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 five great Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week from Brad Vance, Anyta Sunday, James Ryder, Leigh Carman, Alina Popescu and….. 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.
A Little Too Broken by Brad Vance
When Jamie walks through the door of the Humane Society, it’s not just an animal who needs rescuing that day. Tom is there to adopt another service dog into the Canine Comrade Corps, but it’s Jamie his heart goes out to. But each man turns away, walks away, from the potential pain, the rejection, the knowledge that it’ll all end in tears…
Jamie knows damn well that the HIV he contracted from an unfaithful lover has put him out of the dating game forever in the small town of Santa Vera. Tom lost his legs in Afghanistan, and got new ones, yeah, but with a side order of PTSD to go, he thought grimly. The real problem is that only now does he realize he’s gay, now that the revelation would be just one too many things to put his family through, after everything else they’ve had to deal with.
So both men grin and bear the loneliness, put their feelings on a shelf, even as Jamie’s volunteer stint at CCC turns into friendship and, despite their resolve, something more…
Debra’s Quick Bite
This is a slow burn friends to lovers romance with two amazingly strong MCs that each believe they are too broken to be anything but on their own. Jamie's living with HIV because of some bad judgment and poor decisions in the past. Tom is living with PTSD and the loss of his legs after a tour in Afghanistan and on top of that he is trying to deal with his realization that he is gay and attracted to Jamie.
The main focus of the story is the two men dealing with their own insecurities and fighting their attraction while trying desperately to maintain their new friendship. With all the issues the men are dealing with, the story did not become too overwrought, but did not treat anything lightly. The drama and emotion are there, but so is a sense of humor the two men share and some strong secondary characters to keep pushing both Jamie and Tom to take some chances. An emotional read, with a HEA, sometimes the POV changes were a bit jarring but really, this was an enjoyable love story and a nice change of pace from the stories where everyone is beautifully built and perfect.
Rock by Anyta Sunday
When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad.
Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life.
And then . . .
There’s Jace. Lila’s son. Lila’s smug, regurgitated-fish-scale-blue eyed son.
All Cooper wants is to have his family back the way it once was, but there’s something about this boy that promises things will never be the same again.
Resisting the realities of his new life, Cooper and Jace get off to a rocky start. But rocky start or not, after hundreds of shared memories together, they forge something new. A close . . . friendship.
Because friendship is all they can have. Although it’s not like they are real brothers. Technically, they’re not even stepbrothers . . .
But how does that friendship evolve under the pressures of life?
Under pressures of the heart?
Jane’s Quick Bite
Rock is told in 3 parts, Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic - all metaphors for the different stages in Cooper’s life. His parents divorce when he is twelve and he spends one week with his mum and one week living with his dad. His dad has a new partner who also has a son, Jace. This story is primarily about Cooper and Jace’s relationship from the age of twelve onwards, the rocky friendship they eventually develop and how it impacts their lives in the coming years.
This story is very emotional. Jace broke my heart several times during this book. I cried and cried and wanted to smash some sense into him. It is also a ‘quiet’ and beautiful book which made me also cry happy tears as it does have some extremely heartwarming scenes too. Each chapter is named after a Rock or stone and the rocks are woven deftly throughout this story lending such depth and emotional gravitas. Never has a title been so apt. I love this book and have reread it several times. It will stay with you long after you finish reading it. But read it you most definitely should. Get prepared for a major book hangover!
Merrywood Hall by James Ryder
Shy and unworldly, Tom Archer has only known the quiet life of a footman at Merrywood Hall. He has certainly never known true love. Jack Curtis is rough and rugged, a streetwise lad from the workhouse who’s too guarded to let anyone in. Tom doesn’t know how to handle Jack and his complete lack of deference to the noble Merrywood family. But their intense attraction to each other can’t be denied and spills over one night in the hay barn during a tempestuous rainstorm.
Yet as servants at the Hall, pursuing their love is forbidden and made especially difficult by the Honourable Edward Merrywood, son and heir to the vast estate. Edward is a bitter and arrogant man possessed by an unyielding desire for Tom, and he won’t watch him belong to anyone else. Edward is willing to go to any lengths, including murder, to make sure he can keep Tom to himself. It’s an obsession that haunts all three men for years, from the aristocratic world of an English country mansion to the muddy trenches of the Great War.
From the author of Dream Lover and Carver’s Cove comes a historical romance about the battles fought in the name of love. Merrywood Hall is a heart—wrenching story of desire and jealousy, of obsession and survival.
