Gay Male Romance — I Read and Live it!
I read, a lot. Anyone looking at my 2020 Reading List can see that. Twenty-five books on the fun side and five more on the Educational side. Most of the “Fun” books are froth. When I was a child, I’d go to the library to get a book for the upcoming book report assignment. Momma would ask me to pick up something “light and frivolous” for her. I never questioned her at the time, but these days, “light and frivolous” is exactly what I want. Most of the books I read are in the “cozy mystery” genre. I also read light autobiograpical travel books. Absolutely love books set in New Orleans, San Francisco or France. But often I read gay male romance.
Since I started the Reading List on January 1st, I have listed four gay male romances on the list. Four out of twenty-five, or one sixth of my list. When I look at my Kindle’s list, I see a lot more, but usually books written by women authors. I’m not sure why women write gay male fiction, and would love to know if their primary audience is also women. It’s almost a cliché that straight men love porn featuring two women. Supposedly, they see themselves as being the man able to satisfy both woman, simultaneously. But somehow, I can’t see that happening when a woman reads man on man romance stories. And let me be clear, a lot of this “romance” literature is little more than soft-core porn.
Two Georges and a Josh
Remembering that both George Sand and George Eliot were women, I shouldn’t be surprised that the Goodreads page for Josh Lanyon refers to the author in the feminine. The author of over sixty male/male books, Josh has a website and blog (don’t we all?) and her photo shows clearly that she is a beautiful woman. My Kindle has five titles by Lanyon, and it’s just now that I learned that the writer is female.
Are there any male gay romance authors?
I have eight titles by Kevin Armstrong, a prolific Australian writer of gay male romance. I assume that Kevin is a man, but that is an assumption. Just looking at authors whose name starts with A, I have sixteen books on my Kindle in the gay male romance genre. In addition to Kevin Armstrong, I have books by Graeme Aitken (2), KB Alan (1), Annabeth Albert & Wendy Qualls, Pauline Allen, Laura N. Andrews, May Archer and Jay Argent (1 each). Given that we can assume Graeme is a man’s name, and KB and Jay could easily be male or female, there should be no doubt that the rest of the stable are all women authors.
Ian Finn has written six of the titles on my Kindle. And judging solely by the covers (yes, I went there), these are most definitely gay male romance novels. I mean after all, when the cover shows two shirtless men embracing while holding a red rose? What am I supposed to assume? Amazon lists seventeen male/male titles by Finn, and the author’s photo definitely shows a man. Guess I need to purchase more Ian Finn novels.
Theo Fenraven, A Class of His Own
Of my own collection, Theo Fenraven leads the pack, at least as far as Male/Male books are concerned. I have eleven of Theo’s books, I’ve corresponded with him on line and follow his blog. Amazon shows sixeen books by Theo, as does his own blog site. Guess there are a few more there for me to buy as well. But while Theo’s books do contain elements of romance, they tend to fit more easily in the science fiction/fantasy genre. That said, Theo is a very good, conscientious writer, and I recommend his work heartily. If you look at my list of blogs I follow, Theo’s blog is right near the top. I look forward to his posts and read them as soon as the notice shows up in my email.
Where do I get my books?
Assuming that I have got you to the point where you want to check out this genre for yourself, where can you get these books? The obvious answer is amazon.com. Amazon is the parent of Kindle, and produces a lot of content for their e-reader. But I cheat. Every day at least six emails come into my box with lists of books at a discount or even free. I rarely pay for the light and frivolous books I read daily. Rather I have told these various sites what my reading preferences are, and every day I receive offers for free cozy mysteries, regular mysteries, travel books, and yes, gay male romance. Here is a list of the sites to which I subscribe.
I’m sure there are more, but that’s enough to get you started. And don’t forget that most authors of ebooks have their own websites, and their own mail lists. Subscribe to your favorite author and never miss a new book.
Kevin and I have been a couple since March 2008. This photo was taken in March 2009, after one year together. It’s now been 12 years that we’ve been together, through thick and thin, and he’s still the man for me. (I’m the one in the white, in case you didn’t know.) I cannot imagine living without this man in my life, and I can’t think of a better Photo of the Day when writing about gay male romance.
It may not look like much in this photo, where the car is being stored under an overhanging roof, but otherwise outside. BUT, as the Old Thespian says in The Fantasticks, “Try to see it under light! I assure you — it’s dazzling!.” A friend owns this 1952 Packard 300, and he’s willing to sell it to me. He has already rechromed all the major pieces, and believe me, a 1952 Packard has a LOT of chrome. My friend also has the upholstery fabric to redo the interior. But the paint. Alas, these days painting a car is a very pricey endeavor. Still, I am tempted. And just think how elegant we would be, arriving at the Black and White Ball. Stepping out of our Black and White Packard in our Black and White tuxes. Talk about gay male romance.
Flower of the Day
The rose is the classic flower for romance. Poppa grew beautiful roses. I have not been as fortunate. That said, I have several rose bushes planted in the flower beds and maybe, just maybe, this year I’ll see something as beautiful as this rose I photographed back in 2011, before we moved to Wild Horse Plains.
Today’s recipe comes from Sunset Magazine via Food 52. The idea of using a whole orange, peel, pith and all, in a cake recipe intrigues me. I haven’t yet made this one, so if you do, please let me know how it turns out. Seems a rather romantic gesture, though, doesn’t it? To share a piece of cake with your love? Personally, I would love to try this with a chocolate cake recipe. I often make up a batch of chocolate/orange coffee creamer for my morning cup of Joe, and having a cake to match seems perfect. Very romantic, in my eyes. In the meantime, try this Whole Orange Cake Recipe.
Today’s Guest Site comes from David and John, the Debt Free Guys™. What can I say. Their photos certainly make it appear that they know all about gay male romance, as well as having great ideas for living a debt free life. I know I’ll be following them closely, and I recommend that you do as well.
What could be more romantic than that moment when one guy gets on his knee in front of the man he loves, and holds up a box with a ring in it. Adam and Bernardo, from Florida and Brazil respectively, are traveling the world and sharing their adventures on their blog and their youtube videos. They call their blog and videos the Steps of 2 Foreigners. The one I’m sharing today is their trip to Leavenworth, Washington, where Adam proposed to Bernardo. First train trip, first gingerbread, first time in Leavenworth. And a snow-bound proposal. I LOVED IT!
And that about wraps it up for today. This post has been harder to write than I expected. Somehow reading gay romance and writing about the books in that genre, are not easily reconciled. My plan of attack (that is to say, my Editorial Calendar) says that Saturday is an open day. Who knows what will trigger my fancy before I write again.
Hang in there. Love you all. Please leave comments below, and if you like what you’re reading, subscribe. I’d really appreciate it.