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 Taylor Donovan, Jamie Reese, Joyee Flynn and Liam Grey. 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.
Disasterology 101 by Taylor Donovan
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
Kevin Morrison had it all. A house he worked hard for, a loving wife, and three beautiful children. But it wasn't until his marriage ended that he realized what the void he'd felt almost all his life meant. Coming out as a gay man at thirty-six is not an easy feat, but he is determined to be true to his heart. Meeting a man who shares his values, and is good with his children would be a bonus, but when the guy arrives in a uniquely wrapped package, and has very specific handling instructions, Kevin needs to decide if he's up for that kind of love.
Obsessed with order and symmetry, and a paralyzing fear of germs, Cedric Haughton-Disley has lived with isolation and loneliness as long as he can remember. Desperate to be normal, he makes some much-needed changes in his life. If he can commit to his treatment, he might very well be able to procure some quality of life... even if that's all he can get, as finding love and having a relationship are only possible in Cedric's wildest dreams. But when a chance encounter leaves Cedric wishing for more, he decides to take a leap of faith, and pursue the guy he wants.
Together the two men make an unlikely match. Cedric needs organization, and Kevin represents chaos. In order to stay together they both need to compromise, but will they be able to deal with Cedric's issues and the potential disaster, or let it break them apart?
Debra’s Quick Bite
This is a well written, character driven story that focuses on love and acceptance. Cedric is an intelligent, 26 year old, upper class Englishman now living in NYC, and suffers from germophobia, OCD, and anxiety attacks. At odds with that upbringing, he dresses like a thug, which does a good job at keeping other people away. Kevin, a divorced construction worker with three kids, has just accepted himself as a gay man at 36 and should be the last person Cedric would feel comfortable with, but there is an undeniable chemistry between the two. Kevin is almost saint-like at times in their relationship, navigating his new life and loving Cedric for the person he is, not the person he would like him to be if only he wasn't ill, but he soon finds his limits as well in a relationship that holds more potential pitfalls than just the obvious.
Both MC's felt very real to me and Taylor Donovan did a fabulous job of portraying Cedric and his struggle to live as normal a life as possible. It is funny, sad and romantic with a realistic HEA, not a sugar coated cure all. I highly recommend it!
A Better Man by Jaime Reese
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he's played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.
Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt's crumbling building.
Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there's a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.
Macky’s Quick Bite
The nicest thing about this story was the love between the two main guys, it grew between them gently and tenderly and by doing so forged a true connection that weathered every obstacle thrown at them including both their past histories and Matts obnoxious mother. In most stories these would normally cause the requisite ' separation ' that generally is the fallout in a lot of m/m novels when the you know what hits the fan, to fill out the angst quota but in this case it actually brings them closer together. There are moments of conflict but Julian never reacts how Matt expects, his support is unwavering and I never once doubted them not making their love and Matt's dreams for his halfway house work. A lovely story with a small cast of characters who make up a big hearted book.
Elder and the Youngest (Unmated At Midnight) by Joyee Flynn
Rating ~ 5 Stars
When the vampires come after Lachlan, his father sends him to America, but that still puts Lachlan in a precarious situation… One that he doesn’t want his family dying over to try to save him from. So when the stunning rhino shifter makes him an offer that would keep everyone safe, he has to take it. Even if it means using himself as the bargaining chip and being mated to an elder. Percival was already trying to help, but when he sees the youngest McMurray, he figures out how to get the authority he needs over the vampires and snag the most gorgeous man he’s ever met. Now if he could just figure out what Lachlan wants before driving them both crazy. But when Lachlan realizes it’s not a partner that Percival wants, but an uncomplicated, permanent boy toy, can he deal with that and be what his mate desires? Note: This book is written in first-person point of view.
Liza’s Quick Bite
Someone let it slip the other day that one of my favorite authors, Joyee Flynn had not only contributed a number of titles in the Midnight Mating series, but had also written an offshoot - the Unmated at Midnight series. Now don't worry if you haven't read the first lot - these books are fine as a standalone. In this one Lachlan has come to visit his brother because he is the next in line to fulfil a contract as a blood donor for the leader of a vampire coven, and obviously he doesn't want to. To get out of it, Percival, who is an Elder, offers to take him as a mate, and keep him and his family safe.
Yes, a bit contrived, and this would have been a good book even if only their differences in ages was an issue. But no, Percival might be an Elder, but he is clueless about relationships and I loved how much backbone Lachlan proved to have despite being so young. I read all of the books in this series over the weekend, and it had the hallmarks of all the others - hot sex (lots of it), and eventually a romance. This was a shifter story, so that happened quickly. But it was the dialogue between the two men that captured my heart - they were so different and yet so right for each other. Give this one a go, even if you have never read any of the others.
It's Christmas Everywhere But Here
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Christmas brings dreams of peace, love, and family time for most. Sadly, Russell Moore isn’t so blessed. Since his coming out and marriage prompted a less-than-joyful reaction from his religious parents, Russ has kept his distance to avoid their conservative disapproval. With his husband David deployed overseas for the second Christmas in a row, Russ gives in to the loneliness and takes his stepchildren to meet his parents for the first time, hoping the “goodwill toward men” spirit will overcome his mother’s zealotry.
But Russ’s Christmas joy is too quickly deflated by his mother’s unmet expectations, leaving Russ to ponder if peace, love, and perhaps matricide go hand in hand.
Mark’s Quick Bite
So I’m still having my little Christmas celebration in August – HAHA! Well, why not? – lol! However, THIS BOOK!! Is absolutely beautiful – I LOVED IT!!! Whether you read it with 30c outside or -5c December it really doesn’t matter, this book needs to be read!
A story about family and coming home for Christmas. Ever wondered what Christmas and family is all about? Is it about blood relations or unconditional love? Well, here we have Russell whose husband David is overseas with the military and is looking after their two children Emily (10) and Austin (7). I just loved the way that Russell cares for his kids. Patient, loving and attentive, no kid could wish for a better Step-dad and accept him completely.
So throw in two great kids, a coming home for Christmas, coping with not very nice relations, and you have me reaching for the tissues and sighing all over the place! This was a wonderful story, you could feel the lurve happening between Russell and Dave and the way they cared for their children. In may respects a perfect family Christmas and I’m sure these kids will grow up with all the love and attention that any child needs. And before I leave just one more *sigh*