Don’t even tell me you didn’t scream at the T.V. when you saw Gone with the Wind for the first time; sitting there wide-eyed when the credits started rolling after the whole “…tomorrow is another day!” No way, Scarlett, it is NOT another day! I want to know where Rhett is going and I want you to gather up your big-ass hooped skirt and hightail it out to where ever he is and get that man back! I just spent 4-hours watching you pine over Ashley Wilkes for cryin’ out loud, waiting for you to come to your senses, and you’re going to just sit on the stairs?
What Margaret Mitchell failed to realize, is that Gone with the Wind needed to be a series; then maybe my 9-year old self wouldn’t have cried myself to sleep worrying over how lonely Scarlett was going to be without Rhett and how much I wanted to slap someone–namely Scarlett–for leaving me hanging. I would have been more like my 15-year old self when I watched in utter horror as the Millenium Falcon sped away from the rebel cruiser while Luke and Leia watched. Even though I wanted to strangle George Lucas in a very bad way, I knew I had something to look forward to; I had the third installment of the series to finish the story (or so I thought).
The book series is my favorite type of M/M book to read. Let’s face it, it’s no fun getting invested in characters only to have the story end with loose ends–and, just for the record, I can probably find loose ends anywhere if I want another book bad enough 😉 I’m pleased to say that I don’t think I have ever read an M/M gay romance series that I tired of before it was finished, and that’s saying something–I read both Harry Potter and, yes, Twilight, and I could not finish either one. Now just to clarify, I am not a YA (young adult in book-speak) reader. It’s perfectly fine if you’re a…well, young adult, but I’m a grown up and YA holds my interest about as long as a 2-year old in a shopping cart. I read HP and Twilight because my girls were young and I wanted to make sure the books were acceptable, didn’t promote anything that would warp their young minds, and all that happy horse shit, so I persevered and did the good-mommy thing (I still hold it over their head’s that I had to read them too!).
It takes an incredibly talented M/M author to create such in-depth and likable characters that we do not want to put the story down for good, we want to see their lives continue beyond the end of the book. And that, my fellow readers, is the biggest compliment we can afford the authors–wanting another book. I am almost embarrassed to admit (well, okay, I’m not really embarrassed at all!) I have left messages/replies to some authors requesting sequels to stand-alone books. I think we owe it to authors to let them know that their characters, story and voice was such that we want more, we want to know what happens beyond the HEA (happy ever after) or HFN (happy for now).
Of course, unlike the big pub-house authors, the indie M/M authors don’t always have the time and resources to just write books–there are no big advances to sustain them while they write full-time or in-house media managers to free them up for writing instead of updating their social media. They are their own marketing and sales department so even though I may want the next book in a series, or a stand-alone made into a series–like, yesterday!– the time constraints and enormous platform responsibilities of the indie M/M author gets in the way. And that’s a post I’m working on now…how we can make life easier on the indie author so they can do what we, the voracious reader, want more than anything…to have the next book.
Here are just a few of the series I have enjoyed (and have waited most impatiently for the next installment), this is only a sample of the hundreds available (if you have a fave, or just want to shout out about an interesting series/book, please do!):
The Cut & Run Series by the writing team, Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux, is about the roller-coaster-ride relationship of FBI Special Agents, Ty and Zane and a myriad of other agents and law enforcement-types…oh, yeah, that has my name written all over it!
The Adrien English Mysteries Series is one of my go-to comfort reads; those books you reach for when you want something you already know you love everything about–characters who are more like friends chatting with you on a rainy day, not fictional at all. Josh Lanyon has many great series to his credit: The Dangerous Ground Series and The Holmes and Moriarity Series to name a couple. He also has a few stand alone novels that are screaming for a sequel: Fair Game (one of the best stand alone books in the genre in my opinion), Come Unto These Yellow Sands and a book with one of my favorite couples, The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks. And, if I can please get another Adrien English book! I mean what the hell! Is that asking too much? [hangs head] I’m seriously a lost cause…
Author G.A. Hauser doesn’t just have a series, she has a “universe”–literally, dozens of characters who interact and gain interrelationships with each other just by virtue of knowing someone, who knows someone, who knows someone’s brother…you get the idea. To really gain a thorough understanding of the who, what and where of this vast super-series, I recommend starting, at least at Capital Games; I then traveled over to When Adam Met Jack, but there may be a book or two in-between. (Also, one of my favorite stand-alone books, The Wedding Planner, is within this universe.) Honestly though if you love super hot men, acting like super hot men, you will like the G.A. Hauser universe–she doesn’t hold back, her men act like real men who like to have sex with and fall in love with real men; sometimes, more than one man! My kind of stuff 😉
Okay, so the winner of my Most Likely To Drive Me To Drink award goes to author J.L. Langley and her Sci-Regency Series. To say this series is uniquely creative would be an understatement; the Sci-Regency series is the story of two worlds: the planets Regelence and Englor–both have what is considered cultures modeled after regency-era earth, but with science fiction styled gadgetry and technology–so lots of royalty and manly men trying desperately to be ‘proper’ while having the urges of…well, men. Thrown into the mix is a interplanetary espionage-like mystery, each planet’s very different take on same-sex attraction, the Regelence royal family with five hunky sons begging to be married off (or fighting it every step of the way) and a cast of supporting characters that includes predominantly men (woohoo!). Ms. Langley centers the book on the King of Regelence and his consort, their antics and issues while trying desperately to find proper suitors for their sons–it’s good comedy, meets sexy stuff, meets love story. So why am I reaching for Jack and Jim with this series? Mainly because I am so embroiled in the lives of these characters, I just seriously need the next book. J.L. Langley is brilliant at foreshadowing just enough information about the next installment, usually having to do with which royal son will get the next book or who is trying to steal military secrets and I just know something is going to happen to Rexley and Jeremy!…just do it already…I need that book!
See, I told you–I’m a lost cause. Now excuse me while I rinse out my shot glass!