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 Erastes, Andrew Grey, Anne Tenino and T. Baggins.
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.
I Knew Him by Erastes
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Harry George Alexander Bircham: Not necessarily an infamous name in the annals of gay fictional characters…yet. But readers of Erastes’ newest historical novel should prepare themselves for many pages of suspenseful intrigue as the miscreant Bircham, a man of Wildean excesses and humours, will do anything it takes to bend Fate to his will. And that sinister will is to keep the affections and attentions of another young English lad. If accidents, if murder, are necessary, then Bircham is just the villain. Or anti-hero, as he is quite the early twentieth century charmer.
“If there can be such a thing as too much fun, this is probably it. It’s Hamlet in white tie and flapper dresses, relocated to the country-house circuit between the wars; but nobody quite acts out the roles laid down for them. This is just too good to miss.” —Chaz Brenchley, winner of the August Derleth Award and author of Blood Waters
Mark’s Quick Bite
Turn of the 20th Century and there are more downright evil machinations and family revelations going on in the Holland household than you would think possible. However, if you have Harry Bircham as your house guest then maybe a little murder isn’t out of the question either just to move or help your relationship along a little bit.
Erastes through her writing provokes a wonderful scene of early twentieth century England. The dialogues are a joy to read and almost have a modern day E. M. Forster quality about them but not that they are archaic or difficult to understand. Apart from the wonderfully descriptive writing you get a real feel of the atmosphere of the historical period, setting the scene brilliantly. Through the dialogues you get the characters come alive, also the times and attitudes that existed during this time too. Therefore, everything is set for Harry Bircham and his devious machinations…….and oh my, devious machinations is exactly what Harry Bircham is about. He is positively Machiavellian, taking charm and manipulation to another plane.
This is my second read from Erastes and once again loved every minute of it. Intelligent, a world class writing style, characters that just get right under your skin, a depth of understanding both historically and character wise, it’s exactly this that makes Erastes for me a must read every time.
Upside Down (Bronco's Boys Book 2) by Andrew Grey
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Sequel to Inside Out
Bronco's Boys: Book Two
Lowell Cartwright’s life as a mercenary problem solver has taken its toll, and after one more difficult job, he wants out. For help, he turns to Bull, a soldier of fortune turned club owner—not exactly a friend, but the best chance Lowell has. He visits Bull’s club to scope it out and meets Jeremy Hodgson. The twink captures his attention in a big way. Bull tells Lowell to stay away from the club until he decides whether he can help, so Lowell stays in town. When he spots Jeremy passed out on the floor of a convenience store, he goes to Jeremy’s aid.
Lowell piques Jeremy’s interest immediately, pushing all the right buttons. Then, when Jeremy needs help, Lowell’s kindness turns interest into something more.
But trouble comes knocking when Jeremy’s place is bugged. Maybe Lowell’s past is catching up to him, or maybe the danger centers on Jeremy’s roommate Tristan’s mysterious boyfriend. Whatever the source of the problem, the future Lowell and Jeremy hope for doesn't stand a chance unless they can find a way to protect themselves.
Liza’s Quick Bite
I love this series and although I think you could read this as a standalone, you actually meet both the characters, Lowell and Jeremy in book one. They don't meet each other until this book, and when they do, both men find themselves instantly attracted. Lowell comes across as good looking, but not too much, and really sexy in Jeremy's eyes. Unfortunately one of the problems with Lowell is that when you see his face, you never know if it's really him. No, this isn't a paranormal book, Lowell is an assassin, and a master of disguise.
Jeremy is sweet, innocent about a lot of things, but he has such a big heart. He knows Lowell wouldn't be good for him, but he went for it anyway and that takes real faith. I loved that Lowell never tried to take advantage. The scene on the floor of the grocery store was so sweet, and in the hotel in New York, double sweet.
There was some hot stuff too, but overall I loved how this connection wasn't forced, but it evolved, both men taking the time to think about things, before jumping in together with both feet. Bad guys, shot's fired, and who doesn't want Lowell to retire are just some of the mysteries woven in this brilliantly told tale. I loved it.
Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
It isn't true love until someone gets hurt.
Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.
Until he meets Ian.
Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.
Until he meets Sam.
Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong...can they?
Debra’s Quick Bite
Who doesn’t love a man in a kilt? Romance novel addict Sam is a grad student who has finally decided that he is done settling for Mr. Wrong and is ready to find Mr. Right. When he meets his "perfect Highlander" Ian, he takes a chance and asks him out, but Ian rejects him telling Sam he is not his type. When the two meet again at a party Sam decides that there would be nothing wrong with a one night hook up knowing that's all it would be, not realizing that since their first meeting Ian hasn't been able to stop thinking about Sam.
Sam uses his knowledge of romance novel plotting to guide the growing relationship, while Ian makes frequent use of his therapy sessions to learn how a relationship works. Like any good romance novel there will, of course, be a Big Misunderstanding but the hero’s Happy Ever After is assured. This book is funny, and sweet with a lot of sex, a little kink, a sexy man in a kilt and just enough drama to keep it interesting.
Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay) by T. Baggins
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
Andrew Reynolds is determined to stay in New York City as long as his sister Marie, a cancer patient, needs him. But despite his good looks and talent, Andrew hasn’t managed to find work as an actor. With his bank account empty and his credit cards maxed, Andrew needs money fast. Gay escorts make a nice living, but there’s one problem—Andrew isn’t gay.
Ever since his early teens, when Andrew’s father shocked everyone by coming out, Andrew has been uncomfortable around gay men. Pretending to be gay will be the role of a lifetime. From male/male dates to erotic toys, spankings and more extreme play, Andrew must satisfy his clients without revealing his usual tastes.
… AND ROMANCE
Andrew’s first date with closeted politician Cormac Donovan ends in disaster. Yet with each successive booking, the attraction between them grows. As Andrew struggles with unexpected new feelings, Cormac puts his senatorial career in danger. And what began as a way for Andrew to earn money becomes a one-way ticket to heartbreak—or lasting love.
Macky’s Quick Bite
Don't let this 'gay for pay' gem pass you by just because of its title, which I'll be honest I nearly did, because my first thought was it was just going to be another one of the many below par offerings jumping on the bandwagon of the originals famous title. But I gave it a go and I'm so glad I did because this turned out to be a real surprise and ultimately a keeper! Basically out of work actor Andrew, who is straight, meets gorgeous but closeted politician Cormac, when he has to resort to becoming a male escort to help pay for his sister Marie's cancer treatments. Andrew has issues after his dad left them for a man when he was 14, so his attitude to gays is not great but he'll do anything to help his sister (who he loves) as her cancer is worsening, but of course there's a lot more to all this than meets the eye. Not long into his and Cormacs 'relationship' things start to change and hidden feelings are brought to the surface ......
It's actually a very emotional story that incorporates some pretty serious subjects but it handles them all beautifully. There's poignancy surrounding Marie,who is a wonderful character but it's also surprisingly upbeat and has a lovely HEA that left me a little sad but mostly smiling and contented. Andrew and Cormacs romance is full of ups and downs but it's passionate and sensual and their chemistry is palpable. Turned out to be a real favourite!