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 three great Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week from Kim Fielding, Shea Balik, Elin Gregory and Xanthe Walter. 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 Tin Box by Kim Fielding
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
William Lyon's past forced him to become someone he isn't. Conflicted and unable to maintain the charade, he separates from his wife and takes a job as caretaker at a former mental hospital. Jelley’s Valley State Insane Asylum was the largest mental hospital in California for well over a century, but it now stands empty. William thinks the decrepit institution is the perfect place to finish his dissertation and wait for his divorce to become final. In town, William meets Colby Anderson, who minds the local store and post office. Unlike William, Colby is cute, upbeat, and flamboyantly out. Although initially put off by Colby’s mannerisms, William comes to value their new friendship, and even accepts Colby's offer to ease him into the world of gay sex.
William’s self-image begins to change when he discovers a tin box, hidden in an asylum wall since the 1940s. It contains letters secretly written by Bill, a patient who was sent to the asylum for being homosexual. The letters hit close to home, and William comes to care about Bill and his fate. With Colby’s help, he hopes the words written seventy years ago will give him courage to be his true self.
Debra’s Quick Bite
While the main story, set in the present, between William and Colby was a good tale of William's coming to terms with his long repressed sexuality with the help of the flamboyant, out and proud Colby, it was the underlying tale told by letters from the 1930's that is the heart of this book.
William is acting as caretaker of a defunct asylum while working on his dissertation and finalizing his divorce when he finds a tin box of letters hidden in a wall. Written by Bill, a former inmate who was committed against his will for breaking sodomy laws, the letters to his lover are both beautiful in his unwavering love and loyalty, yet contain a harrowing tale of the "treatment" he received for his so-called sexual deviance. William is no stranger to reparative treatment himself and is immediately taken in by Bill’s tale and, along with Colby's encouragement, begins to embrace the man he really is.
Both story lines are well written, but it is Bill's tale that will break your heart, while William and Colby will make you smile.
Talon's Prey (Paranormal Wars: Juarez 2) by Shea Balik
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Gibson Martin has always loved two things, to cook and to sing. One of them he excels at, the other, well, his motto is if you don't like it, leave. When he meets Alpha Talon Ramirez, who happens to be his mate, he's overjoyed the man doesn't grumble about his voice, which others compare to an animal dying. Talon Ramirez thinks his mate's off-key singing is adorable. He especially likes the way Gibson loses himself to the music while shaking his ass and singing his heart out while cooking the best food Talon has ever tasted. Now he just needs to find a way to keep his mate safe while the rebels plan an attack against Juarez that will devastate the city. Will they be able to overcome the danger in store for them? Will Gibson's singing get any better? Or will Talon's men need to buy earplugs? ** A Siren Erotic Romance
Liza’s Quick Bite
Talon is just adorable - a huge mass of surly, strong and totally edible hunkness. Sure he had to kill his brother, and yes he has been given the Alpha spot of the Juarez region in a sort of a caretaker role, but when he lays eyes on Gibson, he becomes mush. Horny mush, but mush nonetheless. Gibson is another great character - will never be a fighter, loves his cooking too much and the way he cares about everyone around him, is adorable.
But the war around them shows no sign of stopping and Talon has more to worry about than his new mate's cinnamon rolls. The Cadre is after them all, and there are problems in the team of men he has been leading since he started school. I have spent the last week reading through these stories and I love the world building and the complex characters.
So why only four stars? Because this is a series and honestly you get a lot more out of the book if you read it as a series (start with Paranormal Wars: Stone Haven) but the author clearly wanted her books as a standalone, when they aren't. But the repetitive information found in every book got a bit wearing, so the four stars is for the series - Talon and Gibson together - yep, they are five star material.
A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.
Olivier the squire worships the Black Knight and takes a fierce joy in his prowess as he defends a bridge against all comers. Olivier only wishes that his master loved him as much in return instead of treating him as a servant and occasional plaything.
Then word comes that the King desires to cross the bridge. With an army approaching, a bright eyed archer enticing Olivier to desert and the first cracks beginning to show in the Black Knight's gruff demeanour, Olivier is left wondering if his honour is worth more than a chance for happiness.
Mark’s Quick Bite
Knights in shining armour and not a single damsel in distress to be seen. Olivier is a squire to the Sir Maheris the Black Knight who has been charged by his lord to defend a bridge and to not let anyone cross. As simple as this plot may first seem, the whole story develops into a wonderful question of love and honour. This is a time of chivalry, courage and honour, well romantically at least, whether it really was like that is another story but Elin combines a wonderful writing style to give the reader the feel of medieval England and knights of old Elin has created a great medieval romp with an M/M romance which works perfectly! Full of atmosphere and tension between, not only the MCs and their romantic inclinations, but also the challenge and honour facing The Black Knight and the King’s army. I wanted to go out, buy a toy sword and knight’s costume and immediately start my own medieval epic.
Ricochet by Xanthe Walter
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
When the right dom is all wrong!
Even in a BDSM universe, where everyone identifies as dom or sub, finding the right partner isn’t always easy.
Matt is a big star on the hit TV show, Collar Crime, and he’s looking for a dom who ticks all the right boxes, including being as tidy and organised as himself.
That definitely isn’t his chaotic co-star, Rick, with his spanking fetish and habit of tying a different sub to his bed every night.
When Matt meets the perfect dom he’s swept off his feet, but he soon discovers that being pursued by a handsome, controlling billionaire isn’t the erotic fantasy he’d imagined.
Maybe the right dom for him is the one he thought was all wrong…
Macky’s Quick Bite
I read 'Ricochet' in the days when BDSM wasn't really something I looked for in my m/m books (now I can't get enough, LOL) but at the time I really enjoyed Xanthe's spin on a universe where BDSM practices are the daily norm and EVERYONE is either Dom or a Sub. Really cleverley constructed, it was refreshingly different, while still maintaining a loving, romantic edge that made a lifestyle that I didn't always 'get' at the time, feel very accessible and utterly enjoyable. The beginning of the book when Rick 'coaches' Matt was uber HOT! and when they finally get together only to part because of Ricks ' one time only' policy with his subs, that's when the book really took off for me. A Great balance of fun, angst and steamy romance peppered with memorable quirky characters, I was glued to my kindle till the very end. Loved it!