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.
It’s December and Christmas starts here at Sinfully! We have three great Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week which include two of our favourite Christmas reads of 2013 from Amy Lane & Eli Easton, plus one of Mark’s fav books of this year from Brad Vance. Don’t forget you can also enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a Kindle eBook of your choice from this weeks Quick Bites.
IN ADDITION we have our December: 5 for me! 5 for you! eBook Giveaway. Answer the daily question on our posts during December for your chance to win 5 eBooks for you and 5 eBooks for your bestie!
Apollo’s Curse by Brad Vance
Rating ~ 5 Stars
All Dane Gale ever wanted was to be a successful writer. After a few sessions with his new friends Rose and Sherry at a romance book club, well, the more romances they read, the more they're convinced they can do better. And do they ever! They join their creative forces to become "Pamela Clarice," self-published romance novelist. When they look for a cover model for their first book, Dane sees the photos that will change his life.
Paul Musegetes is the world's most popular romance cover model, and the most secretive. Dane soon finds himself obsessed with this supernaturally handsome man, and when he meets Paul at the Romance Writers' Ball on the Summer Solstice, he and Paul connect for one night of passion...
After that night, Dane's a writing machine. He can't stop writing romances, and every story he touches turns to gold. But he also finds that he can't write anything but romances. And soon he's spending every waking moment of every day writing another after another...
Then Dane finds out that this Midas touch has a heavy price. When the year is over, he'll never write again. Not a romance, not a serious novel. Nothing. Not even a grocery list. And that leaves him with only one option - find Paul, and get him to break the curse. But before he can do that, he'll have to track down Paul's equally mysterious photographer, Jackson da Vinci...
Mark’s Quick Bite
Have you ever opened a book and been completely broadsided by it in a positive way? Well, this definitely was the case for me when I started to read Apollo’s Curse by Brad Vance. This whole idea and concept really caught my imagination, why not? I mean this is something that a lot of authors know only too well and I’m sure can really appreciate. For me it was like having a peek into the world of writing and the trials and tribulations that go along with it. Excellent. Seriously well written, paced and plotted. I feel when you write about something you know well, it brings a new dimension into the words.
I have read a number of books from Brad, but this one is by far the best one I have personally read to date. The writing is concise, dialogues are entertaining, realistic and seriously funny at times, the story develops at a nice pace and always leads the reader on. When I think there is absolutely no erotica or steamy sex in this book at all, it just goes to show that a romance doesn’t need this if the writing and the story are heartfelt, has something interesting to say and brings across a message of love and caring. The ending for me was just perfect!
Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.
Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.
But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.
Monique’s Quick Bite
This book is possibly my favourite Christmas read ever and made it into my top ten favourite books of 2013, it’s THAT good! It’s one of those books you just want to shout out…READ. THIS. BOOK!
Christmas Kitsch is Rusty’s story, told from his POV and I loved his voice and Amy Lane’s depiction of him is truly wonderful, he is without a doubt a character who will steal your heart… a beautiful person filled with goodness, so utterly and totally believable, and what I wouldn’t give to have someone like Rusty in my life, I am hopelessly in love! But not only with the precious Rusty, because we also have Oliver, who is also such a darling, so patient and understanding with a magnetic personality who knows Rusty better than he knows himself, especially when is comes to his sexuality. Rusty thinks of himself as straight and Oliver is gay, no issues there, in fact it brings out yet another endearing quality, that of the protector of Oliver from his asshole friends that think it’s big to pick on the gay boy.
This is such a charming story, stunningly executed, the characterisation is excellent, not only of Rusty and Oliver but also the secondary characters, all of Oliver’s family, Nicole Rusty’s sister and Rex, plus his Mom’s who we never met on page but they deserve an extra special mention… all of them are just as animated as our two MC’s, there is so much love in this book that you are totally enveloped in it from the start and my heart was fit to bursting, it is the perfect Christmas story, compelling reading and one that is tailor made for snuggling in a warm blanket and savouring... and if you are an emotional wuss like me, I suggest you have the tissues at the ready, because my eyes were leaking… a lot!!!
A Prairie Dog’s Love Song by Eli Easton
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Ben Rivers always was a showman. He won awards in 4-H and rodeo competitions from the time he could walk, and he’s happiest in the spotlight. So when he got the chance to be a star—in porn—he took it. He still loves Montana and everything about being a cowboy, but when news of his alternate identity leaks out, he figures he’s lost the town’s goodwill forever. Clyde’s Corner would never accept an openly gay cowboy, even a hometown boy born and bred.
Joshua Braintree always had the notion that he and his best friend’s kid brother, Ben, would end up together. Ben’s always been a diehard cowboy, just like him: they need the land and its freedom as much as they need air. So when Joshua learns Ben moved away from their small Montana town to be a porn star in Vegas, he can hardly believe it. He’s determined to finally declare himself and bring Ben home.
Despite his longtime crush on Joshua, Ben won’t be as easy to tame as Joshua’s “lost cause” horses. It will take a lot of heart and holiday spirit for Joshua to convince Ben that even old prairie dogs can learn new tricks in the name of love.
Macky’s Quick Bite
This was Eli's addition to Dreamspinners 2013 advent calendar event and I absolutely adored every single minute of this delicious story, from the moment Joshua realised that Ben was doing porn; causing him to run...through Joshua's attempt to bring him home... and finally to the moment when everything that stopped them getting together over the course of the story finally came together in a lovely finale. I found it tingingly romantic, with all round emotional satisfaction because not only was it tender and sweet, but it was also full of the smart, gentle humour that Eli does so well and hosted a cast of extremely likeable and loveable supporting characters who helped make the book the delight that it is. Is it the Christmas story you might be expecting? Perhaps not but the magic of Christmas still shows in its delightful HEA. I totally fell ' Stetsoned head, over spurred heels' for Joshua Ellen Braintree and the guy who stole his heart and mine, Ben Rivers...Cowboys and Christmas turned out to be a great combination. One of my all time seasonal favourites.