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 five great Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week from Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton, S. A. McAuley, T. A. Chase, Joey W. Hill and Charlie Cochrane. 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.
Second Hand (Tucker Springs #2) by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
Paul Hannon moved to Tucker Springs for his girlfriend, but she’s left him with a house he can’t afford and a pantry full of useless gadgets. All Paul wants is to get back to normal, even if he's not sure what that is anymore. When he wanders into Tucker Pawn for a gift to win her back, he meets El Rozal, pawn shop owner and all-around cynic.
El Rozal doesn’t do relationships, especially not with clueless straight boys still pining for their ex. El may make his living dealing in castoffs, but that doesn't apply to men. Still, when Paul starts clearing out his old life, pawning kitchen equipment he never wanted in the first place, El is drawn to Paul in spite of himself.
Paul and El have nothing in common except a past full of disappointments. There's no reason to believe the two of them could fit, but in El’s line of work, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. When it comes to love, El and Paul may learn that secondhand doesn't mean second best.
(Publisher's note: This novel is part of the Tucker Springs series, which do not need to be read in order.)
Macky’s Quick Bite
This gentle, sexy romance oozed charm. The two main characters Paul and El (Emanuel) were engaging and quirky, and I loved how the two Heidi's (awesome writing combo!) portrayed an obvious chemistry between their two MC's in what I felt was a refreshingly different way to the general wham, bam, insta lust we usually see in the genre. The slow, subtle way they came together was masterful. It was funny, tender, a little bit sad at times and sexy, with a great cast of supporting characters including a very cute puppy that added to its charm, but thankfully never sent it over the edge towards the realms of schmaltz. Paul tugged at my heartstrings because there was a vulnerability and lack of confidence around him caused by his ex girlfriend leaving him tied to a house he had no love for but couldn't afford to give up. Bless him, he was a bit of a clueless soul on all levels. Be it his love life, his sexual orientation, or his own attractiveness, he was oblivious but so lovable I just wanted to hug him! El however is out and proud. A tad cynical and kind of laid back; he runs his own pawn shop but also has problems of his own, including a flighty sister who can't commit to any real relationships and a mum with 'issues'. He worries for everyone else and because of that has sort of put his own life on hold...but despite their conflicts, I never doubted these two were meant to be and their journey to a HEA was a joy to read. A lovely feel good addition to the Tucker Springs series that was definitely one of my favourites.
An Immoveable Solitude by S.A. McAuley
Rating ~ 5 Stars
The ocean isn’t ready to let go of him yet.
Erik Hash, owner of a shark diving company in South Africa, loses everything in one night—his business, his partner, and his desire to live. The victim of a violent hate crime, he leaves South Africa and takes a job aboard a private yacht to escape.
When his partner reappears after three years, he wonders if there is something left for them to rebuild. But the ocean isn’t ready to let go of him quite yet.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This was such a beautifully written, moving book, it’s one of my top reads from last year. It's hard to discuss without being spoilery, but if you read the blurb you know the basics of the story.
Kerry and Erik (aka Hash) have been a couple and business partners for several years before one devastating night changes everything. Three years later, Erik is still wondering where he went wrong, why Kerry did what he did and whether he can ever pull himself together and really live his life again. When Kerry unexpectedly shows up, everything Erik thought he knew about the events preceding Kerry's running away and the years following, changes. Erik has to look deep inside himself and wonder if forgiveness is in the cards, not just for Kerry, but for others around him that kept secrets as well.
The fact that I can give five stars and highly recommend a book where I so disliked one of the MC’s is a testament to the strength of S.A. McAuley’s writing. I did not like Kerry and he never quite redeemed himself in my eyes, but I loved this book. This is a heartbreaking romance with unexpected twists and turns. I couldn’t help but be immersed in both the beautiful setting and Erik’s emotional journey to forgiveness.
Why I Love Bodyguards (Why I Love Series #3) by T.A. Chase
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Hilton Burke might be one of the most powerful men in the world, but he can't seem to get what he wants the most. Every time he sees Cathal McKinley, his head of security, Hilton can't help wishing they could be more than just employer and employee. He even admits to himself that he just might be in love with Cathal, even though they've never even slept together.
