Introducing Unapologetic GAY Romance Under New Pen Name

Unapologetic Gay Romance because Love Needs No Excuses

Our world generally sucks. Children die from poison-gas in Syria, drown in the ocean while trying to get away from slaughter, and are abused again and again (Hungary, anybody?) because they dare to want to survive. And that’s just in the so-called 3rd world countries.

In our oh-so-civilized nations, street kids get hooked on drugs, work as prostitutes, are abandoned by their parents, the state, most adults they ever come in touch with.

Looking at all the shit in the news every day, forgive me if I try to find a glimmer of hope amongst the suffering. And if people find and cling onto each other, for comfort, support, and yes, love, I want to cherish that. It’s a fricking miracle it happens at all!

So that’s why my motto is Unapologetic Romances Because Love Needs No Excuses

Let Me Take This a Little Further

Love is love. What that means is that as long as people love each other, I don’t give a toss whether they’re attracted to male, female, queer, trans, whatever.

After humming and hawing for months, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and launch my new website dedicated to m/m romance writing.

In order to avoid confusiong my readers—although I’d be more than happy to take anybody along on this journey—, I’ll publish my gay romance novels under the pen name EJ Smyth

If You Haven’t Read in the Gay Romance Genre Yet, Here’s Your Chance

The first time I read a gay romance novel, I was blown away. Apart from the hotness factor (and yes, if you don’t like steamy, this may not be the genre for you!), the writing was incredible. Fast-paced, awesome characterization, fascinating dynamics between the main characters.

If you’re interested, here’s a list of a couple of writers I’d highly recommend. One thing you’ll find is that gay romance books cost more than regular romance books. However, most of them are also in Kindle Unlimited, so it’s not all bad!

N.R. Walker

One of my favorite writers in the genre. She’s Australian and has written a series of books, set in the outback. It’s a fish-out-of-water romance, both from the Aussie farmer’s and American student’s point-of-view. Just adorable!

Red Dirt Heart

 

 

Cronin’s Key

N.R. Walker is a hugely prolific writer. I honestly can’t keep up with her publishing speed. If your thing is more Urban Fantasy Romance, check out Cronin’s Key. It has just been released as an audiobook with one of my favorite voice-actors Joel Froom. Well worth a listen!

 

And just to give you a flavor of what else she writes, here is a story about an overweight guy with massive self-esteem problems whose personal trainer helps him fall in love with himself. And with the trainer. You know what I mean 😀 Anyway, the story is ADORABLE!

The Weight of It All

 

Madeleine Urban

She wrote a series of thrillers that revived a genre that I’d given up on reading because it’d become so predictable.

It’s a classic enemy-to-friends-to-lovers story. The characters are stubborn assholes, two FBI agents that hate each others’ gut. So much sass, humor, drama, angst, cuteness—I couldn’t stop reading.

Cut & Run

I wrote a review for this book and the series which you can read here.

 

Josh Lanyon

An author who has defined the genre. Incredibly prolific albeit not always consistent. This series hits it out of the park, though.

Adrien English, an unassuming bookstore owner, is accused of murder and has to clear his name. His nemesis is a homophobic detective who’s convinced Adrien is guilty. Adrien suffers from an acquired heart condition, but is certainly no swooning maiden to be rescued. Far from it! Very funny, touching, reminiscent of classic British detective stories of the 1940s.

Fatal Shadows

Here is the review for the book as well!

JL Merrow

Staying with the British theme, JL Merrow’s books are set in the UK. Her dialogue is pure Brit, and her characters are guys I recognize from my time in London. The series I enjoyed most is unfortunately on hold until 2018, along with Camwolf about a reluctant werewolf in Cambridge.

 

 

There are other books like the Shamwell Tales (think Midsumer Murders) because JL Merrow is another prolific writer with a huge back catalogue.

Plumber’s Mate Series

 

 

Amy Lane

The last author I’d like to recommend writes Magical Realism. Her Candy Man series may not be hard-hitting social criticism but it’s cute, fluffy, humorous and exciting. Pure relaxation.

Candy Man

 

 

And if you want to read funny, here is Shiny! A story about a very, very clumsy guy who needs rescuing from himself. Hilarious!

Shiny!

 

 

 

I hope you like my short list. I’d compiled it for a German friend of mine who had only just started reading in the genre and needed help. There’s a lot more books out there!

