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 six great Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week from Felice Stevens, V.M. Waitt, Teodora Kostova, Joe Cosentino, Cambria Herbert and Angel Martinez. Don’t forget you can also enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a Kindle eBook of your choice from this weeks Quick Bites.
Betting on Forever (The Breakfast Club #2)
by Felice Stevens
A weekend fling in Atlantic City couldn’t be more out of socially shy Zach Cohen’s comfort zone, but a bet with his best friends forces him to put aside the humiliation he’s hidden for years, stepping away from his computer screens and on-line world. When he meets Sam Stein, despite their spark, Zach expects nothing more than a night of passion and a kiss goodbye. Yet weeks later, he can’t keep the man out of his head.
After a split second decision with tragic results ends his twenty year police career at the same time his relationship falls apart, Sam Stein is drifting through life. At his best friend’s urging he agrees to a trip to Atlantic City to clear his head. What Sam doesn’t plan on is meeting Zach Cohen, whose sweet nature and honesty has him thinking maybe he could move forward, until Zach leaves him without explanation, reinforcing Sam’s belief that people can’t be trusted.
Well-meaning friends refuse to let Zach and Sam hide from each other, forcing them to realize their weekend is much more than a one night stand. Before that can happen, Zach must come to terms with his past and stand up for his own independence, while Sam has to learn to take a chance and believe in himself and people again. All bets are off when dreams become reality and forever doesn’t seem to be long enough.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This is one of my favorite Felice Stevens books and even though it is the second in the series, it reads easily as a standalone. When quiet, shy Zach decides to be something other than that during a weekend in Atlantic City, it leads him to a romantic night with Sam, a former police officer whose been having a tough time professionally and personally. Neither expected a relationship and both have hurdles to overcome. Luckily both men have friends willing to give them a shove to get over some misunderstandings and hurt feelings and realize just how good they could be together.
Friends, family and the City of New York play a big part in the story. It’s romantic, sexy, low angst and both Zach and Sam are incredibly lovable characters. Reading it I wanted nothing more than for these two lonely men to put their pasts to bed and live happily ever after. A sweet story that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling.
Chase the Storm by V.M Waitt
Up until he buys an old truck, Elijah Morgan lives life according to his family’s plan, never feeling like he belongs. Desperate to find his own path, he heads out on the open road, only to end up stranded in Nebraska. Not wanting to ask for his parents’ help, he takes a job with tough, independent farmer Chase McKenzie.
Despite their age gap, the attraction between Chase and Elijah soon becomes undeniable. They give in to their desire, but that night changes everything and threatens the secret Chase guards so carefully.
As the summer heats up, so does their relationship. When autumn arrives, Elijah is due back at college, and he’ll have to choose whether to continue his education and follow in his family’s footsteps… or to stay in Nebraska with the man he loves.
Jane’s Quick Bite
This is such a beautiful story. I first read this back in 2013 as a May to December book, but found it to be so much more. It is tale that is quiet, emotional and very touching.
Elijah Morgan wants more independence from his family. He wants to know if there is more to life than just following in his family’s footsteps. He becomes stranded in Nebraska and finds a job with farmer Chase McKenzie. Chase starts out tough and grizzly but soon warms to the young man. He tries to deny their attraction but soon gives in and that night changes things for them both.
Elijah and Chase are just so perfect for each other and you find yourself rooting for them. There is a part in the story that will make you cry ugly, emotional tears. So keep tissues handy. This is a stunning love story with such poignancy. I find myself returning to it time and again. The audiobook narrated by Hugh Bradley is also worth a listen to.
Piece by Piece by Teodora Kostova
Sometimes to reach the surface you have to fall to the bottom first...
For the past ten years, Riley Davis’s life has been overshadowed by the tragic death of his partner. Fluctuating between alcohol induced daze, clinical depression and throwing all his time and effort into his business, Riley doesn’t believe, or even hope, that his life will ever be worth living again.
Until Sonnie Frye drops by his haberdashery shop, changing his life forever.
Sonnie is a man who likes getting what he wants, when he wants it. He’s worked hard to establish himself as Queen Victoria theatre’s chief costume designer, collecting multiple awards – and high-profile clients – along the way. Sonnie is used to putting his needs, goals and desires first, unwilling to compromise his own happiness for anybody else.
Until he meets a handsome shop owner whose eyes are so sad that they immediately tug at Sonnie's heartstrings.
Seeing something he wants, Sonnie is determined to get under Riley's skin and, preferably, into his bed. But he soon discovers the task is not that easy. For the first time in his life, Sonnie may need to put someone else’s needs before his own, and re-evaluate what really matters in life.
Will the two men stand side by side to overcome their differences, and everything else life throws at them? Or will it all become too much to bear, shaking them to their very core, destroying everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve?
