Anne: Hey Maryse – loving the m/m reads that you have recommended recently. Do you think you could put together a ‘Top Ten” list fir those of us looking for more? Thanks!
Dee: My first M/M and I am loving it! I will be looking for more.
Sara: I’m seriously addicted to m/m genre right now.. and I’m running out of books!!
Tracie: This list makes me happy!
Tanya: I am so glad you put up this list. I was actually going to ask you if you had one. I don’t know why I love the m/m genre so much but I do. Im glad to see I’m not alone.
Rebecka: I will now proceed to look up all the other books and authors you’ve mentioned in this thread because to my utter suprise m/m romance might just be my new addiction. (<— side note: on a past discussion we had about a favorite m/m book – so many of the recommendations show up below!)
Now, I’m still a total “newb” (noob?) to this genre, but it seems that every m/m book I’ve read so far, I’ve loved! And since I’m on a bit of an m/m kick I’m gonna rotate them in to my reading schedule. Not exclusively, mind you (I still love my bossy alpha males that love their women and drive ‘em crazy) but the m/m’s are totally doing it for me, too. I haven’t hit a bad one in the bunch.
Of course, it helps to have such adamant “m/m experienced” fellow readers recommending only the best to me. So thank you guys for making my “taste-testing another romance genre” such a great reading experience. I’m dedicating this list to you! Plus, the list-lover in me is thrilled to have your recommendations all on one page, so I can click my heart out, whenever I’m in the mood for another one (see it below)!
I always knew there was a large and dedicated readership for gay romance, but what once surprised me was that so many of the readers are women! In fact, many of the books are written by women, too. Who knew!?? I was curious and certainly titillated ’cause the reactions and enthusiasm for these books were akin to my HUGE reaction and love of my own m/f favorites. The only difference? The readers were falling in love with the men that were falling for each other.
Elaine: Love my M/M romances
Tracie: I love my m/m too. Almost too much!!
Traci B. Maryse I blame you for my m/m romance addiction…ever since you recommended the cut and run series I have been hooked…my friends probably think I’m weird when I told them I read these types of books.
Jill: I finished Try by Ella Frank last Thursday morning but have been mourning the ‘loss’ of those characters ever since as well. I tried to start an NA book on Saturday, but it wasn’t doing it for me. So went back to this genre last night.
Jennifer: … I hadn’t read m/m romance before recommendations on your website….opened a whole new world!
I even asked my friend Jackie (way back when I first discovered this)… How? I mean, how can a female reader fall in love with a character who could never love her back in that way? I mean I know book characters can’t “really” love us back but the “realistic feel” of it is still always there. I guess the “fantasy” of it could be real, right? But with gay romance, I wondered, where’s the fantasy for women? The thought of women falling so hard and becoming so addicted to these love stories about these gay heroes blew me away. But I wanted in. I had to know!!!
And I found out. It’s soooo easy to fall in love with them and it became so obvious! I realized, when I read, I become one with whoever the main character is. Man, woman… whatever. It doesn’t seem to make a difference if the writing is good and I’m into the story. I go along for the ride, and whether the character is a he or a she, if they’re falling in love (or scared, sad, or antsy or crushing hard… whatever the feeling is), I’m feeling it too!
It never fails, my friends! If you’re needing a new reading “genre” change, a refresher, and/or a whole new perspective on love, give these a go! Although in the end, my perspective has come to the conclusion that love is love. It’s intense, exciting, emotional and heart-wrenching. It’s scary and wonderful no matter who’s experiencing it. And I LOVE loving them… as they love each other.
So while I’m still going to be reading my awesomely sexy/angsty/alpha/Dom’s and their women that “feel like me” romance reads, I’m also going to be throwing a few m/m’s into the mix, too. These have done my reading enjoyment a whole lotta good, and I have so many to look forward to, below!
And it would appear so many of you are with me on this!
