are memorable and the heat rating is super spicy.
3. "Ethan Who Loved Carter" by Ryan Loveless
This contemporary love story between a young man with Tourette's and another with brain damage caused by a car accident, could be maudlin but it's not. If you like seeing underdog characters find love, you'll adore this book as much as I do. And it's sexy to boot.
4. "Faith, Love and Fidelity" by Tere Michaels
An interesting story of two men discovered their sexuality (or bisexuality) in middle age. Both are cops. One is mourning the death of his wife of many years and the other has been a love-em-and-leave-em ladies man for so long he can't seem to do it anymore. They begin as friends, helping each other through a rough time, but it develops into much more. This is an interesting spin on two older macho men realizing life wasn't what they always though it was.
5. "Hard Tail" by J.L. Merrow
I love humor in my romances, and J.L. Merrow is one of the funniest authors in the field. She also has many wonderful short stories out, but this is my favorite of her longer works. Tim leaves London to help run his brother's bike shop in a small town when his brother is injured. The changes of scenery may be what Tim needs to try a lot of changes in his life--including maybe falling for the cute bike repair guy who works at the shop.
6. "Tell Me It's Real" by T.J. Klune
Another one in the 'humorous' camp. In fact, I laughed outloud so often and so long reading this, I hurt myself. Paul is a very funny guy who doesn't think he's at all good-looking. When a super stud puts the moves on him, he can't quite trust it. The characters are all priceless in this, including Paul's family and an outrageous drag queen.
7. "Brute" by Kim Fielding
Like "Truth in the Dark", this book has a historic/fairy tale setting to it that's vaguely medieval. Brute is a very large, rough man who's hired to be jailer to a mysterious prisoner that everyone fears. The prisoner has always been treated viciously, but Brute can't help being kind. He cleans and feeds the man and improves his living conditions. Brute and the prisoner form a unique bond that turns into more than friendship. Kim Fielding has a lovely prose voice and I just ate up this story.
8. "Love Comes Silently" by Andrew Grey
Andrew is another m/m author who has a TON of books out, all decent. This is my favorite of his. It's the story of a man whose young daughter is ill with cancer, and his neighbor, a deaf man, who steps in to help them out. It's not overly angsty, just a good, solid, sweet romance with a strong family subplot.
9. "Hairy Harry's Car Seat" by Sue Brown
I'm a sucker for romances involving dogs and this is my favorite. Peter is a divorced man trying to reshape his life. One of the few things he got from the marriage was Harry, a big old hound. When Harry falls ill, Peter meets Evan, a vet. Evan is openly gay and seems interested in more than just being Harry's doctor. This is a slow 'gay-for-you' kind of story where the romantic element builds slowly and not without a lot of soul-searching on Peter's part.
10. "Fire Balls" by Tara Lain
And now for something mostly different. Tara Lain writes short, erotic romances that are simply fun to read. This is my favorite from her. Rodney is a small, flamboyant,and incredibly talented artist. He has a huge crush on a firefighter he thinks is straight, Hunter. When Hunter flirts with Rodney's friend, Jerry, Rodney tries to selfishly help Jerry seal the deal. There's a definite Cyrano element to this one.