Monday, February 7, 2011

M/M Guest Post: Kris 'n' Good Books

Please help me welcome my first Guest Poster for M/M Romance Month: Kris from Kris 'n' Good Books! I don't know about you, but when I think M/M Romance (especially if it involves cookies), I think Kris. Her blog is fun, funny, and filled with smutty m/m goodness!
reading m/m romance

If you hadn’t guessed already, my name is Kris, I’m a girl, and I adore reading gay romance.

This might seem pretty bloody odd to some who have never come across *nudge, Patti, nudge* this particular genre before, but you’ll find we fans tend to have discovered it in similar ways.

My own journey began when, eyebrow raised, I started to notice gay characters and couples featuring more and more in fantasy, UF and paranormal stories as secondary characters. This is pretty subtle and is relatively easy for a reader to either shrug off or be mildly intrigued by.

That wasn’t so easy to do when I found the wonder and instant gratification of ebooks and, through them, more romance and erotica fiction than any girl could every dream of.

I was in heaven.

Sub-genres and themes as far as my fingers could click and... “Hello! What’s that? Menage?? Ooooooh. How... naughty.”, thoughteth I as I did a secret little squee and quickly added it to my cart.

Aww, ménage. *nostalgic sigh* Those were the days...

Menage aka the gateway genre to m/m. I vaguely remember being semi-interested in these types of stories as long as there was something else about the book that caught my eye. I still tended towards ‘normal’ or m/f romance in my buying habits until an auspicious day when I bought a book by Emma Holly.

Me: *reading, reading, reading* Hold up. Are those two boys really going to...? O.O They’re... Holeeeeeeee. Sheeeeeeet. I think I might need to read that bit again. Yowzer.

I was titillated. I was tantalised. I wanted more.

I went from reading m/f/m ménage to focusing on stories that featured an m/m/f relationship. Soon after – VERY soon after. Trust me on this. – I ‘ditched the chick’, tried my first m/m romance and fell into total lust like with the genre.

I’ve never looked back since. :)

Why does it work for me as a reader? For several reasons.

Number one is my overall sense that the relationship seems more equal in m/m. Until I started reading it, I hadn’t realised how tired I was of what appeared to be the imbalance of the pairing in m/f; that is, it was always the woman who seemed to compromise more, to give up more, to get the HEA or the HFN. Okay, this may be just my own prejudices as a girl being brought down upon m/f, still it doesn’t stop me from having this perception and liking m/m all the more because of it.

Associated with this is number two; my attraction to strong male characters. I’m not saying I like my characters perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think when someone is dealing with such an inherent aspect of themselves as their sexuality it brings an honesty and strength to that person. I have a great admiration for that and nothing hits my reader buttons more than seeing two such men fall in love. It makes my heart pitter patter. Yes, I’m a sap. I do read romance after all. ;)

Number three, and finally, I’m a complete and utter perve. Yep, I totally admit it. Quite frankly, it would be ridiculous for me to even attempt to deny that m/m makes my girly bits happy.

That would be my lovey dovey, female of a heart, of course.



So that’s me, but what about you?

Do you read m/m and, if you do, how did you get started and what do you like about it? And, if you haven’t tried it yet, what the hell is stopping you?! Go for it! You won’t regret it. :D


  1. Yes! I lurve it. I remember reading books with gay supporting characters and thinking - damn, I wish I could read a book just about them! Hot damn, I could!

    Heaven Sent was my first :)

  2. I suppose I found m/f/m in some erotica (or more m's) and then I read an m/m/f and was like "Wow, why did they want her in there? Just to have babies? Surrogate people." But I still didn't realize I could ditch the chick until I discovered JenB on the Amazon PNR boards. She posted a link to her website and .... 0_0 Okay, she had nice pics and she was reviewing m/m romance. Seriously? That existed? Something she reviewed was from Loose Id so I clicked on the link and started sifting through. Oh my. I closed my eyes and bought a Lynn Lorenz book and well, there's been no going back. :-D

    I like them for the same reasons you do which seem to be fairly universal in the community.

  3. I came to M/M through the menage path. The first few I read were M/F/M and were okay but then I started reading Samantha Kanes' Brothers in Arms series and was blown away with the interaction between the men. By the third book I was skipping the 'girl' scenes and had found my way to Torquere and Loose Id M/M stories.

    The rest as they say is history. I've read way too many to count M/M stories and the guys still fascinate me. Not to mention the yummy cookies I've discovered as well.

