Why I Read and Review M/M Romance


So I was having a conversation with my sister yesterday.  She asked me if I bought books anymore or if I just read ARCs (Advanced Review Copies).  So that got into a conversation about what I review.  I decided to share it here since you are, after all, my readers.

What do I review here on Brandilyn Reviews Books?  Well that is kind of an easy question and kind of a complicated question.  The simple answer is, I review what I want to review.  Some of my books come to me by way of ARCs, some by way of giveaways, but the vast majority of books come from books I purchase.  One of my favorite places to get books is directly from the publisher websites, but many are through Amazon, B&N, and Audible.com.  Some books I actually have from multiple sources (I have a ton of Audiobooks that I also have in eBook format).  My Goodreads shelves and Calibre save my life in keeping up with all the books I own.  I have a few paperbacks that I have won along the way, but most of my books are electronic (harder for my kids to destroy).

Why, if I can get free books, do I buy so many? (I know my husband is eager to know the answer to this one.)  Well that is simple (and 2 fold) 1.  I love supporting the authors that I love to read.  MM Romance is small genre that gets less exposure than others.  These aren’t the JK Rowlings making millions of dollars (I love the Harry Potter series, so don’t take this as a slight.  Simply an observation).  Many of these authors write as a second job, because they can not afford to quit their first, yet (I am ever hopeful).  I am the same way with my music.   2. I am easily distracted by shiny.  Just because I can’t get an ARC, I don’t want to pass up a fabulous read.

How do I decide what to review?  Why are all your reviews 3* and above? Well if I like a book I want to share it with everyone.  I am not a critical critic.  I like what I like, and  I know that my tastes don’t extend to the rest of the world.  If a plot is engaging, I can forgive editing and proofreading mistakes (don’t tell my sister the editor that).  If the care about the characters, I can forgive a minor plot hole or 2.  If the world is so vivid I want to live there, I can suspend my disbelief for the 100-400 pages of the book.  I often see “that isn’t the way it works in the real world” as a reason to knock off a star… My answer to that is I get enough real world in the real world.  I read for the escape.  I know that my mood and distraction level while reading can affect my overall feel for a book.  So I won’t blast a book if it doesn’t suit me.  In the end, a book will tell me if it needs a review or not.  Some books leave me speechless. Those almost always get a review here and/or on Goodreads.  Some books just demand an explanation of why I thought what I thought.  Some books I just want to share with everyone I know and tell them “BUY THIS BOOK NOW”.  Finally, some books are given to me to review (that would be the aforementioned ARCs).  I try to get to every one of these and they get a review on Goodreads at least.  Only my very favorite make it here… but again, see #2 above 😉

You are a happily married hetero mother of 3, Why Gay and MM Romance?  This is my favorite question, because I get it A LOT.  I read all the time.  I am rarely without my kindle or nook, but, even if I happen to leave those home, I have my phone on which I can listen or read.  I will be sitting outside one of my kids’ gymnastics class and will be asked what are you reading.  It shocks the hell out of them with I don’t respond with the latest Nora Roberts or whatever is #1 on the NYT best seller list.  I love those opportunities to spread the MM love.  So what is the answer?  It is complicated 😉  Yes there are the flippant answers about girly bits and two cocks, etc… but that isn’t the real answer.  For the real answer, let us look at one of my favorite MM Romance themes, Gay For You/Out For You.  It is not my favorite because I believe you can be gay for one person, but because, to me, it says, “I don’t care what the world says is right.  I don’t care how I have always thought about the world and myself. I love you and I want to be with you and only you, everyone else be damned.”   I love that MC in Gay and MM romance are people that have to go up against more than just their own brains and lack of communication skills.  I love that, even though we obviously do not fight the same battles, I can connect with and empathize with these characters.  I love that the community of authors and readers is fairly close knit (I WILL make it to GRL one day dammit).  In all honesty, reading this genre has opened my eyes to the world around me in a way main-stream fiction never has.

How did you get started reading MM Romance?  What was your first MM Romance book? Another set of my favorite questions…  How did I get started?  I completely blame my sister on that one.  I was very happily devouring more mainstream erotic romances (mostly cowboys and alpha males) when I started talking to my sister about the books she reads and edits.  She suggested a few titles that I needed to read as did some of my friends in the M/M Romance group over on Goodreads.  My the time I finished TJ Klune’s Bear, Otter, and the Kid, Abigail Roux/Madeleine Urban’s Cut & Run series (which at the time was only at 5 books and is no longer co-written), Mary Calmes A Matter of Time series, RJ Scott’s Heart of Texas, I was completely hooked.  These are all favorites and frequent re-reads.

Do you still read M/F titles?   Not too often anymore.  There are a few series that started when I was reading M/F titles that I keep thinking I will get back to, but .  I actually just reviewed the last in a M/F YA trilogy I started way back when and adore, Renaissance Man.  But in all honesty, no I really don’t read much M/F.  I don’t actually read all that much M/M/F either.  I joke about it being about the “girly bits” but really it is about the dynamics between the MCs.   Of course when I started reading M/M I said “no paranormal” and now I love that trope as well, so I reserve the right to change my mind.

 What is next? Well right now I am reading Houseboat on the Nile by Tinnean and re-reading Woke Up in a Strange Place by Eric Arvin both of which I am enjoying immensely.  Will you see one or both here?  Time will tell.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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One thought on “Why I Read and Review M/M Romance

  1. Doing background research before I write my blog. Loved reading about you…now onto Beverly. And, I realized in prowling through my Kindle order history (only 603 books in three years) that I started with YA LGBT books, and through them discovered m/m…interesting to remember…

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