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 Con Riley, Nick Pageant, T. A. Chase and Jay Bell. 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.
After Ben (Seattle stories) by Con Riley
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Seattle Stories: Book One
A year after the sudden death of his longtime partner, Ben, Theo Anderson is still grieving. The last thing he’s looking for is a new lover. But as Theo soon discovers, sometimes life has other plans.
While Theo experiences a powerful physical attraction to fellow gym member Peter, it’s his new online friend, Morgan, who provides the intellectual challenge to make him come alive. Morgan is witty, brave, and irreverent, and Theo is ready to take the plunge… until he discovers Morgan might be half his age.
Theo’s late partner was significantly older—enough to strain Theo’s relationship with his family—and the potential of another relationship being cut short leaves him gunshy. Theo needs to lay Ben’s memory to rest, reconcile with his family, and rekindle neglected friendships if he’s to start afresh with a new lover. But Theo isn't the only one with a past.
His biggest challenge, in living after Ben, might not be his to face.
Macky’s Quick Bite
Poignant, moving, tender and beautifully written, 'After Ben' centers around Theo who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of Ben, his much loved, long term partner. We share his grief and memories, but then witness the emotionally filled process of him tentatively allowing people back into his life. I loved the unusual way Con Riley introduced Theo's new love interest, handling the subject of letting go and accepting love back into your life when bereavement is still a raw nerve, sensitively and gently. Considering its premise, this is never maudlin or gloomy; there's humour too and well crafted, likeable supporting characters whose own stories play out alongside Theo's, within the book. A gorgeous tale with a lot of heart that was an absolute pleasure to read. I loved it.
Beauty and The Bookworm by Nick Pageant
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Mason Leery is a bookworm and he thinks he might just be able to get through life simply by reading about it instead of living it.
Until he meets Shane Beaumont. Shane is the opposite of Mason in every way, he's beautiful, athletic, and lives his life to the fullest.
Sparks fly when the polar opposites come together, but it will be up to the bookworm to shut down his e-reader and go after the beauty if he wants to love someone outside the pages of a book.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This book was so much fun! Nick Pageant packs a lot of laughs into this novella as he affectionately pokes fun at gay romance fiction with clíches and caricatures of some of the most beloved (opposites attract) and most despised (that bitchy female friend) tropes in the genre.
Mason, the bookworm who is never without his e-reader, and Shane, the jock-wearing beauty, were too sweet as they stumble into each other’s lives and then try to share in the other’s passions. Mason’s Harley-riding Gran? Well, she might be insane. I'll admit to actually giggling out loud at points and maybe even a very ladylike snort. If the book had been longer, I would have gladly kept reading. This book is the perfect escape when you get tired of reading Tolstoy and Moby Dick and just want a quick, no angst, slightly over the top, fun-filled story that may or may not include chicken shifters, fisting (not really) and more cardigans than Mr. Rogers' closet.
Bastet (Earth Warriors, Book 1) by T.A. Chase
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Kellan Largent is a grad student at Harvard. His thesis is on ancient Egyptian religious cults. While immersed in his research, he comes across an obscure reference to the Earth Warrior cult. Little does he know that one sentence in a dusty, tattered book will engulf him in a battle between good and evil. A battle that could be the end of the world as he knows it.
The stray cat wandering the streets around Kellan’s house is more than an abandoned feline. Bastet has roamed the earth from the days when Egypt was young. He’s watched the pharaohs rise and fall, new gods come and go. His purpose, however, has remained the same—protect the earth at all costs and keep the secrets of the Earth Warriors from regular mortals. He’s sent to keep Kellan Largent from finding out the truth about the cult, but also to keep the unsuspecting college student alive.
One man will do anything for the spell that created the Warriors. He wants immortality, and killing Kellan for the secret is just the beginning of the trouble he’ll cause to get what he wants.
Liza’s Quick Bite
Looking for a geeky guy writing a thesis on Egyptology, and a big hunk of an immortal who has lost more lovers than the geek's had hot dinners? Meet Baz and Kellan. Kellan is clever, doesn't understand his own worth (like to many geeks) and spends his days finding obscure references to ancient Egyptian cults. How was he to know that the day he found out about a little known group, the Earth Warriors, one of those same warriors would introduce himself at the bus stop.
Yes, a bus stop. This book is a blend of realism with a hint of the ancients about it. There's a secret, bad men go after Kellan because they think he knows all about it, Baz realizes that his heart isn't made of stone, and the secondary characters are wonderful. The only downer? I went looking on Amazon for book 2 and it's not there. I do hope the author puts it out soon.
Something Like Lightning
(Something Like #5) by Jay Bell
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Never stop running. No matter how often life trips you up, or how many times your enemies knock you down, just get up and keep on moving until you find where you belong.
Kelly Phillips has been out of the closet since he was a young teenager, and thanks to the gay youth group he frequents, he has never been short on friends or lovers. But when you have almost everything, it’s hard not to focus on what’s just out of reach: A best friend, who would be Mr. Right if he wasn’t already Mr. Straight. Or that handsome guy at school, who would be easier to wrangle if not for his angel wings. And then there’s the one who might be a perfect fit, maybe even a soulmate… if only he wasn’t convinced he didn’t need anyone at all. Kelly has always been good at running. Now he must learn to chase, which will not only test his endurance, but the durability of his heart as well.
Something Like Lightning is a new beginning in the Something Like… saga, shifting the focus to a fresh set of characters while also revisiting a familiar face or two.
Mark’s Quick Bite
Jay writes extremely well, bringing emotions to surface in a myriad of characters. He introduces us to Jared, Kelly’s best friend until it all goes wrong, to Kelly’s parents and younger brother who show love as a family the way it should be, William's parents who are the exact opposite of Kelly’s, his best friend Bonnie upbeat with a wonderful sense of humour, Ben who steals William from him, Allison the counsellor, Marcello the photo studio owner and manager, and last but not least Nathaniel who could be Kelly’s real true love. Well, here’s to hoping anyway. Quite a character study in itself. They all play their role in Kelly’s story and are an intricate part of the person he is and has become, all woven really well into the backdrop of Kelly’s world so to speak. Jay has produced a novel once again that for me is well balanced, puts his MCs through their paces in the romance stakes, an extensive plot line that is well thought out spanning several years and many interconnecting events. A very enjoyable read indeed!