Every night, when I press play on one of Mary Calmes’ audiobooks so it can lull me to sleep, my family asks me the same question:
Why does it have to be a gay book, and don’t the sex scenes get to you?
Not being gay myself, I guess it came as a surprise to them that I would read, and fanatically enjoy, gay romance novels.
I first came across this genre when I was still going through my paranormal book phase. I stumbled across Bailey Bradford’s Southwestern Shifter Series, which while great, didn’t bamboozle me. The series did open the door to gay romance books though, and like the little book addict I am, I went searching for more.
Why do I like gay romances? Well nothing against mainstream romances, but gay romances feel…more intense. Just the sheer physicality of a relationship between two guys means that everything in the relationship is going to be harder hitting. Guys tend to treat girls as fragile or delicate, rough sex may be okay once in while, but not too often or they’ll hurt the girl. They can’t get into all out, knockout brawls with girls, because they don’t think girls can handle it (and society won’t approve). Putting two guys together removes the physical difference between characters, making everything more powerful. The characters in gay romances protect their loved ones more, resist their crushes longer, are more devoted, fight with each other harder, and yes, they’ll even fuck harder. That level of intensity, at least to me, makes for a more fulfilling read.
May be it’s because straight romances are generally written from the woman’s perspective. You get the stereotypical swoon… George got into a fist fight over me, but you don’t get a raw description of the fight. No, George gave the asshole who tried to feel me up an upper cut to the jaw, before drop kicking him, and spitting on his face.
The insight I get from reading gay romances, obviously written from the male perspective, are ironically more descriptive. For me, that adds more sensory appeal to the book. So when a character gets into a fight, I literally wince, dodge, and duck along with them (mind you, that’s why people always look at me funny when I read in public). This is also why the sex scenes in gay romance books seem more intense, and to my family, borderline violent.
This need for a more visceral read, is probably why I like urban fantasy books where the female characters have bigger cojones than most of the male characters they interact with. I want to lust, resist, fall in love with, and go domestic with the characters.
That being said, you’ll find the links to my favorite gay romance stories here, listed by author (as per usual).