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 Heidi Belleau, M.J. O’Shea, Ashley John, L.D. Blakeley and Jacey Mills. 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.
Wall Flower (Rear Entrance Video #2)
by Heidi Belleau
A Rear Entrance Video Novel
This gamer geek has a pretty little secret.
Art student and MMORPG addict Robert Ng has always been a loner, but he's recently made it his goal to make more (IRL) friends. Which is how he winds up working nights at Rear Entrance Video, shilling sketchy porn and blowup dolls as a favor to his roommate. The longer he works there, though, the more he realizes he’ll never be truly happy until he becomes the person he is online: his female persona, Bobby.
Bobby is cuter and funnier than Rob is, and a thousand times more popular with boys. Becoming Bobby IRL presents its own set of challenges, though . . . especially when you're sitting on the fence between two genders, only one of which has caught the attention of your seriously cute customer/classmate.
Dylan Ford is a six-foot Inuit comic book artist who always says what’s on his mind, and screw anyone who doesn't like it. As rough as he appears, though, Dylan has a soft spot for Rob. But will out-and-proud Dylan still want Rob if he's not all man?
Debra’s Quick Bite
Heidi Belleau does a great job really focusing this story on Rob's exploration of and coming to terms with his gender fluidity and sexuality. Rob has an online, female, alter-identity he calls Bobby. Rob is shy, and introverted. Bobby is more confident and outgoing. When Rob decides that he is going to be Bobby during his shifts working at Rear Entrance Video, things become a little complicated especially when Dylan, another student in his art class, comes in and strikes up a conversation with Bobby, but seems to not realize that Rob is Bobby. As Rob and Dylan's relationship grows, Rob has to decide if, when and how he can tell Dylan about Bobby and whether that will be the end of them.
Both MC’s are great characters. Rob’s struggle to find himself is very relatable. Most of the first half of the book is focused on Rob and finding out who he really is inside before the story jumps into the relationship, but when the relationship starts it progresses very quickly. The secondary characters are all well written, Rob's sister is a loving, supportive woman (yeah!) and Dylan's family is, well, interesting in a good way. While this is the second book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone story and I highly recommend it.
Catch my Breath by M.J. O’Shea
Danny Bright was born to entertain. He just needs his big break. So when he hears that Blue Horizon Records is holding auditions looking for the next big thing, Danny jumps at the chance. It doesn’t turn out exactly as he imagined, though. Instead of getting solo contracts, Danny and four other guys are put into a boy band.
Innocent, idealistic Elliot Price thinks he’s headed for college. An impulsive decision to sing in the local talent search changes all that. A bigwig producer happens to see him, hands him a business card, and turns Elliot’s life upside down.
Elliot and Danny are close from the beginning. They love all the guys, but it’s different with each other. Soon their friendship turns into feelings more intense than either of them can ignore. The other three boys only want Danny and Elliot to be happy, but when their management team and record label discover two of their biggest tween heartthrobs are in a relationship, they’re less than pleased. Danny and Elliot find themselves in the middle of a circle of lies and cover-ups, all with one bottom line—money. They have to stay strong and stick together if they don’t want to lose themselves… and each other.
Jane’s Quick Bite
I love this book and have reread it several times. It is well written and very insightful into the music industry and how it works. It focuses on Static, a put together, five piece boy band. Two of the members Danny and Elliot click from the start and their friendship deepens into something more. The other band members are happy for them but Danny and Elliot find themselves caught up in the machinations of the music industry and are forced into situations that neither are happy with. They have to deal with fans and media attention, ‘beard’ girlfriends, prejudice and total manipulation by their management.
This is a great love story and Danny and Elliot will have you rooting for them as they navigate their way through being two members of a popular boy band whilst desperately trying to carve out some time together to develop their relationship. I loved all of the members of Static and some of the other characters in this story too. A well written rock/pop story that resonates with real life bands now.
Shelter by Ashley John
Fresh from his fourth stint in rehab, Elias James doesn’t have much to live for. His relationship with his family has never been so strained and with no real life of his own, he has nothing to live for. His overachieving twin sister and his ruthless mother's political success as Mayor of Havenmoore has left him empty. Getting high started as an act of rebellion but the addiction soon controlled his every waking moment.
