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 Lynn Kelling, C.A. Taylor, Sarah Granger, Lloyd Meeker and Evelyn Elliot. 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.
Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling
In the frozen expanses of remote Alaska, Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon gets seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. Though he tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart, not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance, the temptations of sin entangle them as their hostile environment threatens. Both of their pasts are filled with malicious ghosts that haunt every step, and while Jaye’s demons are less tangible that Dixon’s, they are all powerful enough to put both of their lives in danger.
Debra’s Quick Bite
Having just read the new prequel, Caged Jaye, I was reminded of what a fantastic book this is. Lynn Kelling does damaged characters so well, and Jaye (21 years old and just out of prison) and Dixon (a 32 year old Alaska Trooper) both have their fair share of past horrors. There are so many layers to each character and the more they are peeled back, the more your heart breaks for each man. Jaye is a man who relies on his instincts to survive and Dixon’s need to protect those he loves often leads to some really poor decisions. The relationship that develops is intense and tender and a bit kinky, and is nothing that either man has ever before had.
There is a lot of darkness surrounding the men and the backdrop of the Alaskan wilds just adds to it. There are some graphic scenes of violence so read any warnings before you jump in. If you love a hurt/comfort story of hard won love that is both harsh and beautiful, move this right to the top of your list.
A Minor Inconvenience by Sarah Granger
Captain Hugh Fanshawe returned from the Peninsular War with a leg that no longer works properly, thanks to a French musket ball. Now his fight against Napoleon is reduced to quiet, lonely days compiling paperwork at Horse Guards headquarters.
His evenings are spent dutifully escorting his mother and sister to stifling social engagements, where his lameness renders him an object of pity and distaste. But his orderly, restricted life is thrown into sudden disarray with the arrival of Colonel Theo Lindsay.
Theo is everything Hugh is not—a man of physical perfection and easy yet distinguished address. Surprisingly to Hugh, Theo appears to be interested in making his acquaintance. Lindsay turns out to be a most convivial companion, and Hugh finds great pleasure in his company. Their friendship deepens when they become lovers.
In spite of himself, Hugh falls desperately in love. But when a French spy is suspected at Horse Guards, Hugh discovers nothing is as it seems…and the paper he shuffles from day to day could be the instrument of his lover’s death.
Contains gallant English officers in love, dastardly French spies, skintight pantaloons (sometimes on the floor) and gleaming tasseled Hessians.
Sally’s Quick Bite
One of the things I’ll miss most about Samhain are their lovely jokey content warnings.
Warning: Contains gallant English officers in love, dastardly French spies, skintight pantaloons (sometimes on the floor) and gleaming tasseled Hessians.
In this case it’s spot on. This delicious Regency mystery is probably more for the Austen and Heyer fans than for the people who want titillating erotic romance with a comfortably hygienic gloss of history. Those are great but I found this one totally absorbing and took several nights to savour both the meticulous depiction of the period and the careful development of both mystery and romance. Gentle, clever, trusting Hugh is chafing against his boring work and the pity engendered by his injury. Theo bursts into his life like a breath of fresh air and involves him in dangers and adventures for which he is not prepared but which fill him with new purpose. Exciting though Theo is, this is Hugh’s book and I loved his character to bits.
Stepbrother Wolf (Stepmates #1) by C.A. Taylor
He was sure those golden eyes would be the last thing he'd see.
Paranormal writer Dakota Brooks can't stop fantasizing about the man he desires most – his sexy and mysterious older stepbrother, Dalton. Ever since his mother married Dalton's father when Dakota was a geeky teen, Dakota has been yearning to get close to him. He never pursued the hunky Dalton for fear of what it would do to the huge extended family he now has, but beneath the glow of the full moon, sparks begin to fly.
Dalton Summers can't trust himself around Dakota. He always thought his younger stepbrother was gorgeous and smart, the whole package, but he's strictly off-limits. Not only is Dakota his stepbrother – and he stubbornly ignores the fact that they barely know each other – but Dakota's human. He's always kept his distance to hide his feelings, but finally, fate intervenes at a family reunion.
When Dakota lands himself in trouble in the deep Maine woods, Dalton saves him and is forced to reveal what he truly is. One night of discovery isn't enough for either of them, but Dalton knows he still isn't free to pursue Dakota. Older and stronger forces are at work, upheaving their lives as they realize that being stepbrothers is the least of their problems.
