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 Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock, Anne Tenino, RJ Scott and Ryan Loveless. 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.
Another Man’s Treasure by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.
Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick holds Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.
Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.
Debra’s Quick Bite
Last week I went light and fluffy, this week I’m going to go dark, no HEA. You’ve been warned. Now onto this gripping story by one of my favorite writing teams.
This is a psychological thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. The blurb tells you all you need to know going into it (and that cover!). As Ilia becomes more and more unstable under Nick’s sadistic thumb, everything he thought he knew about Mikhail, the man he loved, comes into question. When an innocent Patrick is brought into the mix everything changes once again. The authors managed to ratchet up the tension and paint a picture of what was happening to Patrick and Ilia, while keeping much of the abuse off-page. Can the two men escape? More importantly does Ilia even want to?
If you need an ending that wraps up everything in a neat package, you are not going to get that here. This is a dark story of a man at his breaking point, struggling to survive, even though he is not sure he wants to. There are no guarantees in this story and the ending? Get back to me once you’ve read it, but remember – I warned you!
18% Gray by Anne Tenino
In a future where the United States has split along party lines, Agent Matt Tennimore’s job is to get people out of the Confederated Red States, whether they’re captured special ops agents from his own country or gay CRS citizens who’ve petitioned for asylum. He never expected to have to retrieve his high school crush, aka the guy who ostracized him for being gay.
Rescuing James Ayala isn’t going to be easy: he’s crawling with tracking nanos and has a cybernetic brain implant that’s granted him psychic power he isn’t sure how to control. That’s the good news. The bad? The implant is compromising James’s mental stability.
So they’re on the run, avoiding surveillance by AI aircraft and hiding from enemy militia. Then James confesses he tormented Matt in high school because James wanted him. Matt can’t resist the temptation James offers, but he wants so much more than sex, assuming they ever make it home alive. Is James really a good bet when he’s got a ticking time bomb in his brain and there’s the question of how much he’s actually changed?
Sally’s Quick Bite
This is an exciting and gritty sci fi drama, set in a near but disturbingly dystopian future. The USA has split and in the Confederated Red States LGBT people are persecuted. Matt Tennimore is part of an agency tasked with covertly entering the CRS to rescue people who have begged for assistance. He’s astonished to find himself responsible for a man who made his school days hideous.Soon they are on the run with all the wonders of the technology of the day making them all too easy to find.
Great fun and highly recommended!
The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott
Christmas is a time for giving - what do you do when no one gives a damn?
For Zachary Weston Christmas means sleeping on a churchyard bench in the freezing snow with nothing better in his future. Thrown out of his home for being gay, he is left without money or, it seems, anywhere to go.
Until a stranger shows him that some people do give a lot more than a damn.
Ben Hamilton is a rookie cop in his small home town. He finds a young throwaway, fresh from the city, sleeping on a bench in the churchyard on a snowy Christmas Eve. Can he be the one to give Zachary his own Christmas miracle?
Mark’s Quick Bite
OK, I’m still staying with my Christmas theme and decided to feature this little gem of a book. A beautiful story for Christmas. About finding a home, love and acceptance, giving and goodwill. I loved it from beginning to end and gave me the warm cosy feeling inside that comes from knowing despite all the bad things that happens there is also a lot of good going on. We just don’t hear enough about these things unfortunately.
This story carries us through a number of years and Zach is almost twenty before Ben’s defences fall and lets Zach into his heart or I should say Zach with pure frustration gives him no way out – lol! I loved the final scene where all these years of caring and loving from Ben and his family come to a final conclusion. Zach has found a home, a family who cares for and loves him but most importantly someone he can love and cherish in return. What more could you wish for for Christmas. A truly beautiful Christmas story, with a real message and if you haven’t read it yet then I strongly recommend you do.
Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless
By twenty-four, Carter Stevenson has stuttered and ticced his way to debilitating shyness. Although his friends accuse him of letting his Tourette's dictate his life, Carter moves from Los Angeles to a quiet California town. He'll keep his head down and avoid people. He doesn't anticipate his new neighbor, Ethan Hart, crashing into his solitude and forcing him to get out and live.
From the beginning, Ethan makes his love for Carter clear. But he fears Carter won't see past Ethan's damaged brain, even though it makes Ethan more attuned to his emotions than most people. For Carter, there's a bigger issue: he's been burned by so-called "perfect" matches, and he won't risk his heart again.
One way or another, Ethan's determined to show Carter they belong together. Then Ethan receives tragic news. Suddenly he must turn to Carter for strength and support. Will Carter come through when Ethan needs him most?
Macky’s Quick Bite
A wonderful story about acceptance, forgiveness and love. You don't need long winded plot explanations on this book just read it and discover all its pleasure as you go alongside these fabulous characters and get lost in their story. The more you get into the book the less you notice that this is a book about ' disablement .’ Yes, the two main protags are challenged by their disabilities and they figure in the story a lot but this is not a saccharine tear jerker where the author plays on your sympathy. It's a love story between two people with disabilities who connect in spite of them. I don't know anybody who suffers from either TBI or Tourette's but this book seemed very authentic and of course in the authors note Ryan Loveless tells us she has coped with Tourette's all her life so this is an author writing from her own experiences and it shows.
Carter and Ethan and the fantastic set of characters who surround them, support them and in some cases hurt them are all high in my favourites list. I went through a lot of different emotions with this story - laughed a lot at Ethan's antics and observations, especially his straight to the point, ' say it as it is ' views on sex! Never condescending, endearing throughout and just a pleasure to read. Quite simply a love story with a difference that left me on a high and smiling for a long time after finishing it. Brilliant!