The reasons why so many enjoy male/male romance are diverse, and it's not possible for one person to presume to know or understand them all. The obvious reason is that, because we’re talking about love stories with happy endings, those who enjoy mainstream romance will enjoy m/m romance as well (although if this were universally true, female/female romance would be just as popular).
Some readers enjoy exploring the power and gender dynamics at play in a relationship between two men, and to some, m/m romance is simply another way to read about different people falling in love and join them in their journey. But regardless of the reasons why we read them, the truth is that these novels have become really popular and are a welcome addition to the genre.
So, where to start?
M/m romance is relatively new, at least when compared to the romance genre, yet the amount of authors and books can be overwhelming for someone trying to dip their toes in it for the first time. This is why today I’m going to list a series of recommendations that should appeal to different readers.
Contemporary is perhaps the most prolific category, so there are plenty of books and authors to choose from. Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy is, in my opinion, the best place to start. It’s almost, but not quite, an “opposites attract” story. The main character is witty, slightly exasperating and very charming. The secondary characters are equally important and complex, and the result is a book about friendship and family with a sweet and lovely romance at its core.
To fans of Historicals, I recommend Alex Beecroft’s books. Her beautiful, evocative voice and unique settings make for a wonderful reading experience. By Honor Betrayed transports us to the 18th century where we get to experience the forbidden love between two members of the Royal Navy. It’s an intense novella filled with emotion, action and interesting twists.
Josh Lanyon is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in m/m romance. His books are always gritty and realistic. The love stories have happy endings, but the roads leading to them are never easy. Fans of mystery and romantic suspense shouldn’t think twice before delving right into his novels, which include the popular Adrien English Series. If a long series seems too daunting, the standalone, Come Unto These Yellow Sands, perfectly showcases what Mr. Lanyon has to offer.
Last but not least, Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale should appeal to fans of paranormal romance and steampunk. This book, comprised of two novellas each with different narrators and narrations, has an interesting mix of mystery, paranormal and horror. At its core, there’s an unusual and deeply satisfying romance between two characters that are as unique as the world they inhabit.
M/m romance is often associated with Erotica. While compiling this list, I made a deliberate choice to (mostly) include books that have mild sexual content. Not every story contains graphic sex, and there are books to fit all tastes. That is not to say that there aren’t great books that prominently feature sex in ways that perfectly feed the plot, characters and conflict. Authors like JL Merrow, Marie Sexton, L. A. Witt, and K. A. Mitchell, write wonderful books filled with some of the sexiest scenes I’ve read. Needless to say, I highly recommend all of them.
Hopefully this list will pique your interest and will help you discover new authors and great love stories. And if you are already familiar these books, let us know in the comments which books you would recommend to new m/m readers.