My Top in 10 LGBT Fiction:
To understand my list, you should probably know a little about my reading journey. I’m going to be be bluntly honest here, so don’t laugh, ok?
A few years ago, after the, um, Twilight hype, I used to read only one kind of a book: paranormal m/f romance. Make that erotic romance because once I stumbled upon Kresley Cole, there was no going back from sex in my books. I liked it fun, fluffy and hot. And no, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
My preferences for easygoing books didn’t change when I started reading m/m, only that I now only read contemporary romance. I mean, sex was usually a given, and fluffy and romantic wasn’t hard to find, either.
Everything that didn’t fit my pattern I (subconsciously) stayed away from.
Today, on this Sunday Spotlight, I’ll introduce to you the books that broadened my horizon and changed me into the reader (and person) I am today.
In my chronological reading order, I think…
Tales from Foster High (series) by John Goode: This series came highly recommended and although it was YA (no sex, can you imagine?) and supposedly heavy, I caved and read it. This series was a reality check I think I really needed because it made me stop running away and confront reality—from time to time! I still love sci-fi and stuff 😉 I don’t need sex in my books anymore, though.
Glitterland by Alexis Hall: There was a time when people wouldn’t shut up about this book. They also said it was heavy and whatnot, and I still was a chickenshit, so… Then I read a really great comment on something, and that comment really impressed me and spoke to me, and I had to find out who that person was right away. Guess! Alexis… Turns out, nothing can bring me faster to read an author’s book than admiring their thoughts and attitude. Glitterland is my favourite romance ever, by my favourite author ever. It’s lovely and charming and so real. Alexis, with all his books, connects me to the world.
Prosperity by Alexis Hall: Yeah, see… I was so blown away by Glitterland, and then his short story Sand and Ruin and Gold, and then his blog (sorry, fangirl mode) that I basically had to read everything Alexis wrote. Lucky me, this was around the time Prosperity came out. This is THE favourite book, you know? I could read this for the rest of my life and not miss a thing. A fantastic steampunk world, a captivating plot, the most stunning characters, and the most beautiful language. There’s nothing better.
Mechanical Universe (series) by EE Ottoman: During the same time, I was introduced to EE (I’m embarrassed to admit that I have to thank Alexis for this as well) and I really loved what they had to say around the internet, so I read their book. See a pattern? The Mechanical Universe series was the first I read by them, and by now I’ve become one of their faithful fans. What I love about EE and their books the most is that they slays all stereotypes and conventions and that they ambitiously fights for diversity. They even helped me love my body more.
Iron & Velvet (Kate Kane, book #1) by Alexis Hall: Again, I know… But he’s not for no reason my favourite author, you know? Reading m/m showed me why I was so fed up with m/f romance (the stereotypes for both men and women, the dominant male, the hysterical and insecure female), but only after reading my first f/f did I realise that my problem was not having women in my books (because this book here is freaking awesome fun, sex and romance all in one) but the often unfortunate dynamic that comes with m/f romance. After Kate Kane I was all, ‘Lesbian fiction, here I come!’ (Full disclosure: I have by now found awesome f/m books as well.)
Unbroken by Larry Benjamin: I had read too many of the same old, same old contemporary romance books. I had read all the tropes one time too often and was basically staying away from contemporary romance—with exception to the ones by my favourite authors. Larry Benjamin introduced me to gay fiction and I’ve been reading this ever since. I mean, it’s still very heavy on the romance, but the story arc is different and there are other important themes as well.
Think of England by KJ Charles: I used to think that I didn’t like historicals. They used to bore me to death. This book, however, blew my mind, and I have to thank KJ Charles for giving me not only this wonderful book but a whole new genre that I now love and still explore.
Scarlet and the White Wolf (series) by Kirby Crow: This was like coming home, because, for the first time, a book that I read combined my two favourite genres: romance and fantasy, and both came together as equals. This book was the beginning of a new love and many other great books. (Shout out to Ginn Hale here as well.)
The Scientific Method (series) by Kris Ripper: I never knew I needed to read this kind of love story so much. In Kris’s books every kind of love, relationship, and sex is accepted and cherished. Be it monogamous or open or poly, be it vanilla or kink, be it total power exchange or not, there is no right or wrong.
In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish: While I was now reading gay fiction, contemporary romance was still something I used to avoid, but then I gave in and read Roan’s book after I had immensely enjoyed two of her short stories. This book was such a fresh breeze and perfect for me that I’ll take more chances on contemporary romance again in the future.
So, that’s me today… Reading more or less everything (again). Books of nearly all genres, books of every form of love and gender you can find.
I’m so grateful for the authors who gave me these books and changed my life.
If you’d like, please share and tell me about the books and authors that had some impact on you. I’d love to hear from you.
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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