MY TOP TEN (well so far these are the only one’s I’ve read so I’ll have to add more to this list… but OMG they’ve all been SO great!!!! And I’m *thinking* my favorites are going to the “gay for you” books, ’cause they have that added touch of angst/forbidden love angle. “Gay for you” you ask? Yep!! I just learned that term, too. These are the ones where one of the guys has been straight, never had any inclination towards another man but suddenly (or slowly) realizes his feelings for one (usually a best friend) is feeling a whole lot like attraction. Like a crush. Maybe even love. And ohhhh the angst and drama that comes from that realization. Gay? He still insists no. But “gay for him“? Er… maybe… yes. And I’m loving those!!!)
Bear, Otter, and the Kid by TJ Klune <— my first official m/m romance read and I LOVED it (and them) like crazy. Another “gay for you” read. Best friend’s older brother… straight guy crushing and confused, etc.. etc.. Sure… it had a few very detailed moments that had my inexperienced m/m self blushing but I felt like these guys were my family. And I was equally crushing on Otter and totally felt like I was “Bear”. As I described it to a fellow reader: “BOATK is funny and had me laughing like crazy (Bear’s thoughts…) … it was super steamy for me in terms of that delicious tension between the two. Now, don’t be put off by the odd title and cutsie cover… this book is AWESOME and if you love m/m it will rock your world. Hilarious, angsty, the romantic tension is INTENSE… and it’s super sexy steamy!!!!”. (here’s my review – you’ll see) and Tracie agrees saying: “I just read Bear Otter and I loved it hard!!!”
Who We Are by TJ Klune <— the sequel to the first and just as perfect!! I can’t say anymore here, ’cause ya gotta read the first one for this one to have that *oomph*, too. This series has that perfect amount of angst, indecision and intense want. A warmhearted feel in all wrapped up in funny! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Here’s my review. And see, Lauren agrees: “These books have been on my TBR list for awhile and I have held off, honestly due to the covers being a bit cheesy (i know, Iknow don’t judge a book by its cover, I couldn’t help it). But I am so happy you recommended them and therefore I read them. I loved them and think they have made my list of all time favorites. I am now sharing how great they are with everyone I work with so they can enjoy in the fun and angst.”
Collide (Blackcreek Series) by Riley Hart
<— A “gay for you” romance and I loved it. Super sexy (and detailed *waggles eyebrows*), angsty too, but nothing too over-the-top. I could see this… perfectly. And of course I fell for both of them! A very modern, contemporary romance feel to the writing and I didn’t feel “lost” or out of my element in the least. Here’s my review.
Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane <— this was one of the most adamantly recommended m/m books by some of the m/m enthusiasts in my crew and I sat on it for a year and a half. What the heck was I waiting for?? *sigh* No matter, I read it yesterday and spent an AMAZING day with friends, loving them, and in love with them! (Here’s my review)
Beyond Eden by Kele Moon <— I don’t know just how much this one counts in the m/m category, because they are both involved (sharing) a female, but let’s just say, this is some of the most INTENSE m/m love I’ve ever read, and so I think it fits perfectly. In fact, had I been the girl… I think I would have been jealous. They are a definite threesome (and it gets hardcore BDSM at times for one of ‘em), but I couldn’t figure out where one started and the other… well, you get the picture. And Anna agrees: “I loved Beyond Eden sooooo much! The intensity in that book was definitely felt by me!” Here’s my review. P.S. I haven’t read this one yet (Finding Eden (Eden, Book Two), but it’s the prequel even thought it came out after, and it’s JUST the guys.