Mark’s Quick Bite
For all fans of Downton Abbey then this historical novel will be right up your street especially if you like the period and its history. But there the similarities end. I love my historical romances and I very often find there are two distinct ends to this historcal scale, if you will. Some novels describe every historical setting and fact in great detail to lend it the atmosphere needed and some rely on the reader's’ imagination, knowledge of the period and pictures in their head to set the scene. I enjoy both ends of this scale, however Mr Ryder’s novel belongs to the latter. You know the period it is set in, there is just enough description there to give the reader the necessary details but nothing more. It’s an historical novel that for the main part focuses on the characters, their interdependencies with each other and the plot. This for me was the strength in this novel.
The characters were vivid, real, true to the time and I was invested in them from the very beginning. Loved them all. Except for Edward! Hated him but every good novel needs a baddie! I was so pleased when he had his just desserts at the end although I was beginning to doubt whether this would ever be the case. Tom and Jack were absolutely adorable together and anyone would only wish with all their heart that they somehow find a way to a future together,
Match Point by Leigh Carman
Two stubborn men.
One is a rude jerk.
The other, the life of the party.
It was hate at first sight.
Pro beach volleyball players Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. While Finn always comes out on top on the court, Dexter’s carefree and fun-loving personality earns him scores of adoring men and women. And as much as Finn fights to deny it, there’s another reason for the tension he feels when Dex is around. Hate wasn’t the only thing he felt when he first laid eyes on his opponent.
When they’re forced to team up, the two men must bury their differences—on and off the court—if either of them is going to succeed professionally.
Sue’s Quick Bite
A wonderful enemies-to-lovers story involving two men who wished to remain in the closet, but eventually brought out the best in each other. It’s also a gripping beach volleyball story, but the sports scenes didn’t dominate the plot and were written in an exciting way, often highlighting the tension between the two main characters.
Leigh Carman’s engaging writing style kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I felt like I was actually watching a volleyball game at times with all the going back and forth of emotions and changes of heart between these two. And yet, their love-hate relationship oozes sexual chemistry and this all added to the UST. And when you think they’re finally getting somewhere at last. Gah! How you want them to bash their heads together and tell them to just get together and sort things out once and for all. They both come across as hot-headed drama queens who have a tendency to storm off when they get angry or jealous rather than talking through their problems. There are plenty of intense scenes and when they finally get down to making out, it’s super hot! Once they are together, they are perfect for each other. I loved their dialogue throughout, even when they were at each other’s throats. It came across as real and vivid.
Br0th3rly (Famous on the Internet Book 1)
by Alina Popescu
Fighting his relentless love for Trevor, the guy he was raised to consider his brother, has been Tristan’s mission in life.
To distance himself from Trevor, even after discovering they weren’t really related, he left for college at sixteen. Moving into the city, building a new life, and running an anonymous blog about what he considers sick, twisted feelings might make Tristan famous on the Internet, but it isn’t enough to get over his obsession. Every time he goes home, a quick glance at Trevor brings it all flooding back.
When commitment-phobe Trevor announces he’s got a serious boyfriend during one of Tristan’s rare visits home, the adoring kid brother will be forced to run once again. This time, however, Trevor doesn’t stand back and watch him leave.
Instead, he follows him, making it nigh on impossible for Tristan to keep his love a secret for much longer.
Freya’s Quick Bite
My quick bite for this week is Br0th3rly by Alina Popescu. I gave it 5* back in January.
It’s all about a boy, Tristan, who is in love with his adopted brother, Trevor. He hates himself, believing himself dirty and perverted because the non-biological part makes no difference to him. He’s always thought of Trevor as his brother. To curb his desires, he moves away, but a story wouldn’t be a good story unless they had to clash again in the future.
What I love about his author is that she writes stories outside the box, and Br0th3rly certainly fits in there. The tale starts as part of a blog, then diverts to the main events, before returning to the blog, later. It follows Tristan through his stages of depression with the rollercoaster of emotions that provides. He has to endure watching Trevor be the gay stallion of the town while keeping his own feelings under wraps. Yet, despite his turmoil, Tristan hopes that Trevor will be happy.
I found it impossible not to get vested in the characters and join them on the journey.
If like me, you salivate at reading a story that is not only written different but will have your emotions doing everything from the rumba to a Paso Doble – you will love this.