I’ve missed a few Fridays in the Friday Five Challenge because of, well, travelling, editing, and life, but I vowed I would actually get it in today, so here we go.
What is the Friday Five Challenge? Let me give you a brief refresher (or first time explanation if you’re completely unfamiliar with it). The quick and dirty run down: In five minutes or less you go to an online book supplier, pick a category, and browse book covers until one appeals to you. Then look at the blurb and a few comments and decide if you’d pass or buy. Then post it on twitter at #FridayFiveChallenge. Eventually, what this should do for you, is help you to notice what does and doesn’t make for good copy on a blurb, ect. Also, it’s pretty entertaining.
Part of the fun for me with the FFC is to pick a category of book to browse that I usually don’t think to look through. While I was wracking my brain to find something I almost never see I stumbled onto the idea of searching “gay romance BBM”. I figured, if BBW is Big Beautiful Women then there must be a corresponding interest in Big Beautiful Men, right? I mean, everyone is someone’s sauce and the internet is nothing if not constructed to help us find exactly the right spank and reading material (sometimes mutually exclusive, sometimes not).
So, I toddled on over to Amazon, my one click “isn’t this easy!” book purveyor of choice, and typed in “gay romance BBM”. Like, six books popped up all by a fellow named Theo and they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. They were about BEARS, not about husky men finding love, or hell, I would even take a quick lay. Had I stumbled into the no man’s land? Did this category simply not exist? I mulled this over while my five minutes were ticking by, but this was simply unacceptable. I started changing my search up. I typed in “chubby men”. I still didn’t get what I was looking for. Then I typed in “fat men” with a squirm of guilt. I don’t want Amazon search engines to think I’m being all judgmental. Finally I typed in “overweight men” and got a grand total of 3 books, two of which barely fit my parameters.
I chewed my lip and clicked on the one book that definitely seemed like it was about a chubby gay man falling in love.
The cover drew me in, as it was the ONLY one with an actual large man on the cover. I thought the pickings in the gay erotic romance Sci-Fi section were slim, but this is crazy to me. Does the internet really have so small an interest in larger men? Where are my gay chubby chasers hiding? At any rate, I thought the blurb was short, but sweet.
By the time he reaches college, Robert is an expert at hiding his feelings—with a few side effects. If he has a little attraction towards boys now and again, he can bury it with a candy bar and go on living the life his parents want for him. The only thing he never expected was that he’d meet someone who would like him just as he was, flaws and all. Now his emotional armor has stopped working and he’ll be forced to decide which life he wants for himself.
Now, this book is really more of a novella at 141 pages, which might have become an auto pass for me under different circumstances, but there wasn’t much else to browse. I knew this was the type of story that was likely to be a trope (man with self esteem issues meets uplifting, uber sweet Mary Sue), and sometimes I’m okay with it. Trope is comforting in the way that watching reruns of your favorite show can be. A trope read is a relaxing, unwinding read, and has it’s place in my entertainment spectrum. After hemming and hawing about everything and reading the one review which called it cliché, but good, I decided I was going to
the book. Now, this may seem perverse, but I bought it not so much because I think the book sounds wonderful, but because there is literally nothing in this category. I wanted to encourage more people to write in it.
I know that this is gay romance and like het romance we’re looking for beautiful people doing sexy things when we read, but I don’t like the fact that there is nothing in this section. There is a huge BBW section on Amazon. Am I to truly believe no one will buy a good book about large men? This lack of selection smacks of every shitty stereo type about gay men being shallow that I’ve ever seen. Gay men like hot gym bunnies and don’t care about what’s inside. I call shenanigans on that. I think that gay men are going to love who they love and BBM is someone’s kink so there should be more of it.
In fact, I think I want to write some now.
I was so irked by what I found that I bought one of the other books that were sort of on target (the MC in that book was just “out of shape”), so that I could promote the idea that chubby gay love counts with the way I spend my money. Large men deserve hot romance just like unnaturally, freakishly attractive ones.
Check out my book Threefold Love. Duncan is “husky”!