Lover At Last: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward <— my VERY first experience with potential m/m romance was with this author (back in 2009). BUT, it wasn’t this book. It was Butch and V’s titillating attraction to each other that kept teasing us as the series ramped up. I had never experienced something like that before but privately, I was so excited at what I might run into. And she still kind of teases us with them (I’m thinking another version of “gay for you”), but alas, “the WARDen” gave them “shellans” (wives) instead. No worries. She provided us with TWO more male characters that had all of that delicious m/m angsty potential and teased us over the course of a few more books. And then she wrote this one! Not entirely m/m because it involves other characters and romance side-stories, but still had plenty of full-on m/m love! Maybe not enough in comparison to the other books on this list, but it fits, I’m sure there’s more to come with these guys! (here’s my review)
M/M READER RECOMMENDATIONS: (P.S. most of these also have an insane amount of awesome reviews on Amazon – I suspect we can’t go wrong with any of ‘em)
- Rough Canvas: 6 (Nature of Desire) by Joey W. Hill <— Lynne HIGHLY HIGHLY recommends this one, and I’m thinking I HAVE to read this ASAP!! She is quite passionate and I’m excited! “Oh Maryse, the BEST M/M book EVER has to be Rough Canvas by Joey Hill. I just can’t put into words how absolutely BEAUTIFUL it was. Read some of the many 5 star reviews on Amazon, they say it so much better than I can. I don’t mean to sound corny, but I think it was just a Masterpiece. Please give it a try, I really think you’ll agree.” And Carrie LOVED it like crazy, too: “My fav m/m read is Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill. The last 1/3 of the book… I locked myself in a room and forbid anyone to interrupt the roller coaster ride. Oh the angst! BDSM-lite, btw. The romance was the focus and so intense! Sigh. Love Marcus and Thomas.” She also confirms that while the WHOLE series is awesome, this one can be read as a standalone: “Some previous characters appear briefly in the book but Rough Canvas stands alone. ” and Bitchie seconds that: “Rough Canvas can totally be read as stand alone, it’s the only book I’ve read in that series, and I wasn’t lost at all.“
- The Locker Room by Amy Lane <— recommended by Kele who says: “Have you read Locker Room by Amy Lane ? One of my fav books of all time! I cried for days! Lol.” (Side note from Maryse: I’ll take it!!!!) Kele also mentions it’s a great intro book for m/m newbies and Sara agrees: “Another favorite of mine is Amy Lane’s Locker Room. I have so many I love….”
- Cut & Run (Cut & Run Series) by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux: Tracie says: “I swear on all that is holy Maryse you will FALL IN TOTAL LOVE will all things Ty and Zane”. And Brittany agrees: “Ty and Zane are the ultimate torchered alpha males!” Jackie warns: “Cut and Run starts off with two guys who really don’t like each other. Their relationship develops gradually over the books. i much prefer the latter books, but you’d need to read the early ones first to appreciate their relationship.” and I’m so happy she said that ’cause I was struggling a touch with book #1 (but I barely gave it a chance). Considering how many times this series comes up as an absolute m/m favorite, I’m going back in!! Oh and here is the Cut & Run Series Reading Order
- Tigers & Devils by Sean Kennedy <— Jackie recommends this one saying: “Did you read Tigers and Devils by sean Kennedy? – totally different story from BOATK but has the same feel – lots of humour and ‘real’ characters. Another of my favourite m/m books. xxx”
- Conquest (Conquest Series) by S.J. Frost <— and I think this is Jackie’s all time favorite m/m series. She recommends it, too saying: “I read quite alot from this genre. Have you ever read the Conquest Series by S J Frost. Its about a rock group – similar feel to ‘Sinners’ but m/m. I adored that series – easpecially Evan and Jesse. That will be my next ‘nag the ass off Maryse’ project.” <— hehe. Yeah… I know. I take my time with this genre, but I’m loving it! (and here’s the Conquest Series Reading Order) and “Bitchie” agrees: “Jackie, I love SJ Frost, her conquest books are some of my favorites, especially the very first two!” Yep, and Lisa just chimed in, too! ”Absolutely LOVED The Conquest series by S.J. Frost, I have re read the Conquest series many times. Love Jesse and Evan”
- Try (Temptation Series) by Ella Frank <— Maria says: Ladies don’t forget about Try by Ella Frank one of my favorites this year!! and Tracie agrees: “Maria I read Try and am in love with Logan and Tate!!” and Jessica triple agrees! “Try by EF got me hooked on M/M.” and Dee loved it too! “So I checked out your list and picked up “Try” OMG. I cannot put it down and it certainly is pulling me out of that book funk. My first M/M and I am loving it! I will be looking for more. This is right up there with my rock stars ”
- Catch a Ghost (Hell or High Water) by SE Jakes <—- Brittany recommends: “For those of you who love Cut and Run, you have to try Catch a Ghost and Long Time Gone by SE Jakes. They are great!!” and Maura agrees! “I also enjoyed SE Jakes Hell or High Water series immensely.”
- Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water ) by SE Jakes
- Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon <— Kristen suggests this one: “If you’re seriously going to try another m/m book, then I have to recommend “Starfish and Coffee.” It’s by one of your favs, Kele Moon!” (yep! I’m on it!!)
- Eight Second Cowboy by Piper Kay <— Cristiane says this one was her first and she’s got the m/m bug! “I have never read one until you recommended Eight Second Cowboy…by Piper kay. I enjoy a lot it was short but sweet.I actually loved it. So I totally will read others M/M I got the bug too.“
- The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney <— Brittany recommends this one and…
- The Return by Brad Boney <— this one and…
- Texas Pride by Kindle Alexander <— this one saying: “The Nothingness of Ben and The Return by Brad Boney are great as well as anything by Kindle Alexander (Texas Pride has a cowboy and a famous actor–yummy!)”
- Promises (Coda Series) by Marie Sexton <— Kindlelover popped in to recommend this one (and wants more recommendations, too!) “Ever read Promises (Coda series)? I loved it!! Excellent love story.” and Christy agrees: “One of my first M/M, but the slow build up to their relationship made it my fav!”
- Rode Hard, Put Up Wet (Rough Riders) by Lorelei James <—- Selena went NUTS for this one! “I read this book back in like 2006 or something & it was the first M/M book I’ve ever read. I LOVED IT! I couldn’t get enough. I’m pretty sure I read it like 10 times. The Male/Male sex scene was raw & hard & primal. Nothing like the beautiful Historical Romances or sexy Eroticas I’ve ever read. That book introduced me into a new type of Romance. I’m a M/M junkie now! Read M/M all the time!” —> Christine just added this little note: “The Rough Rider series, which is SO fantastic in its own right, has a bit of the MM in the first book of the series…a truly hot scene. The actual book dedicated to it in the series is Rough, Raw and Ready. It is actually a relationship between a woman, a man who is bi and a gay man. It is a great story and, true to the series, is soooooo hot. Enjoy!“
- Rough, Raw and Ready (Rough Riders) by Lorelei James <— this is the one Christine points out: “The actual book dedicated to it in the series is Rough, Raw and Ready. It is actually a relationship between a woman, a man who is bi and a gay man. It is a great story and, true to the series, is soooooo hot“
- Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson <— Siana liked this one: “Str8te Boys by Evangelina Anderson is a good gay for you (straight friends falling in love) novella, if you like steamy M/M books.”
- Chase in Shadow (Johnnies) by Amy Lane <— It made Jazz cry! “I read a book a few months ago that was M/M but a real tear-jerker called Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane. It’s one of those books that stay with you.”
- Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune <— Rebecka liked this one: “M/m? Have you read TJ Klune’s new book Tell Me It’s Real? It was a sweet read.” I love TJ Klune!
