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 bring you our Quick Bites, short reviews of our recommended reads.
We have three fabulous Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week from Lily Grace, Harper Fox and J.P. Barnaby. Don’t forget can can also enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a Kindle eBook of your choice from this weeks Quick Bites.
Analyzing Emory by Lily Grace
Rating ~ 5 stars
When a family friend offers him the job of resident psychologist at Chicago’s GLBT Center, Kyle Michelson jumps at the chance to reinvigorate his career, move on from his recent breakup, and get his life back on track. Kyle hopes returning to the familiar territory of his hometown will do him good, but meeting Emory Brenner at a club changes everything.
Anything but familiar, Emory leaves Kyle breathless from the start. There’s just one problem: Kyle wants more than a one-night stand, Emory doesn’t do relationships, and neither man can resist the other. Luckily for Emory, he never has to see Kyle again. Or so Emory thinks until he runs into him while volunteering at the GLBT Center.
Kyle makes Emory want things he never thought he could have and chips away at secrets Emory has kept locked away for years. On the surface, Emory’s recovered from his past: he has a job at a record store and a roof over his head. But putting his trust in another person, having a relationship, means opening himself to more pain—and that is a risk he can’t take.
Macky’s Quick Bite
Basic plot centers around Emory, a beautiful young man who hasn't had the best start in life and who uses his stunning looks to entice casual hook ups because he can't commit to, or sustain, any thought of a long term loving relationship; until one night at his favourite club, he meets Dr Kyle Michelson: a guy who's just arrived back in his college town. Sparks fly, they have great sex and for the first time Emory actually sleeps over, something he would never do normally, so panicking the morning after he bolts, telling himself that however attracted he is to this man, he doesn't do relationships so he avoids further contact with Kyle. Flash forward to the LGBT centre where Emory has been a volunteer helper for years and who walks in as its new head psychologist...
Granted this is a trope that has been covered a lot in m/m romances and to be honest this follows true to form. There's very few surprises and there are no guesses from the word go how this will all pan out but don't let that stop you from picking this up. I really enjoyed it and it's all down to Lily Grace, who sets the tone from their very first meeting in the club where the sexual tension is electric and she keeps it sizzling right up to the last page. All the characters are extremely likable and endearing especially Emory and Kyle who have great chemistry. The romance is both sweet and hot with just the right amount of conflict and it's no spoiler to say that it has a fab HEA.
Once Upon a Haunted Moor by Harper Fox
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.
But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.
Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart.
Mark’s Quick Bite
This little gem of a story is the ideal thing for a spooky Halloween night. It only takes a little under two hours to read it, but Harper Fox manages to pack a whole lot into a few pages. Set on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, a place already steeped in mystery, folklore and strange happenings, there couldn't be a more atmospheric place to write a great spooky chiller-thriller. A young girl has gone missing from the village of Dark. Now all the leads are running cold and the chances of finding her alive are diminishing with every day.
For a novella the action, clue solving and mystery part is well paced and timed. I found myself connecting to the characters immediately. Harper once again has shown her knowledge of locals, their quirkiness, traits and oddities. The most famous myth arising from this area being The Beast of Bodmin Moor and here no spooky, chiller-thriller could miss out this opportunity.
Painting Fire on the Air (Survivors Story #2) by J.P. Barnaby
Rating ~ 5 Stars
A Survivor Story
From her perch on a shelf above my bed, the doll accuses me with lifeless eyes of failing Juliette in the most heinous way imaginable, forcing me to crave the bite of his whip and the steel in his voice to drown out the ache in my chest.
For his entire life, Benjamin Martin’s parents drilled into his head that he must watch out for his little sister, but one horrific night, he failed. Now, the bite of a whip, cuffs digging into his wrists, his arms and legs stretched beyond endurance, these things give him what he needs to forget his sister’s violent death, at least for a while.
When Ben’s latest Dom casts him aside like a broken toy, he manipulates his best friend, Jude Archer, into picking up the pieces. Jude has been in love with Ben for years, but his fantasies about his friend never included whipping him. He doesn't understand why Ben needs BDSM and he worries about Ben’s addiction. Most of all, he fears losing his humanity because he’s already lost himself in Ben. When he’s forced to trade the marks upon his soul for the pain that ravages Ben, Jude learns the real definition of submission.
Monique’s Quick Bite
Painting Fire on the Air, although part of the Survivors Series, can be read as a stand alone. I have loved this series from J.P. Barnaby, and in my humble opinion, she is a remarkably gifted writer. For me her talent lies in the character development, her ability to create that binding emotional connection. I empathised with Jude and Ben and became invested in every minute detail of their lives as though it were my own. We are fed information in such a way that my heart was bleeding for these men with whom I laughed, cried, and shouted a few profanities of my own, completely overwhelmed by J.P’s ability to create such intensity and emotion and that’s before I even start on the sex, ‘cause hose me down now! It’s fierce, raw and powerful with an intimacy and sensuality that intensified what was already between them… I just loved it all!!!
After all the initial angst and heart break it was a joy to watch this relationship develop, to see them open up and be truly honest with each other and work through their insecurities, making the dynamics of this relationship very interesting! Ben and Jude melted my heart as they made their own rules… and I liked that Jude could also be needy and vulnerable because that was also who he was. There are no stereotypes here, they worked with what they had because at the end of the day, what was more important was the fact they had each other. Ben needed more than just having his ghosts momentarily forgotten by having his sexual desires sated, and he craved the love that he had denied himself for so long… and Jude, I loved seeing him grow in confidence and step out of his boring accountant shoes and explore a side to him that he never in a million years thought he had in him… I totally had tingles down my spine when he got all growly!
A total winner for me as always with J.P. Barnaby!