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 Ash Penn, Julie Bozza, Bey Deckard & J.A. Rock. 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.
Calling the Show by J.A. Rock
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Senior stage manager Jesse Ferelit and sophomore light board operator Simeck Whedon meet while crewing a college theater production. Jesse hates everything about Sim -- his lack of theater experience, his obsession with LGBTQ politics, his infatuation with, of all things, hula hoops. Well, he doesn't hate everything. He doesn't mind Sim's eyes, or hair, or his surprising ability to be cool in a crisis. But Jesse is graduating in just a few months, and if there's one thing he does not have time for, it's a relationship.
Sim knows exactly what he likes: civil rights, the circus, and sex. And he knows what he likes about Jesse. In the control booth, Jesse is exactly Sim's type -- a natural leader, collected and confident. But outside the booth, he seems reclusive, acerbic and uptight -- hardly Sim's type at all. Is a relationship with Jesse a real possibility, just a fantasy, or a hopelessly lost cause?
When Sim offers to teach Jesse how to hula hoop as a way to relax and loosen up, the lessons ease the two men out of their individual circles and into an unexpected shared world of sex, kink, friendship, and eventually love.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements (including spanking), male/male sexual practices.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This was a refreshing, quirky read with humor, light kink, theater geeks, hula hooping and just the right amount of drama. Jesse is introverted, anxious and really a bit of an ass. Sim doesn’t care for his attitude and tells him off. So begins their unlikely friendship. I loved watching these two guys who shouldn't work well together, managing a relationship that neither one is sure should be happening. Told in alternating points of view, with two very distinct characters who are exploring their kinks, worrying about labels and trying to make this “relationship” work, Calling the Show is an enemies to friends to lovers story I’d recommend.
F.I.S.T.S. Handbook For Individual Survival in Hostile Environments
by Bey Deckard
Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
This edition includes:
Sarge, F.I.S.T.S. #1
Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time… with the right person.
Sarge is the short story of a burgeoning D/s relationship between two Space Marines stationed on an alien planet where an endless war drags on.
Sergeant Wilkes is a hard man with a long, celebrated military career.
Brawny, tattooed, and utterly submissive, Murphy is just an interesting diversion… until Sarge realizes he has found something truly rare.
Murphy, F.I.S.T.S. #2
Sometimes when it seems like it’s too late, the right person comes along and opens your eyes…
Murphy is the continuing story of a D/s relationship between two Space Marines who found each other in the midst of hopelessness and misfortune.
Sarge and his newly minted squad travel across the galaxy on a top-secret mission that could help win the war. However, to Murphy something about the mission stinks, and it’s not just the planet they’ve landed on.
The Missing Reel - Short deleted scene between Murphy and Sarge.
Sally’s Quick Bite
LOL, this is just totally out of character for me. I don't normally read anything labelled erotica and I can't remember why I picked the first part up, unless it's because I have great weakness for NCOs, but this gritty military sci fi story is right up my alley. The world is fascinating, the adventure exciting, the sense of peril is palpable. I loved it to bits. And yes there are explicit sex scenes with a very hard edged D/s vibe to them, but they contribute greatly to the development of the two characters. I'm not sure who I loved most, grumpy Sarge, or Murphy, so huge and quiet that everyone underestimates both his intelligence and his kind heart.
Originally released as two separate stories, I'm recommending this one because of the terrific cover. If you like your tender romances dressed in camo, covered in blood and guts and scarily demanding then You'll enjoy this as much as I did.
Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life by Julie Bozza
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Investigative journalist Mitch Rebecki loves his job and loves New York. He doesn’t mind making enemies, either. When a crime boss threatens retaliation, Mitch’s editor sends him out of harm’s way to Sydney. In exile and resentfully working on lifestyle pieces, Mitch is miserable. But he makes a friend or two, meets a man … and discovers that Australians do organized crime, too, in a small way. Mitch soon finds himself in too deep on all counts, and trying to head home again seems the only solution.
Mark’s Quick Bite
I feel the most important thing to say upfront about this book is that it’s not a traditional M/M romance. It’s there but really only plays a very minor background role in the overall story. Knowing this beforehand then you can sit back and enjoy the story for what it is; a story about investigative journalism and how Mitch has a nose for digging up the dirt on people no matter where he lands up. This is what intrigued me and I have now read a number of books where the MC(s) are gay but that’s it; they just are, getting on with their lives just like everyone else. You know Mitch is gay; end of story. I enjoyed this book a lot purely for what it is and not what it is expected to be for should be. Journalist helps cop to solve crime, end of story. If you can go with this then you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did I’m sure.
Stray by Ash Penn
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Bar worker and serial slut Terry Seymour is hardly charm personified when it comes to romance. In fact, he doesn’t believe in love at all despite his latent desire for his best friend of fourteen years, builder Marc Pierce.
Dan Hutchinson is a young, homeless man living in a derelict house Marc’s halfway to renovating. When Marc announces Dan’s moving in for a while, Terry is understandably miffed. After all, it hasn’t been that long since Marc spilt with his boyfriend of a year, so why is he intent on bringing a total stranger into their home?
It seems to Terry there’s more to this arrangement than meets the eye. Marc must be providing Dan with food and lodgings in exchange for sex. And with the lusty vibes Dan sends his way, it’s not long before Terry succumbs to the boy’s talents between the sheets. But carrying on with Dan behind his best friend’s back is not easy. Or desirable. And when Terry’s plans to oust Dan fail, he’s the one who finds himself out in the cold.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices.
Macky’s Quick Bite
I'm going to be honest, anyone who likes their love stories truly sweet and romantic, will probably want to step away from this book (see blurb), because this is as far away from a hearts and flowers style romance as you could get! Terry Seymour is not a nice guy. He's vindictive, sarcastic, down right nasty at times and overtly manipulative in his quest to drive Dan away from Marc; resorting to crude seduction and sex to do it. Dan is gauche and naive but isn't averse to using Terry's sexual advances to turn things his way, and Marc, the catalyst of their 'feuding', is sort of wallowing in his own self pity after (sadly) losing his brother and last boyfriend, sabotaged by Terry in his "if I can't have you, then nobody else will" MO; straining their friendship and adding more fuel to Terry's instant dislike and jealousy of Dan. A complicated 'love' triangle to say the least, with a lot more to it than meets the eye, as this is not a ménage story, but the snarky interplay and dynamics between Terry and Dan is priceless at times and had me laughing out loud more than once. This ticked all my boxes. It was utterly irreverent, the sex was plentiful and down n' dirty and the storyline was totally non PC when it comes to following the expected path to true love, but I was hooked from the word go, and ended up falling madly in love with Terry, Dan, Marc AND Ash Penn as an author because of its alternative take on the norm. A marmite style story that definitely won't fit every readers romantic sensibilities...but I adored it!