As most of you know, this site is M/M only, which means that we review books with gay male protagonists who end up together. However, I continue to get requests from authors to review books which have some hetero content. The authors’ rationale is that if the protags ultimately get their HEAs there should not be a problem accepting their books for review. In view of this I would like to clarify my M/M policy.
If a book has one or both of the protagonists in sexual situations with women, that to me is not male/male. If one of the guys has a girlfriend on the side and they are having sex in the book, again that is not male/male in my definition, even if ultimately the guys have a HEA. Sometimes one of the protags in the books is bisexual, transgender or straight (as in Gay for You books) but he has switched his sexual orientation – as long as there is no on-page sex between him and a female or partner in the book it can be submitted as M/M for review on this site. In the past this site has been asked to review stories where a relationship is developing between the two main male characters, but there are secondary pairings with a female or transgendered person as part of the couple reaching their HEA. To me that is not a true M/M book. Others may disagree
I have approached a few M/M publishers and asked them whether they could indicate on their websites or in the book blurbs if there is M/F content in their M/M stories and I hope that’s possible in the future so that we’re not blindsided; it should be a pretty simple matter to do this in the blurbs. A few publishers already do e.g. Amber Allure gives the best information re the content of their M/M books so that the reader always knows ahead of time what to expect before they buy. Why is this important? On some occasions reviewers have returned books to me as DNF because there were women in sexual situations with the gay men in the M/M books and there was no ‘heads up’. I still get requests to review books that have M/M/F or M/F/M content, and neither the blurbs nor the publishers provide this information beforehand. If I know about the content ahead of time I would not request some books for review.
98% of review sites review a full range of romance books and these sites would be happy, I’m sure, to review any adult themed romance books that fit within their criteria. This site does not review F/F, menage (except for M/M/M), transgender, hetero, bisexual, M/M/F or M/F/M books.
Why do I feel that this post is necessary? One author has accused this site of being biased because she felt that she didn’t get a fair review of her M/M/F book (which was classified as M/M by the publisher). I had to point out that regardless of our personal feelings, all of the reviewers here are fair in their reviews and ratings, whether or not we have a favourite sub genre such as paranormal, mystery, sports, etc. If we don’t want to review a book it would simply be DNF.
At least 95% of the readers who access this site are what I call “pure” M/M readers, which means that they prefer their books not to have females in romantic or sexual situations with the protagonists i.e. no M/M/F and M/F/M books. I consider myself a ‘pure’ M/M reader and when I’m reading M/M books for pleasure or review and I’m surprised by M/F content, the book is usually a DNF. I read all kinds of general fiction and non fiction and have no problem with women in these books – I am female and I like to read about other women, I just prefer not to have them in sexual situations in my M/M books. Recently I did a post with Sean Kennedy and Jenre about the lack of positive female characters in M/M books and we all decried the current trend of some authors who portray women in M/M books as manipulative bitches, whores, etc. I’m not against women in M/M books, I just prefer not to have them in sexual situations with the protagonists.
I hope that this clarifies my M/M policy. There is no intention on my part to in any way denigrate any sub genre – this is simply a preference for a certain type of book to review on this site, and I hope this post will save authors from submitting their books to the wrong site. I do, however, welcome your M/M books for review. Thanks guys!