Aspiring writer, Caden Walker, thought he had the perfect life until he discovered his boyfriend in bed with his best friend. Leaving everything behind in New York, he returns to Havenmoore to re-evaluate his life from his parent’s guest bedroom. When his mom offers him a job working for the charity she runs, helping people struggling with addiction, he’s not in a position to turn it down.
Caden never expected to find what he did, but when he is assigned to work with Elias, a reluctant attraction quickly blossoms into something deeper. Can Elias find in Caden the one thing he’s always searched for or will his addiction drag him under once again? Is Caden ready to let go of his New York dream to take a chance on something unexpected? Both men are faced with difficult times of change, but can they make it through the storm to find the shelter?
Mark’s Quick Bite
I actually reviewed the audiobook version and thoroughly enjoyed it, so this is my Quick Bite for this week. A story that takes Elias from rock bottom, leads him to a new start with a whole load of bumps in the road on the way to a future full of hope. This is truly a heartfelt story about Elias’s struggle to beat the habit of drugs, his fight to make a future for himself, finding the one person he can trust and love. There’s nothing more I like in a character than someone who is prepared to fight and overcome all their difficulties. And it was this that kept me totally invested in the story. Elias’s struggle and fight on all fronts, the drugs, his family and desperately trying to keep Caden in his life. I was sooooo proud of him by the end I was overjoyed that he made it through, turned his life around and became a better person for it. YES! Just love broken characters who make good in the end.
Parker’s Profile by L.D. Blakeley
Parker Knowles needs a date. No, really. If he can't find one by Valentine's Day, he's agreed to let his sister fix him up. And quite frankly, he'd rather chew off his own arm than go out with someone of his sister's choosing.
Internet phenom, Lane Steadman, has offered to show Parker the art of the perfect selfie. After all, an outstanding dating profile is useless without a topnotch photo, right?
Can love really be found on the Internet? Or is a real-world connection closer to Parker than he thinks?
Sue’s Quick Bite
What a super story! Short but most definitely sweet and laced with humour and plenty of ‘aww’ moments. I relished the writing style and the storyline that kept me turning the pages. Great characters too—Parker the charming geek looking for a date, Seth his helpful best friend, Lane the super-hot sexy stud, Martin the pervy, creepy colleague, and the well-meaning older sister.
There’s wonderful sizzling tension as Lane takes photos of Parker for his online profile and the sort of date on the ski slopes. From the start they hit it off and when they make out it’s hot! A little bit of angst towards the end, but it just helps to show how much Parker has fallen for Lane. Excellent expression of Lane’s bisexuality here too.
Highly recommended feel-good romance that leaves a big smile on your face.
We Wish You A Merry Christmas by Jacey Mills
Campbell travels in time to make his perfect man fall in love with him, but has he got the right man?
Campbell's offered a chance to travel back in time. He's going to make his one true love, Devon, fall in love with him at a Christmas Party in 2015. It's been a rough decade between 2015 and 2025. There's been a bloody revolution and Campbell wants nothing more than the security of Devon. Yet, when he gets back to 2015, nothing is what Campbell remembered. Devon, in fact, is a jerk.
Akhil, the scientist who sent Campbell back in time is /much/ nicer. As Campbell begins to find his footing in time and space, Akhil, who is funny, smart, and sexy, starts to fall in love with Campbell. Can Campbell find true love /and/ stop the revolution?
Freya’s Quick Bite
As it’s coming up to that time of year I thought I’d give you something with a Christmassy feel.
We Wish You A Merry Christmas, is a seasonal story with a time travel element. Campbell gets to go back in time to connect with a man he believes is his one true love. But when he gets to the time travelled Christmas party, he wonders if he’s made a mistake. At the festive event, he meets the younger version of the scientist who sent him back in time. What will Campbell do?
I found the plot well thought out, believable and the scientific elements were beautifully explained. This allowed me to enjoy my syfy jaunt to the max. It was well written, engaging, dramatic and the couplings were delicious. Anyone who enjoys love with a twist will like this, and some elements will make you openly smile so that those around you will think you’ve gone mad.