So, I've been reading quite a few m/m romance books of late.
Delving into a new genre is always a tricky thing. There is a lot of crap out there. Separating the wheat from the chaff is challenging. I've read some bad books - I mean, really bad - and these are books that come highly rated. No matter how much research I do, no matter how many articulate reviews I seek out, I still end up reading books, that IMO, have no business being published. And not because of the content, but because of the lack of craft in the storytelling.
And let me just take a moment here to qualify, this is not unique to the M/M romance genre. There are a lot of poorly written books in every genre. Its just that M/M romance is still a fairly small genre who's readership, while not large, is voracious in their need for more and more dirty boy action. Supply has not caught up with demand. The paranormal genre went through a similar thing back in its early days. There were a lot of mediocre books that got published to feed the growing readership. As one of those paranormal readers, I can tell you I read many a so-so book because I loved the genre and it was better than nothing. I kinda feel that this is were M/M romance is at.
That being said, I've also read some m/m romances that were terrific. Heart-wrenching, panty-dripping terrific. And I thought I'd share some of my favorites for anyone looking for some recs. If your already familiar with the m/m romance genre, most of these recs won't come as a surprise. But if you are looking for a place to start, I wholeheartedly recommend the following.
Josh Lanyon - The Adrien English series Love, love love this series. Lanyon is one of the best in the genre. I found some of the mysteries a little MURDER SHE WROTE-ish but the ups & downs of the romance between bookseller Adrien & closeted cop Jake more than made up for my quibbles.
James Buchanan - Deputy Joe series Really well written series about Mormon, closeted cop Joe & ex-con Kabe. Probably my favorite M/M series and that's saying something because Lanyon is hard to beat. Also some serious BDSM here that deepens as the relationship does. Its seriously hot but always feels character driven and not just there for titillation. (Not that there is anything wrong with that).
K.A. Mitchell - Bad Boyfriend A really fun, sexy romance with a Daddy/brat thing going on. This is the second book in the series but you don't need to read the first in order to enjoy it.
Anne Tenino - Whitetail Rock This is a free novella that I would have been happy to pay for. "Nikhil “Nik” Larson is a snarky, dark-skinned adoptee from India who grew up in the Whitest Town in America. Back to visit his parents Nik meets Trooper Jurgen Dammerung, a blond, butch motorcycle cop who’s so hot he leaves a con trail wherever he goes."
Check this one out and then go on to read To Stupid To Live. Tenino is one of my authors to watch.
Ok. This seems like a good start with the recs. Give them a try. And let me know what you think.