Hey there. Bet you thought when I said I wanted to step up the frequency of my posts, and then didn’t, I was full of shit. NOPE.
I’ve been tossing around this idea for a while and after talking to a friend who I recently introduced to the m/m romance genre, I decided to create a blog series for readers new to m/m romance.
About a year and a half ago, I decided that I wanted to write some male/male fan fiction. I’ve ‘shipped several male/male pairings over the years (Rick and Daryl from TWD, Castiel and Dean from SPN, etc.), but I was always too afraid to write it because I wasn’t sure I could do it justice.
When I first began to delve into the genre in July of 2016, I was broke, trying to pick of the pieces of my life after a breakup and a job change that didn’t pan out. I couldn’t go to the bookstore and take a chance on just any m/m romance novel to begin my ‘research’. Stuck at home with limited means, I began searching the internet for things like ‘best gay romance novels’ or ‘best m/m romance books’.
But I never really explained how I finally found those first books, or any of the subsequent 34 m/m romance novels I’ve read.
I know I can’t be the only person to start looking for these types of books and been completely lost. So far, the only m/m romance novels I know that Barnes & Noble regularly stock are the Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat and Lover at Last by J.R. Ward. I’ve found several LGBT classics and YA books in Barnes & Noble. But, when it comes to writing erotic, sensual romance, there is no better teacher that romance novels. True, throw some classics and literary fiction in there too, because otherwise your writing probably won’t elevate much but…a good, steamy, well-written romance novel has not only been my biggest vice, but also my best teacher.
The first thing I did was pour over a few lists of popular m/m romance series/titles/authors. But with no frame of reference, I had no idea of whether or not to trust those lists.
In my research, I began noting the same names popping up over and over. Ally Blue, Josh Lanyon, C.S. Pacat, etc etc. I’ll never forget the day I discovered the LGBT fiction section at Half Price Books. Sure, they were used, but they were paper books! Sure, there are only three shelves at my favorite HPB, but I could actually browse them!
It was at about this time that I discovered groups on Facebook for m/m readers. And that was a game-changer.
So, without further adieu, here is a list of my three favorite Facebook groups for m/m readers, new and seasoned. (Please note, most of these groups are closed groups that you have to join and then be approved into before you can read posts and/or participate):
M/M Romance – This is the big main group for m/m romance. I’ve seen everything from book recommendations to author promotions to general discussions go on in this group.
M/M Book Rec – This group is great for three things:
- If you’re trying to find a specific book, but can’t remember the title or author. Usually, if you post describing as much as you can about the book, someone will know it and help you out.
- If you’re looking for books with a specific story trope and you post asking for it, you will get a ton of recommendations. For example, I personally love the enemies-to-lovers trope. I posted in this group asking for recommendations and within a few hours, I was SWIMMING in book recommendations.
- If you’ve read a book you loved and just want to talk about it, feel free to drop by this group and gush. More than likely, at least one or two folks will stop by the comments to chat with you about it!
MM Romance ARC Club – Two words: FREE E-BOOKS. With a caveat, of course. In this group, authors post the synopsis/blurb for their book, usually along with the cover, and ask for a certain amount of readers to read the ARC (advanced reader copy) of their book. This is usually right before or just as they launch their book. If you sign up to read a book, you accept the responsibility of finishing the book within the author’s requested time frame and then post an honest review, usually to Amazon and Goodreads. I’ve read several awesome books and even found a few favorite authors this way!
I’m also providing a list below of the rest of the m/m romance/LGBT fiction groups I’m a member of:
- Can I find 10,000 people who like gay romance novels?
- DreamReaders of Dreamspinner Press
- Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction
- JMS Books & Queerteen Press
- M/M Book Discussions
- M/M Romance & LGBT Giveaways
- Pride and Pleasure: A Gay MM Romance Book Club
- Queer Romance Freebie Fan Club
- Queeromance Ink
I am certain there are many, many more groups out there for m/m romance and LGBT fiction, but those are the ones I am a member of and highly recommend for anyone just discovering this genre.
So what’s next in this series? Well, after finding these groups came finding my favorite authors. I’ve discussed some of my favorite books before, but I don’t see the harm in revisiting them to tell you about my favorite authors. I plan on posting for this series once every two weeks, so if you liked this post and want to read more, feel free to subscribe to my blog!