Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Have you ever wondered why the majority of readers of gay romance are female? Have you ever wondered why there are so many female authors of gay romance? Do you wonder how these women began reading/writing gay romance? What effect does it have on their daily lives? Their relationships with family and friends? Do cultural differences weigh on their choice to indulge in gay romance? Do female readers/writers tell other people in their life about their love for gay romance?
At one time or another, most of us have probably wondered some of these things for different reasons. Geoffrey Knight brings together thirty-two straight women from all walks of life – married, single, with children, without children, readers, writers, cover artists, reviewers, women who read in secret, and women who read out loud, so to speak – with the goal of answering one question. Why do straight women love gay romance?
“Oh hey, by the way, I’m a straight woman and I read about the sex lives of gay men. You don’t mind, do you?” – Poppy
Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance is a truly fascinating work. Knight interviews everyday women with different views on life to discover what it is about gay romance that attracts so many straight women and how it has affected their everyday lives.
“I knew I had a chance, through my books, to stretch the boundaries and the comfort zones of at least some of those readers.” – Suzanne Brockmann
This book of interviews answers so many questions I’ve had in the two years that I’ve been reading gay romance. It also answers questions I have never thought to ask. Knight ventures into cultural boundaries and how they affect the way readers and writers approach to m/m romance. He highlights gay romance and how it affects these women’s relationships with their significant others, children, parents, and friends. He finds out how each woman began reading and/or writing gay romance. And one of my favorite aspects of this book is the way Knight wonders at the “army of straight women” that supports gay romance and gay rights. This male author brings to light the strength of these women, how their love for gay romance has translated into a fight for equal rights alongside the LGBTQ community, the friendships gay romance has brought into these women’s lives via the tight knit community that is gay romance. And, yes, he even delves into the sex lives of these women to find out if reading gay romance has improved theirs.
“I always say one man is hot, two men are WAY hotter.” – Jen
I really enjoyed reading each of these interviews. And while reading, there were aspects of myself I noticed in some of these interviews. It prompted me to want to tell my story – although, I’m not going to do that here – maybe another date, at another time. But these interviews helped to prove that I have not been alone – no matter what I’ve been though, or the struggles I have faced. This book is inspiring as well as informative. I could relate to some of these women – to a point that I wondered if I had actually been interviewed and forgot – and some had stories that broke my heart and I wouldn’t wish for anyone. And on a side note, I learned that Ally Blue is absolutely hilarious.
As with most women that I know, myself included, when we get on a subject we love, we can be a little long winded and maybe tend to veer from the subject. There were a few interviews that got off subject and I had to go back and read the original question to see if I actually missed something. And within the interviews there were so many punctuation and grammatical errors, the obsessive in me was going crazy. But that’s more of a personal complaint. Once I thought about it, I see that the author and editor probably wanted to remain true to each woman interviewed and not change their responses too terribly much – even if it made me a little twitchy.
The main thing I learned from this book is that the Women of Gay Romance do have the ability to change the minds of many and in turn change the world when we put our minds to it. I truly enjoyed Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance. Because I do…love gay romance, that is. And I am happy that Geoffrey Knight and Kris Jacen took time out of their busy fiction writing/editing schedules to highlight the wonderful world of these women. It is a wonderful tribute to both the women of gay romance and to gay romance itself.
This cover by Michael Cunningham in one word? Sexy. Okay I have another one – intellectual. So I am going to go with intellectually sexy. It’s a beautiful cover with a beautiful model that gives the book the sexy look that is gay romance but sedated in a way that it doesn’t give the perception of fiction. Well done.