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 Josh Lanyon, Avery Cockburn, Keira Andrews and Victoria SUe. 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.
Fatal Shadows (Adrien English #1) by Josh Lanyon
One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening.
Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few hours later someone breaks into Adrien's shop and ransacks it, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself.
Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he is next on the killer's list.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This is a classic M/M series but I’m always surprised that so many people still haven’t read it so Fatal Shadows, Book 1 of the Adrien English series is my Quick Bite this week.
This book really sets a tone for the series. It’s more murder mystery than a romance at this point but it starts the ball rolling on the epic love story between, snarky book store owner and trouble magnet Adrien English, and the gruff, sexy and possibly homophobic cop Jake Riordan. The murder of Adrien’s friend at his shop is just the start of things falling apart around him. Adrien can’t seem to help himself getting into trouble, but the cops think he’s involved and the mystery buff in him can’t just sit back and wait. And sexy officer Riordan may not be all he seems, which doesn’t help matters either.
With great characters (and yes, it’s OK to hate Jake, I sure did), witty dialogue, a good mystery and just enough romantic tease to make you run straight for the next book I whole-heartedly recommend this first book in a series that just gets better as you go.
Playing For Keeps (Glasgow Lads #1)
by Avery Cockburn
Rule One: No Drama!
Fergus Taylor is damaged goods. Reeling from a brutal breakup, he’s determined to captain his LGBT soccer team out of scandal and into a winning season. For that, he needs strict rules and careful plans. He does NOT need a brash, muscle-bound lad messing with his head and setting his body afire.
John Burns has a rule of his own: Don’t get attached. Boyfriends are for guys with nothing to hide. Nobody—not his university mates, not the men he beds—knows his family’s shame. Now his double life is starting to unravel, thanks to a certain Highlander whose storm-riddled eyes turn John inside out, who wears a kilt like he was born in it.
Fergus is the first man John wants to share his secret with—but he’s the last man who could handle it. John knows the truth would shatter Fergus’s still-fragile heart. But how can he live a lie when he’s falling in love?
Note: The Glasgow Lads series contains dirty talk with a Scottish accent, naughty bits of a gay nature, and characters who call soccer “football.”
Jane’s Quick Bite
This is a brilliant contemporary romance and is book 1 in the Glasgow Lads series. It centres on a Glaswegian LGBT football team, the Woodstoun Warriors. However, you don't have to be a football fan to enjoy this book, it is so much more. It has such depth of character, packed with emotion and a very flowing storyline that keeps your interest to the end. It is almost like a modern day Romeo and Juliet with Fergus and John on opposing sides as it delves into the history of sectarianism that still reverberates around the Old Firm rivalry today. You will root for a way through for these two and the ending is worth a little angst. I love this series having read all that have been subsequently published and I can't wait to read more.
A Clean Break (Gay Amish Romance #2)
by Keira Andrews
They've escaped to the outside world--but can they really be free?
David and Isaac have found happiness in each other's arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac's brother Aaron helps them explore confusing "English" life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don't have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?
But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he's overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.
While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.
Note: This is the second chapter in a trilogy of forbidden Amish love. This book features explicit sex and is not an inspirational/Christian novel.
Mark’s Quick Bite
A series is never over until the last book has sung! So this is why book no. 2 in Keira Andrew’s A Gay Amish Romance series is my Quick Bite this week after featuring book no. 1 two weeks ago. A series that affected me like no other!
For our boys coming from an Amish village (book #1) to San Francisco means nothing less than being catapulted from the 18th century and landing slap bang right in the middle of the 21st. I suppose no one would adapt to this easily without a struggle and leaving scars. They make it to Isaac’s brother’s house, Aaron, and the initial joy of the reunion was short lived. I loved this reunion scene, Isaac and Aaron have such a strong bond and they now have a lot of catching up to do. It was so great to hear Aaron talk about his experiences and how he made it. How he now has a wonderful wife, job and super life. Although in my opinion he had the tougher situation because there was no one for Aaron to run to when he left Zebulon. He had to do it the hard way, make his mistakes and find out himself. But he made it and can now pass on this wealth of experience to Isaac and David.
Unfortunately, this book does not end on a skipping-off-into-the-sunset style HEA ending but more of a there’s-hope-but-have-a-lot-of-things-to-work-out kind of ending. I know they still love each other immensely and will pull through all this eventually, but geez it’s a heart-breaking read when all I wanted to do was comfort them and say it will be OK, you just have to give some things in life time but until then you need to be strong for each other.
The Innocent Betrayal (Innocent #2) by Victoria Sue
Can love withstand the ultimate betrayal?
William was running. Running from his father, running from his arranged marriage, and running from himself. He’d never wanted to manage his father’s vast empire. He would have been quite happy to find some small corner of England and read and paint. He knew it would be too much to ask for the company of a man to go with that. Too dangerous. His only hope for escape is to hide who and what he is and pretend to be a servant.
Alex was barely surviving after the fight with Napoleon’s armies. Riddled with guilt, he buried the knowledge of his wife’s death, and his crippled body, at the bottom of whatever brandy bottle he could find.
Two broken souls. One so damaged he thinks he doesn’t deserve love, and one so convinced he would never find it he has stopped looking.
Danger, lies, and espionage. The fate of hundreds of English soldier’s lives depending on them to trust each other, to work together.
Alex is forced to make a choice, unable to swallow his pride and rejects Will and their chance of happiness. Will is heartbroken, and Alex is destroyed. Will Alex realize his mistake in time? Can he learn to trust Will, but more importantly himself, and would Will ever forgive him if he did? And finally, would love ever survive a betrayal – even if it is an innocent one?
Freya’s Quick Bite
This historical novel is one worth reading. It delves into the murky waters of money, family, betrayal, love and a couple of gentlemen who do some things they regret and hope they find forgiveness.
William is a nobleman who, on the day of his marriage does a runner. In hiding, William ends up in the service of Alex, a man crippled in war. Alex is not in a good place emotionally or physically. He is also part of a household whose servants do the bare minimum for him. All that aside, William soon becomes indispensable.
The story starts off with the drama of William leaving his life behind. When he found Alex, the characters drew me in, and I came to care for them and hoped for the best. But, everyone seemed to be keeping secrets, which got in the way of some man loving. Then, the stakes were raised, more characters were introduced, and the twist of espionage raises its head giving the story an extra engaging dimension. Towards the end, secrets are revealed, lives are on the line, ways of life are addressed. There is blackmail, kidnapping and more than one hero. My heart was in my mouth, more than once.