Mark’s Quick Bite
I’ve been introduced to so many different areas of life with my reading it’s always a surprise to see where I’ll end up next. It’s in this backdrop of costumes, fashion, theatres and shows that we meet Sonnie. That’S why it’s my Quick Bite for this week.
Both protagonists are wonderfully written and well balanced. Ms Kostova has taken two characters from opposite ends of the personality spectrum but has managed to meld them into one until they become a ying and yang symbiosis at the end. This is a story about broken pieces and the title is very apt as Riley as to but himself back together piece by piece. I did feel exasperated at times with Riley and just wanted to slap him to pull him out the funk he would get himself in. But Ms Kostova’s writing draws you into this dark place where Riley is and felt it consuming me just like it did Riley., Through this came the understanding for his situation. There are some very poignant moments and right at the end even I had a slight lump in my throat with what these two have achieved. they can now look forward to a bright future together.
With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men.
Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.
Sue’s Quick Bite
This bittersweet novella begins and ends in the present with happily married Harold and Stuart. In between, we are given flashbacks to show us the story of Harold’s infatuation with Mario, much of it told through dialogue and Harold’s witty responses to the key people and events over those intervening twenty years.
The writing is superb and highly original. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but it made me chuckle, laugh out loud, say ‘awww’, and cry. The humour and light-hearted approach to such a heart-breaking story worked perfectly and stopped me from becoming a blubbering mess. At the same time, the story has a happy ending. It has you thinking about love, commitment and being true to yourself, and cleverly interweaves moral and political issues.
#Junkie (GearShark #1) by Cambria Hebert
Drew Forrester is a total adrenaline junkie.
His high of choice?
The faster, the better.
He’s been making waves in Maryland’s underground racing circuit since he crossed the state line, and after speaking with him, we know he’s not hitting the brakes anytime soon.
So what exactly does it take to burn rubber and make a name for yourself in a world where the only rule is there are no rules?
You gotta be hungry…
You gotta have balls…
And you can never back down.
What’ve we learned here at GearShark?
Drew is all of the above.
We also know he’s got some secrets buried under his hood.
Secrets we think are loaded with octane and just might set the world of cars on fire.
Check out the full feature article inside…
**This book contains an M/M romance relationship.
Freya’s Quick Bite
My original review for this book was in January 2016. It’s a story of not only, racing cars, but racing hearts too. It’s a rollercoaster of a read both in content and emotion from beginning to end.
Drew is an adrenaline junkie that likes to burn rubber on the indy car circuit. He has the balls and the hunger for it. Trent is his best friend and backup. There is a sizzle of unconsummated love between the men that electrified the pages and took me on a journey that I laughed, cried and cheered along.
I adored the pairing and the action. The adrenaline certainly flows. And the OMG ending will have you reaching for book two which is also available.
Vassily the Beautiful by Angel Martinez
Vassily Belikov, composer and pampered son of privilege, suffered neurological damage in the accident that killed his father. Resentful of being treated as an invalid, he lives as a recluse, dependent on his mother. That changes the day she brings home a new husband with two sons of his own.
When deep-space pirates capture Vassily's mother, he's left to the mercy of his cruel, amoral stepfather. Fighting addiction and his physical shortcomings, he's forced to seek out the criminal mastermind Baba Yaga for a crucial piece of equipment. While she agrees to deal with him if he beats his Exoticus addiction, paranoia and mysterious intentions infuse her household. Drawn to her fierce, suspicious youngest son, certain his actions are all carefully observed, Vassily must find the courage to face both his fears and his desires if he expects to survive.
Cheryl’s Quick Bite
A very loose re-telling of the Russian fairytale “Vasilisa The Beautiful”. This is one of my all time favourites. I fell in love with the MC in the first few pages. Disabled by the accident that killed his father, Vassily has grown up to be a gentle, sensitive soul. When his mother remarried and was then killed on an interstellar mission Vassily is plunged into hell. Forcibly addicted to a recreational drug, and sent on a suicidal mission to the mysterious and powerful Baba Yagga, things seem homeless – until he meets Baba Yagga’s son.
This story is as beautiful as Vassily himslf. It’s perfectly edited and delicately executed with many touches that make the story very much unique from the original. The world and character building are exemplary and many themes are effectively explored, such as coping with a disability, effects of drug addiction on the user and those around them, and the ethics of human experimentation, among others. The story is tragic, funny and exciting with many delicate details, beautiful descriptions, and twists and turns enough to keep anyone on their toes.
I’ve (possibly unfairly) taken away half a star because for some reason the gorgeous original cover, which is what attracted me in the first place, has been replaced by a far, far less attractive one which would not have caught my attention at all.