I admit, I wasn’t a big fan of contemporary romance, initially. The plots tend to feel blah like there’s nothing going on. However, the more I MM romance books I read, the more I discover some contemporary romance gems that were utterly brilliant and unforgettable.

This tag is my little shout out to the genre. I found this @Kathryn Books.

What’s the first contemporary romance you remember reading?

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Boy Meets Boy takes me back to when I just discovered western gay romances. I was mostly into BL manga back then, so I was ecstatic to find this book that read like the cutest, swooniest romance manga. In hindsight, the plot is a typical high school romance with queer characters, complete with the requisite prom climax. Still, I have the fondest memory of this book.

What’s the last contemporary romance you read?

Real Hazard by Elle Keaton

Real Hazard is the latest installment of West Coast Forensics, a police procedural/contemporary romance series I have been diligently following. The plot here is more contemporary romance than police procedural and has a different vibe from the rest. It also turned out to to be the best book so far.

Who are your favorite contemporary romance authors?

N.R. Walker, Lucy Lennox, L.A. Witt, Saxon James, Elle Keaton

What book do you recommend to a contemporary romance beginner?

Love Around the Corner by Sally Malcolm

Love Around the Corner is a light-hearted, feel-good holiday read reminiscent of the movie, You Got Mail. This is a great starting point for contemporary romance beginners, especially those venturing into MM romance, because the vibe is warm and cozy, the characters are lovable, and the plot is executed most charmingly.

What are your least favorite contemporary romance tropes?

Age gap, especially daddy kink. I’m not a fan of kinks and sex plays because they tend to have cringey and cheesy dirty talk.

What are your favorite contemporary romance settings?

I’m torn between big city and small town.

I love big cities because I love the bustle and the nightlife, and they’re always fun to explore them. However, in stories, small towns have quirky characters and picturesque charm.

What was your favorite contemporary romance you read last year?

Down Low by Parker St. John

Down Low slayed me! I’ve gushed about this book many, many times already. This is a second-chance romance between a has-been bull rider and his high school sweetheart, the pastor’s son. The pining, the longing, the hate kisses, and the USTs had the intensity of a thousand burning suns!

What are your top three all time favorite contemporary romance reads?

The Elite by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine

I always say this about The Elite. It’s the ultimate Top Gun homage!

The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish

The Remaking of Corbin Wale is pure magic!

Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday

Leo Love Aries is a delicious slow-burn bi-awakening that went nuclear.

What are your most anticipated contemporary releases this year?

The Real Thing by Elle Keaton

The Real Thing is the upcoming installment of West Coast Forensics. This is a love story several books in the making, so I’m super excited to see it finally getting its HEA.


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