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 TJ Klune, Sara York, Helena Maeve and Kate Aaron. 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 Be a Normal Person by T.J. Klune
Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopaedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.
Gus is not normal. And he's fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.
Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.
But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.
After all, what could possibly go wrong?
Debra’s Quick Bite
This book is madness in the best possible sense and as only T.J. Klune can deliver. This was a wonderful, slow burn, funny and sweet romantic comedy. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you may get a contact high, but I doubt you'll regret reading it.
Gus is a cranky old man at 29. A creature of habit who with resting bitch face and an outward disdain for most things he comes across, who won’t admit to being lonely since the death of his father. Casey is an asexual, hipster stoner who has moved to town and is working in his aunt's coffee shop. Their first meeting had me laughing to the point of tears and has Gus reeling off his orderly path. As Casey quickly worms his way into Gus's life and heart, Gus begins to try to become "normal" via the advice of an online “wiki” post so that he will be what he perceives is worthy of Casey, and hilarity, sweetness and love ensue. Will Gus ever realize Casey likes him just the way he is? Will Casey ever stop Instagramming about Gus’s judgmental eyebrows? That would be a spoiler now wouldn’t it.
I couldn't have loved Gus and Casey more and the secondary characters were amazingly quirky and distinct. There may not be sex, but there its intimacy, love, laughter, romance and respect. And weed.
Counterfeit Conscience (Shadow Play #5)
by Helena Maeve
On the brink of retirement, a spy will risk all.
The writing’s on the wall. Will Rowe has no illusions about retaining his post as the head of the largest Section field office in South America. Private contractors, some more lawful than others, already see to most of their interests. It’s only a matter of time before Will himself is made redundant. He’d like to think he’s made peace with the inevitable, but when a figure from his past offers one last chance to make a difference, Will can’t resist.
Caught between his duty to the agency and his commitment to protect his operatives, Will must persuade the man who nearly wrecked his career to give up the one and only constant in his world—revenge.
Ignacio was a low-grade runner for the infamous Macias cartel the last time he and Will spoke. Now he is the head of the family and a direct beneficiary of MI6 cost-cutting measures. Will knows that approaching such a man without his superiors’ knowledge or approval is a perilous undertaking, but he doesn’t expect his body and heart to become forfeit. As events spiral out of his control, Will finds himself at the mercy of an old lover intent on awakening desires he long thought suppressed.
Sally’s Quick Bite
Will is facing redundancy as it seems more and more likely that his office will be closed. Redundancy is enough to daunt the bravest of men but he is uncertain that men in his profession are allowed to quietly slip away to a bungalow in the sticks and grow dahlias. They know too much – literally where the bodies are buried. Redundancy could mean a quiet efficient execution. But for the moment he has other things to concern him – like the unexpected presence in his office of one of the most dangerous men he knows.
The spies are bureaucrats as well as covert operatives, suffering all the pressures of small businesses – books to balance, staff to motivate, cuts to make while providing the same service, under the scrutiny of an unsympathetic head office to appease - while suffering all the tensions of covert operatives, not least being the risk of a painful and protracted death if identified. Although part of a series with appearances by or mentions of characters from other books, I feel this story works well as a standalone. Enjoyed it very much and therefore my QB for this week.
Pray The Gay Away (A Southern Thing #1)
by Sara York
Star football player Jack Miller had it all. The perfect family, looks, girls hanging on his every word, and the respect of most people in his town. But one thing was missing - a man to be his own.
When Andrew Collins showed up in small-town, conservative Sweet, Georgia, he looked more scrawny mutt than high school senior. Andrew's plan was to keep his head down and graduate high school, leaving his family behind to start his real life.
When he meets Andrew, Jack thinks he's found heaven, but reality holds him in check until one night when his lips gently slide across Andrew's and fireworks go off.
As lust and something a little deeper brings them together, compelling them to take chances, people start to notice. Then the unthinkable happens, and Jack's parents find out he likes guys. The battle lines are drawn and they vow to pray the gay away.
Mark’s Quick Bite
OMG! THIS book! I mean this book and the following two books just rocked my world!!! when this book started it already had me in tears in the first chapter or so. There is just such a beautiful scene where Billy’s mother holds him in her lap and he tells her that he thinks he should be a girl. Geez, I nearly wept at this! However, this story isn’t about Billy it’s about Jack, although Billy plays a major role in the story. Jack’s story I guess is just one of many when religious zealousness is involved. The constant pain and torture of having to pretend to be something you’re not, always watching your back, covering your tracks and making sure you don’t do anything that will give your secret away. This is the horror and reality of gay teenagers growing up in such backgrounds. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
The Slave by Kate Aaron
At twenty-seven, Tamelik has been a slave more than half his life, having witnessed his family being murdered in front of him when he was just a child. Naturally submissive, although with a petulant streak, he can’t help but fall in love with the master who treats him kindly.
Tam's dreams come true when his mistress walks out, leaving her husband behind. For six glorious months, he and his master get to be together. Then Tam is ordered to purchase another slave.
He wants to hate Kai for being unruly and ungrateful. For being of the same race as the men who murdered his family. For being his eventual replacement in their master’s bed. But it’s hard to hate a man who cries himself to sleep, flinches at the slightest touch, and blushes beautifully when he’s kissed.
Seducing Kai has suddenly become more challenge than chore, and with his master’s encouragement, Tam finds himself falling for his new companion. Except... nobody can be in love with two people at once, can they?
Macky’s Quick Bite
Slave/master stories are one of my go to sub genres in m/m and 'The Slave’ ticks all my boxes...and then some. The first in a fantasy-esque, past era style trilogy that chronicles the ongoing relationship, intrigues and—as the series progresses—exciting nail biting exploits of three very diverse men; book one is told from sweet, happy to be subservient pleasure slave Tam's POV. Long story short, Tam (who I adored), is trusted with the task of purchasing a new house slave for his beloved Master but finds himself inexplicably bidding for troublesome captive Kai, a rebellious, formally free, enemy soldier whose submission is not going to be easily given! Encouraged by the enigmatic master he loves implicitly to form a relationship with Kai, Tam is initially confused but at the same time torn by his growing attraction to the moody, wilful soldier who just can’t comprehend the concept of slavery.
The dynamic between the trio starts out a battle of wills fraught with contention and conflicting emotion, but gradually evolves into a most beautiful, sensually portrayed ménage (with some deliciously written voyeuristic moments included) that builds to an ending so unexpected it left me practically gasping for books two and three 'The Soldier' and 'The Master’! Utterly captivated from the first sentence to the last their love story was so good I inhaled every last word. If you're a slave to well written m/m (in this case add another ‘m’) slave fiction with a gripping backstory then you must NOT miss this series which has keeper written all over it!
As The Slave by Kate Aaron is currently FREE on Amazon then the winner can choose any of the other three books. You know what to do, so GOOD LUCK!