As M/M Reviewers, between us we have read thousands of m/m romance novels over the years and we would like to share our favourites with you, those reads that have been 4+ stars for us. So every Monday we will be bringing you our Quick Bites, short reviews of our recommended reads.
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The Bitter Rednesses of Love by Dominique Frost.
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Anthony Clark, degenerate genius and impoverished nobleman, finds himself wedded to the painfully proper young aristocrat, Stephen Ayers. They've been pledged since before Stephen's birth.
Will their marriage prove intolerable to them both, or will they find a happy equilibrium, instead? As Anthony teaches Stephen the pleasures of the body, will Stephen be able to teach Anthony the pleasures of the heart?
Macky’s Quick Bite
A regency m/m romance with a touch of steampunk...In a world where sexual preference is not an issue, Anthony, a bed hopping rogue and a rake, has been betrothed to quiet virginal Stephen since childhood. In Anthony eyes he may be extremely pretty to look at but personality wise, he thinks he's as boring as hell! However, being a slightly impoverished nobleman , the wedding must go on, so the two marry. Anthony is quite happy to fulfil the sexual side of their marriage but as far as he's concerned this is still just a marriage of convenience, so he plans to carry on with his many dalliances. But beautiful, shy , thoughtful Stephen begins to get under his skin in unexpected ways, ways he never sees coming or thinks he wants in his life. Connect the dots and I guess you can see where this lovely story ends up going...as arrogant, 'not so nice' to begin with Anthony loses his heart to his 'not as boring' as he thought sweet, endearing groom...and <i> of course </i> I ended up losing mine to them both!
Plot sound familiar? Well it is, but this is written in such a way that it actually feels really fresh. Partly due to it's slight fantasy slash steampunk twist but more I think because of Dominique's actual style of writing. I found it really spoke to me. Another author I discovered and another who sent me on a search for (at the time) her other two books, which personally also turned out to be 5 star reads. I loved, loved, loved this engaging novella and by finding it added another great new author to my auto buy list. Charming!
The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.
Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.
But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.
Marks Quick Bite
The ideal m/m Halloween story. Intriguing, spooky and romantic, who could want more. I loved the contrast in characters, Wyatt a rather awkward academic museum curator and Ash an adorable but quirky bartender who flairs. He also has the most amazing collection of tongue rings and one that even vibrates. I must admit to having googled this for some pictures to get an idea, myself belonging to the piercing uninitiated. Ash and Wyatt, a most unlikely pair, end up fighting for their love after Ash is possessed by the demon of the Gravedigger's Tavern.
The tavern provides the backdrop to some very spooky, creepy and ghastly goings-on. It has a long and sordid history which is revealed very carefully, bit by bit, by Ash digging up its history from old documents and newspaper stories in his museum. The author builds up the suspense very well, until the final scene where everything comes to an head.
☆ MACKY ~ 5 STARS ☆ TINA ~ 4 STARS ☆
Stripped Bare by Susan Mac Nicol
Rating ~ 4 Stars
After two years, Matthew Langer is still getting over the death of a loved one. He's steered clear of serious relationships, but when he meets the irascible, dirty mouthed and tempestuous Shane Templar that decision has never been harder. Shane is sexy, warm and funny, and Matthew finds himself trying like hell not to care about him. Especially when Shane, with his quick wit and hacking skills, is quick to stand up for justice and avenge wrongs. Then Shane strikes at the wrong target, and Matthew realises just how far gone he already is. At the threat of losing for good yet another man who’s broken through his armour, Matthew finds his heart stripped bare. He must face the demons of his soul or a future without love
Tina’s Quick Bite
Stripped Bare is a beautiful and amazing read that had me captured from the first page. The characters are so well developed I was spellbound with their lives as if I was part of their story.
Matthew is controlled and put together but he has a lot of issues that he needs to deal with from his past. Shane seems to be immature, he's a funny guy with a potty mouth who tries to help Matthew move on and live again. And he’s a hacker! Yay! Loved that.
At first the guys seem to be total opposites but as their story unfolds it becomes clear they are destined to be together. Shane is just so lovable with his impatience to know everything and Matthew with his unwillingness to let go with his feelings again.
I loved that Matthew/Matthias is German and how Shane thinks the German spoken word is a turn on. Danke schön, liebe Susan Mac Nicol für die netten Deutschen Spracheinlagen. Das ist etwas ganz Besonderes und hat mich sehr gefreut.
The dialogue is intense and well done, the romance is beautiful, sweet, and sigh worthy. The writing style just pulled me in and I didn’t want it to finish. I just loved it. It's hard to believe that this is Susan’s first M/M book. She created a wonderfully written story and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Bitte weiter so, Susan.
Bareback by Chris Owen
Rating ~ 4.25 Stars
Jake Taggart's life was almost perfect--he'd worked hard to overcome his past, and he loved his job as foreman on a ranch in Arkansas. The only thorn in his side was a dark eyed cowboy named Tornado whose stubborn attitude brought frustration and confusion to Jake's mostly happy existence. A late spring rainstorm brings out hidden passions and unleashes a chain of events neither of them expected--and eventually brings about events that threaten to destroy them and what they worked to create. Strong wills and forceful personalities make for intense encounters....but is it enough to keep love alive?
Monique’s Quick Bite
Ceaseless in their desire and ardour, relentless in their passion and consumed by lust! Tor and Jake, Damn....they are Hot!!! Chris Owen, certainly knows how to write sex scenes...
When I picked up Bareback to read I was aware there was a lot of conflicting arguments about Tor. I fully understand the reasons behind the contradictory emotions of Love. Hate. Passion. Disgust. Anger and forgiveness. My own conclusion being you ‘Hate to Love it’ and ‘Love to Hate it’ plus - it is ‘Hot as Hell’...... which makes me feel the author got it right! To evoke so much emotion good and bad from readers, it must be something special, whether you like it or not!
The book is told completely from Jake's POV, so in my humble opinion we are already biased, not being privy to Tors thoughts and feelings, his inner turmoil and confusion hidden from us and his secrets not shared until he is ready to discuss them with Jake. There is no insta love between them, it is a relationship where the dynamics are constantly changing over a four year period. In fact, initially, Jake hates Tor with a passion, to him he has no redeeming qualities and there is not one thing, that makes him even remotely like Tor!... except maybe the sexual tension between them that has yet to be explored. It does also cross Jake's mind that they were actually alike, but Tor's smart ass, arrogant and full of attitude nature, which in Tor is negative, Jake see's as positive in himself!...and so, the journey begins, from fuck buddies, to friends with benefits, to lovers, to forever!...with one HUGE FUCK UP in the middle!
So if like me, you like a lot of sex with your romance, then this book is for you… I loved it!!!
☆ MACKY ~ 2 STARS ☆ TINA ~ 4 STARS ☆