  4. Nice post Kris! Same here. My name is Lis and I'm addicted to m/m stories. I remember my friend recommending a Cheryl Dragon book, something with Settler's Mine in it. She said I just had to read it and was very adamant about it. So I read it and pretty much had the same reaction as you did when you came across the m/m bit. I was o_O?! They are doing... woooooaaaaaa dude! Now okay that was hot and from there on it was all J.L. Langley and M.L. Rhodes!

  5. Great post :) Love the first pic ;)

    I have only read one...why not more, oh I do not know. *coughs too much sex* Oh I am still such a mm virgin

  6. I haven't read a m/m romance yet. I'm not sure why, to be honest.

  7. Wow. U r right. Your path is very similar to mine. First m/f romance, then menage, then boy kissing menage, and on to full out boys boys everywhere! LOL

    Thanks for the post, 'twas very entertaining and I enjoyed the cookies. :D

  8. Mandi: Wow, you started with Heaven Sent?? Talking about jumping straight into m/m steaminess. LOL. And did you gobble up the rest of the series straight away? Or did you need time to recovery? ;)

    Tam: No wonder Lynn Lorenz is one of your favourite authors, Tam. She was your first. :DDD

    Yes, the seemingly more balanced relationship in m/m, the strong characters and the perviness all seems to be the common appeals to readers, especially the latter. :P

    Lily: I think it's fascinating that so many of us came to m/m through menage. I wonder if there was any inkling that this would happen and that it would have such an impact.

    Lis: Thanks! LOL. That first scene was such a shock, right? I think my eyes popped out of my head and I had to reread it again just to make sure that I had read it correctly to begin with. Naturally. ;)

    I was an EC reader back then so Carol Lynne was pretty much my first. I feasted on her before I went looking for me. Those were the days. *G*

  9. Lis: Me? I meant 'more'. It's early morning here and the coffee has yet to kick in. So not my fault...

    Blodeuedd: LOL! I can imagine reading your first m/m romance with a number of sex scenes would be a huge shock to the system and pretty off-putting, especially if you were a reader who is not all that fond of erotica or gratuitous sex scenes to begin with.

    If you are interested, I would be happy to recommend some non-explicit m/m romance books to you. And, yes, they do exist. ;)

    carolsnotebook: Trying m/m for the first time can be a bit confronting for a romance reader. As I said to Blodeuedd, I can recommend some non-explicit stories if you are intrigued enough to try the genre. There are some excellent ones out there in both adult and YA and in various subgenres such as fantasy, thriller, etc should you have a particular preference. :)

    Miranda: 'Boys, boys everywhere'? I love it.

    Another path readers take to m/m romance is through fan fiction and then slash fiction. A number of authors also started their careers in slash fic. It's interesting.

  10. Great post Kris!

    I'm an author also and I love reading and writing m/m. I think a big part of my turn on is that M/M is still sort of taboo. I love the concept of writing manlove and breaking rules...

  11. Thanks Rawiya. Nice to meet a writer here. :)

    There is definitely a sense of the taboo about m/m, although some might be willing to admit this more than others. I've been reading the genre for about 4 years now and it never cease to amaze me how its popularity continues to grow. I think it is wonderful.

  12. Fabulous post, Kris!

    I discovered m/m the same way you did. I picked up that same Emma Holly books, and my interest was piqued. I did a little googling and found the MFM and MMF menages at Ellora's Cave. After reading some of them and stumbling upon Carol Lynne, I found her books MM books. I've been an addict ever since.

    I got so tired of TSTL women. I think I have less patience with women than men in books. Plus, the perv in me loves books where I can fantasize so easily and clearly about both protagonists. Now, girly bits generally just get in the way. ;)

  13. Kris: Thanks so much for guesting! I love your story and I think my story is similar - reading the menages and looking for more. My first m/m was Gobsmacked by LB Gregg and from there I was hooked!!!

  14. Eyre: I can't believe that we have exactly the same path to m/m! Right down to Emma Holly, menage at EC and then Carol Lynne. How weird, but so cool. *g*

    Boo to chicks. ;) I still read m/f, but hardly any 'straight' romance. I tend to read more UF and PNR were the girls are more kick arse and flawed. I can relate to them more, especially the whole secret superpowers and fighting villains and stuff.

    And thanks! :)

    Patti: My pleasure! LB would be thrilled to know that one of her books was your first. I hope you told her. :)

  15. "She was your first."

