I figure if I'm going to write the m/m genre, I better read more of it. That's my excuse for having fun.
I just read Ava March's His Client. It was a short, sweet book. The guys were so. . . pleasant, normal and rather alike. Considering their class differences it should have been a bigger deal that they could be friends--a bigger adjustment, I mean. But obviously Jasper had learned to overcome his beginnings. And the games they played in the bedroom didn't translate at all into--okay, I don't know about that next bit I was going to write. Why should the black corset mentality show up in daily life? They had to compartmentalize. And the whole BDSM plus gay community wasn't in place, right? (Actually I bet it was, but very, very underground in those dolly houses) So no "Leatherman 1822" for them. Still, a bit of twisted is fun.
They are remarkably considerate and well-adjusted for men who grew up in a time when being gay might mean death and Jasper is [spoiler below********].
I cared about the guys, even though Nate did sigh too often about his Lost Love -- a guy he'd never ever had. But I read it in one go and felt a satisfying awwwwwwww about their HEA. Nice. And very sweet, despite how dirty they did get. Wait, wait, wait. I don't know why I'd kvetch about reading about pleasant people. My usual whine is that there are so few amiable sorts in the books. So how's about the stuff in that first couple of paragraphs is all observation rather than complaint.
And there's this: if I cared about them, that has to mean I believed in them right? Right?
Uh oh, I was going to write about Josh Lanyon and now I get why he's a big cheese (the guy writes great romance mystery), but I have to actually leave my house now.
In an entirely different genre:
I was listening to Endymion Spring, which had such potential and several endearing characters. I like the combination of competition and love one of the main characters feels for his sister--seems about perfect. But this book was driving me nuts with the cliches--and worse. "His heart beat inside his body." Really? I know it's a paranormal but it wasn't that sort. The poor kid's heart skipped at least six beats, and swelled, and dropped, and stuttered etc** before I changed to a new book. And someone should have done a search/replace on the word "sudden(ly)"
YA or juvenile fiction should not mean lazy writing--though (backpedal time!****) those passages are the only part of the book that struck me as lazy. The writer obviously spent hours doing research about the history of printing and books. That knowledge shows up in little morsels, too, as in there aren't info dumps. I don't know about how clever the plot might be. I haven't made it far enough into the book, and probably won't.
UPDATE: fairly clever.
I might finish it just to see if the characters we're supposed to trust turn out to be bad guys.
I suspect that the people who look like Bad Guys (ugly, sneering, bad breath etc) really are bad guys. I read this sort of stuff and I always end up wanting to write a book where the ugly thug with bad teeth who sneers is the hero and the handsome man with the sweet smile is evul.
another UPDATE: the description of the author's experience was moving. He did a helluvalotof work on this baby. Makes me feel like a real cad noticing all the the "all of the suddens"
**I know the badly behaved heart shows up in my stuff too. But not as often, okay? Or at least I sure as hell hope not.
****I don't mean to be so wishy washy. Some day I'll write GOD, I HATE THIS BOOK! or GOD, I LOVE THIS BOOK! with only supporting prose to follow. None of this WELL, BUT stuff will come after.
*******Jasper is a whore's bastard, or, to be more PC, a lady of negotiable affection's love-child.