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 Worrall, Tal Bauer, Josh Lanyon, SJD Peterson and Harper Fox. 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.
Laurel Heights (Laurel Heights #1) by Lisa Worrall
Detectives Scott Turner and Will Harrison are sent undercover after an apparent murder/suicide in Laurel Heights, an exclusive gay housing community. Will the two closeted officers be able to hide their attraction while each believing the other is straight? And is there a killer amongst them waiting to claim his next victim?
Debra’s Quick Bite
Once again I find myself going back a few years to one of my early m/m reads. Laurel Heights combines a good murder mystery with two hot, closeted cops who don’t like each other or know the other is gay, being forced to work and live undercover as a couple trying to solve a murder in an upscale gay housing community. They bicker and banter as their awesome female partners keep tabs from outside. There’s plenty of tension building up to these two getting together and boy are they hot when they finally let go!
There’s a cast of secondary characters made up of Will and Scott’s meddling neighbors who definitely kept things interesting. The mystery was fast-paced and kept me guessing until the end and then the Epilogue left me wanting to jump to the next book. Luckily you won’t have the two year wait that I did.
Enemies Of The State by Tal Bauer
A rogue Black Ops unit with the president in their crosshairs.
A Secret Service agent who will break every rule.
A president falling for the one person he shouldn’t—a man.
Newly elected President Jack Spiers’s presidency is rocked from the very beginning, and he’s working furiously to keep the world from falling apart. Between terrorism attacks ripping apart Europe, Russia’s constant posturing and aggression, and the quagmire of the Middle East, Jack is struggling to keep his campaign promise—to work toward a better, safer world.
For Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach, Jack is just another president, the third in twelve years. With Jack’s election, he’s been promoted, and now he’s running the presidential detail, which puts him side by side with Jack daily. He’s expecting another stuffed suit and an arrogant DC politician, but Jack shocks him with his humor and humanity.
There are rules against a Secret Service agent and one of their protectees developing a friendship—big rules. Besides, Jack is straight as a ruler, and a widower, and Ethan has always avoided falling for straight men. Ethan keeps his distance, but Jack draws him in, like gas to a naked flame, and it’s a lure he isn’t strong enough to turn away from.
As the two men collide, rules are shattered and the world teeters on the verge of war, and a rogue Black Ops unit bent on destruction sets Jack in their deadly crosshairs. Ethan must put everything on the line in order to save the man he’s come to love, Jack’s presidency, and the world.
Freya’s Quick Bite
This is the first time I’ve done Quick Bites and it was a no brainer for me. Reviewed in Feb 2016, Enemies Of The State is a delicious tale focussing on, among other things, the presidential secret service. To quote from the book, Falling for a protectee was part of Secret Service Agent 101 training and summed up in one word – don’t. The protectee was The President.
This book offered everything I look for a story and surpassed it. It’s The West Wing meets Black Hawk Down with two men as the lead - what could be better. The story hooked me from the first page to the last and since then I’ve been back and re-read it. I didn’t skip a word, either time. Beautifully written, it has drama, angst, action, men in uniform, fire, bullets, bombs and some oh so sweet moments. This is one of my fav books of all time. In my first review, I referred to Enemies Of The State as a literary orgasm.
Winter Kill by Josh Lanyon
Clever and ambitious, Special Agent Adam Darling (yeah, he's heard all the jokes before) was on the fast track to promotion and success until his mishandling of a high profile operation left one person dead and Adam "on the beach". Now he's got a new partner, a new case, and a new chance to resurrect his career, hunting a legendary serial killer known as the Crow in a remote mountain resort in Oregon.
Deputy Sheriff Robert Haskell may seem laid-back, but he's a tough and efficient cop - and he's none too thrilled to see feebs on his turf - even when one of the agents is smart, handsome, and probably gay. But a butchered body in a Native American museum is out of his small town department's league. For that matter, icy, uptight Adam Darling is out of Rob's league, but that doesn't mean Rob won't take his best shot.
Mark’s Quick Bite
You can always trust Josh Lanyon to come up with a great murder-mystery, combine it with great characters and a dose of M/M romance. I loved this gripping tale of murder in a small and remote town that has been turned on its head due to recent events.