    Your first is always remembered fondly. ;-)

  16. Like you, I really disliked the dynamics in m/f romances. I don't think I realized how much until after I got my ereader and started reading ebooks, including some of those m/f/m and m/m/f titles. Then I read some reviews of m/m romances at Dear Author and braved Loose Id and TQ and the rest, as they say, is his story. ;)

  17. Tam: I bet. :P

    Chris: "... and the rest, as they say, is his story. ;)"

    LOL! Nice one. :)

  18. I STILLLL have not turned in my m/m v-card!!! The subject completely entices me, and I've gotten close to turning in the card with secondary characters in other books but still have yet to pop the cherry. I just keep picking up UF books and not making time for a hot read. I have to correct this.

  19. WHAT?! You, my love, have absolutely no excuse at all. NONE!

    I think Patti should make you read your first m/m and give your impressions about it as part of her m/m month.

    Also, I'm not typing to you anymore until you read one. Hmpf.

  20. YES! - the imbalance of M/F! That's one of the reasons I like M/M - equal playing field. Plus... yeah, perve. I'll put my hand up for that one. I may very well be a gay man trapped in a young woman's body :)

  21. Danielle: "That's one of the reasons I like M/M - equal playing field."

    Word. I think there is something so satisfying about reading a romance about two characters that are basically coming from the same place without any of the male/female stereotypes. That's not to say there aren't any other issues/constraints in play, but that there is more of a perception of equality. In my mind at least.

    Oh, yes, and it's hot. Very, VERY hot. *GRIN*

  22. Great post ladies - nice seeing how you all started..

    I honestly can't remember my first - too long ago, but I am sure it would be something from my dad's bookshelf probably.. Earliest one I can remember is Merrick Gordon - The Lord Wont Mind..

  23. Great post Kris! Very interesting comments as well. I'm not going to answer you because my answers will be revealed later this month (my own, very first interview). I clearly think alike though as I recognized a few phrases I'd said too. *laugh* I think m/m starts to do a mind meld.

    We are the borg and we will share our m/m.

  24. I wonder if Emma Holly knows how many readers she's led to m/m? I found Menage on Amazon, quickly ordered it and loved it. Like Eyre, I then found Ellora's Cave, was just *squee* happy to find a publisher who offered a bunch of m/m/f books (including Sam Kane's BIA series). Then I quickly found their m/m section and was all *SQUEE* (capital letters squee). I remember being so thrilled to find I wasn't the only perv out there, since obviously there were more of me if authors were writing those books and a publisher was selling them. It didn't take me long after that to start writing m/m.

    The first book I can actually remember reading with gay characters was Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven (loved that book & re-read it many times). But it took years until I found Menage on Amazon.

    M/M is super hot - can't deny that. But it's the relationship dynamic that really draws me to the subgenre.

  25. EH: I've said before, EH, that one of the things that I admire about you is your range in reading habits. It doesn't surprise me that you had been reading glbt fiction for a while now. Not that you're old or anything. :P

    Kassa: LOL. Or maybe we've been hanging around each other for too long. ;)

    Ava: It is funny that so many of us discovered m/m through Emma Holly. I recall a post at Wave's site from some time ago that pretty much revealled this too and the fact that we had all read the same book! I also think we all uppercase squeed when we discovered the m/m section at EC. LOL.

    I'm curious, Ava... did you write m/f romance before you started writing m/m? Or was it something about m/m that particularly appealled to you; for eg, the relationship dynamic that you mentioned?

  26. I started reading Romance in the 70's, as a teen. After 30+ years, you keep looking for something new. I was into PNR & found a review for 'My Fair Captain' by JL Langley. That was the first. I mainly read M/M now, with some PNR still.

  27. Diane: You hit a winner with reading MFC as your first m/m. :)

    It's interesting you mention that you were on the look out for something new in romance when you came across m/m because one of the reasons why I also like this genre is that it gives me an opportunity to explore anew my favourite subgenres such as PNR, UF, fantasy, spec fic, etc. M/m can often bring a whole new dynamic to these types of stories which is tops in my book.

  28. Note to self, read Emma Holly. There are some recs in here I haven't read yet that have definitely piqued my interest :)

  29. Love is love, regardless if the two people are the same sex or not.

    I love how I can read books where Prince Charming ends up with the Wood Carver or the Stable Boy instead of the maid or the daughter of the Mayor or whomever.

