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 Tere Michaels, Alex Beecroft, Harper Fox and A.B. Gayle. 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.
Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love & Devotion #1)
by Tere Michaels
Faith, Love, and Devotion: Book One
Reeling from the recent death of his wife, police officer Evan Cerelli looks at his four children and can only see how he fails them. His loving wife was the caretaker and nurturer, and now the single father feels himself being crushed by the pain of loss and the heavy responsibility of raising his kids.
At the urging of his partner, Evan celebrates a coworker’s retirement and meets disgraced former cop turned security consultant Matt Haight. A friendship born out of loneliness and the solace of the bottle turns out to be exactly what they both need.
The past year has been a slow death for Matt Haight. Ostracized from his beloved police force, facing middle age and perpetual loneliness, Matt sees only a black hole where his future should be. When he discovers another lost soul in Evan, some of the pieces he thought he lost start to fall back in place. Their friendship turns into something deeper, but love is the last thing either man expected, and both of them struggle to reconcile their new and overwhelming feelings for one another.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This is a go-to comfort read for me. Evan is a police officer struggling after the sudden death of his wife leaves him to raise his four kids alone. Matt is a lonely former police officer still struggling with how his career ended. When these two meet and strike up a friendship, the last thing either of them ever expected was a sexual attraction to another man. As they struggle with not only their personal issues, but the new side of their sexuality, real life threatens to tear them apart at every turn. Angsty, sexy, sweet and emotional, you’ll be wondering if there is any chance they will make it through.
While it’s not a perfect story, it hit me just right. You’ll probably want to throttle Evan more than once, but Matt is an absolute sweetheart! If you love angst, drama, family problems and hurt/comfort, you’ll probably eat this one up!
The Crimson Outlaw by Alex Beecroft
Vali Florescu, heir to a powerful local boyar, flees his father’s cruelty to seek his fortune in the untamed Carpathian forests. There he expects to fight ferocious bandits and woo fair maidens to prove himself worthy of returning to depose his tyrannical father. But when he is ambushed by Mihai Roscat, the fearsome Crimson Outlaw, he discovers that he’s surprisingly happy to be captured and debauched instead.
Mihai, once an honoured knight, has long sought revenge against Vali’s father, Wadim, who killed his lord and forced him into a life of banditry. Expecting his hostage to be a resentful, spoiled brat, Mihai is unprepared for the boy to switch loyalties, saving the lives of villagers and of Mihai himself during one of Wadim’s raids. Mihai is equally unprepared for the attraction between them to deepen into love.
Vali soon learns that life outside the castle is not the fairy tale he thought, and happy endings must be earned. To free themselves and their people from Wadim’s oppression, Vali and Mihai must forge their love into the spear-point of a revolution and fight for a better world for all.
Sally’s Quick Bite
This is a very unusual historical set in medieval Albania where the peasants strive to make a living and pay punitive taxes imposed by Wadim Florescu, the local ruler. Vali Florescu, privileged teenaged son of Wadim, objects to his father marrying his sister off to a man much older and earns his father’s fury by disrupting the wedding. Fleeing his punishment, he runs straight into the predatory arms of the Crimson Outlaw who has a huge score to settle with the Florescu’s.
As usual with Ms Beecroft’s work there are more layers to the plot that there seem to be initially and quite a lot of the characters are not what they seem. There’s action, peril, betrayal with a fairly sweet romance underpinning it all. I loved it.
Marty and The Pilot by Harper Fox
Marty Bell knows what it’s like to be bullied. He was the shy, overweight kid at school, and those memories have helped turn him into an excellent teacher – though he’s never spread his wings beyond the remote northern village where he grew up.
The last thing he needs in his life is the reappearance of Devlin Surtees, leader of the gang who made his schooldays so tough. Dev is the glamorous village hero now, flying acrobatics planes and fighter jets for the RAF. He’s just as spellbinding, handsome and infuriating as Marty recalls.
But the years have transformed both of them, and their old enmity blazes up into a powerful attraction. The sex is great, and Marty’s beginning to wonder if the schoolteacher and the stunt pilot might have some kind of future – until a terrible secret of Devlin’s comes to light, and threatens to drag both of them down into a vortex of the past.
Mark’s Quick Bite
My Quick Bite this week is Marty and The Pilot by Harper Fox because I could so relate to this story it was wonderful. Two things that I have personally experienced the RAF and teaching so this story I read with great intrigue but also to see if it matched my experiences. Once again Harper has done a marvellous job of creating two wonderfully flawed characters that need healing despite all the bravado that at least seems to be shown on the outside by one in particular. A wonderful story that doesn’t take too long to read but covers a lot of ground, especially for Marty and Devlin. A story about learning to put our pasts behind us and sculpting out a new future for ourselves.
Red + Blue (Opposites Attract Book ) by A.B. Gayle
An Opposites Attract novel
Fresh from backwoods Minnesota, actuarial student Ben Dutoit is ecstatic to land a job with Sydney Sutherland Family Insurance, one of the few companies that offers life insurance to people in the high-risk category. The fact that he gets to work in Gay Central, aka San Francisco, is just the icing on the rainbow-colored cake. Ben sets himself just three goals: be out and proud enough to participate in the Pride parade; seek out the company of like-minded souls in the clubs; and maybe, if he’s lucky, fall in love.
But the men Ben meets are everything he’s not: suave, confident, sophisticated, and sexy. Unlike redneck Ben, they’re blue bloods from blue states, born with status, wealth, and the responsibility that comes with the package.
Ben’s still wondering if red and blue can mix when he discovers what risk really means. The global economy tanks. The job he looked forward to is in jeopardy, and every dream Ben ever had is threatened, especially love, the biggest dream of all.
Macky’s Quick Bite
Red + Blue is exactly what it says on the tin. An opposites attract, employer-employee love story between Ben (Red): a young, vibrant, openly gay Minnesota backwoods guy and Adrian (Blue): his more introspected, deeply closeted, blue blood, troubled boss. But what I loved about this intriguing romance was the really fresh slant AB Gayle brought by dividing the book into three distinct segments. Part one, ‘Red’s’ POV, spanning the first six months of Ben's arrival in San Francisco which covers his start at the insurance company owned by Adrian's family, an inauspicious friends with benefits relationship that jeopardises his future in more ways than one, and of course the first stirrings of attraction for his conflicted CEO as they find themselves working in close contact. Then in part two, we relive those exact six months again but this time from Adrian's perspective; adding a completely different but deeper insight to both their characters, past history and motivations. I really loved how the author did that.
The final third follows our ‘Red + Blue’ couple (again using alternative POV’s) as they gradually fall in love while navigating outside interference in its many forms. In Ben's case thought provoking, questionable decisions and in Adrian's, the weight of hiding his sexual preferences because of family expectation, past regret and the self imposed obligation he feels stops him moving forward with Ben. Surprisingly though, it's less angsty than it could (or possibly should) have been considering it has one pretty serious subplot dealing with a sensitive matter, and personally this did pose some perplexing thoughts...hence it not reaching the full stars it would have made if I hadn't questioned certain character actions and reactions ..but I have to say great chemistry and connection between its MC’s and some lovely slow burn sexual tension lifted this story out of the realms of predictability, and each time I've picked it up I've been utterly engrossed. Clever, enjoyable, storytelling!