An excellent thriller indeed with all the right ingredients to keep me invested every time I switched on the audiobook. And it’s this balance between an excellent thriller and having characters that are romantically involved that Josh gets just right in this book and most others I have read from her. You never get more of something and not of the other, the mix of romance and thriller never becomes distorted. The focus is always well balanced, you feel the romance developing at the same pace as the thriller both keeping me absolutely intrigued all the way.
Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson
The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell didn’t come soon enough for Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones, career US Marines who met at boot camp in the 1990s. They’ve been somewhere between best friends and lovers in peacetime and wartime both, but as the clock ticks toward Mac’s and Gunny’s retirements, the guys have much more to worry about than coming out.
Whether their relationship will survive outside of the closet they’ve had to shove it into for over two decades is a big question mark. Gunny questions why a hot military man like Mac—who could get any guy he wanted, including a younger, sexier one—would want him. But as Gunny and Mac navigate emotional waters as choppy as any they saw on duty, they just might learn Semper Fi applies to more than their careers.
Jane’s Quick Bite
I thought I’d start my first Quick Bites post with one of my absolute favourite books ever, Beyond Duty. I read this way back when it was first published and have found I return to reread it again and again. I love, love, love this book! The main reason for this is Mac and Gunny, the two growly alpha males and the love they share between them. They are career marines on the cusp of retirement just as the repeal of DADT is coming into force. They are both faced with what their retirement means to them individually and as a couple. Gunny is fearful of his place in Mac’s life but also afraid to voice this, worried that Mac may no longer want or need him. Mac just imagines life with his best friend, lover and boy with daily morning cuddles and no more enforced separations.
He envisages marriage and a future together exploring more of their Dom/sub relationship, though he really needs to let Gunny know this. Their love, banter and sometimes flawed characteristics are what make these men so adorable. They face some emotional times, both having different family issues to deal with. They make you laugh, they make you cry (Mac’s retirement speech gets me every god damned time!) But mostly they make you feel. Oh, the feels! It is super hot and you are left with a happy heart. I just never want it to end. These two beautiful men will always have a special place in my heart and it is a story I will always go back to. You can catch up with more of Mac and Gunny in Mauled (Beyond Duty 2 A Guards of Folsom short story).
The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox
Can love repair a shattered life in time to save the world?
Daniel Logan is on a lonely quest to find out what drove his lover, a wealthy, respected archaeologist, to take his own life. The answer—the elusive “key” for which Jason was desperately searching—lies somewhere on a dangerous and deadly section of Salisbury Plain.
The only way to gain access, though, is to allow an army explosives expert to help him navigate the bomb-riddled military zone. A man he met once more than three years ago, who is even more serious and enigmatic than before.
Lieutenant Rayne has better things to do than risk his life protecting a scientist on an apparent suicide mission. Like get back to Iraq and prove he will never again miss another roadside bomb. Yet as he helps Dan uncover the truth, an attraction neither man is in the mood for springs up against their will. And stirs up the nervous attention of powerfully placed people—military and academic alike.
First in conflict, then in passion, Rayne and Dan are drawn together in a relationship as rocky and complicated as the ancient land they search. Where every step leads them closer to a terrible legacy written in death…
Warning: Contains bombs, archaeology and explicit M/M sex, not necessarily in that order.
Sue’s Quick Bite
When I finished reading this superb novel three years ago, I declared to my other half that it was probably one of the best books I’d ever read. I tried to give him a synopsis only for him to ask, “Like one of Dan Brown’s books… where one clue leads to another clue?”
No, this story is nothing like The Da Vinci Code or any of Dan Brown’s books. Yes, there are clues, archaeology, and a mystery to solve—but the sum of this book is so much more than that.
Set around Stonehenge and the Salisbury Plain, there is an elusive ‘key’ for Daniel Logan to find, but woven into the story is a heart-wrenching tale of love and devotion, and a developing relationship that leaves you wanting more. This is one of those stories you can’t stop reading, yet at the same time you don’t want it to end. It tugged at my heartstrings throughout.
I admire Harper’s writing style; her descriptive passages conjure vivid pictures in my mind, the explicit sex scenes are beautifully written, and as this tale cleverly unfolds, the mystery and passion deepens.
I don’t wish to give any spoilers or even hints at what happens because that would ruin the impact of this story for the first-time reader. Just read it! Preferably without reading the blurb as that has spoilers too.