- The Island by Lisa Henry <— recommended by Jane: “The most emotionally intense book that I’ve read in recent months, was The Island, by Lisa Henry. It’s M/M. It grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the end and even then, it stuck in my head. I was still thinking about the characters a week later – and now, having skimmed the reviews again, I’m right back in that headspace. It’s not an easy read, it takes you to dark spaces. Morality is blurred. Fear is real. Like reading Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas, it messes with your head a little – and that’s what makes it such a compelling read. Don’t just take my word, check out the glowing reviews on Goodreads I hope you read it – I know you’d ‘get’ it ”
- A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan <— recommended by Dee who says: “I recently read a book that was by a new author and I would love for you to review it. I have no connections to the author. I am just one of those readers that when I find a book that rattles my world, I want to shout it to the rooftops. This book grabbed my heart, squeezed it dry and then inflated it until I thought it would burst. The authors name is Isabelle Rowan and the book is called “A note in the margin”. I don’t know if the authors have to send you a copy or what but this is one of the best ( the best in my opinion ) of this year. It is an M/M story that has sooooo much more that erotica …when I got to the final 3rd of the book I wept so hard I couldn’t see the pages, it’s THAT good.”
- The Forbidden Room by J. P. Barnaby <— Sara loved these: “I couldn’t get the characters out of my head. these books definitely give you a roller coaster of feelings throughout the two books (not including the short story) Happy, Sad, Frustrated at the lack of communication.” (here’s the series reading order)
- Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love and Devotion) by Tere Michaels <— Bitchie suggests this one: “And since you are opening your minds to a “different” sort of romance read, and you like angsty reads, might I recommend Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels to you all? It’s about a single father, who recently lost his wife, the only woman he has ever loved, in a tragic accident. He is just getting by, going day by day, when he meets another man- a cop. Both men are straight, both men are depressed and just down on life, and they form a friendship in their sadness. And then it becomes more, and it’s just so sweet and romantic and angsty and GOOD.“
- Love & Loyalty (Faith, Love and Devotion) by Tere Michales <— And Kele agrees with the “Bitchie” (for the book above) saying: “That one consumed me! Another one of my all time favorites. The sex is tamer than some. . . but the tension. The story. All three books are awesome. I really loved it. . . I’d HIGHLY rec it. . . and it’s a good. . .tame. . . starter series. . . It’s one of the ones I’d put on a MM noob starter list. . .“
- Duty & Devotion (Faith, Love and Devotion) by Tere Michaels <— and here’s the other one in the series. Now I gotta figure out the order. I *think* I’ve got it right, here but I’ll double check.
- Cherish (Faith, Love & Devotion) by Tere Michaels <— and another!!!
- Bareback by Chris Owen <— Jackie recommends this one and I totally remember her (and a few from our crew) freaking out over something in this… she says: “I also loved Bareback and Natural Disaster by Chris Owen (though be prepared to hurt real bad with ND)“
- Natural Disaster by Chris Owen <— this is the one she says is gonna hurt!
- A Matter of Time: Vol. 1 by Mary Calmes <— Sara says: “I’m excited you are *exploring* this new genre, Maryse.. I’m addicted actually. … another awesome series is “Matter of Time” by Mary Calmes.. Jory is the best character. Things come out of his mouth and it’s SO funny, but everyone loves him.. too much sometimes. I love this character and series.. check it out!” She also adds: “Sam is so up your Alpha Alley.”
- Bound by Lies by Lynn Kelling <— Alicia recommends it saying “Love the characters” and Tracey says: “I agree with Alicia above^^^. Bound by Lies by Lynn Kelling …so good!”
- Hot Head by Damon Suede <— Raelene says: ““Hot Head” by Damon Suede is SOOOOooo hot and a gorgeous love story! Read it now!” and Maura agrees! “Damon Suede’s Hot Head is killer”
- Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville <— Anna recommends it saying: “…it’s a GFY (gay for you) plus an awesome hit man turns protector story.”
- Genetic Attraction by Tara Lain <— Anna also recommends this one: “I also loved Genetic Attraction by Tara Lain- it’s an MMF, story ultimately, but the M/M portion of it is very strong, and one of the guys is straight only for the female in the story, so it’s an interesting reversal of the GFY. ” (gay for you)
- Thomas’s Choice (Scanguards Vampires #8) by Tina Folsom <— Sarah loved this one: “You should read Thomas’s Choice by Tina Folsom. I loved it.”
