Tori B. reviews alongside four other lovers of the romance genre. She loves all genres, and spends a good portion of her time reading. If you enjoy honest reviews of great books, check out her site.
Tell us about you and your blog. Where can we read it
Hi. Thank you so much for inviting me to speak on your blog. My name is Tori Benson. I am the co administrator for Smexy Books (smexybooks.com) and I also freelance for Heroes and Heartbreakers (Macmillan Publishing’s romance blog) and RT Book Reviews Magazine. Smexy Books has been online since 2009. We currently have 5 reviewers total and review all genres. We post 2-3 reviews a day Monday through Thursday. Friday, Saturday, and Sundays are usually devoted to discussion posts and/or specialty posts.
How often do you post m/m reviews?
We don’t have a set amount of m/m books Smexy Books reviews per week. On the average, we review about 4 per month. It mainly comes down to what interests us; same as with any genre. The more intriguing the blurb, the more apt one of us will pick it up for review.
Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
I think the main reason I love m/m romance is because I’m attracted to men. laughs I’ve tried lesbian romances and I definitely don’t get the same feelings. I like the visuals of two men together, both in a physical and emotional sense. Men seem to view romance differently; without a lot of added “hands flailing over the top’ drama that seems to be inherent in a m/f relationship. I enjoy reviewing them also because regardless of the genders, it’s romance and I do love a good romance. Homosexual, heterosexual, transsexual, polyamourous…everyone experiences the same joys and sorrows when embarking on a relationship and in reviewing, I can do my part to show readers that love is universal and there isn’t one “right” way or gender pairing. I’ve been lucky in that I do have gay relatives who came out when I was young and my family had no issues with their chosen lifestyle. I was taught at an early age that it really doesn’t matter who you love as long as your happy.
When did you start blogging?
I started blogging for Smexy Books in 2010. Mandi, the owner of Smexy Books, put out a tweet alert looking for reviewers and I basically stalked and harassed her until she gave in to my powers of awesomeness. Her version of this story may be different. 😀
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?
I think our blog is unique in that it is all inclusive. We review all genres and sub-genres though we do try and focus on the romantic element. While there are plenty of genre/gender specific blogs I enjoy following, I think offering a wide variety gives readers more choices and keeps the blog fresh. We like to offer a little of everything to keep readers interested and coming back. One of our more popular posts-Smex Scene Sunday-garners a lot of traffic not only because we post a sex scene from a book one of us has read but also because we don’t confine it to just m/f scenes. There is no telling what you may get from week to week.
What are some of the best m/m books that you’ve read all year?
Yikes, hard one. I hate picking a “favorite” because unless I DNF a book, there is something I love about every book I read. I just recently finished Z.A. Maxfield’s Hard Way Home and J.P. Barneby’s A Heart For Robbie. I loved the balance Maxfield had between the romance and the mystery but also the realism in one of the hero’s questions and fears towards BDSM. So often in erotic romances where one person is into BDSM, they toss their partner into the life with no real heart to heart interaction. Barneby’s story is a tear jerker for anyone who has a child. Heidi Cullihan, one of my favorite LGBT authors, blew me away with Fever Pitch. Her in depth attention to the problems gay men face growing up is heartbreaking.
What would you like to see more of in m/m literature that you don’t see now?
I like to see more mainstream inclusion and labeling. Not every alternative romance is an erotic. Two men, women, transsexual, ect…having sexual relations should not automatically be thought of as erotic romance. I’ve read some that has barely any sex yet…it’s labeled erotic. shaking my head
Do your readers prefer excerpts, interviews, cover reveals or reviews?
LOL I think our readers prefer giveaways the most. But next would come reviews then excerpts.
Thank you so much Jamie for having me on your blog.