What do you think, have you read any of them? Would you recommend others?

And don’t forget to pop over to my new site to pick up a free, very sexy short story!

Sticks & Stones by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux



Sticks & Stones
 by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

My rating:  5 of 5 stars

SticksandStonesThe story

Six months after nearly losing their lives to a serial killer in New York City, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are suffering through something almost as frightening: the monotony of desk duty. When they’re ordered to take a vacation for the good of everyone’s sanity, Ty bites the bullet and takes Zane home with him to West Virginia, hoping the peace and quiet of the mountains will give them the chance to explore the explosive attraction they’ve so far been unable to reconcile with their professional partnership.

Ty and Zane, along with Ty’s father and brother, head up into the Appalachian mountains for a nice, relaxing hike deep into the woods… where no one will hear them scream. They find themselves facing danger from all directions: unpredictable weather, the unrelenting mountains, wild animals, fellow hikers with nothing to lose, and the most terrifying challenge of all. Each other.

My take on it

Part 2 of the series about two rough and ready FBI agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. This time the boys are exploring the Appalachian mountains with Ty’s father and brother. Zane is not a nature person. At all. More bickering and angst ensues, especially since Ty’s father has unresolved issues with his son. These eventually lead to a dangerous series of events that could very well end in tragedy.

I couldn’t decide on just a few quotes – this book is just THAT good 🙂

“Are you still pissy about the rubber band cannon?” Ty asked him in exasperation.
“Ugh.” Zane started unbuttoning the BDU blouse. “You’re lucky that guy from accounting didn’t know it was you when his toupee went flying. He might have rerouted your next paycheck to Greenpeace.”

“Zane’s lips quirked. Every bullet fired from a service weapon had to be accompanied with a written report for the Bureau. Ty had fired… quite a few bullets at the cab that had almost smeared them across the highway in New York City. Zane didn’t know what paperwork you had to fill out for throwing your gun at something. He’d never tried that before. Hell, he’d never even thought of it before.”

“It’s all fun and games ’til somebody throws a grenade,”
[…]
“Never bring stones to a grenade fight,” Ty advised sagely.”

“I won’t let you fall.” Then he winced apologetically. Very trite. He sighed. Trite but true.

“It probably hadn’t been the greatest idea, dragging him up here for his first hike. But Ty was sure he’d been enjoying himself before they were almost killed. Repeatedly.”

“What he was afraid of, he’d come to realize, was not dark spaces or falling from great heights or being buried alive. His greatest fears, in the end, were letting down those he loved and saying the words “I love you” without any hope of hearing them in return.”

Yeah, in case it wasn’t obvious – I love this book.  Meet Ty’s grandfather who kills water hoses with a sharpened spade. Ty’s brother and parents who love him in their own ways. Nature that is out to kill you in many inventive ways 🙂

And I’ve changed my mind: MEET THE REAL TY GRADY!

 

Ty Grady

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Do you agree? Did you like it? Share your thoughts and comments below!

Cut & Run by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

Cut & Run by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

My rating:  5 of 5 stars

CutandRunThe story

A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.

Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He’s cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he’s paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it’s hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.

Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again – this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer’s knife.

My take on it

Another series I’m so happy to have discovered. This is the first book in a series about FBI agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. Both are thrown together and hate each other. So far so cliche. What makes this different is that both men are teetering on the verge of breakdowns, Ty because of past trauma and Zane because of serious alcohol and pharmaceuticals addictions. Yet they learn that they can trust each other against the background of a serial killer within the FBI ranks. Not only do they keep saving each other’s lives, they are attracted to each other and have angry hot sex. Seriously mind-blowing hot sex. And lots of angst and man-pain and near death experiences. This book hits ALL of my buttons! 🙂

Ty Grady and Zane GarrettI’ve rarely come across two main protagonists that are as beautifully drawn and explored as these two men. The story itself holds its own as well. It’s not thrown together to show off the romance but stands alone as a suspenseful thriller full of twists and turns. I’m so glad that I discovered the series rather late, given that the first book was published 8 years ago. This way I don’t have to wait ages to read the next volume.

I found some fan art online casting Nick Bateman as Ty Grady and Joe Manganiello as Zane Garrett. Wowsa, I’m on board 🙂

View all my reviews

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Do you agree? Did you like it? Share your thoughts and comments below!