[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to bring you this new series: Frolic Podcast of the Week! Each week, we’ll ask one of our great podcasters to share a bit about themselves. Up next, we have Jeff and Will from Big Gay Fiction Podcast! They’re sharing a gay romance starter guide. Take it away!]
Earlier this month, Big Gay Fiction Podcast celebrated its fifth anniversary. It’s hard to believe we’ve talked about gay romances, chatted with authors, and reviewed books for more than 260 episodes. It’s a great job because there are so many terrific books out there. But the question is, if you’re brand new to the genre, where should you start?
It’s difficult for us to pick favorites because for everything we could suggest, so many more wonderful titles come to mind. So, we’re recommending three favorite series that each have a different take on contemporary gay romance. (These are alphabetic by author because there’s no way to rank them as they are all number one for us!)
Dreamers series by Adriana Herrera
This five book series has four m/m installments and one m/f. This incredible series introduces us to Nesto, Camilo, Patrice and Juan Pablo, four friends who are each striving towards their version of the American dream. They end up finding their happily-ever-afters along the way too. As Adriana told us on the podcast when we talked with her, “I just really felt compelled to write a story I felt could honor my identity, which is Afro-Latinx, and the Afro-Latinx immigrant experience. I wanted to write something that could be nuanced and also show the joyfulness and the beauty of being a person who’s Afro-Latinx and all the amazing things that we come with. And I also really, really wanted the gayest, most black and brown book I could write.”
Adriana created characters and stories that pull you right in and won’t let you go. From Nesto starting a food truck, to Camilo’s social work, Patrice’s social justice advocacy, to Juan Pablo’s physical therapy work with his favorite baseball team, each of these guys strives to reach their goals. Meanwhile, the romances are chock full of tropes that keep you turning the pages. Dreamers wrapped up this month with American Christmas that gives an HEA to two of the supporting characters from the series.
One caution if you pick up this series: Adriana writes food like no one we’ve ever seen. You will get hungry and you will look for Afro-Latinx cuisine.
Find the Dreamers series on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MHHBQFW
Hear Adriana talk about the Dreamers series, and get Jeff’s review on American Christmas, here: https://www.jeffandwill.com/biggayfictionpodcast/2020/11/02/episode-265-fifth-anniversary-celebration-listener-favorite-adriana-herrera/
Forever Wilde series by Lucy Lennox
Lucy Lennox writes some of the best, trope-filled gay romance out there and we adore the Forever Wilde series. The series follows the Wilde family who call Hobie, Texas home. There’s something for everyone in this series, from falling for a prince, to bodyguards, to firefighters, to a heist, to billionaires. Lucy is a master at writing compelling characters and matching them up with tropes that will sweep you away for a delicious happily-ever-after. We fell hard for these books from the first installment, Facing West, which features a doctor who reconnects with a bad boy from his past, all because of a baby that brings them together. You get a good dose of small town romance because most of it takes place in Hobie. Don’t worry though, the Wildes also travel, not just in Texas but internationally too. The series is a brilliant mix of everything there is to love about contemporary romance.
One thing Lucy did in Forever Wilde was look at how an established couple got their HEA. The Wildes are anchored by Doc and Grandpa, two men who run a ranch in Hobie and look after the large family. When we first meet them in Facing West, they’ve been together and happy for decades. In Wilde Love, Lucy goes back to show how Doc and Grandpa met during the Vietnam War in a beautiful, moving love story that spans decades.
Find the Forever Wilde series on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078YG9PYL
Hear Lucy talk about Forever Wilde here: https://www.jeffandwill.com/biggayfictionpodcast/2020/09/07/episode-257-listener-favorite-lucy-lennox/
Stonewall Investigations series by Max Walker
Max Walker mixes romance and suspense in his Stonewall Investigations series. The books center on a private investigation firm run by Zane Holden whose world is turned upside down when the Unicorn, a serial killer who terrorizes New York City’s LGBTQ community, resurfaces. It’s not made any easier when defense attorney Lorenzo De Luca shows up needing help on a tough case. Zane and Lorenzo not only have to sort out the case, but their powerful attraction to each other too. Max sets a great pace for these novels as he gives twisty cases to solve, along with sizzling romances that lead to wonderful HEAs. The Unicorn killer story runs through the four books, with other crimes and new couples pursuing their HEAs in each installment. This series also has a spin-off series, Stonewall Investigations Miami, which includes a wonderful Christmas story, A Royal Christmas Cruise.
We love the Stonewall books because Max does an outstanding job balancing the romance with the suspense. Even though these are romances, and you know they must end with HEA, you can get so caught up in the suspense side of things you wonder how Max will tie everything together. He always does it in a smart package that kept us coming back to the series. Don’t worry, it’s not all stressful with the cases the investigators are working—Max delivers big doses of sweet, loving times too.
Find the Stonewall Investigations series on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DYTQ8PD
You’ll also find A Royal Christmas Cruise on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081Y3GDZT/
Hear Max talk about Stonewall Investigations here: https://www.jeffandwill.com/biggayfictionpodcast/2019/11/04/episode-213-loosen-up-with-max-walker/
Check out Big Gay Fiction Podcast wherever you get your podcasts!
About the Authors:
Jeff Adams & Will Knauss are husbands, authors of m/m romance and podcasters. Big Gay Fiction Podcast, their weekly show, is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can learn more about them at BigGayFictionPodcast.com, jeffadamswrites.com and willknauss.com