Molly’s Quick Bite
Dakota has a very large family due to the fact that his parents divorced and remarried. Now, he's invited to the family reunion in Maine where he'll see his step brother Dalton, whom he'd only met a couple of times, but got the feeling the guy didn't like him. What he doesn't know is that Dalton and has a secret, one he's trying to keep hidden.
I haven't read too many shifter stories, but I really liked this series. Dalton is a sexy wolf, and Dakota can't keep his attraction to him at bay. You can feel the sexual tension when they meet again at the reunion and the awkwardness when Dakota confesses that he's stalked Dalton's face book page.
There's a mixture of sweet and hot and sexy. A definite read for both shifter fans and lovers of contemporary romance.
Enigma (Russ Morgan Mystery #1 by Lloyd Meeker
Who’s blackmailing the high-profile televangelist whose son was famously cured of his homosexuality fifteen years ago? Now in 2009, that ought to be ancient history.
It seems there’s no secret to protect, no crime, not even a clear demand for money—just four threatening letters using old Enigma songs from the 90′s. But they’ve got Reverend Howard Richardson spooked.
Proudly fifty and unhappily single, gay PI Russ Morgan has made peace with being a psychic empath, and he’s managed to build a decent life since getting sober. As he uncovers obscene secrets shrouded in seeming righteousness he might have to make peace with a sword of justice that cuts the innocent as deeply as the guilty.
Mark’s Quick Bite
This bite-sized story originally submitted for an anthology introduces us to the character Private Investigator Russ Morgan. I liked Russ a lot!! Why? Well, we have a mature gay man around 50 who has also battled his own demons against alcohol in his past and won. But more than that it is refreshing to read about a character who is not twenty something, ripped with bulging biceps, perfectly formed triceps, pumped up and always as horny as hell. Maturity brings a certain sovereignty with it and this is extremely evident in Russ. That for me was his attraction right there! Some people do get better with age I reckon. For me the older Sean Connery in the film The Hunt for Red October was a lot sexier than the young Bond version. So yes, I’ve fallen for Russ for sure.
I really liked this little warm up story a lot. The writing is tight, the narrative and characters engaging. The plot perfectly paced for a short story. Also a big fist bump for the outcome when Pastor Richardson gets his just rewards served up on a cold plate of revenge that had me whooping with joy! YEESSS!!
Bad Magic (Spell Slave #1) by Evelyn Elliot
Spell Slave: Book One
Morality is relative. At least that’s what young sorcerer Regis Teller convinces himself. He’s done what he must to survive: working for a witch since he was nine, helping her throw the kingdom into anarchy, and taking his only comfort in her mysterious son, Crow. And soon, Regis is going to commit his first murder.
A do-gooder named Jonathan White has information the witch needs, and it’s Regis’s job to get that information and slit Jonathan’s throat. But then Regis actually meets Jonathan. And Jonathan is perfect—a hero with a passion for justice and little regard for civility.
Lucky for Regis, Jonathan has a weakness for attractive men. Lucky for Jonathan, Regis is fast developing a conscience and a heart. But for Regis, keeping both of them alive at their adventure’s end means breaking a magical oath and surviving his ruthless boss—all without telling Jonathan the truth. Falling in love is never easy, especially when everyone involved is lying through their teeth.
Macky’s Quick Bite
Set in a ‘Once Upon A Time’ style fantasy world complete with wicked witch, bespelled princess, young budding sorcerer, talking dragon and the proverbial sword carrying handsome hero: Bad Magic was a refreshingly quirky find and one I found myself completely enchanted by. An unusual adventure filled magical quest with a nice touch of dry humour and a slow burn enemies to lovers romance building along the way, it hooked me in the moment the evil witch’s apprentice, Regis, awakened the gallant Jonathan from his own decade long, spell induced slumber... with a kiss!
There are sneaky twists and turns and more than a few stumbling blocks to surmount as they journey to find the lost sleeping beauty princess; plus a truck load of secrets and lies hanging between them—including Regis’s relationship with the witch’s mysterious son “Crow”—that threaten to put an end to their quest before it even gets started! I grew to like these engaging characters greatly and can't wait to see more of Regis, Jonathan and Crow who have a very interesting and promising—but not yet fully developed— dynamic happening between them. Very likable...very entertaining. Can't wait for book two!