PRIDE WEEK: Summary, Thanks, and Wrapup
Don’t forget, the Hidden Gems giveaway is still open through 4am EDT Monday. Go comment for a chance to win the book of your choice from the list!
Over the last few years, DA has reviewed an increasing number of LGBTQ romance novels. But we review a lot of books, and sometimes a specific subgenre can get swamped in the larger universe of reviews and other posts. Pride Week gave us the opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ romance, to remind readers that these reviews are an important part of what we do here, and to highlight what we consider especially good books in the genre.
When we were putting together the slate of posts, we weren’t really sure how the week would turn out. Now that we’ve finished, we can definitely say that it’s been great fun for John, Jill, Joan/Sarah and me. And as enjoyable as writing the posts was, reading your comments and suggestions has been the real bonus. Many thanks to all the readers, commenters, and authors who enriched the week’s discussions!
We had five posts in which we told you our favorite books in different areas of the genre and you responded with additional suggestions of your own:
Monday: Joan/Sarah discussed her top three BDSM romances
Wednesday: John discussed his top three YA novels
Thursday: Jill reviewed a terrific new f/f novel
Friday: I discussed my top three Contemporary m/m romances
Saturday: John, Joan/Sarah and I listed our Hidden Gems, books we think should get wider recognition.
Each of these posts has dozens of comments in which readers talk about their own favorite books in these categories. There’s something for everyone. I thought I was pretty well informed on what was out there in my preferred areas, and yet I’ve added at least a dozen more. And I’m compiling an even longer list of books in areas I haven’t ventured much into yet, like f/f and YA.
In addition to these recommendation posts, Joan/Sarah kicked off a lively discussion on the absence of book awards that include all LGBTQ romance authors and what the solutions might be. Jill interviewed several f/f and lesbian romance authors and bloggers about how to write authentic characters. And Jayne reviewed If the Walls Could Talk 2, a lesbian-themed film in her weekly Friday film review (how could I have overlooked a movie with Vanessa Redgrave, Marian Seldes, and Michelle Williams?). If you didn’t get a chance to read all the posts and you’re interested in the genre, click on the links to go back and catch up. And if you want to find more of DA’s LGBTQ reviews, use tags like m/m, f/f, or a DA reviewer or romance author’s name to pull up everything that’s available. For example, if you’re new to Josh Lanyon’s books, Jayne reviewed the first two volumes of the Adrien English series way back in 2008. Looking for short stories? Janine has written detailed reviews of two collections, one m/m and one f/f, from Blind Eye Books.
We envisioned Pride Week as a way to celebrate what we consider the best writing about LGBTQ relationships in our favorite genre, romance, and to help both long-time readers and those new to the subgenre to find books they would enjoy. It’s not a substitute for real-world activism and participation, any more than reading about romance is a substitute for real-world engagement. But in this week of landmark legislation, there’s something both appropriate and satisfying about reading a novel about same-sex relationships that ends happily.