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 JL Merrow, Renae Kaye, Xavier Mayne, Kim Fielding and T. A. Webb. 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.
Loving Jay by Renae Kaye
One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he's not gay—after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay—from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, Liam believes drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.
An accident as a teenager left Liam with a limp and a fear of driving. He can’t play football anymore either, and that makes him feel like less of a man. But that’s no reason to question his sexuality... unless the accident broke something else inside him. When being with Jay causes Liam’s protective instincts to emerge, Liam starts to believe all he knew in life had been a convenient excuse to stay hidden. From intolerance to confrontations, Liam must learn
Debra’s Quick Bite
This as a light, fun, quick read, that didn't get overly dramatic or overly sweet. As Liam lusts after the flamboyant Jay each morning on the train his mantra of "I'm not gay" loses its power with each passing glance. When the two finally strike up a friendship over morning coffee Liam begins to come to terms with what's gone wrong in his life, and just what he needs to do for it all to go right. There are bumps in the road, of course, but I enjoyed watching Liam fall victim to Jay's charms.
The characters felt real and the book balanced humor, romance and drama just right. A great read when you’re looking for a feel good romance.
Hard Tail by J L Merrow
"Finding love can be a bumpy ride. "
His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: on the rocks. It doesn t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon.
The young man who falls literally through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he s even "in" the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob.
There s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he s beginning to love means coming to terms with who he is in public in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.
Warning: Contains an out-and-proud klutz, a closeted, karate-loving accountant and a cat who thinks it s all about him. Watch for a cameo appearance from the "Pricks and Pragmatism" lovers. May inspire yearnings for fresh air, exercise, and a fit, tanned bike mechanic of your very own.
Sally’s Quick Bite
I love JL Merrow’s books so much but this one stands out for me for several reasons. From page one the hero is completely out of his depth but has no idea that he’s drowning, Poor Tim has a lot of attitude adjustment to do before he can have his HEA. The love interest, Matt, is a delight - sweet, well-meaning, uncoordinated - and has a horrible secret. There are a terrific bunch of secondary characters, not least of whom is one of fiction’s most cynical cats, humour both witty and slapstick and what I’m convinced is the most excruciatingly funny ‘first time’ ever.
If you’re wondering, as I was, what Hard Tail means, it refers to bikes without any rear suspension. I looked it up and apparently “proper post-ride cleaning and lubing helps a lot”. It certainly helped Tim.
Frat House Troopers
(The Brandt and Donnelly Capers Book 1)
by Xavier Mayne
A Brandt and Donnelly Caper: Case File One.
State trooper Brandt’s new assignment to infiltrate a sex-cam operation puts him in a very uncomfortable position, especially since he’ll have to perform naked on camera for his audition. Fortunately his partner and best friend, Donnelly, has his back—whether that means helping Brandt shop gay boutiques for sexy underwear or offering Jäger and encouragement while he researches porn.
Despite his mortification, Brandt gives the audition his best “shot”—and becomes an overnight sensation. But to meet the man behind the operation, he'll have to give a repeat performance, this time live on webcam opposite the highest bidder. Donnelly makes sure to win that auction for his partner’s sake, but their plan has a flaw: faking it is not an option.
In the aftermath, Brandt is a humiliated mess trying desperately to come to terms with what he’s had to do for the job and his own mixed feelings. But Donnelly has been on a journey of discovery of his own. Suddenly everything the two men thought they knew about themselves and each other gets turned inside out. Meanwhile, they still have a case to solve… but it may not be the case they thought it was.
Molly’s Quick Bite
I love this whole series of books, so much. I can’t wait for the 6th one. This is the one that started it all. Two seemingly straight men, who are put into an uncomfortable situation and end up falling in love. That so satisfies the hopeful romantic in me.
Ethan Brandt’s job is to infiltrate a sex-cam operation. His debut video is so hot, and popular that he’s asked to perform a private viewing for the highest bidder. His secretly questioning, but openly straight partner and best friend Gabriel Donnelly sets out to win the auction, so Ethan won’t have to wank off on camera. But, Brandt finds out the session is being video-taped so he can’t get out of it, and he doesn’t have time to warn Donnelly. Fortunately, and unfortunately, Donnelly does win, putting in some of his own money, and figures out quickly that they can’t sit and play chess. He also figures out that he has strong feelings for his partner.
This is funny, romantic and has the most darling secondary characters in Bryce and Nestor, who very enthusiastically dress Ethan for his job interview as a carpenter with sexy underwear and a toolbelt, and his video debut. They show up in each of the other books and they are hilarious.
But, Brandt and Donnelly are the stars and I love to see their relationship develop, and their sexuality. They are already best friends, and don’t those make the best lovers? This is a definite must-read. Light-hearted and humorous.
The Tin Box by Kim Fielding
William Lyon's past forced him to become someone he isn't. Conflicted and unable to maintain the charade, he separates from his wife and takes a job as caretaker at a former mental hospital. Jelley’s Valley State Insane Asylum was the largest mental hospital in California for well over a century, but it now stands empty. William thinks the decrepit institution is the perfect place to finish his dissertation and wait for his divorce to become final. In town, William meets Colby Anderson, who minds the local store and post office. Unlike William, Colby is cute, upbeat, and flamboyantly out. Although initially put off by Colby’s mannerisms, William comes to value their new friendship, and even accepts Colby's offer to ease him into the world of gay sex.
William’s self-image begins to change when he discovers a tin box, hidden in an asylum wall since the 1940s. It contains letters secretly written by Bill, a patient who was sent to the asylum for being homosexual. The letters hit close to home, and William comes to care about Bill and his fate. With Colby’s help, he hopes the words written seventy years ago will give him courage to be his true self.
Mark’s Quick Bite
I just can’t say enough how this story affected me. A story where the past meets the present but shows us how we have come so far and can celebrate what we have achieved. A story that shows us love will always prevail no matter how hopeless the situation, no one can be robbed of the way they feel about someone. These are some of the reasons this book for me is this week’s Quick Bite. A wonderful balance, one minute you are smiling and laughing at Colby, the next you are sobbing your heart out for Bill. A book that evoked so many emotions in one read I was left dazed and awed at this story.
Second Chance by T. A. Webb
Mark Jennings is at a crossroads. His finance job in the Atlanta nonprofit scene stresses him out, his mother is dying, and his relationship with Brian Jacobs has crashed and burned. He needs a distraction, some way to relax, and a massage seems like just the thing. He never expected his massage therapist, Antonio Roberto, to become his best friend.
Despite their differences—Antonio is a divorced single father—the two men forge a firm friendship that weathers Mark’s reconciliation with Brian and Antonio’s questionable taste in women. Over the years, Antonio remains constant in his support, though others in Mark’s life come and go through a revolving door.
When a young boy runs away from the group home where he works, Mark finds another door opening. Through it all he holds on to the things his loved ones taught him—about family, about friends and lovers, about life and death. Most importantly, he realizes that sometimes the greatest gift of all is a second chance.
Macky’s Quick Bite
When I first read Second Chances, it totally blew me away. A reading experience that took every emotion possible to a different level; physically bringing me to truly heartfelt tears. The unexpected turn of events in this story, that spans years, and it's wonderful, engaging characters stayed with me long after finishing, as it was one of those hauntingly memorable love stories that didn't conform to the predictable path most tend to follow. Tom Webb writes beautifully. His style classy and smart; bringing something refreshingly different to the table with Mark and Antonio's story that I just adored. If you haven't picked this amazing book up yet, I highly recommend reading this, as to me it's a m/m classic and one that should be in everyone's library. Just lovely!