Red Light is a sequel of sorts to Thom Lane’s White Flag. The characters are related in a general sense but you don’t need to read the previous book in order to appreciate this one. In fact they are so similar it’s probably best not to read them too close together. I didn’t mind the similarities since it’d been a while since I read White Flag and all the reasons I liked the previous book are here once again; the beautiful lyrical prose, the sense of ease, wonder, and vivid beauty of the setting and characters. This isn’t a heart stopping book, it’s a languid journey into love that’s satisfying for its ease and lightness than anything else. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: February 2011
So this weekend the registration for the Gay Romance Lit convention opened up and a bunch of us rushed to be first (there’s a prize I hear)… ok I made that up. But several of us did sign up. Since I missed yaoi-con last year (gaming convention over porn, terrible terrible decision I shall never make again) I’m especially excited to have a specific m/m gathering. Tons of authors – some of whom I’ll hide from – but even more I can’t wait to meet. I know it’s terribly far out, who can plan now for October, but perhaps this will also get some people thinking and considering going. I hear there will be strippers and porn.
I may have made that up to but it seems likely though.
So who else is going!
This short story plays off a minor character from “Goodbye Scrooge.” You don’t need to read the previous book at all as there is little to no cross over. Instead this new story focuses on giving a happy ending to an odd couple. The writing is decent and the story has all the right elements: complex characters, minor tension, a graphic sex scene, supporting friends, and so on but it never came together for me. Instead I finished the story glad it was over and not particularly caring for the main couple. I actually liked the m/f couple better. Continue reading
The Boy Next Door is a cute premise that just didn’t capture my attention. The characters have some good depth and the writing is perfunctory. There are several themes that are likely to appeal to fans and some nice use of tension. The conflict is kept real and believable throughout the story, so much so I didn’t actually buy into the happy ending and resolution. Unfortunately there are many issues left hanging as well with the hope that together the two men can get through them. Unfortunately I don’t really believe they will so that combined with a few other issues just killed my enjoyment. Continue reading
I’m the latest victim to sit down for the “For the Love of Books” series on Jessewave’s site. She asked me a bunch of questions about the genre, reviewing, and my gaming. Not too exciting (sorry, boring is as boring does) however reading that will save lives. Somehow… someway… or maybe waste a few minutes where you could have spent looking at porn. So go here to read all the fascinating insider information…
Then head over to tumblr for that porn.
I’ll admit this short story had me at the opening line. “When ugly socks attract” just sounds fun and interesting. The story definitely lives up to that expectation with an entertaining and really enjoyable narrative. The short length is well used here to entice readers and leave them satisfied. As with any short I like I want more and that’s true here but I think the author does a really good job with this length and delivers a warm romance within the allotted pages. Definitely one to pick up for those that like short stories.
Read the whole review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews HERE!
Catalyst is a hardcore BDSM story filled with tension and emotion. The characters are flawed, human, and very complex. The BDSM kink featured – in this case blood play – is woven intricately into the story. It’s essential to the characters, their dynamic, their obsessions, and ultimately their failure or success as a couple. The complexity of the men is what elevates the story from being simply a heavy BDSM erotica into an angst filled emotional journey. The writing is somewhat languid but with each story I read by this duo it gets tighter and crisper. I personally like Catalyst more than anything I’ve read by these authors and easily recommend it to readers. Continue reading
A rape fantasy fiction book has made the rounds and started up the controversy of labeling, warnings, and what is romance exactly. There’s bound to be many, many, many posts on this as it’s a hot topic and one I think that bears discussing.
I’m going to take a twist and go for a broader topic than just what is romance and ask if the term “M/M” has become synonymous with erotic romance. I wonder if readers have the expectations when they read “m/m” that they’re reading erotic romance. This may not be correct but I think a lot of readers do actually have these expectations.
I say I review M/M books. To this end I read/review gay literature, poetry, fiction, romance, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy, historical, mystery, western and honestly a wide range of sub genres. I personally think of M/M as synonymous with gay literature. But this isn’t really necessarily true.
The majority of m/m books DO seem to be erotic romance. So much so that it’s hard to separate these terms. There is nearly no romance without graphic sex. Closing the door is a lost art and one many readers are happy for. There is the occasional book without graphic sex but this is definitely, definitely the minority not the majority. Which isn’t to say that’s bad, it’s just the current trend.
So romance is really more equated with erotic romance within m/m and it seems as though m/m is most often linked to erotic romance. If you look at the epublishers that produce the most m/m – samhain, loose id, torquere, dreamspinner, lethe press, blind eye books, amber allure – how many of those produce almost exclusively m/m erotic romance? I rarely even hear Lethe Press or Blind Eye Books considered m/m and in fact most readers put them more in the gay literature column. That’s fine for me I’ll read both but it removes the m/m when erotic romance isn’t present. This is especially true for Dreamspinner, which is having labeling troubles of its own with readers – see Teddy Pig’s post for more.
What do you think? Do you think that m/m is by definition erotic romance? And is that a good or bad thing?
This is such an incredibly broad topic that I’ll likely be doing more posts on it in the future but it’s one aspect of the current wanks going around that I’d love to hear more about.
While I quite enjoyed Vamp Camp #1, the sequel didn’t have the same entertainment factor for me. The characters are amusing with the same dry wit and tendency to tell the reader the story but unfortunately the plot meanders back and forth with no real tension and no strong purpose. Instead this feels like a bunch of scenes thrown together with the right elements: sex, romance, blood, vampires, wealth, power, fights, secret councils, and even death of major characters but it doesn’t come together in a cohesive, interesting narrative. Continue reading
Continuing the theme of focusing on the positive in the m/m genre today’s post about what I like is going to focus on *gasp* the breakup! I know this is slightly controversial because in romance, no one wants a breakup. We want happy endings with imaginary roses falling constantly and this love that will never, ever end and sex that never quits (hopefully graphic with rippled abs).
However when I’m reading a very angsty, very intense romance …I love the breakup. I confess. I love it when the tension is so thick and the couple just can’t go on for whatever reason. We’ll just assume it’s not a stupid reason and it’s actually well done. That moment is one of my absolute favorites in a book. Sometimes I shed a tear.
You see I *know* they’re going to make up. I know without a shadow of a doubt they’ll be ok, make up and live happily ever after with the most intense, passionate love that ever existed (and only exists in fiction). Since I know that and can rely on that, then I can feel free to delve into the fictionalize drama and intensity.
That is one of the main reasons I love romance. I can feel free to invest in the book, the characters, the situation and get upset at the tension. I can get involved with the characters because I know it’ll all be alright at the end. Otherwise I walk away depressed from such an investment and while I read those books often, I like the consistency and yes, predictability, of a happy ending in romance.
While I can’t have a steady diet of these angst ridden, intense romances, there is no question I do love them. The breakup, that tipping point of the tension is a huge reason why.
So what about anyone else? Do you love a breakup in romances or hate them?