Saturday, April 17, 2010

Category Romance Themes in m/m - Part 3: The Rest

After the last two days of posts, I've come to a bit of a standstill with my ideas for discussing the conventions found in Mills and Boon category romances and how they are applied to m/m books.  Why? You may ask.  Well. simply because there aren't that many more to choose from.

Take another of my favourite storylines from my teen reading: The boss/secretary romance.  I can only think of one m/m book which has used that theme.  Lord and Master (and its sequel, Lord and Master 2: Taking Work Home) by Jules Jones focuses on research scientist and administrative assistant, Mark who falls into an office romance with his boss Stephen, leading to lots of delicious smexin on the office desk.

Mills and Boon also have a whole line of books which contain 'Medical Romances' - ie. nurse and doctor romance.  Ooh, Matron.  Whilst there are quite a number of great m/m books about two doctors who fall in love, I can only think of one doctor/nurse m/m romance, the delightful Heart Doctor by Drew Zachary.  It tells of newbie doctor, Brady, who on his first day in his new job meets nurse Drey.  There's an instant attraction between them and the book follows the development of that attraction to love.  Great stuff.

What saddens me most though, is that many, many of the M&B conventions just haven't been taken up by m/m authors.  After all, where are the rich tycoons and their virgin mistresses?  The billionaire Greeks? The Sheikhs and their harems? The secret babies?

So I'm sending out a call to all m/m authors to take up the challenge of writing an m/m category romance using one of these sadly neglected conventions.  I mean, come on, it can't that hard to write an m/m secret baby story, can it?!


Tam said...

Oh wait, here was a secret baby one. Well, okay, it was sort of secret. The new lover thought it was is little sister and was getting annoyed that he spent so much time with her but it was really his daughter with the other guy's sister being raised by his mother or something like that. Maybe I'm making up the sister thing but I kind of remember it. The Manny had a secret baby that he "inherited".

I've read some of employees and bosses (wedding planners I think) but not really secretary, however underling. Accountant and law partner boss (Only in My Dreams by Shawn Lane and the law partner's secretary will get a story with one of the other partners, but not his direct boss). I think it works well in M&B because then the secretary quits here job and becomes his wife. Whereas in m/m you usually assume both guys will continue working and not too many workplaces (outside of small privately owned businesses) would allow that.

Chris said...

Running Hot by Stephani Hecht is about a doctor and a paramedic. Man Down is about a paramedic and a paramedic student. I suspect there's going to be a third book about a nurse, but I have no idea who he's going to hook up with.

Some research at Fictionwise turned up Finding the Divine by JL Jensen, about a doctor and a nurse.

For the boss-secretary/admin assistant theme, Most Likely to Succeed by Shawn Lane, The Mask He Wears by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe, and Oh, George by Christiane France.

Jenre said...

Hi Tam
Ah, I haven't read The Manny yet, but I shall look forward to it if it's got a secret baby plot :).

I've read a few m/m books too where colleagues on a similar pay scale have got together - for example, there was another Shawn Lane one, other than the one you've mentioned, with lawyers, I think.

I've not really thought about it in terms of one of the guys having to leave his job if they get together. That would be quite a good plot complication!

Jenre said...

Hi Chris

I've read The Mask He Wears and had completely forgotten that it is a boss/secretary romance. Thanks for reminding me.

Haven't read any of the others but I'll be sure to check them out. Thanks for looking these up for me :).

Chris said...

I love little research challenges. :) And besides, how could I resist possibly enabling you to buy some books? ;)

asterisk said...

Frequently when I see some ridiculously titled category romance, I will sigh and wish that the m/m equivalent existed for me to eat up with a spoon. Someday, I hope. Fingers crossed. (Gimme some sheikhs, authors, please. And I have no problem with mpreg!)

Erotic Horizon said...

Mills and Boons are so classic for the secretary and Boss theme...and the Lord of the Dessert... I still remember my first Penny Jordan book

I love Lord and Master , Mark and Stephen were perfect.. I have read a few Sec/boss books..

Amanda Young - Reckless Series (third book)
T.D. McKinney - Solitude and Sea Glass
Shawn Lane - Only For Him
Cassie Stevens - Addicted (switch/bdsm involved)

Surprise Baby theme...
Tam mentioned The Manny and one of the Cattle Valley books have a surprise Baby plot as well.. (Bo's story)
I know I have read another one, but can't remember now..

As for the Sheik stories or Lords of the Dessert - as those countries are ANTI any m/m related matter - I would love to see the author/publishing house who would tackle that mess, without solicitors covering their asses..

...Cool Post, I would love to see a genuine Greek Billionaire story line though.. I always love those.

P.s. - All the books I mentioned are mood reading material and heavy on the predictable...


Jenre said...

Hi Laurije
Mpreg, huh? I'm not sure I could read one of those with a straight face, unless it was sci-fi.

Jenre said...


I've read that Amanda Young book. Damn. My mind goes blank when I try to think of books, thanks for reminding of it, it's a great story.

Yeah a Greek Billionaire story would be great. I notice that non of the m/m authors have jumped in with an offer to write one though.


wren boudreau said...

