neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

working my way through the backlist

     I'll try one book from a new-to-me author first, and if I like it, continue through the series, if there is one.  By which I mean it's unusual for me to get the whole series at once, if I haven't read anything by the author previously.  Sometimes I'm reluctant to start another series, especially if it's something of a different genre.  But I'm gradually acquiring the books from Jules Jones' backlist.  Reading The Syndicate got me started, and I enjoyed the "Buildup" series, particularly Buildup: Mindscan.  I've read that one a few times.  I've now read (as far as I know) pretty much all her contemporary shapeshifter stories.  After reading Dolphin Dreams, there were certain things I was braced for in reading the "Spindrift" series, including the possibility of lots of discussion about home repair, and description of the work involved.  Fortunately enough for my reading pleasure in Spindrift, Richard's cottage was already the way he wanted it.  There was a fair amount of tea-drinking, but not so much that it became the focus of the plot.  I couldn't entirely enjoy the story for itself the first time I read it, but I'm now able to be more relaxed as I read it again.  I've already reread it once, and it's another story I'll read several times -- I liked it that much.

     Going into far more general observations on certain m/m story conventions, there are a few that throw me which I haven't already commented extensively on, at least not that I can remember.  One is the futuristic stories which have all modern-day BDSM equipment.  Wouldn't the things have different names, or have changed somewhat in however many hundreds or thousands of years?  But, no, they're just taken directly as they are now, and transplanted into the future.  I find it disconcerting as far as my belief in the author's worldbuilding.  There was also a certain contemporary werewolf story I read in which the characters were already alpha and omega in their werewolf pack, yet the werewolves used props and equipment in their Dom/sub play.  I just didn't feel that the props were necessary when their respective roles were already so clearly established.

     From some of the stories I've read, a certain number of m/m authors seem to believe that if the characters are gay, they must be into BDSM -- I'm wondering if this is a stereotype that some readers are invested in.  I don't mind Dom/sub stories if they're well done -- I really enjoy the Dr. Fell series, as much for the humor and Dr. Fell's creativity as anything else.  But I have more of a liking for stories in which the partners are more equal than not -- they at least need to have complementary strengths.  Which leads into another convention that stems from both fan fiction and from yaoi -- the seme/uke roles being so fixed.  I haven't run across too many characters who switch.  I'm okay with the top/bottom dynamic if the author can give me convincing reasons why each character really prefers his respective position in the scheme of things.  But I have a preference for versatile characters.

     Going even more generally into erotic romance stories, some of the less-skilled writers just say their protagonists are werewolves or vampires because supernatural characters are trendy, and don't explore any ramifictions of those conditions.  There's no real use of the characters' powers and no showing the reader the particular way those things work in that world.  It's just a "that kind of character is automatically cool" mindset.  Note that those paranormal romance authors who I've said in this journal (and elsewhere) that I like manage this much better.

     I've wandered far from my original subject, as usual.  Now I really have it in mind to rant about other erotic romance conventions, but I'll start another post for that.

Tags: m/m, reading

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