About The Purple Fantastic

I’ve always loved fantasy and adventure books that incorporate a bit of romance. When I hit the age of ten, (yes, ten) I began wishing for boys like me in the adventure books that I read. It would have been useful to know that other boys like me existed… that I wasn’t alone in the world.

These days, there are many books (often by Indy authors) with swashbuckling action, imaginary lands, and men who fall in love with other men. Sometimes they can be hard to find, as advertising budgets are limited – especially for authors in this genre.

So with The Purple Fantastic, I am featuring the m/m fantasy and adventure books that I have enjoyed. No one is paying to have their books on this site.  Maybe they will align with your tastes, maybe not… but I want these worthy books to have more exposure.

Beyond a few possible words of why I enjoyed these books, I am not writing reviews on this site. I would not post the books if I didn’t enjoy them. Are they all perfect examples of literature? They all vary in the way that all creatures vary and have their unique voices and charms. But each of these books entertained me, so I am sharing them with you. 🙂

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As I understand it, the small commision I receive from Amazon purchases made through the links on this site do NOT reduce the author’s royalty, but instead are out of the store side of things. Any purchases that you make through links on this site are much appreciated as they help with covering this site’s expenses and its mission of promoting authors’ work!


What do I like? I am partial to a main character with a moral compass. Sometimes that moral compass is discovered during the journey. But I lose interest if the main character is a jerk or overly snarky. Characters that repeatedly make really stupid decisions get tiresome (unless we start to see growth). If a character is in a foreign land (and due to their cockiness/machismo) repeatedly snubs advice from well meaning locals, the ensuing drama starts to feel pointless. I stop caring whether they survive and I often move on to a different book. Also, I’m not big fan of fated mates as I just don’t find that idea sexy. Love is an active choice. When choice is removed… is it really love? (I know… lots of folks love fated mates… I totally acknowledge that this is my own stuff).  But I will have shifter stories in my recommendations. There are great shifter stories that are not dependent on that particular trope.

I love imaginative world building and clear rules for a universe. I love a dash of humor. I love sexy scenes when they make sense within a plot. (Drives me crazy when zombies are surrounding the house and the author decides that this is the time for a minutely described sex scene… is this really the time?) I have to believe that the characters are making the choices, not the author. Anyhoo… those are my peccadillos. I’m going to feature the books that I love and perhaps you’ll find stories that you will enjoy as well. It’s going to take a while to get the hundreds of fantastic books that are already on my list up on the site. But book by book it will grow.

And as I am a writer in this genre, I’ll of course also plug my own books as well.

On Steamy Content…

Occasionally I’ve spoken with supportive parents of gay teens who want to encourage their kids to read, but are unsure of how sexy a particular book gets. So I am putting a steam rating next to the books I’m recommending. I love a well written steamy scene, but I also acknowledge that some readers may not be looking for quite as much steam as some books contain and may wish to wait a few years. Conversely some want steamy books… this is just a way to help readers select the material that they are looking for.

This is admittedly an imperfect process. I’ve read some of these books a while back, and I am remembering the best I can. I am rereading many and will update as needed. I don’t like defining exactly how much sex is in a book. Sex is part of a whole life and should not be relegated to little compartments… sex over here and the rest of life over there… but if a general heads up assists some readers to find material better suited to what they are looking for, I am all for readers reading more books.

The Purple Fantastic Steam Meter

  • 0 … There is no reference to sex in any significant way.
  • 1 … There is some acknowledgment that sex and/or body parts exist.
  • 2 … There is some non-sexual nakedness, and/or some characters may be aware that sex exists. There may be reference to sex specific body parts. If there is sexual activity, it happens off the page.
  • 3 … There is nakedness and some sexual activity between characters on the page, but always in conjunction with plot.
  • 4 … There is nakedness and sex that is vividly described on the page, but is still connected to plot.
  • 5 … There’s a plot in this book?

Paul Manchester loves to read. He has a lot of books… both physical books and Kindle books. He is an unabashed bibliophile. It is not uncommon for Paul to revisit books as our life experiences change how we perceive even familiar books.

When Paul read Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped in fourth grade, he found the ending a happy one. But while living far from home in his mid-twenties, he found the same book to be much sadder. His nine-year-old self didn’t grasp how sad it would be for David Balfour to lose a good friend despite the otherwise improved fortunes. Catriona (the sequel) must be read if you liked Kidnapped… it reunites him with his good friend, along with another big dollop of adventure. (Yes, Paul tends to prefer happy endings… there is enough misery in the world without wallowing in it during his leisure hours.)

When Paul is not reading, he enjoys making things, i.e. drawing, writing, painting, sculpting…  creative endeavors have been his bread and butter for many years. He has created background art for animated projects, recreated vintage packaging for TV & Film props, built miniatures & puppets, helped elderly Hollywood friends write books about their lives… he has worn many hats over the years.