To me, there is nothing more exciting than a debut author. There is something so fun about reading someone’s first work and we’re lucky enough to feature Sidney Karger.
Karger’s debut book, Best Men is releasing with Berkley on May 2nd. In honor of that, he wrote a guest post for us. As you might surmise from the title, this book follows the unlikely pairing of a “man of honor” and the best man in a wedding.
While it seems like a match made in heaven, the two can’t seem to get along although I’m sure that will change. There is something so romantic about weddings that makes people want to fall in love yet we rarely see m/m wedding romances.
In honor of that, Sidney wrote a post featuring some of his favorite boy-meets-boy or m/m romances. As someone who reads and loves romance books, I’m always happy to see what books authors will recommend so let’s get into his recommendations.
Sidney Karger shares his favorite boy-meets-boy love stories with us!
Before sharing Sidney’s post, I’d like to thank Berkley for setting this up and then I’d also like to thank Sidney for writing up a post for us and sharing some of his favorites so let’s get into it.
1. All The Right Notes by Dominic Lim
This lyrical novel seriously sings. If you love all things Broadway, piano bars, SNL and second-chance romance, this one’s for you. The impressive past and present storyline follows a piano prodigy and a Hollywood action star as they realize their love for each other over the course of many years. Dominic Lim’s funny and moving debut stands out among MM rom-coms with characters we rarely have the opportunity to experience. I can’t wait to read his second book.
2. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
How can a list of the best guy-meets-guy love stories not include this instant classic? I was immediately hooked by the high stakes, high concept of America’s First Son falling in love with the Prince of Wales. If you haven’t read this one yet, you should know that Casey McQuiston delivers on the premise as Alex and Henry navigate their love in such an epic, hilarious and profound way. It’s going to make a great movie.
3. The Temperature of Me and You by Brian Zepka
Talk about high concept. Even though this story works for all ages, if there was a book I wish existed when I was in high school, it would be this one. Two guys meet at a Dairy Queen, fall for each other at first sight and discover an unexplainable, supernatural—okay, nope—I don’t want to spoil the fun mystery. Put it this way, Brian Zepka’s debut novel is like a way cooler, gayer version of a superhero origin story that completely ignites your imagination.
4. Only Mostly Devasted by Sophie Gonzales
What if you replace Sandy and Danny from Grease with two guys? That’s a very basic pitch but this extremely enjoyable coming of age book serves us a similar easy breezy summer fling followed by all the complications and obstacles when school starts again. As the great John Travolta once belted out, “Summer lovin’ had me a blast.”
5. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
It’s sort of cheating to see the movie before reading the book, as I did, but if anyone is stumped by the question, “What great book was also made into an equally great movie?” this is your answer. The hypnotic way the author captures first love and lust during an endless Italian Riviera summer in the blissful mid-80s epitomizes all the reasons why we love to lose ourselves inside the pages of a memorable story.
6. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Another inspiring book that was adapted into an excellent movie and TV series. The story follows Simon as he’s blackmailed by a classmate who discovers that Simon is gay and in an online relationship with the anonymous Blue. Guessing the identity of Blue is a real page-turner mystery, wrapped in a heartwarming story about an accepting family, quirky, complicated friends and the thrill of first love.
7. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Okay, fine, this is probably more of a boy-avoids-boy love story. When novelist Arthur Less is invited to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding to someone else, Less escapes further heartbreak by traveling to a bunch of random literary events around the world. Andrew Sean Greer’s dazzling writing (see: Pulitzer Prize, ever hear of it?) transports you directly to romantic places like Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Japan and more but the bittersweet romance of Less and his ex creeps up on you in ways you won’t expect.
8. I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson
The first page of this well written book had me laughing immediately. It’s a queer Black spin on the fake boyfriend trope with the unique combination of second chance love. Aspiring journalist Kian Andrews gets a text from his ex, Hudson Rivers (fun, ridiculous name) who asks Kian to pretend to be his boyfriend all over again. What could go right? The writing feels present, like your smart, funny best friend telling you a great story.
Honestly, Sidney is making me look bad with how many recommendations he shared. I usually try to keep it at five, but now I want to push myself. Additionally, he shared such a wide range of genres and stories so I loved this post.
There is always something so fun about seeing what books authors recommend and there are just so many to choose from. This will be a great one if you’re looking for some recommendations closer to Pride Month or if you’re looking to get a jump on your Pride Month reading.
Best Men by Sidney Karger will be out on May 2nd, 2023.
Will you be picking up Sidney Karger’s debut book? Do you have favorite boy-meets-boy romances? Share with us in the comments!