Decorative arts curator since 1980, Husband of Gary Berger, Father of Grace and Alex. Author of Desmond. Author of more once I retire (I hope). Enormous fan of gay fiction, m/m romance. I've read all of Jane Austen and all of Charles Dickens.
My favorite gay fiction author is Neil Plakcy, most of all his Mahu series.
My favorite gay myster/detective writer is Marshall Thornton. His Boystown series, set in the early 1980s in Chicago, is remarkable.
What I Love in a Romance
What I love in romance novels is pretty simple: two men overcoming obstacles to find love with each other. As a gay man, the acknowledgement of m/m relationships as mattering is at the core of what I get out of any book. Invisibility is corrosive. Visibility is healing. LGBTQ folk have been left out of romance--indeed 90% of all fiction--for far too long.
A good romance is like a good landscape painting: everbody knows what it is, but the artist's skill makes the experience memorable and unique.
What I Hate in a Romance
What I hate in romance novels is unbelievable men--men who have nothing to do with the men I've known in my fairly long life. Not that I'm not into fantasy (I like werewolves and vampires as well as magical princes and all kinds of spirituality), but as a gay man I need the men to be real in order to let my romantic side soar. I am tired of formulas that don't try anything new.