- The Parting Glass (In a Dark Wood) by Josh Lanyon <— I chose this one ’cause I liked the cover but Catherine recommends any by this author saying: “Any book, series or short story by Josh Lanyon. Not always a true HEA but always a good story. M/M romance with a mystery or two on the side.”
- Aftermath by Cara Dee <— Tracie suggested this book saying: “Aftermath by Cara Dee is excellent.” and Tracey (different one!) says: “I am also reading Aftermath by Cara Dee. Just started, but loving it so far!”
- Chase the Storm by V.M. Waitt <— Tracie says “…also great”
- Second Chances by T.A. Webb <— and she also recommends this one saying: “Second Chances by T A Webb also one of my faves. It appears as though GFY is my favorite theme and like you I had no idea what that meant.”
- Fall For Me (The Rock Gods) by Ann Lister <— and one more recommendation from Tracie: “You should also check out Fall for Me by Ann Lister. Definitely in the GFY category and it was awesome!! Thanks for the list!”
- Six Ways from Sunday (Southern Scrimmage) by Mercy Celeste <— and Tanya loved this one: “…really need to check out Six Ways From Sunday by Mercy Celeste. It hits you where it hurts, but in a good way Very emotional read.”
- Aaron (A Survivor Story) by JP Barnaby <— Recommended by Rebecka: “Aaron by JP Barnaby is heartbreaking and wonderful. I cannot decribe how good this made my heart hurt. I follow her (stalk her writing progress) on FB so I know the follow up is in the works.“
- 3 by Jacob Flores <— Also a suggestion by Rebecka: “3 by Jacob Flores had the affair thing going but with a twist. It was surprisingly deep and thoughtful and I loved every page.”
- Chaser by Rick R. Reed <— Rebecca likes this one, too saying “… it was an unexpected.”
- Power Exchange by AJ Rose <— Jackie adds these to the list: “Be sure to add Power Exchange and Safeword to your list. They are both by A J Rose. You will love them. The covers alone are enough to sell the books, but they are great reads. I LOVED them!”
- Safeword (Power Exchange) by AJ Rose <— and Amy agrees with Jackie! “Power Exchange and Safeword by AJ Rose were really really good.”
- Travis (Alluring Indulgence) by Nicole Edwards <— Melissa loved this one: ” would recommend the Alluring Indulgence series! The 3rd book is Travis and it is totally HOT.”
- Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander <— Pam’s suggestion! “You should also check out Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander”
- The Trap by Indigo Wren <— and she suggested this one, too!
- Love the Sinner by Avril Ashton <— Here’s Cheryl’s suggestion: “I found another m/ m that you didn’t mention it is Love the sinner by Avril Ashton… I cried all the way through it”
- Six Degrees of Lust by Taylor V. Donovan <— Maura says: The By Degrees series by Taylor V. Donovan is hot!” and Mehrnaz agrees: “you’ve got to read By Degrees by Taylor V Donavan”
- Gold Digger by Aleksandr Voinov <—Mehrnaz also suggest this one! “Gold Digger by Alexander Voinov- …in this genre and brilliantly written.”
- Where You Are by J.H. Trumble <— recommended by Paula, and it’s a student-teacher, too!!! “Maryse, I just read a really good student/teacher romance that was m/m. It is called Where You Are by J.H. Trumble.“
- Rain and Whiskey by BA Tortuga <— Leslie recommends these: “The Rain and Whiskey series is fantastic. As is the Hammer series, the Roughstock Sweethearts series, and the Mannies, Inc. series. Just those 4 series have all the genre you can handle. The stories are full of love, and sex (of course!), and show relationships for what they are: Work. Work that, for the right person, is well worth the effort.”
- Sean Michael <— Leslie also recommends this author!