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 Eli Easton, Astrid Amara, Mary Calmes and many others! 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.
How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton
Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of ‘quickened’—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.
Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.
Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This story was all kinds of sweet fun and I'm not even a dog person. Tim broke my heart over and over again. Sad, discouraged, taken advantage of and lonely. Trying to get himself back together in an odd new town. Sheriff McHottie aka Lance aka Chance doesn't trust Tim and is obsessive about protecting the secrets of Mad Creek and its people. His meddling mother is on the case as well and is equal parts annoying and conniving. Lance never expects to bond with the human, not to mention have his dog feel the same.
A cast of quirky side characters, especially the lonely German shephard Roman, an interesting take on shifters, just enough drama to keep it interesting and a slow burn romance kept me entertained. It’s a good start to a series that just keeps getting better.
The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara
Captain Elliott Parrish of Her Majesty’s 17th Lancers cavalry division finds most details about his assignment in the Crimean peninsula insufferable. Rampant cholera, missing supplies, and inept planning start the British war effort against the Russian Czar’s expansion into Turkish territory on poor footing.
What should have been a swift and decisive summer victory soon drags into a harrowing winter campaign, and Elliott must rally disheartened men through sickness, battle, and starvation. But when he is assigned the additional task of spying on a fellow officer, the inscrutable Cornet Ilyas Kovakin, he finds himself disconcerted and fascinated by both the work and the man.
Rumors surround Ilyas Kovakin, the half-Russian officer who reports to none in his division. People say they’ve seen snakes slithering into his tent at night, that he has another face visible only in certain light, and a penchant for violent acts carried out in darkness, alone. But the truth that Elliot soon discovers is much more dangerous then mere superstition.
For Ilyas, his return to Crimea is colored with the horrors of his past.
Once a mercenary, he has made a terrible mistake and inherited horrifying powers that he can barely control. He feels his hold over his humanity slipping away daily, and fears that salvation may already lay beyond him when the cheerful Captain Parrish catches his attention. Among men who hate him and superiors who covet his brutal power, Ilyas finds the young captain's charming company almost irresistible.
But Ilyas knows that the closer he is drawn to Elliot the more he will endanger them both.
Sally’s Quick Bite
When I picked up this book I thought it was going to be a historical set in the Crimean campaign, a period of history that I very much enjoy reading about. It was, and very well portrayed with a gritty realism that makes one want to wail and then go find the graves of the High Command and jump on them.
The detail of troop transports, of camp life, of manoeuvres, of the hardship of a Crimean winter drew me into the story and I was rooting for the heroes so hard because they had so much to face and so much of it was so horrible. It was also funny with that delicious gallows humour that human beings discover when the situation is so dire all you can do is laugh about it..
And then there was the other, unexpected, side to the story, a paranormal element that adds another level of spine tingly horror to their already dreadful situation.
It’s a big weighty book, perfect for a fully immersive read, and can be enjoyed in half a dozen different ways. A fabulous5 star read.
Just Desserts by Mary Calmes
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Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He's invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.
Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone's past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.
Mark’s Quick Bite
I have loved every story so far in this series and this one was just the cherry on the cake. No, the cake was not from Granny B - lol! Going by the title then you usually have your dessert last, so I decided to keep this book until last. This one is a beautiful story that deals with unrequited love and how with the intervention of a sneaky dessert from Granny B’s cookbook all dreams come true. If you haven’t started this series yet then I strongly recommend you do. All stories can be read as standalone and in any order.
Another Place in Time :
A Collection of Historical Short Stories
Welcome to another place in time...where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.
Included in this anthology:
"Office Romance" by Tamara Allen
The post-war economy is at a standstill, much like Foster Wetherly’s life until he’s forced to do battle with irritatingly confident—and competent—fellow ex-doughboy Casey Gladwin for a position in their shrinking department at Manhattan Security Mutual.
"Introducing Mr. Winterbourne" by Joanna Chambers
Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.
A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.
Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?
"The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh" by KJ Charles
Lord Gabriel Ashleigh is a ruined man. Last night he lost everything at the card tables to his brother’s worst enemy, notorious gambler Francis Webster. Tonight, he’s going back for one more game. Ash thinks he has nothing left to lose. But Francis sets the stakes, and they’re higher than Ash could have imagined…
Two Regency bucks. One game of cards. Everything to play for.
"Unfair in Love and War" by Kaje Harper
Many men lost brothers overseas in the summer of 1944. Warren Burch was one of them. For months he still clung to his big city life in Philadelphia, but finally he's made the difficult choice to return to his home town. Warren's polio-stricken leg won't let him serve, so the least he can do is be there for his mother, when brother Charlie never again will. Arriving home means a whole new life, constrained by the rhythms and prejudices of a small town. Fortunately, it's made more interesting by the mysterious and attractive young man next door.
"Carousel" by Jordan L. Hawk
When a child goes missing, is it a simple case of a young runaway, or are more sinister forces at work?
“Carousel” is part of the Whyborne & Griffin series and takes place between the events of Stormhaven and Necropolis. It can be read as a standalone.
"Deliverance" by Aleksandr Voinov
This is a re-vamped, re-edited, improved version of "Deliverance". It's about William Raven, a templar, who thought he'd escaped his past. (Same character as in The Lion of Kent.)
Along with a foreword written by Alex Beecroft, enjoy these original short stories that make up "Another Place in Time".
Macky’s Quick Bite
Anthologies can be hit and miss for me. Very often it's only one or two stories that stand out, the rest tending to be a bit meh. This collection of historical shorts however was definitely an exception to the rule. Featuring six outstanding authors who all shine in the field of m/m historical romance, there wasn't one story in my eyes that didn't deserve anything less than five stars. I absolutely loved this anthology and all the diverse tales it contained; covering two deliciously sexy regency romances from KJ Charles and Joanna Chambers, a brilliant side step into the alternate arcane magical universe of Jordan L Hawks amazing Whyborne and Griffin series, a journey way back to medieval times with Aleksandr Voinov; who gave Knights Templar William Raven (his wonderful Lion of Kent character) a much anticipated gritty, exciting, sensuous follow up and finally two trips back in time to our more recent history with Tamara Allen and Kaje Harper. Two poignant and emotionally affecting stories set around post WW1 and WW11 that were delightful, unexpected surprises, as to be honest I'm not normally drawn to anything written around those particular periods of time.
Since then KJ Charles hot and spicy short has spawned a wonderful new series, I’ve devoured every book of Joanna Chambers fantastic Enlightenment m/m regency romances and Jordan's Whyborne & Griffin has just gone from strength to strength. I'd say even if historical romance isn't your bag, this mix of sensual, sexy, sweet, moving and entertaining shorts would still put a smile on your face, a delish tingle in your belly and an odd tear or two in your eye. Oh and all proceeds are donated to a LGBTQ charity. What’s not to love? Fabulous!