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So…I was out in an author’s street team recently and she mentioned Gateway books. She described it as “leading women to m/m romance” (which I think it should be leading anyone to m/m romance). After discussing with a friend, we decided it was more like an addiction, especially using the term Gateway. These are books that you would recommend to someone who has never read m/m and you are hoping to get them to take the leap, the leap that will be the Gateway to their addiction to reading m/m romance.
For me, I never had it recommended, except by Amazon. I was out on Amazon looking for more books along the lines of Jaci Burton’s sports books, with those delicious covers. I wasn’t finding anything I liked. Down at the bottom was the “customers who bought this also bought” section. And there was Colt Michaels from Double Full by Kindle Alexander. The gorgeous cover, done by the amazing Reese Dante, drew me in instantly, and I purchased the book based on the cover alone. I didn’t really read the blurb, just started the book and was instantly hooked (and if you have read the book, you know how it starts…how could you not be hooked?)
That was my Gateway book. So, it got me thinking, what would other people think would be a Gateway book? And what would authors that write in the genre describe as a Gateway book? I also wanted some male perspectives so I made sure to hit up a few of my fave male bloggers, as well as male authors. I got some fantastic answers! Interestingly, very few books are repeated. There are many of these books that I haven’t personally read, but clearly I need to get on them.
*All comments are those made by the authors/ bloggers to me, as they sent them.
I think if M/F readers are truly interested in seeing what all the fuss is about with M/M romance, they should start with Suzanne Brockman or J.R. Ward. Brockman has Jules and Robin. Ward has Blay, Saxton and Quinn. Those are series book, but can be read as stand alones.
On Ward though, if you go back to book 3 or 4 and meet these guys when they are first introduced, you’ll fall in love with them before you ever learn they are gay. The story to their coming out is incredible. It’s angsty and you get why they struggle. I loved it.
Another primarily M/F author that represents gay men well is Nicole Edwards – Ethan. I love Ethan and Beau. I read that story first and loved it, then went back and met both men in the earlier books. I loved that part too.
If you are ready to just jump in, I suggest Sara York’s Texas Soul series or Colorado Heart series. They are nicely priced. Also LA Witt can write a good book. For us – that was our progression into the M/M world. We started with Ward, moved to Brockman on a recommendation and then met Sara online. We moved straight into her world. The rest is history.
Keira Andrews: I’ll recommend Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk. Great story and characters, and I can’t see anyone not falling in love with Whyborne & Griffin.
Paul Gay Berry-Gay Media Reviews: My first book from M/F to M/M was Texas Pride by Kindle Alexander, I had no clue what M/M was, I saw it on my Kobo and then the rest was history. I have not read an M/F since then. The second one I recommend is Opposites by TM SMith, as it has everything and what a beautiful read.
Scott Burkett-Gay Guy Reading and Friends (GGR-Review):
Memorizing You by Dan Skinner
This is a work of Fictional Literature that shows sexual orientation is something you are born with. Society and beliefs do not dictate a person’s sexual orientation. This is a romance that covers all of time, it’s clean, but thought provoking. If a new reader to this genre is skittish about the sex they can read this book and learn about Gay Romance with only the insinuation of sex and never seeing the actual act.
Love Life & Circumstance by J.T. Cheyanne and V.L. Moon
This is a book that focuses on Family. It shows that 2 men can care for and raise a child in a loving home, a place that the child will be free to be whatever he/she wishes to be. It also shows true love that men can experience towards each other, but it gives a twist that shows we are all fallible in what we believe to be what we really need. The sex is good and clean without being overabundant.
Through the Last Door by J.A. Jaken
This is a good choice if you like something in more of a Fantasy setting. This is a story of enrichment and finding oneself. About a young man who is thrust into a role as leader along with the trials that come with it. It is a story of accepting his heart’s desires and once he does it leaves the reader with a sense of fulfillment for the characters. Sex is minimal while the action and adventure are abundant.
Melissa Collins: Memories of the Heart by Felice Stevens
The very first book I read which contained m/m and m/f was by Anne Rice and it was called Cry to Heaven. The m/m relationships were second place to the m/f but they caught my attention and I found I loved reading about them more than the m/f ones. Throughout all her books there is an underlying love between the men in her books, and I so wanted to hear more from them and in much more detail. 😀
I don’t know why, but it took me ages to move onto m/m and when I did it was through another channel, fanfiction. I started reading m/m and from there on I found full books on Amazon I could buy. My very first m/m reads were strictly erotic short reads. I think I did it backwards, normally people start off with YA and move in gradually, I went for the hardcore porn and no plot, lol.
I moved on and read K.C. Wells. She did a really sweet series with coming out /coming of age. It’s hard to recommend one author or one book without knowing personal tastes, like if your into BDSM and want to read m/m, I would recommend Sage Marlowe and his Sub-Mission series as an awesome starting place.
I’d say read menage with two menage and female, but so many people react to menage and feel jealous over sharing. E.M Leya is an author who has great menage and more with mixed sexes. Give it a ago, see what you think.
I basically read the blurb and if it caught my attention, I’d buy it. It takes time to find out what you like and who will be your go to author. Some people hate sex in books, but not all m/m is about sex, some are fade to black. If you want to ease yourself in gently, and you just want relationship and no sex, these are the best ones.
Jessie Gin: One Real Thing by Anah Crow
Andrew Grey: Timing by Mary Calmes
Renae Kaye: Promises by Marie Sexton. I think it’s a good book because it explores a man coming to accept his gay side, and how he slowly goes with the sex stuff. Which is a great place to start.
Tara Lain: Heaven by Jet Mykles. My own gateway book. Drawn Together or Crossing Borders by Z.A. Maxfield. Matter of Time by Mary Calmes. Edward Unconditionally by Lynn Lorenz. Hot Head by Damon Suede. Blame it on the Mistletoe or Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton
Josephine Myles: Sex in Seattle Series by Eli Easton
Mikey Rakes: The first book I read was Cut and Run and feel in love with the genre. The Current Between Us is another I’d recommend. My husband loves the Cut and Run books and he also like Rhys Ford’s Sinners series. I loved Play It Again, Charlie.
I’d say J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Two of the characters, Butch and Vishous have a very close relationship. Eventually they are open with the fact that there is some physical and emotional attraction between the two of them, even though they marry women. And they (including their wives) are all very cool and reasonable about it. Also, two other characters Quinn and Blay have a close relationship as well. Blay is gay and Quinn is Bi. The two are close, but are unable to be in a relationship together. She writes Blay in a relationship with another man and none of the other characters ever flinch. Eventually Blay and Quinn get their own book together in the series. I was already reading m/m by the time I found this series, but if I hadn’t been, this would have lead me to it.
Brad Vance: Hot Head by Damon Suede is a wildly popular book.
Sara York: Double Full by Kindle Alexander