Sep 4 2014 7:11am

Throwback Thursday: Your First Same Sex Romance?

Author Mary Renault (neé Eileen Mary Challans) was born on this day back in 1905. Renault penned one lesbian romance (The Friendly Young Ladies, 1943), but achieved literary acclaim with her male/male historical fiction, set in Ancient Greece, beginning with The Last of the Wine, published in 1956. Apparently she was so good at writing these relationships that rumors sprung up that she was really a gay male writing under a pseudonym.

Renault and her partner, Julie Mullard, emigrated to South Africa where they were able to be open about their relationship. They also were active in the movement against apartheid.

Remembering Renault and her historical fiction from close to fifty years ago makes us wonder—what was the first same sex romance book you read? 

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Megan Frampton
1. MFrampton
I think my first (even though now I don't really think it's a true m/m romance) was Lover at Last by JR Ward. Then I followed that with the Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat. I'd read some slash a long time ago about Heyer's Duke of Avon, but that just made me feel squicky, so I don't count it. I've since read a lot of KJ Charles, some Jordan Hawke, one Heidi Cullinan, and have more in the TBR pile. I am way late to reading same-sex romance, for sure.
Myretta Robens
2. Myretta
My first was Michelle Martin's Pembroke Park, a lesbian Traditional Regency published in 1986. At the time, Michelle Martin was also writing traditional Traditional Regencies. I'm not sure if she's still writing, but I loved her trads.

Haven't read much until @MFrampton introduced me to KJ Charles. Love the Magpie series.
Lege Artis
3. LegeArtis
Special Forces: Soldiers by Aleksandr Voinov and Marquesate.
I really had no idea if i am going to like reading glbtq genre- I guess I had all questions others who are contempleting truying anything in genre. So, I played safe: I checked and this book was (still is) free and it has good rating.
After SF, I followed it with In the Company of Shadows,Administration and Captive Prince (which was then free serial released by chapters).
Very fast I realized that the fact that romantic couple is same-sex couple, doesn't really make any difference to me if I am engrossed in the story and care for characters.
Since then genre developed considerably and new potential readers have many options to try from, but even if I could I would never change the way I come to know and love genre. :D
Jennifer Proffitt
6. JenniferProffitt
The one I remember the most was Lorelei James's Rough, Raw, and Ready. I know it's not a straight m/m, but it's the first menage that I read that was really about the two men falling in love with each other as much as with the woman. Since that one, I've read a lot of menage where the two men fall in love just as much... however, I guess my first only same-sex (I almost said straight male/male) would be Pulled Long by Christine D'Abo. I still love her Long Shots series.
7. RamenGrrl
Carpool by Karin Kallmaker. The story that made me weep because I'd finally found "my people". I'd been a reader of m/f romance for over a decade--love and HEAs were things that made me feel good--but finding a book about a same sex relationship when I was just beginning to realize who I was? Changed my life. I continue to read both queer and het romance, don't think I'll ever tire of reading about love.
8. Mia West
I think I wrote one before I read one. Not a book, though; Jim/Roy slashfic for The Office. ;) Ava March's historicals were the first I read, in ebook.
9. Kareni
I read several of Mary Renault's historical novels as a teen so those would doubtless be my first same sex romances. More recently, I've read Abigail Roux/Madeleine Urban's Cut & Run series.
10. BethAnnie
T A Chase's Bound by Love
11. stacymd2
Late to the party as always! Such fond memories. I read Renault's The Persian Boy in high school. I read a number of her books in high school.

Others that I liked were:
Mercedes Lackey's Last Herald Mage series (Magic's Pawn) - Vanyel & Tylendel (Tragic love. Lackey's best work!)

SE Hinton's The Outsiders - Dallas and Johnny (They were lovers in my fantasies!)

Alice Walker's The Color Purple - Celie and Shug (I read the novel, saw the move and the play when it came to my town!)
12. Moonlaura
Lover At Last- J.R.Ward's hot, steamy and long awaited love story of Qhuinn and Blay was my first M/ M. The tension between V and Butch was hot too! I hope Saxton gets a story....Also, Aiden & Ky by Allyson .James
katrina neilsen
13. Llynnyia
Though not normally catagorized as romance ( fantasy romance), my first same sex romance that I read about was in Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. I read this book around 12 years old and have never once understood people who object to other people being in love just because they have the same physical equipment.
Van is a young lord sent away to the capital to "make a man out of him", but there van discovers what his father tried to hide from him his whole life. His true self. Van finds true love only to lose him to the rage his lover felt at the death of his magically linked twin. Living on with out him is unbarable to Van , yet there is a white shining hope on four hooves.
This book is part of a triad including Magic's pawn, Magic's Promise, Magic's Price. That triad is part of the larger 'history' of Valdimar (series name Heralds of Valdimar) Every Character has at least a book as the primary hero/heroine . Though typically each charachter gets a triad. I say primary because the stories overlap slightly and characters you know and love from earlier books reapear as side characters. This is one of my favorite features of her writing.
14. TangelB
Jules and Robin in Suzanne Brockmann's series. Since I've moved on to many others: Heidi Cullinan, Abigail Roux, Marie Sexton, Cameron Dane, Rhys Ford, LA Witt, LC Chase, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes, AJ Rose, ZA Maxfield, Kindle Alexander, Eden Winters, Kim Dare, Lyn Gala, Anne Tenino, and JL Merrow to name but a few. There's quite a selection these days to enjoy love in any form.
15. Salt
@TangelB you took the words right out of my mouth, I was introduced to Jules and Robin and just fell in love with these 2 characters, and in doing so discovered a whole different genre of romance books...from there I found the Cut and Run series and now most of the authors you've listed are on my go to list...
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