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 Cardeno C, Lisa Henry, J. A. Rock, R.A. Thorn, Helena Maeve. 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.
Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C
Hollywood royalty Jeremy Jameson has lived a sheltered life with music as his sole focus and only friend. Before embarking on yet another international concert tour, he wanders into a bar in what he considers the middle-of-nowhere and meets a man who wins him over with his friendly smile and easy-going nature. Accountant slash bartender slash adventure-seeker Reg Moore has fun talking and drinking with The Jeremy Jameson and can't say no when the supposedly straight rock star makes him a once in a lifetime offer: keep him company on his tour by playing the part of his boyfriend.
Listening to music, traveling the world, and jumping off cliffs is fun. Falling in love is even better. But to stay with Jeremy after the stage lights dim, Reg will need to help him realize there's nothing pretend about their relationship.
Debra’s Quick Bite
Like most of the Cardeno C. books I’ve read, this has a couple with chemistry, humor and sizzling sex scenes, but this one has the added bonus of watching these two men build a friendship for a good part of the book before the sexual tension starts to ramp up.
Reg, looking for travel and adventure, jumps at the chance to act as "pretend boyfriend" and accompany Jeremy on his seven month tour. Jeremy, the sheltered and lonely rocker, is just looking for someone to enjoy his down time with who won't be looking to further themselves and only be happy when on the red carpet. Reg becomes a personal assistant of sorts, protecting Jeremy's privacy while Jeremy thrives under his care. Don't expect a typical rock star; other than the occasional diva fit, Jeremy is only in it for the love of the music and prefers to spend his free time on the couch watching TV or subjecting himself to Reg's penchant for extreme sporting. With no angst and minimal drama, this is a fun, feel good, GFY/OFY romance that pushed all my happy, sweet buttons.
The Two Gentlemen of Altona
by Lisa Henry and J.A Rock
Mischief, thou art afoot.
Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page — the world’s most irritating witness — alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.
Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.
When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.
Macky’s Quick Bite
Book one of a brilliant trilogy, this was Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock shucking off their dark side and showing us their wicked sense of humour in the guise of two entertaining and very endearing characters: uptight, cranky Special Agent Ryan 'Mac' McGuiness and his Shakespeare loving, con man nemesis Henry Page. The actual crime/murder caper, which carries on through each book, was pretty damn good in itself and the excellent supporting characters all added meat and some emotional shade to the story, but for me it was the snarky, witty banter interplay and the "will they-won't they" style vibe simmering deliciously between the two of them, that made it such a fabulous read. Over the course of the series I fell hard for both Mac and Henry, putting them way high on my "most favourite m/m couples ever" list and the trilogy itself firmly set in my "never to be deleted" shelf. Loved all three to bits but with cliffy style endings in both book one and book two, you won't want to put the series down...so get this fantastic trilogy on your Christmas list ASAP!
Untethered by R.A. Thorn
Determined to help the war effort, Frankie Norris joins the US Air Force in 1943. Braving intimidating drill sergeants and unending marches, Frankie struggles to hide his secret—he’s queer. But having passed basic training, he’s not going to risk an undesirable discharge or any of his fellow recruits finding out. Then he receives word that he’s been granted a position flying the plane he loves, the P-51 Mustang.
But as Frankie finds his wings in the sky, feelings of isolation may keep him grounded. Slowly making friends among his squadron, Frankie realizes he may not be as alone or as abnormal as he thinks. Other queer men have formed a community in the Armed Forces to offer support. Then Frankie meets his crew chief, Jim Morrow. Initially antagonistic, they slowly become friends and a mutual attraction develops as they join the Eighth Air Force in Britain. Confessing their feelings, snatching what time they can together, and wary of discovery, Frankie and Jim are there for each other through dangerous missions and the loss of friends. It’s a long war with enemies on both sides. All they can hope for is to survive long enough for a chance at something more.
Mark’s Quick Bite
My Quick Bite this week is a superb M/M story set in WWII and portrays the love, anguish and fears of the men and women who did so many brave things without considering themselves as courageous at all. But just doing what needed to be done and at a time when finding love was even more important I guess then it ever was or has been.
I loved reading the dialogues between these two. I was kept holding my breath on who would make the first move and admit the attraction they had for each other. Realisitc for the time and situation as both would have to be very careful. Again not an easy thing to do, but once that step was made then a love developed that was deeper than anything we could omagine today due to the fact they could not tell anyone else and only had themselves. A beautiful story, historically accurate although the history does not get in the way of the romance. Go read it! I’m sure you’ll love it.
In The Presence of Mine Enemy by Helena Maeve
A game of spy against spy leaves little room for second chances.
Freshly retired from Section ranks, Hailey is glad to be out of the tangle of spy games that cost him both family and friends. All he wants is a quiet holiday on the French coast, his first in many years. He doesn’t expect to look up one day and find a former agent looking back—much less a man who should be rotting in prison.
Adam Asche gave Section the best years of his life, but when a mission went south, his associates callously deserted him behind enemy lines. Presumed dead, he has taken full advantage of his purported demise to resurrect his career as a hired gun. The opportunity to settle accounts with his former handler brings him to France and, soon enough, to Hailey’s bed.
But the longer Adam delays in fulfilling his mission, the more impatient his clients become. Leveraging desire against the time-sensitive nature of his contract quickly puts both Adam and Hailey in lethal peril.
Sally’s Quick Bite
I’ve always loved books about the intelligence communities – Ian Fleming’s Bond books, John Le Carre’s bleak take on the Cold War – and this book by Helena Maeve is just perfect for me.
The gentle melancholia of Hailey, once a lynchpin of the intelligence community but now unloved, unwanted and whiling away the time to death, clashes with the hot hurt rage of Adam, who was betrayed by the people he trusted most and is intent on taking the most painful and humiliating revenge on the man he holds responsible.
The tone is excellent, the story arc builds and builds, the sex scenes are intensely plot relevant. This probably isn’t a traditional romance, per se, but I found the ending very satisfying. Highly recommended.