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 John Inman, Mercy Celeste, Becky Black, Alex Beecroft and Rhys Ford. 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.
A Hard Winter Rain by John Inman
Sean Andros is tired—tired of hustling, tired of trying to make the rent, tired of running from his past.
But the past can chase you down in a heartbeat. Suddenly Sean’s living a nightmare again and casualties are stacking up around him. The only person he can trust is Harry, a man twice his age and the closest thing to a friend Sean has ever known. Harry Connors has loved Sean since their first night together, and now, with danger hard at their heels, Harry will do anything to protect the tough, strangely vulnerable young man who begs him for help.
Harry had better be serious about offering protection, though, because the demons threatening Sean’s life are no joke. Only a hard winter rain will wash away the evil that drove Sean Andros to the streets, and Sean and Harry are going to have to be strong if they plan on sticking around for the sun.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This is the book that introduced me to the dark side of John Inman. I would call it a gruesome crime thriller since the violence is incredibly graphic. It’s definitely not a book for the squeamish. I thought the identity of the killer was clear from pretty early on so it was mostly a game of cat and mouse for me as opposed to a mystery.
Multiple POVs from the deranged and increasingly unstable killer, his target and the man protecting him, the team investigating and even the victims added to, rather than detracted from, the story telling. The banter and snark of the team working on the case from the medical examiner and the lead detectives to the out of state Sheriff's office, provided some much needed levity. Yes there is a romance between rent boy Sean, who is in the killer’s sights, and Harry an older regular client who helps protect him, but it is not the main focus of the story, so if you can live with that and are looking for a creepy, suspenseful, thriller, this would definitely fit the bill.
Light From the Dark by Mercy Celeste
After a year of picking up the pieces of his shattered life, former US Marshal Micah Beasley takes a job as bodyguard for a spoiled rich kid who can’t leave his house. It’s supposed to be a cupcake assignment. He just needs to get back in the game. What could possibly go wrong?
Brilliant and incredibly talented, Christopher (Kit) Auberon wears tragedy as a second skin. Kit is all that’s left of a powerful family. Seemingly forgotten, he’s spent his entire life in seclusion at the family estate, and he likes it that way. He’s free to play his games and create worlds without ever having to set foot in the real one.
Kit’s past is anything but forgotten. When death threats become real threats, Micah and Kit are forced to put their differences aside to discover who wants Kit dead.
But there are monsters in Kit’s closet that should never be disturbed.
Warning: Dark subject. Violence. The usual stuff.
Molly’s Quick Bite
This is my favorite book by this author. Micah Beasley, ex-marine, ex-cop, ex-marshal, forced into retirement after his partner and little girl he was protecting are killed. Kit Auberon, a brilliant kid who survived a tragedy and also autistic becomes Micah’s new assignment.
Mercy weaves such a great story here with mystery and intrigue and lots of interesting characters. She does an awesome job of building the relationship from strangers, to friends, to lovers, between Michah, a gay man, and Kit who believes himself to be a-sexual, but develops feelings he’s never had before with Micah.
I was riveted from the beginning and didn’t put it down until I finished it.
Higher Ground by Becky Black
Zach Benesh is sure his prediction is right - the island colony of Zahara is about to sink into the ocean. Adam Gray isn't as certain, but he's happy to follow the intense, brilliant geophysicist into the mountains to escape the flooding. Though he'd be even happier without three hundred other people - and their pets - tagging along. He’d like to have Zach all to himself out there.
But Zach’s prediction is right and as disaster begins to unfold towards an unstoppable, inevitable conclusion, the two young scientists must become a team in the fight to save their people. They draw strength from their rapidly developing relationship, but the higher Zach and Adam climb, the more difficult the tests they face - as lovers and as men.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.
Sally’s Quick Bite
There’s a real ‘whoops apocalypse’ feel to this sci fi romance from Becky Black. Also opposites attract as Zach, an intensely serious, very driven young scientist, falls for laid back gardener Adam, who does enough to get by but is far more focussed on having fun. They are delightfully supported by a full cast of excellent secondary characters and with disaster looming a very real sense that the numbers will be cut drastically before the end of the story. There are plenty of laughs and some fondling along the way – although it’s obviously hard to get really affectionate when sleeping rough with a LOT of other people – and all in all it’s a super, entertaining and tense read.
Blue Steel Chain by Alex Beecroft
At sixteen, Aidan Swift was swept off his feet by a rich older man who promised to take care of him for the rest of his life. But eight years later, his sugar daddy has turned from a prince into a beast. Trapped and terrified, Aidan snatches an hour’s respite at the Trowchester Museum.
Local archaeologist James Huntley is in a failing long distance relationship with a rock star, and Aidan—nervous, bruised, and clearly in need of a champion—brings out all his white knight tendencies. When everything falls apart for Aidan, James saves him from certain death . . . and discovers a skeleton of another boy who wasn’t so lucky.
As Aidan recovers, James falls desperately in love. But though Aidan acts like an adoring boyfriend, he doesn’t seem to feel any sexual attraction at all. Meanwhile there are two angry exes on the horizon, one coming after them with the press and the other with a butcher’s knife. To be together, Aidan and James must conquer death, sex, and everyone’s preconceptions about the right way to love—even their own.
Mark’s Quick Bite
Oh yes, I remember this book! Oh my, it packs a punch! That’s why it’s my Quick Bite this week. It had me wanting to look away at times, but just couldn’t. It had me wincing, then sighing relief, then anxiety, then anger, then despair, a book that really took me out of my comfort zone.
This book is definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart. It is no fluffly romance and deals with a subject that will get most of us wincing, feeling angry, understanding Aidan’s situation. It deals with abuse. It packs a hard punch and took me right out of my comfort zone. However, out of this desperate situation blooms a romance that is all the sweeter because of it. Just like a lotus flower rises out of the darkest and muddiest swamp to shine everyone with its pureness and beauty. Aidan was my lotus flower. A fantastic third book to the Trowchester Blues series, all three books can be read as stand alone no problem.
Clockwork Tangerine by Rhys Ford
The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London—a very dark and dangerous battle.
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.
Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can—and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.
Macky’s Quick Bite
Steampunk and Rhys Ford! A surprisingly winning combination and one I'd love to see her tackle again as I thought she pulled this off brilliantly. Set in an alternate Victorian based history, with dashes of arcane science, mechanical killing machines, secret societies, political intrigue and of course a dangerous, forbidden love between its two enigmatic, captivating MC’s, I loved this novella and was only sorry it didn't last longer.
Filled with palpable sexual tension the romance side was sensual and deliciously steamy, but the background story was strong too. My only niggle? I could quite happily have read on much longer. Definitely a case of more please!