What sort of research would be involved in writing a story about a Greek billionaire, do you suppose?

Jenre said...

Hi Wren
Oh you'd definitely have to go to Greece and meet as many Greek billionaires as you could, get them to show the life, spend some money on you, that sort of thing.

Just purely for research. :)

Ingrid said...

I anchored at the Onassis isle in Greece last year. Not that I saw anyone apart from a caretaker. Does that count as research?

wren boudreau said...

Me: I have to go to Greece.

Husb: Why is that?

Me: I've decided that my next book is going to be about a Greek Billionaire and a hot twink he saves from an abusive Sheik.

Husb: Huh.

Me: And it's very important that I get the details right, you know?

Husb: Well sure, honey. You go do that. I'll just hire a cook and maid service to take care of me while you're gone.

Me: No, no. You can come to Greece, too. Maybe the billionaire will *like* you!

Husb:(runs screaming in the opposite direction)

Chris said...

Wren: LMAO!

Jenre said...

Hi Ingrid

Did you get to spend time in his house, living the life of luxury? If not then, no. You were just like a kid with its nose pressed against the window of the sweet shop, I'm afraid :).

Jenre said...

Wren: Ha! So funny. I would have thought that husb would have jumped at the chance at being some rich guy's plaything :).

wren boudreau said...

Not so. Apparently, he doesn't mind me reading m/m, and the jury's out on how he Really Feels about me writing it, he really doesn't want to be personally involved.

Jules Jones said...

I do in fact have a Really Bad Idea for an mpreg story, but I am not stupid enough to let it off my hard drive. I think I've done enough pushing at the boundaries of romance for a while.

(I am also one of many, many people who have noticed that mpreg is canonical in the Torchwood universe, but I'll let other people write those, unless I can come up with some really interesting ways to annoy the good Captain.)

Kris said...

So Wren - when do you and hubby leave? A Greek Billionaire story would completely rock.

wren boudreau said...

Um...I have to find him, first.

KC Burn said...

For boss & assistant, I did enjoy both Lord & Master and the Shawn Lane ones, but Finding Home by Cameron Dane was also really great. As for tycoon/virgin mistress, I actually just finished a first draft of one (okay, so it's a futuristic, but if you REALLY boil it down and squint, you can see that plot line) :)

Jenre said...

Wren: Your husb and my hub need to get together and have a mutual consolation club, as mine feels almost exactly the same as yours.

Jenre said...

Hi Jules
I'm sure we'd all love to read your mpreg story. No, really :).

Jenre said...

That sounds good. I shall look out for that when it comes out.

wren boudreau said...

Jen, I think you're on to something there. Sort of a support group, like Al-Anon but for the significant others of m/m enthusiasts.

Jenre said...

Wren: Yes! I'm sure they'll be plenty of SOs who would want to join for a mutual moan about how m/m books and blogging/writing has taken over their wives/girlfriends/boyfriends lives :).

Clare London said...

Now you *know* I get way too easily tempted by challenges....:)

I must admit, I chatted about this recently to a friend - how many of the m/f tropes *don't* convert plausibly to m/m. I'd had a great plot idea but it just didn't feel right between 2 men. I can't remember it at the moment, but I think you have to follow your instinct. Equally, I started a story some time ago about a woman being followed by an admirer and it felt *wrong* as m/f and got changed to m/m!

And PS: my hubby feels the same way as Wren's LOL. Maybe we'd better research and write that Greek billionaire story together :).

Ingrid said...

Jen, that would be me and the sweetshop then.

But I did think of an pirate kidnap story earlier:) Black Wade!
How could we forget?

Jenre said...

Ingrid: Oh yeah, Black Wade. I have that in my TBR pile. Hmmmm, I think I'll go and dig that out tonight.

Jenre said...

Hi Clare

I know what you mean about some plots being just too implausible in an m/m setting. I can still dream though!

wren boudreau said...

Yippee! Not only do we have another member for the spouses' club, but I have a friend to giggle with when we research the Greek $$aires!

Jules Jones said...

The particular Stupid Idea I had really is crackfic, and shouldn't be allowed out in public. I'm keeping it for the next time I feel that the only way to get writing again is to write something I *know* is never going to see the light of day (it's a useful technique for giving yourself permission to write badly if that's what it takes).

However, being more serious, there are ways to write mpreg in science fiction and fantasy, and there are plenty of examples already. I can think of plausible mpreg plots that don't involve using sf&f settings, but they'd need to be handled very carefully, as it would be very easy to cause distress to people in related real life situations. (For example, the transman Thomas Beattie, who was able to bear a child for his infettile wife when he came off the hormones he was using to transition to male.)

Chris said...

Addendum: Laney Cairo's very good Bad Case of Loving You is about a resident and the doctor supervising him.

Jenre said...

Hi Jules
I suppose I didn't really think that mpreg would lead to people being upset, but I suppose it would if it were handled crassly.

Jenre said...

Hi Chris
I did think about ABCOLY, but as they were both doctors I didn't think it fit into the doctor nurse romance, and it was more a teacher/student thing than a boss/secretary thing. It's a great book though and one I would recommend anyway.

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