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 Jacob Z. Flores, Lily G. Blunt, Angel Martinez and Dominique Frost. 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.
When Love Takes Over by Jacob Z. Flores
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Zach Kelly’s life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He’s expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.
Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van’s got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He’s struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn’t offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown’s colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end—or more heartbreak than either can imagine.
Debra’s Quick Bite
Dumped by his boyfriend of 3 years, struggling with a writing career that has stalled, Zach Kelly makes the impulsive decision to spend a week in the beach town of Provincetown, MA, a paradise for gay men. Zach has turned into a self-described doormat and has spent a good part of his life trying to change to conform to what others wanted him to be, pushing down his own urges and desires. Van Pierce aka Hart Throb is a power bottom porn star. Tired of being used by the men he loved, he turned to porn so he could have his sex the way he wanted it without the dangers of falling for someone. When Zach accidentally stumbles into his life, having no clue who Hart Throb is, Van is instantly attracted to not just the hot mess Zach outwardly is, but to something he sees inside.
Set in a town where pleasure knows no limits the two share a hot and dirty 48-hour "non-date", but find themselves struggling to accept that what is happening between is more than just sex. The reality of Zach eventually leaving P-town hits them both and things get ugly as Zach decides that he can't possible leave P-town more devastated and alone than when he got there.
This surprisingly emotional story set on the backdrop of a hedonistic, sometimes campy atmosphere really worked for me. There was a lot of humor to balance out the more serious turns, and the sex was crazy hot. The writing made the secondary characters and the setting itself really come to life. A recommended summer beach read!
Paint The Sky by Lily G. Blunt
Rating ~ 4 Stars
A love of art...
A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.
Starry, starry night...
Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest... and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas. But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.
Hold tight to your dreams...
Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.
Mark’s Quick Bite
My Quick Bite this week is all about the changes that happen when you meet someone and fall in love. Can love reform one's behaviour? Well, this is definitely the case for Benjamin when he meets Vinnie who turns his world upside down. Until he meets Vinnie Benjamin's idea of a relationship was a blowjob in the backroom of the local gay night club. Yes, Benjamin's young, free, single and a bit of a man whore to be honest. I just loved the way that his attitude and behaviour transforms once he meets Vinnie at Uni. He falls heavily in love which makes him reconsider his way of life, realising how empty and unfulfilling his life has actually been until now.
There are some harrowing moments for Benjamin to pull through and I could just feel his loneliness without Vinnie. It was truly upsetting for me to read how he was suffering from missing Vinnie, but at the same time clutching on to every last straw thrown his way that might eventually bring Vinnie back to him. His patience pays off and I was only glad and relieved to see how they gradually got back together to form a relationship that is now possibly stronger than it ever was before. This meant the book ended on a beautiful high point and that did produce a warm, gooey feeling inside.
Rarely Pure and Never Simple (Variant Configuration Series, #1) by Angel Martinez
Rating ~ 5 Stars
A search for missing children throws a misanthropic human GPS and an obnoxious human torch together in a struggle to survive dangerous conpiracies and each other.
Damien just wants to be left alone. Too bad his variant talent as a locator makes him the go-to contractor for the government's missing person cases. He can refuse, but it's not so easy when the missing are variant kids. Blaze Emerson is a sparker. People fear him as much for his ability to call fire as his obnoxious, violent temperament. He's good at what he does, though, and he's intrigued by the quiet man who can find people with his brain. Conspiracies, treachery, and wild rumors are only the start. First Damien and Blaze have to survive each other.
Liza’s Quick Bite
Damien, darling Damien, my heart bled for him so many times over the course of this book. I wanted to pick him up, hold him close and not let anyone near him. Fortunately I don't have to because Blaze is more than capable of doing it for me. This book is a wonderfully quirky and slightly funny look on what happens when a locator gets paid with a sparker, in an effort to find lost variant children.
Confused? You won't be. The world building here is fascinating - bleak enough to tease the senses, but real enough to keep you grounded on this rollercoaster of a story. Yes, there are missing children, strong hints of a conspiracy theory, a bloke that can raise up an earthquake with his fingers and so much more.
But what makes this book a solid five stars for me is the relationship between Damien and Blaze. Blaze is so snide and cynical, with good reason it turns out. Damien is so scared of what he does, and the pain he goes through. But there are enough light moments in this book to keep it from being too heavy. I totally loved it and am off to see if Angel has written any more in this series. I want to know what happens next.
The Price by Dominique Frost
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Cale is a serving-boy at a high-class brothel in the city of Havisham. He isn't one of the courtesans, largely because he's too clumsy to manage seducing anyone, but he does his best as a servant, keeping the wine-glasses filled and the guests happy.
Everything changes when the warlord Darren Kaine visits the establishment. Darren is the new ruler of Havisham and is a brusque, commanding man. Fresh from a war that's lasted over six months, Darren is in no mood for frippery, and chooses Cale to accompany him for the night, rather than any of the courtesans on display.
Indeed, Darren so prefers Cale's straightforwardness and simplicity that he decides to make Cale his concubine, and to have Cale visit him at the palace, every night. Stunned by this new turn of events, Cale is further confused by his body's reactions to Darren. Darren is darkly handsome, sexually demanding and absolutely committed to giving his partner pleasure - a fact that has Cale looking forward to his time with Darren, perhaps more than he ought to.
Darren, too, is in danger of forgetting that Cale is just a tool he uses to slake his lust. For a new ruler, every action comes with a price. Will this one be too steep to pay?
Macky’s Quick Bite
I read this novella when I first discovered Dominique Frost, and ended up inhaling everything I could by her in a back to back marathon. Darren Kaine is a gruff, domineering no nonsense warlord who doesn't do frippery or fancy, so when he visits a high class brothel for some sexual relief after being away at war, he bucks the trend and picks Cale the brothels slightly clumsy serving boy for the night, but it turns out one night for him isn't enough, so ends up keeping Cale as his concubine. The blurb itself was a winner for me, but the story just ended up confirming it! I loved this book. It was set in a fantasy world but the snark between the two MC's ( especially Cale the servant turned concubine) sort of had a modern day speak feel about it, that made me laugh. The love story itself was cute, funny and sexy with great sexual tension, hot, steamy sex and some great banter! Dominique tends to have a signature pairing of one older gruff, arrogant or bad tempered MC and a younger 'twinky' character, who doesn't take any shit; gradually breaking down barriers and allowing them to get under the older guys skin...a combination she pulls off brilliantly in this, and that's why 'The Price' is a keeper for me!