Okay so here's the things I generally like and don't like in yaoi that I read.
Things I Like:
-Black-haired protagonaist and/or uke: Yeah it's minor but I'm far more likely to click on a manga that has one. Shinichi is basically all my feels as a BL protagonist so it's no wonder I turn him gay. The only way Shinichi could be more to my tastes was if he wore some nice glasses (not the Conan monstrosities) and had a facial beauty mark somewhere. Yeah.
-Men that look like men: I'm not into bara, I just want two leads that I can look at and positively identify as male. Considering manga standards of pretty boys, this is pretty lenient but you'd be surprised at the amount of uke leads that are basically a girl with a dick. If you need to have someone that damned girly then just write shoujo or het smut, don't force it into a guy! There's one yaoi mangaka, Minami Haruka I think....? That I basically can't read any of her stuff because of this. Seriously.
-Somewhat surprising or not by-the-book roles or personalities: I kind of hate using the "seme" and "uke" words because arrrgggh fangirl stereotyping. Yeah we all do it when we're fifteen (lololol major reason of why I'm rewriting old fics #5874) but it doesn't mean that it's cool or that I want to keep reading it. I'm far more likely to click on a work where I can't immediately identify who's going to take it up the ass by the cover. Of course this (and other concerns) can be brushed aside if the writing is good enough, but generic clueless-cute-uke-meets-overpowering-coo
-Pretty art: Yeah this sometimes contradicts the whole "men look like men" thing but shallowly I'm more likely to click on stuff with pretty boy leads than gruff men. ~*~Personal tastes~*~. Anyways I find this strange art style that is mostly confined to BL and some shoujo that looks like everyone's been punched in the mouth with how huge their lips are. Urrrgh. I don't read manga because I like lips!
Things I Don't Like:
-Student/teacher relationships: Arrrghdf;lids;kldfsdfsj; this I hate this so much fffffffffffff. Maybe it's just my American self who has been raised to think of it as a crime, but I will read incest over this most of the time. I really really do not like this, it always feels really skeevy on the teacher's part even if the student is the agressor of the relationship. I am more lenient of it in college or cram/outside school settings, though.
-Cousin romance: Yeah it's more acceptable in Japan, so it's kind of everywhere, and it's not like I hate it as much as I do the student/teacher stuff above, but I really prefer unrelated couples.
-Way too girly bottoms: Yes I already ranted on this but it deserves a special mention. I am not reading yaoi because I like girls. I am reading yaoi because I like seeing two men together. So why in the hell would I want to read something where the only thing separating the bottom from being a girl is boobs? At least go all the way and make them a transvestite or transexual or something where they want to be a girl. You can do a better story with that than just "basically a girl with a dick but still is male" which just basically screams that the writer finds two men hot, but is too uncomfortable with making a more realistic couple so it's just a het couple with different sex bits. Although I do find some amusement in super-girly ukes who are unusual in different ways...like the one I read where the super-cute and girly bottom was the agressor and like, a black belt in karate and thus kind of hilariously manly and confident. (He was also a huge space-case, which was also amusing). I guess what I'm trying to say is that "het couple but with two dicks" when there's no reason for the bottom to be girly (no gender issues, no willing crossdressing, nothing) is bad.
And I'm sure I have other thoughts, but whatever. Onto the recs!
Amayadori wa Basu-tei de
This was super-cute. Yay for tsundere black-haired lead!
Are you seeing a pattern with my preferences yet? XD Black-haired tsundere, again. This, however, I really like for the characterization and plot. Also Onoe makes the most hilarious faces. I really like the other stuff this mangaka writes too. She's good. ♥
Boku no Ano Ko
The art, so beautiful. I also like the contrast of roles here. But the art is the main reason, yes. Mmmn, Aki.
Bokura no Negai
It's still ongoing so I have no idea where this is going, but I like it so far. I always like the plots of this mangaka's work. ♥
Bokutachi wa Asu ni Mukatte Ikiru no da
Aahhh, Zaou Tenshi. I first came across them for their doujins - I actually have Gundam Seed and Detective Conan ones by them. They honestly have some of the best humor of any mangaka I've ever read, it fits my style perfectly. This is my favorite original work of theirs. ♥ (Probably because of the tsundere black-haire duke again. Always, always that.)
So many feels. That's all I can really say. A cute collection of one-shots.
Perhaps my favorite uke lead ever. Oh man. Kashiwaya is so cute and spacey and his thought processes have me in hysterics. (The giant rubber earthworm and the immune system captain bit made me laugh for about an hour.)
Hilarious and cute. ♥ Kasukabe's thought processes and expressions are a real treat.
Kamisama ga Yadoru Kotoba
I love this artist beyond reason. Her art is basically perfect to my tastes. Perfect. And this was so sweet. ♥
Ahhh, Junko. She never fails to please with how cute, sweet, and heart-warming her stuff tends to be. This, especially, just makes me smile all through it. It's so sweet.
Kuchizuke wa Niji no Ue de
This was cute. ♥ (Black-haired protagonist count #9084373049587)
Recipe no Oujisama
A newer one of Junko's that I'm reading as it comes out. So cute, need moooooreeeee! Come out faster!
Rutta to Kodama
Arrrrgh. Normally the black-haire done is my fvaorite, but. Rutta. Ohemgee. Rutta has got to be the cutest delinquent ever. Never before have I squeed so much reading a manga, this was so cute and refreshingly free of melodrama. It belongs with Konbini-kun in "Stuff You Read To Make You Smile".
Sorenari ni Shinken Nandesu
I like most of the stuff by this mangaka, but this is my indisputed favorite. It's refreshingly sweet and slow, and the focus more on the family and how slow Oosawa is actually falling is quite good. So many feels for this one. ♥
Warui Koto Shitai
Ahhh, the beginning of the Warui series. I remember beginning to read this once and giving up, and that's sad because now that I've read most of it it's quite good. Towa is such a cute idiot.
Will probably make another rec post later with non-yaoi stuff.