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 Cardeno C, Kay Simone, R.A. Padmos and Cecil Wilde. 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.
More Than Everything by Cardeno C
Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.
As a teenager, Charlie "Chase" Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he's living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott unexpectedly moves away.
Years later, Charlie meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. After eight months together, Charlie is convinced Adan returns his love. But when the opportunity comes to be open about their relationship, Adan walks away.
Time passes and life moves on, but when Charlie learns the only two men he's ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn't know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.
Debra’s Quick Bite
I absolutely adored this book. As with any Cardeno C I've read, it was sweet with a good mix of humor, heartbreak and romance. Charlie/Chase really is the star of this book as it’s his story. Although there are POVs from all the characters, his voice really sets the tone. He is unapologetically who he is, a bit flamboyant, snarky and honest. The two great loves in his life ultimately both let him down, but eventually fate brings them all back together again.
The story is a ménage, but it’s mostly tale of Charlie’s separate loves and then their ultimate coming together. Scott, is his first love and although they are both young when their relationship breaks apart, it sets up Charlie's lack of a serious relationship for years until he meets Adan, who appears to be the complete opposite of Scotty (and a bit of an ass). Adan ultimately uses and treats Charlie like crap and once again Charlie is devastated that he so underestimated someone he loved and trusted.
I enjoyed the device of the story being told through flashbacks to photographs, with an introduction in each chapter setting up the scene. It was like reading three separate love stories that all lead up to one big, sweet HEA.
The Aftermath by Kay Simone
What if you had to spend one year face-to-face with the biggest mistake of your life?
Daniel Rhodes is looking for an anonymous night of fun with his fake ID in the big city, an hour away from his tiny hometown in rural Washington.
“You play pool?” Daniel asks the stranger, eyeing him.
“Uh, yeah. I do,” the man says in a clipped, cocky way. “Do you play pool?”
But when an intriguing stranger flirts with Daniel, he’s desperate not to lose the man’s attention. The man is smooth, older, and funny — dark and handsome with a physical presence that has Daniel’s blood running hot. Without thinking about it, Daniel starts hustling him.
“A little,” Daniel lies. “You up for a game?”
“You’re damned right I am.”
What starts as a simple con changes as their chemistry crackles. Daniel wants this tattooed stranger, and he’s willing to bend the rules to get him on his knees. The young hustler makes the bet of a lifetime — getting him exactly what he wants.
But the anonymous fun becomes a nightmare when Daniel meets the stranger in his hometown days later, thrown into a situation that leaves them no choice but to work together.
. . .
On the advice of his friends, perpetual loner Wilson Morrow has quit his job at a state university to accept an offer in the small town of Chewelah. The university is all he’s known since he escaped a turbulent childhood in Alabama, and Will spent his twenties forgetting the memories of what happened there.
But his fresh start in a new town is a disaster from the start... Because staring at him on the first day of his promising new job is the biggest mistake of his entire life: Daniel Rhodes. They both know that with a single word, Daniel could ruin Will’s whole career.
. . .
They want to hate each other for what they are and the dishonest way they met. But as they’re forced to work together, Daniel finds that Will is changing the way he views himself, literature, and the future before him. In the gregarious and hot-tempered Daniel, Will finds someone he cannot help but care about — but he knows that the best thing he can do for Daniel Rhodes is to leave him alone.
Try as they might, something bigger than themselves always pushes the two of them together.
Nothing stays the same for either man as they navigate the minefield of a love they must keep secret. For the first time in either man’s life, they begin to build rather than repair, to forge their own future instead of treading in a wake, and to create something more important than simple survival in the aftermath of a chance encounter.
Jane’s Quick Bite
The aftermath here refers to everything that follows an anonymous meeting of the main protagonists. A hustle turns into a hot hookup with neither party expecting to see the other again, so both are beyond shocked to be thrown into each other’s presence once more.
I absolutely adored this book when I read it, it gives you all the feels. It's quite a long book but it never feels like it, I was transported away, always the sign of a good story. The characters Will and Daniel are so well developed, the narrative is very descriptive and the literary references frequently peppering the story make this a real treat for poetry and literature fans. The romance is beautiful and even though the setting could have made for a very awkward and mawkish story, it is handled so deftly and maturely that I believed in it entirely. If you haven't read this one yet, I strongly recommend it.
In The Privacy of Their Home
Dylan’s life is regulated and precise, and as a gay man in the England of the 1960s it’s also necessarily secretive; the law regarding homosexuality may have changed, but unfortunately society’s attitudes are slow to catch up. Meeting Max – younger and less inhibited – is a shock to Dylan’s system; suddenly his world, which has been black and white, explodes into vivid colour. But loving Max is not without difficulty; Max is an artist, talented and ambitious, and there’s no way someone as ordinary as Dylan can hold on to him for long … or is there?
Mark’s Quick Bite
My Quick Bite this week will also feature in personal favourites coming on Thursday in our READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2016. Why? Well, you’ll have to read that post on Thursday but this little novella was so good. An emotionally charged book that left me in tears in places and when an author can do that to me in so few pages then it’s a winner for me.
With the wonderful writing craft of Ms Padmos your heart will just want to reach out and touch this forlorn character, Dylan. You will want to comfort him, try to give him a little cheer as Dylan’s melancholic life is revealed to us. But he sees no other way out of his predicament being the way he is. Is forced to accept his lot in life. That is until a force of nature enters his life in the form of Max, then there is no going back.
Legally Wed by Cecil Wilde
When your best friend is gay and you are straight life can present some interesting challenges…especially if chance and circumstances conspire and you find yourself married…To each other! Legally Wed from romance author Cecil Wilde is a perfect mix of friendship, love, and humor; with a few twists and turns to keep you turning the pages of this contemporary GLBT romance.
Freya’s Quick Bite
From the moment I started reading this, I sank into my chair with a smile on my face, wringing my hands in glee.
Right from the off my heart went out to Xander and his relationship with Blake. I fell in love with these boys. Every new page was another twist in their story which occasionally meant another few paragraphs when my heart was in my mouth. Legally Wed, is a story that, when I had to put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. It is sweet, full of moments that will affect your heart in all sorts of ways, and will leave you smiling.