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 Tia Fielding, Kay Simone, Kiera Andrews, Lily Velden and L. M. Somerton. 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.
By Any Other Name by Tia Fielding
Dru and Thom have been together for three years, and despite Thom’s occasional bouts of insecurity and Dru’s fear of rejection, their relationship is rock solid. Then Dru’s long-lost friend, Skye, suddenly reappears, shocking them both. Skye suffered years of inconceivable abuse before escaping it, and while he’s back on track, he has nowhere else to go as he begins to rebuild his life.
Dru, Thom, and Skye each want to belong somewhere, to belong with someone—or someones—with no fear of being hurt, set aside, or left behind. It’s a challenge with daunting odds, especially for Skye, who’s never loved before. He’s determined not to come between his two friends who so clearly belong together, and it will be up to Dru and Thom to conquer their fears and convince Skye to stay.
Debra’s Quick Bite
I really enjoyed this story. The focus in this ménage story is not sex, but on the relationships between the three men. Dru and Thom are a solid couple and not looking for a third. When Dru's long lost childhood best friend, Skye, resurfaces after he disappeared at 17 the men immediately agree to take him in and help him re-establish a life that was brutally taken away from him.
There are a lot of layers to the story as Skye has been horribly abused and spent the last few years of his life institutionalized and healing from the emotional, physical and sexual abuse he suffered. Skye is struggling not just to overcome what happened, but to find himself. Dru is realizing that he loved and wanted Skye as a teen and without diminishing his love for Thom, he is falling for Skye all over again. Thom has also formed a bond with Skye, different from the one he has with Dru. As Thom and Dru try hard not to push or influence Skye, the bonds grow stronger, but communication is difficult.
There is a good flow to the story and the relationship is not rushed. It is emotional and dramatic without becoming angsty and I would be more than happy to read more about these three.
One Giant Leap by Kay Simone
Houston we have so many Problems…
Curtis "Launchpad" Larkin's career as an astronaut has had its share of ups and downs.
Alternately lauded as the single-handed savior of NASA and condemned as a reckless, hot-headed bully, Curt has been through the wringer of public opinion and come out on top. When he embarks on his final mission with NASA, Curt figures there's no curveball that life has left to throw him.
But when the role of spacecraft communicator is passed to a young engineer back in Houston who he's never met, Curt's mission takes on a new trajectory.
"CAPCOM to commander. Do you read?"
Patrick Harte's life is turned upside down when he's called to fill in at mission control, working directly under his hero, Curtis Larkin.
Falling for Curt is just a small step for Patrick -- but it's one giant leap to think that the astronaut could ever return his feelings.
"The more I talk to you, the more I know that we understand each other."
After Curt connects with Patrick from worlds away, he can't imagine life on earth without the other man... Despite the fact that he's never laid eyes on Patrick. And their problems won't stop once he's cleared for landing.
The bad-boy astronaut is no stranger to controversy -- but will the genuine and soft-spoken man of his dreams be able to keep up with the trouble Curt seems to stir everywhere he goes?
Jane’s Quick Bite
This book is a super sweet romance, which is both humourous and very touching. The story centres on an astronaut and the guy who becomes his spacecraft communicator back in Houston. It is well researched and includes a huge amount of detail. The characters are well rounded and I felt like I really knew them, especially Patrick and Curtis, the two main characters. The dialogue and descriptions of space give you that feeling of insignificance you feel when measured against the vastness of the infinite Galaxy. This story is not packed with raunchy sex but it is impossibly sweet, romantic and full of emotion. It will leave your heart bursting and you seeing stars behind your eyelids as you heave a happy sigh.
A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1)
by Keira Andrews
When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?
In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.
Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.
Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?
Note: Contains explicit sexual situations and graphic language. This is not an inspirational/Christian romance.
Mark’s Quick Bite
This book is absolutely beautiful. It was a while before I managed to get around to read it but when I did I could have kicked myself for not doing it before. That’S why it’s my Quick Bite this week, better late than never. I was thrown into the Amish village of Zebulon. An Amish community that belongs to one of the stricter orders. Basically, their way of life is so strict it’s positively medieval in many respects.
Oh my, how I could feel for these two boys. Trapped in a community that expects something different from you, knowing what you are doing is a cardinal sin according to their upbringing, but unable to deny the love and passion that is all too strong to deny. All David and Isaac have are a few stolen moments when they can either escape everyone or when no one is looking. And even then the fear of being caught or found out is always in the back of their minds and omnipresent. However, the emotional attachment they have with each other is so sweet and beautiful you can’t help but not hold your breath for these two that somehow, just somehow, they can find a way to be together and happy.
Heart Knot Mine by Lily Velden
Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.
Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery — both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.
Sue’s Quick Bite
Noah and Robert’s relationship in Heart Knot Mine encapsulates what I adore about the m/m genre. Although taking over thirty years to realize he is gay, Noah embraces his sexuality and falls head-over-heels in love with Robert. I relished the intensity of his feelings and their passionate lovemaking in the sizzling bedroom scenes, but for Noah it is more than just sex when he spends time with Robert. Not all men want casual hook-ups in bathhouses and clubs. Noah wants this connection with his soul mate, and his need for Robert is wonderfully expressed through his thoughts and actions.
Noah’s heartache is shown when he and Robert are apart. It hurts for him and for us as readers. This is skilful and emotional writing. The scene when they finally meet again is one of my favorites in the story as it is so moving.
My only wish is that perhaps one of the earlier sex scenes had been replaced for another at the end of the story. I would have loved a final lovemaking scene and heard in more detail how Robert was feeling and suffering when they were apart. But that’s just me being greedy because I didn’t want their story to end.
Stroke Rate by L. M. Somerton
Lucien Thorne likes to be in control, but the boy he wants to own may take some convincing.
Gorgeous but shy, Benedict Astor does his best to keep a low profile at the rowing club where he works. However, unbeknown to Benedict, he has attracted the attention of Lucien Thorne, rowing aristocracy, an Olympic medalist and a lord.
Whilst looking for a new rowing partner, Lucien believes he has found what he needs in Ben. He pushes him to his limits on the water and it becomes clear that rowing with the pretty young man is not his only interest. Ben is attracted to Lucien but confused about his feelings. Lucien is demanding, arrogant and dominant—which Benedict responds to even though he feels he should resist.
Fighting emotions he doesn’t understand, Ben has to contend with the bullying rowing club president and a humiliating auction of promises.
Lucien recognizes Ben’s hidden submissive streak and makes his own need for control very clear. He bids for Ben’s time, then forces Ben to admit to his own desire to test the ground between them.
When the deeds to the boat club are gambled away, Lucien and Ben must work together to save it. Will their growing love survive the pressure, Ben’s uncertainty and Lucien’s desire to own him completely?
Freya’s Quick Bite
Ben is a university student, surviving on a shoestring and is a person who has an inner need to row. He's the equivalent of the rowing towel boy – the job sucks, and he’s at the mercy of the wealthy. Seb is the quintessential leering bastard, and Lucien Thorne is rowing aristocracy and real-life Lord.
When I saw the title Stroke Rate, many things flew through my imaginative mind, and as I read, I wasn’t wrong to think that way. But, in this case, it is also, a cleverly titled book, considering the story also centres around a British rowing club. As well as rowing, the story also delves into the genre of BDSM - though not hardcore - which isn’t a realm I have found myself reading much of before, but, after this, I just may consider having the odd book in my library.
My absolute favourite line was – He had all the charm of a great white shark with an empty stomach. And if I had to sum up this story in a few words they would be, enjoyable, erotically arousing, and memorable.