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 having a fabulous holiday weekend! We have four great Quick Bites that you might just want to curl up with this week, from Astrid Cooper, Sloan Parker, Heidi Cullinan and Lou Harper. 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.
Secrets and Ink by Lou Harper
When Karma writes you a ticket, pay up or else…
If life was like the movies, Jem Mitchell’s wouldn’t be such a mess. In LA’s glittering world of dreams, he works an unglamorous job at a gourmet grocery store. His past is so deep and dark, the details are lost even to him. All he knows is he was once cursed by a meter maid, and ever since, his love life has sucked.
When Detective Nick Davies becomes a regular at the store, Jem dares to hope he’s un-hexed at last. He should have known that sex with a remarkably normal guy, devoid of weird fetishes and fatal personality flaws, was too good to be true.
During a post-encounter cuddle, Nick recognizes the tattoo on Jem’s back—and remembers him as a young hustler he arrested nine years past.
As Jem’s memories come crashing back, he flees from Nick, but fate contrives to keep pushing them back together. And when Jem’s old partner in crime is found murdered, the stakes are raised for life, for love, and a dangerous drama with no guarantee of a Hollywood ending.
Warning: Stars a mild-mannered store clerk with a shady past, a hunky cop whose passion in the bedroom is as big as his passion for justice, and celebrity sightings you won’t see on TMZ.
Monique’s Quick Bite
I love Lou Harper’s effortless style of writing she is a great storyteller who brings us plots that keep you engaged with thoroughly entertaining with characters. Yet another fabulous read from Ms Harper.
Jeremy believes himself cursed, all because he was rude to Karma… Mrs Karma Jones to be exact, he also has a bad memory due to a building falling on his head. Oh, …and, he has an affinity for colours, to Jem they have moods and personalities and they talk to him, not literally of course! I just adored Jem and loved his voice, but what’s not to love, he’s quirky, funny and sweet, although he can get a little emotional at times with the odd temper tantrum, one of the lasting effects from his accident. But the lasting effect of the curse means he has no love life or sex life to speak of, as everything for Jem seems to be a disaster waiting to happen, so he leads a simple life working in a grocery store in the hope that one day the curse will run it’s course. When he meets Detective Nick Davies, a regular customer, it seems that moment had come, until Jem’s darkest secret is revealed in the throws of passion and it turns out that Nick is the very same Police Officer that arrested him for prostitution at the tender age of seventeen!
Although Jem is happy I felt incredibly sad at how resigned he was to the fact that bad things happen to him… he is so matter of fact about it, my heart just broke. I loved Nick and his perseverance in pursuing Jem, despite Jem trying to dissuade him at every opportunity with tales of the curse, which of course, being a grounded and level headed man of the law he dismisses as mere superstition. There is an underlying plot and mystery running through the book where the glamour of Hollywood meets the sleazy side of town with rent boys, blackmail and murder, it was a simple execution but kept me captivated never the less. Their romance develops through trust and friendship with a little help from Olly and Jem’s sister. Nick’s overprotective nature and training coming to the fore, bringing them closer together when it becomes apparent that Jem’s life is in danger which just endeared me to him all the more, pulling at not only my heart strings, but also Jem’s… with his kink of Shibari being an added bonus!
Fangs for the Memories (Monsters InK #4) by Astrid Cooper
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Help! There’s a lion in my living room.
Ever since becoming Monsters inK’s lawyer, Ray O’Connor has kept secrets. Forget that his clients aren’t human, his worst fear would be the discovery that he writes erotic romances. But when a winged lion invades his home, Ray’s life goes to hell. Tajan is a cat-cop. His mission to rescue his brother becomes complicated the moment he sets his paws down on the savage planet called Earth and is confronted by Ray, a sexy man who ignores his own nature, because of past hurts. Beneath Ray’s façade is a man with the heart of a lion… Taj has many weapons at his disposal to draw forth the cat, not least of which is seduction. Ray doesn’t stand a chance.
Liza’s Quick Bite
I have had a most marvellous week reading Astrid Cooper's awesome Monsters InK series. In this book, Ray is the human lawyer that works for Monsters InK. He has seen things he had trouble believing in, like purple mist and vampire fangs, and eventually he is initiated into who and what Monsters InK truly is - a sanctuary for misfits in the paranormal world. House sitting for Leyden and Jai, he is visited by Tajan - a cat shifter who wants Leyden to go back to his home world and sing the song for the fallen - don't get it? Well, I'm not giving away this book's secrets so you will have to read for yourself to find out what that is all about.