  30. I didn't come through the menage path to m/m but through sci-fi/ fantasy. And I read Poppy Z. Brite when in college. Which is *cough* eons ago :)

    But is funny to see that most come in the same way to m/m and love it for the same reasons.

    The ones that haven't read m/m yet I advice to take Kris suggestions for non smutty reads. I am sure you will love it

  31. Good to see you out & about Kris - great post!

    I first found m/m via PNR - BDB, etc, & later, as Ava, I read Menage by Emma Holly. Much preferred the m/m bits & the search was on from there (EC again!).

  32. Hey Kris -

    Yep, I started out writing m/f under another pen name. I love smex and angst and unconventional angles. When I found m/m, it felt like a perfect fit. I sometimes still write m/f. Spent most of 2009 on a book, hence my dismal # of Ava releases in 2010. But those m/f stories now need to be something I really really want to write in order for them to pull me away from m/m long enough for slow-poke me to write one.

    I think the perception of equality that you talked about is a lot more prevalent in a m/m historical (women were under a lot more social constraints), and it makes that relationship dynamic in a m/m a lot different than a m/f. It's why I love writing m/m historicals.

  33. Patti: I would have thought that you'd have more than enough books to read already. ;)

    KBC: Yes, m/m can definitely bring a freshness to some of the traditional romance pairings.

    Ingrid: It's very interesting to see the common paths people took to m/m. As I said, I had noticed gay characters, mostly secondary, in the fantasy I'd been reading, but nothing that really stood out in the same way that Poppy Z Brite's books would have had I come across them.

    Juni: I'm thinking that maybe we all need to get together and write a big thank you letter to Emma Holly. LOL.

    EC had a huge presence in the ebook industry 3-4 years ago, especially with regard to erotica. Does it have the same now I wonder?? Maybe a post for another time. ;)

    Ava: Thanks for answering my question. Great point you make re: m/m historicals. I hadn't really thought about that at all, which makes me feel like a complete twit since I work in the history field. LOL.

  34. I didn't come to m/m through menage either. But through Sci-fi/fantasy. Which is a slightly more depressing route as it usually involves one or both of the m/m getting killed off. :(

    I think in the end I just wanted to read a story with a happy ending where both of them made it through to the end together.

    I read very little m/f romance now. The thing I find about m/m is there is more of an equality (not sure if that's the right word) between the characters. In m/f it feels to me like the heroine either has to end up with a billionaire, or she's a misunderstood genius who has to be the best florist/chef/sniper/photojournalist (insert your career of choice) there is.

  35. Thanks Kris and Patti, and the rest of you girls, for a real eye-opener. (I got pointed this way by Eyre, after I'd asked what attracted women to all-male love, over at Janna's.) Seems when you get right down to it, it parallels the male fascination with lesbians, in that it doubles up on 'the good stuff.' Thanks for the education.

  36. Lesley: I totally understand the need to see an m/m pairing getting their happies. :) It's tropes and themes like that in m/f which made me keep with reading m/'m because of the seemingly more balanced relationship. We all know that relationships are about compromise, but when one of the two, usually the girl, has to give up more than the other?? Nope.

    A man called Valance: There's no doubt that for some m/m readers, like me, that was part of the initial attraction and the 'good stuff' :) remains a reason why I continue to read m/m. However, it is only one of the reasons. The exploration of the actual relationship itself is also very important.

    I think that's the main difference between porn and sexual fantasy - the fascination with girl-on-girl and/or guy-on-guy action that some have - and the idea of 'romance' - relationship + sex. At least for me it is. Some might have other ideas.

  37. Ooooooh. How... naughty.”, thoughteth I as I did a secret little squee and quickly added it to my cart.

    I still get that squee feeling every time I purchase a m/m eBook.

    I kind of fell into m/m. My best friend recommended an online story - the Administration series by Manna Francis. I didn't realize, and I don't think she mentioned, that the two main characters were male. And it just worked. And then I found a book at the library that was m/m/f and so I read more and more...and bought books. Then I discovered m/m reading blogs, specifically your blog *grin* and then others and...YAH!

    As to why I love it. I'm not sure. Maybe it's because I love seeing men gives another side to them.

  38. "Maybe it's because I love seeing men gives another side to them."

    That it certainly does, Orannia, and I do love getting this perspective because it is one that is rarely got from m/f.

  39. I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I absolutely enjoy reading all that is posted on your

    blog.Keep the stories coming. I loved it!
    medical assistants