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.
Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We have four great Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week from J. D. Walker, A. F. Henley, Osiris Brackhaus and Lou Sylvre. Don’t forget you can can also enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a Kindle eBook of your choice from this weeks Quick Bites.
The Cookie Said ‘Red’ by J.D. Walker
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Cisco Boyd, an outgoing thirty-five-year-old, believes in fortune cookies and horoscopes. Despite his lack of success in finding a steady boyfriend, Cisco never doubts the stars will eventually lead him to the man of his dreams.
One day, Cisco reads the fortune inside a cookie that says, "Red is the color of your heart's desire." So when Cisco's date turns up wearing a red shirt, he's ecstatic. But things don't go as planned. After the date turns ugly, Cisco finds himself locked in his bathroom and calling the front desk of his apartment building for assistance.
Benjy McCrae, head of security, comes to his rescue. Cisco has always appreciated the hotness that is Benjy McCrae, but the man's stern demeanor has never invited too much speculation...until now. Suddenly, Cisco sees Benjy with new eyes, including the part of the man's security uniform that's always been there--his red tie.
Perhaps Cisco's "heart's desire" has been right under his nose all along. But are the stars finally aligned in his favor?
Liza’s Quick Bite
Cisco is a self confessed drama queen and slightly OTT. With a deep love and trust of all things to do with horoscopes and other signs of future love, it is no wonder that he finds himself on date after date with useless men, based on nothing more than the saying in a fortune cookie. After one such disastrous date, Benjy McCray, his doorman/building security guard has to come to his aid. How come Cisco had never noticed that the man always wore a red tie as part of his uniform?
On first impressions Cisco comes across as a bit of a slut, so I loved it when Benjy said the two men had to take things slowly. Of course one dinner date in his apartment later and things are far from slow - they are positively hot. But if you are looking for some light reading, a fun story and plenty of hot loving, then you will love this short read.
Forty-Two Stairs by A. F. Henley
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Owen has been struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, but it takes a DUI involving another vehicle for him to finally face his issues. The road to recovery is a rough one, and for Owen it's a journey made harder by bankruptcy, loneliness, and repressed memories.
His new apartment doesn't help either. It's small, worn, and hot as hell. The only way to reach it is a tedious stretch of stairs that seems like the final insult on top of a whole pile of misery. Thankfully, the mess comes with one bright spot: intense, pretty Sebastian, who seems to have a knack for keeping his head up and finding the beauty in everything.
Mark’s Quick Bite
An uplifting book that deals with the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. One about getting to grips with one’s demons and taking control of your own life rather than letting something rule it and being reduced to a slave to your addiction and to other people. What was nice to read was that Owen’s family, especially his brother is still at Owen’s side. Stuck with him and still supports him. I love it when a family pulls together, providing love and support because after all that is ideally how it should be. Owen has some issues with his mother and vice-versa, but there is fault on both sides here, but these issues are also nicely resolved.
I liked this book on many levels, but especially the whole idea of being reduced to the basics in Owen’s case and having to find his way again. Back to the beginning meant he could build a new Owen and in the process find happiness. So this is a story about a journey of recovery and healing, but also one of fighting, not making the same mistakes and finding happiness. A long climb up to the forty-two stairs, but Baba and Owen get their HEA. I really liked the sympathetic way that A.F. Henley writes, endearing the reader to the characters. I felt like I just wanted to squeeze and hug Baba to death and was willing Owen on all the way to do the right thing. If you want a relatively quick read with a feel good factor then I can strongly recommend A.F. Henley’s Forty-Two Stairs.
Lovers in Arms by Osiris Brackhaus
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
The year is 1946, World War II is over, and the Nuremberg trials are underway. US Army Captain Frank Hawthorne is returning to Germany to testify in the military tribunal of former Nazi Officer Johann von Biehn. Despite explicit orders to the contrary, Frank is trying to save Johann's life.
Three years ago, at the height of the war, Frank had been sent to kill the very man he is now defending. Much to his surprise, instead of the Nazi monster he was sent to kill, Frank found a compassionate dissenter. Johann considered the handsome young American officer the answer to his desperate prayers to save his beloved Germany from the cancerous infection of Nazi rule. What really happened between the two men during those long summer days in von Biehn’s Spreewald mansion must be kept secret at any cost.
With his own government forbidding Frank to reveal anything political that happened during the war, and society forcing him to conceal their personal relationship, Frank will have to find something truly unexpected to prevent Johann's all-but-certain death sentence.
* * * * *
Second Edition, June 2013 (Revised and re-edited)
Macky’s Quick Bite
This has actually been reviewed by Mark on the blog already, but I just felt like it should have another shout out. I'll be honest its’ historical setting didn't appeal to me at all because I generally don't like stories set in the Second World War but on Mark’s recommendation I took the plunge and it turned out to be one of the nicest love stories I think I've ever read. What a lovely story and so easy to read despite its premise. I mean how on earth do you make the romance between a high ranking Nazi officer and a tough patriotic American Black Ops soldier/assassin work. Read it and you'll find out exactly how Osiris manages to make Graf Johann Von Biehn one of the most endearing characters I've come across in a long time.
I loved Frank but I adored the charismatic Johann; and their scenes together when they first meet at Johanns manor are delightful, über sexy and OH SO romantic. I honestly got all tingly! Then you also get the intrigue around Johanns true reasons for joining the Nazi party and how he uses his influence within it for the good of others. This is a man loyal to his country and his love of Germany shines through. I loved how Osiris showed that despite propaganda, there were good guys and bad guys on both sides of the fence. It was a lovely, engaging war time romance that as the saying goes showed me you shouldn't judge a book by its cover! Absolutely a keeper and one I'll read again.
Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James #1) by Lou Sylvre
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.
While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.
Monique’s Quick Bite
With the release last week of A Shot of J&B a new series by Lou Sylvre, and a spin off from the Vasquez & James series, I really wanted to revisit Loving Luki , where it all began. Luki and Sonny are two of my favourite characters, and this book was what started that love affair, and oh my, I was completely captivated from the start… totally enthralled and bewitched by these two men that have a permanent place in my heart.
When I was reading this book, I had a knot in my chest for the most part… it’s not all emotionally overwhelming… there are also laughs, thanks to Sonny’s sense of humour and Luki’s lack of, and when the plot gets going they are both embroiled in the action. I just loved this book. The writing at times was outstanding, beautifully poignant with evocative prose that had me in tears… and with the action and anticipation pulling me all the way to the end, there were more tears, smiles, anger, frustration and sadness, all of which brings about an ending that will have you grabbing for book #2 Delsyn Blues immediately.