Tajan is not exactly happy when he finds out that the inconsequential human with his geeky glasses is his mate - after all cat shifters are so damn superior to everyone else. But something about Ray gets under his skin, and his fur, and when Tajan sees Ray for who he truly is, then he gives into the inevitable. What I loved about this series is that although the books aren't very erotic in terms of sexual scenes, the emotional erotica is precious and I have read all eight books in the series so far. The writing might be a bit difficult for Americans to understand - Astrid is an Australian, but she provides a brief glossary in some of her books, and there are in text explanations as well. Her world building is great, her characters are quirky and so funny, and I totally loved the whole series. You can read this book as a standalone, but I am sure that you, as I did, will want to read the rest when you have given this one a go.
I Swear to You (Missed Connections #4) by Sloan Parker
Rating ~ 4 Stars
This novella-length book is part of the multi-author Missed Connections series but can be read as a stand-alone story.
When roommates Grady and Mateo give in to their growing lust, it's the best sexual experience of their lives. But are they really gay? Is this just sex or something more? It takes time for confused Grady to figure that out, but once he does, he's determined to have all of Mateo. Too bad tracking down broken-hearted Mateo proves impossible.
So what's a horny gay virgin who wants only one man to do? Grady posts an ad online to encourage his friend out of hiding and into his bed. Once he gets Mateo between the sheets, he's sure he can convince him that what they had together was no college experiment. But Mateo's been hiding from something--or someone. Grady is determined to tear down all Mateo's walls so he can find out what happened to him and help heal his wounds, and in the process show his best friend that he won't run. Not this time. He swears.
Mark’s Quick Bite
I just love a book about second chances and forgiving, about lost souls finding home, about never giving up hope on someone no matter how much time and distance has played a role.
All the action happens over one weekend at Grady’s family’s boathouse, but this was the best thing for Mateo as it brings him back to a comfort zone where he could feel safe once again with Grady. The story revolves around two MCs, but they have a lot of issues to work through together and you can feel the emotion in the characters through Sloane’s writing. Therefore the book kept me enthralled all the way through, the emotional roller-coaster ride they have to go through is heart-rending, as it is hopeful and healing. They ending was oh so sweet, I just love this feeling knowing that everything has been sorted out, all the trials and tribulations have been put to rights and the healing has worked. It really is a coming home story of two lost souls that after all they have been through cannot deny what is meant to be and that is; they are soul mates who are destined to be together, always have been and always will.
Dance with Me by Heidi Cullinan
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Ed Maurer has bounced back, more or less, from the neck injury that permanently benched his semi-pro football career, but every time he turns around, dance instructor Laurie Parker is in his way. But when a bargain lands him as an assistant in Laurie’s ballroom dancing class, everything changes.
As Laurie and Ed lose themselves in dance, their lives continue to spin around them: Ed’s injury makes it clear he’s nowhere near recovery, Laurie feels the pressure by friends and family to perform once more, and the community center that has become such an important part of both their worlds threatens to close. Alone, they haven’t had the strength or spirit to face what life has hurled at them. But as the turns of their personal paths lead them time and again to one another, Ed and Laurie begin to think that if they dance this dance together, they might be able to succeed.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: exhibitionism/voyeurism, male/male sexual practices.
Macky’s Quick Bite
This sexy, sensual, opposites attract romance featured two men who at the start of the story had both lost the promising careers they loved because of personal disasters. Ed, the consummate sportsman due to a horrendous injury, whereas up and coming professional ballet dancer, Laurie had his future cut short because of a public humiliation that not only ended his promising career but ended his relationship with his lover too. Ed meets Laurie volunteering at a local community centre where they constantly bang heads; putting each others backs up on a regular basis, but its only when Ed strikes a bargain with Laurie, after one of their heated arguments, that he ends up agreeing to be Laurie's dance class assistant and suddenly their relationship and lives start to change. From this moment onward, I was totally entranced by their slow burn romance. This beautiful opposites attract love story was all about the dance. Ed realises he loves to dance with Laurie and Laurie starts to find his joy of dance coming back when he's in Ed's arms, so they begin dancing together regularly as partners. In the early stages they slow dance around each other, until it becomes physical, and then they dance beautifully together in bed. This one isn't heavy on the Heidi kink at all but the imagery of them dancing the Argentine Tango together still makes me shiver! Gorgeous! As they fell in love, I fell in love with the two of them and their love story, which in true romance fashion wasn't always an easy one but in this authors hands it was quite simply enchanting. Plus a beautiful man in figure hugging dance tights isn't a bad image either! *Stares dreamily into space*