Interview With Romance Reviewer And Blogger Jess

LogoI’m so delighted to interview romance reviewer and blogger Jess. A lover of all romance books, her blog features different wonderful books and her comprehensive reviews. If you’re looking for recommendations on romance books to read, I highly recommend you visit her blog and enjoy the resources she has to offer.

Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?

My name is Jess, I’m a thirty-something working wife and mother, and a lover of all things romance. I do review both straight and gay romance, but you can find my m/m romance reviews at http://romanceaholic.com/category/book-reviews/glbt/ and follow me on twitter for all of my reviews (as well as other non-book related fangirl nonsense) at https://www.twitter.com/RomanceaholicBR

What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?

I got started as a blogger several years ago when I realized that I was reading so many books that I had people coming to me for recommendations for what to read. I thought starting a blog would be a good way to organize my reviews, as well as give the control freak in me a better way to customize things the way I wanted them as opposed to some of the other review sites available on the web.

Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?

I know I have been an avid reader since before I can even remember because my mother and all of my old teachers tell me so. Then growing up, whenever I got into trouble, my mother wouldn’t take away my TV privileges or ground me from the computer — instead, she’d confiscate my library card! The memory still makes me shudder in horror.

I’ve always loved the escapism that reading gives you. For the minutes or hours that you’re reading a book, you can be anyone, anywhere, in any time or in any place. It’s like an instant vacation without ever having to leave the house.

As for m/m romance, I actually discovered it in fan fiction before I discovered it in published books. Once I’d read most of the stories that sounded interesting to me, I found myself craving more, but was unsure of where to find quality stories, and so I turned to the forums and chats with my favorite fanfiction authors. They in turn pointed me towards Josh Lanyon, who is still one of my favorite m/m authors (as you can probably see from my reviews), and then I slowly branched out to other authors and publishers.

One of the things I love about m/m romance as opposed to more “mainstream” romance is that there are often fewer “games” played between the main protagonists, and usually less of a Big Misunderstanding.  Plus, I won’t lie, the idea of two handsome fellows together is appealing to me.

Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?

I think what makes my blog unique is my personal standard format for reviews. My full reviews have everything from full author/publisher information, series information, buy links, and bullet points for what worked for me and what didn’t work for me. I like to provide as much information as I can to my readers so that if they come across a book that sounds interesting, they have all of the relevant information at hand and don’t have to go hunting for anything.

Define success as a m/m blogger and reviewer.

To me, success as any type of book blogger is having a loyal set of readers who trust your recommendations.

What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?

As I’ve mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Josh Lanyon, so his two newest, The Boy With The Painful Tattoo {Holmes and Moriarity 3} and Fair Play {All’s Fair 2}(scheduled to be out November 10). are by far my favorites this year.  Another favorite was In Despair by Megan Derr. It’s a fantasy romance with tons of action and an enemies-to-lovers vibe that I just adored.

What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?

I’m a HUGE fan of “fated mates” in paranormal romance, and while I’ve read a few m/m stories that fit the bill, I haven’t found nearly enough to quench my thirst. I would love to see more paranormal m/m authors incorporate fated mates and all of the delicious plot points that go along with that trope into their books.

What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?

Never be afraid of giving an honest review. Remember that your reviews are not meant as constructive criticism for an author, but rather as shopping advice for other readers — and while there’s no cause for being cruel or hateful in your review, if you honestly feel that a book is not worth reading, your readers deserve to know why.

Jamie Lake is the author of Bad Boy: Naughty at Night and other m/m gay romance novels.

      

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