Cathal McKinley accepts how much he wants his boss, Hilton Burke, but he's pretty sure there's no way Hilton will want to date him. They come from two different worlds. And now, having to return to Sunburst, Montana, to deal with family problems, Cathal knows there's no chance for the two of them to get together.
Hilton and Cathal have spent years dancing around each other, but when Cathal needs help, Hilton comes to Montana to back him up. Soon, they're dealing with children and an old friend who can't take "no" for an answer. And finally admitting their love turns out to be the least of their worries...
Liza’s Quick Bite
I am a huge T.A. Chase fan and was blown away when I first met Hilton and Cathal in Why I Love Geeks. Hilton owns Burke Pharmaceuticals and Cathal is his head of security. Don't you just love it when two big men dance around each other for years before finally giving in to their passion? Well, I do and this is one of the best examples I have read in ages.
Of course the book has a storyline too. There are children to be cared for and an old murder that's never been solved. Both Hilton and Cathal have to make some serious changes in their lives if they are going to stay together, but you just know these two guys are big enough to cope. This book is fun, hot, and yeah, I totally adore Herb who makes a reappearance in this book along with the others from books one and two. This is a standalone, but I recommend starting with Why I Love Geeks and then you get the whole experience.
The Best Corpse for the Job by Charlie Cochrane
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.
Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.
Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.
As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.
Mark’s Quick Bite
Oh my, how do you turn a very quaint and traditional English village into complete turmoil? Yes, you have a little murder English style in the local school; then the kettles will be working over time brewing tea to calm the nerves and more biscuits served up then you can shake a stick at. I loved the whole idea of this story, the characters, plot and setting are all so quintessentially English I was in my element. So for all those anglophiles out there then you will want to get stuck into this book for sure.
The murder-mystery aspect I found intriguing and fun. I never really have been one for trying to work out who the murderer is before the end and prefer to be entertained, just letting the investigation unfold until revealing bit-by-bit the likely suspects and watching the noose tighten. So did the murderer come as a surprise. Well, yes I could never have thought out such a convoluted story myself so enjoyed every minute of it. Throw into this mix two great MCs and the sexual tension between the pair of them the book was a winner for me.
Rough Canvas (Nature of Desire #6) by Joey Hill
Rating ~ 5 Stars
When his father dies, Thomas is forced to abandon a burgeoning art career in New York. As difficult as it was to give up his lifelong dream, it's nothing next to walking away from the man he loves. Marcus taught him to embrace who he is, a sexual submissive who responds to the touch of only one Master. But why would the sophisticated Marcus need some farm kid from the South?
Then Marcus shows up and offers him a way to continue his art career and help his family. There's only one hitch-he asks Thomas to spend a week with him in the Berkshires. Thomas knows he should refuse. But he's never been able to say no to his Master.
Monique’s Quick Bite
Rough Canvas is one of my all time favourite reads! It’s part of Joey W. Hill’s Nature of Desire series, but for M/M readers this can definitely be read as a stand alone. It truly is an excellent book, one I have recommended countless times to friends and readers looking for a good BDSM, Master/slave novel. It’s definitely kinky fuckery at it best, brilliantly penned and executed by an author I only wish would write more books in the M/M genre.
I absolutely loved both these characters. Marcus the very droolworthy epitome of a Dom. The man oozes sexuality from every pore, he’s a vision of beauty, perfect in every way, with the culture and elegance of a GQ model, and an arrogant confidence that demands attention. And Thomas, a shy and quite modest farm boy and aspiring artist, who is in awe of Marcus, the man who holds his heart, his Master.
Their relationship is complex and deeply emotional, two lost souls so intertwined that without each other they will never be whole. There is so much tenderness and beauty between them that it often brought me to tears and my heart was breaking seeing the overwhelming love and devotion they have for each other. Which brings me to the sexual chemistry, because that is something to indulge in and be savoured, in the best possible way, in other words it’s bloody hot! I’ve found very few authors that can achieve that kind of intensity and make it believable.
It’s not all intense and dramatic, there is also a lot of humour between the two MC’s and the amazing cast of secondary characters. Kathy and Walter Briggs, I want them as my Grandparents, I just fell in love with them along with Julie and her wicked sense of humour.
If you haven’t read this book, then it’s a MUST READ!