There is no one perfect answer to why I write gay romance novels. Strangely enough, I began writing Regency romance. I loved the glamour of the ballgowns and the whole English aristocracy. After all, who doesn’t like a Duke in a pair of tight buckskins?
But last year I read my first male/male romance. I picked up a book by Abigail Roux called Cut and Run. It looked interesting and was a series, which I loved. I began reading it. And when I next looked up it was three hours later and I couldn’t believe how enthralled I was with the story. I bought the entire backlist and more. I went searching for more authors and read Mary Calmes A Matter of Time series and Amy Lane’s Promise Rock.
I was hooked.
Since I also like a bit of mystery with my romance, I found the Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon and it was those books and the rest of his backlist, which I immediately purchased, that cemented my love of the genre. I can’t get enough of his writing.
But what is it about these stories that make them different than other romances? Actually not much. It is still a love story between two people who fight to achieve their Happily Ever After. The difference comes with the prejudices that society puts up as roadblocks to keep two men, or women from marrying and declaring their love. The pain and heartbreak can be intense and as a reader, you often find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster, wondering how the two lovers will ever come together.
For me, the sheer romance of the stories is breathtaking. Reading a book about two tough FBI agents, or Navy SEALS or police detectives who fall in love may not seem like it would have much romance, but let me assure you it does. The heat level is hotter, the sex is not sweetness and light, but my oh my when they finally do get together your heart will race a bit faster than before.
I am all about the Happily Ever After, and reading books which allow two people to overcome such odds give me hope. And at the end of the day, a love story should be about hope, redemption, and love.
Let me interject here and say that gay romance does not mean erotica or porn. There certainly are many to choose from in that category but in gay romance it is the love story between the men that moves the story along. The sex is an extra added bonus.
I won’t get into the ongoing debate over whether women (who make up the vast majority of gay romance readers) should write gay romance. There are some who believe only a gay man has that right. I attended a panel discussion at the Romantic Times Conference in New Orleans this past May where the author Christopher Rice stated that the women who write gay romance give him the happily ever after he never dreamed he could achieve.
What could be more beautiful than that?
Felice Stevens’s first male/male romance, Rescued, publishes August 19, from Loose Id. It is the story of Ryder Daniels, whose family rejected him for his sexuality and Jason Mallory who fell in love with him trying to re-unite him with his teen-aged brother, while fighting his own family prejudices. Oh, and there are rescue puppies.
Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of her own. She is co-Vice President of the NYC chapter of RWA. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. She practices law but daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed. Visit her at www.felicestevens.com