Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some M/M Faves

So I thought I'd end up my three days with a few m/m books that I've really enjoyed.

First up is A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W.Day. Set in a post-apocalyptic future following an Ice Age it tells the story of David and Callan. In a world where homosexuality is against the law their relationship will not have an easy path to follow. I love this story because at it's heart the relationship between David and Callan is beautifully realized.

"Please. That’s the most erotic word in the English language, you know."
The love scenes aren't graphic so I'd recommend this one as a first m/m if you wanted to put your toe in the water so to speak. :) It also has a kind of pioneer/old west feel to it as much of technology and history has been lost due to the ice age.

Next is Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale. This is one of those books that I ordered not sure whether I'd like it or not. Almost ironically, it was more to do with the steampunk setting than the m/m content. It wasn't a genre I was familiar with. Wicked Gentlemen actually takes the form of two novellas. The first - Mr. Sykes and the Firefly - is told from the (first person) point of view of Belimai Sykes. Belimai is a Prodigal, a descendent of demons. A drug addict and investigator who is hired by Captain Harper (an Inquisitor) to help in the investigation of several murders.

The second novella - Captain Harper and the Sixty Second Circle - virtually carries on from where the first leaves off, but is told in third person point of view mainly from Captain Harper's perspective. What I love about Wicked Gentlemen is that you have two characters who by all rights (according to the world they inhabit) should never interact and yet they are attracted to each other despite this. I cannot think of any comparable story in a m/f romance. This is another good starting book for m/m.

Third - Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville. I only read this book a few months ago. But it is on my keeper shelf. When Jack Francisco returns to his safe house to find a hitman waiting for him, the last thing he expects is that the man won't go ahead with his assignment. But that's exactly what the man known as D proceeds to do. Instead the two of them end up on the run together, pursued by killers hired by the men who want Jack dead and other unknown enemies. I am a sucker for the strong, silent, sarcastic type.

...He sighed. "I'm starting to see words like 'accessory' and 'accomplice' floating around my head."
D barely reacted. "How about 'dead on arrival'? Ya like that better?"
This is a real opposites attract story and Jack and D are one of my favourite m/m couples. I hope there are more books to come featuring them.

Now, I could recommend m/m books all day but I'm kind of conscious we only have so much room on the blog. So my last recommendation will be Mindf*ck by Manna Francis. Now this is one I definitely don't recommend as your first foray into m/m. Book 1 in the Administration Series it details the beginning of the relationship between corporate executive Keir Warrick and para-investigator/torturer Val Toreth. To overly simplify - Warrick is a masochist and Toreth is a sociopathic sadist. Set in a future dystopian state, it's one of the most complex and fascinating stories I've read. Incredibly re-readable because you are constantly finding out new things about the characters (especially Toreth) which sheds light on their previous actions.

In Mindf*ck what you have is the beginnings of their relationship. It is well worth reading the following books in the series as you begin to see the psychology involved in their relationship.

So. Hope I've given you a couple of ideas if you hadn't read these books before. Or encouraged you to get Wicked Gentlemen off your TBR pile.

I'll just add here that I would also heartily recommend the Adrien English Series by Josh Lanyon as another good place to start in m/m. So many books and not enough space to write about them all. :)

And where does my m/m journey go from here? Well I'm currently learning about the joys of Yaoi. :)


Chris said...

Since I wandered into m/m from paranormal/urban fantasy, a lot of the first m/m I read was paranormal, such as Joely Skye and J. L. Langley.

Chris said...

Grr. Forgot to click "email follow-up comments" - ignore this comment. It's not really a comment.

LesleyW said...

Chris - One of my other first reads was My Fair Captain, which also remains a favourite. :)

Seanna Lea said...

I'm not that familiar with m/m stories, but I'm much more familiar yaoi having gotten there from the crypto yaoi subtext of Utena (neither crypto nor subtext) and moved onward. I'd definitely be interested in what yaoi you found good given your interest in m/m stories.

LesleyW said...

Seanna - I've only just got interested in yaoi so I'm still feeling my way at the moment - as it were. I'm always looking for recommendations. :)

Kris said...

Like Chris, my firsts were mainly paranormals such as J L's With/Without series.

Someone recommended Mindfuck to me ages ago, but I've never been quite sure where to get it. Where did you get your copies from, Lesley??

Yaoi! God, don't even get me started. I have a bit of an obsession with it at the moment. *off to shop at the book depository with my new coupon*

Chris said...

Hmm. Kris, are you sure we aren't the same person? ;)

LesleyW said...

Kris - you could buy a copy of Mindfuck with your Book Depository token. :)

That's where I got my copies from. They currently have all five books of the Administration series, including the latest Quis Custodiet.

Renee said...

Great list, Lesley!

I remember reading about A Strong and Sudden Thaw when it came out, but somehow it fell off of my radar. I'll have to check it out.

One m/f book that reminds me of Wicked Gentlemen, though not at dark is Dru Pagliosotti's Clockwork Heart. It is also a steampunk romance where two people from very different classes come together. Interestingly enough, the author is also an academic who writes muchly on yaoi. (In fact her site is where I first heard of it!)

I'm currently reading Zero at the Bone, thanks to the posts at your place a few months back. It's really great reading so far! (I even posted a bit about it on Monday.)

I'm really intrigued by Mind F*ck, and noticed it on your most recent Desert Island pick. I'll have to cruse by Manna Francis' site!

Kris said...

Chris, pretty sure... since I'm heaps more awesome. *smiles sweetly*

Thanks Lesley! Caught in the nick of time. :)

Chris said...

*goes to closet to dig out karate weapons*

PeggyP said...

OMG! Manna Francis?! No one ever recommends her and this is the best writing ever! These stories are not like anything else I've ever read and she has them on her website I've bought the books, happily, in case I don't have access to the website sometime in the future. Once you get sucked in... you are in for good! As it says (somewhere on her site) "there are good guys and bad guys and then there are worse guys". Such complex world building but never an info dump - I love this stuff - can you tell?!

LesleyW said...

Renee - I will also pimp A Strong and Sudden Thaw to you. :) Funnily enough I have A Clockwork Heart on my wishlist mainly because it was a big steampunk recommendation, so I must check that out. And YAY! glad that you're enjoying Zero at the Bone.

Peggy - Lol, I will happily recommend Manna Francis. I'm a big fan of the Administration series.

Unknown said...

I started reading Zero and did not finish it. I am beginning to think I need to go back and re read it!!!

Minkf*ck sounds very cool and interesting. Will add to the list!! AND I love Adrien, he is such a fav of mine and I cannot wait for the next in the series. The last book was so incredibly good!

Unknown said...

AAANNNND have you read Crimson Spell?? Is magic, yaoi goodness. :)

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