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 Mercy Celeste, JK Hogan, Jamie Reese, N.R. Walker and Chris Scully. 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.
Out of the Blues by Mercy Celeste
Whoever said you can't go home again should change that to should not go home again. As in EVER!
Mason Foxworth swore on his grandmother's bible never to return to the small Georgia town he sort of grew up in. And for eight years he'd succeeded in keeping that promise. Until his twin sister decided she needed to get married...back home...and she'd invited their parents. Wasn't this going to be a just a fabulous weekend?
Since leaving the Marines, Kilby Adams rarely ever left his farm and now here he was in Georgia, as best man at his stepbrother's wedding. Out of his comfort zone and with too many people that he doesn't know Kilby has nothing to keep his mind off the past except the gorgeous brother of the bride.
And wouldn't you just know it, there was only one room left at the Inn and Kilby would have to share it, with Mason, who was straight and....yeah, this was going to be one hell of a weekend.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This reminded me so much of my introduction to Mercy Celeste, Beyond Complicated, but more polished. It’s another great Mercy Celeste angst-fest with plenty of hot sex and true emotion that had me rooting for Mason and Kilby to pull it together.
Mason is broken in ways he doesn't even realize. He’s discovering that everyone thought he was gay before he could even admit it to himself for fear of what his seemingly homophobic football star father would think, has a mother who really only cares about herself and how those around her reflect on her life, and he’s struggling to find his own place in life. Falling for Kilby, brother to his twin-sister's fiancée, is really the least of his problems. Thrown together as roommates at a wedding that takes most of the fun out of dysfunction (but gives plenty of drama for the reader) Mason and Kilby are on fire when they are together, no doubt about that. But this is Mercy Celeste so nothing is going to be easy!
Drama rules here, but the story gripped me with plenty of twists and emotional ups and downs, but seeing Mason and Kilby work things out made it all worthwhile.
Strong Medicine by JK Hogan
Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?
The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work release program at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.
Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.
Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.
Jane’s Quick Bite
This book was in my top 5 reads of 2016, a real standout book for me. It deals with the very difficult, complex subject matter of mental illness and living long term with mental health issues in all of their guises and the therapy and treatment options that abound with this.
Jonah and Cameron meet at Riverbend Behavioural Health Facility and have an instant connection, it is not insta love, just a common bond that draws them together and which develops over a long period of time into friendship and then deepens into a romantic relationship. The bond between them is beautiful and I loved each character equally. My heart broke several times over during the course of the book, especially for Jonah, and there is no denying that this is an emotional read, however the rewards for persevering are worth it. With quotes like “Cameron vowed that as long as he was in Jonah’s life, no one would ever hurt him again. He wasn't a hero, he wasn't a saint, he was just a boy, holding another boy and promising to protect him.” This book gave me all the feels, I absolutely loved it.
A Mended Man
(The Men of Halfway House #4) by Jaime Reese
Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He's a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin.
Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted attitude of hope and positivity protects him from a past filled with too much pain. When a ghost from a dark time resurfaces and nearly breaks him, he must tap into his inner strength or risk losing everything he's worked so hard to build.
But Jessie can't do it alone. He must fight to break through Aidan's ironclad defenses to reveal the heart of the man hiding beneath the tough surface and mend his damaged spirit. Only then can they truly heal and become strong enough to battle the demons that haunt them and threaten their chance to finally be together.
***This book contains scenes and subject matter some readers may find distressing.***
Although part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.
Mark’s Quick Bite
This is another series that if you haven’t started it yet then you seriously need to. It is by far one of my favourite series and I will be looking forward to further books. You never know what you’re going to get with Jaime and this one couldn’t be more different in style to the third book if it tried. A Mended Man is a stark contrast to the previous one, it’s dark and brooding, serious and austere in its nature which fits the two MCs perfectly.
This is Aidan’s and Jessie’s story. The first chapter knocked me off my sofa! We’re thrown right into the action and the thick of things with a brutal attack on Jessie. For those of a nervous disposition who only like fluffy bunny, rainbow and unicorn reads then the start of this book is going to shatter your world. It’s brutal! This sets the whole story of what is to follow in the rest of book. Both these men have pasts that they are trying to put behind them. I savoured every page of this book and can’t recommend the series highly enough.
Perfect Catch by N.R. Walker
Calvin Lynch and Troy Hoffman have been best mates since they were fourteen years old. They’re both hard-working tradesmen, both love weekends away fishing, both gay, but have never been single at the same time. Until now.
What is supposed to be a weekend away fishing with a group of mates, changes at the last minute when friends bail out in an attempt to give Cal and Troy some alone time.
With more than just hooks on the line, can these two see what’s been right in front of them the whole time?
The Perfect Catch is a short story about falling for your best friend hook, line, and sinker.
A 20K short story which was part of the It Was Always You anthology.
Sue’s Quick Bite
This is a delightful 'best friends to lovers' short story. Cal and Troy have been best friends for ten years and they’ve been in love for most of that time, but never had the nerve to declare their true feelings fear of ruining their friendship. Luckily for them, their friends know they are perfect for each other and arrange it so they spend a weekend fishing/camping together. I loved the sexual tension and chemistry that was sizzling at the beginning of this story and was wondering who would make the first move and how.
When they finally sort themselves out the make-out scenes are smoking hot. And still they are both worried about whether they’ve made the right decision for their friendship. Thankfully they work everything out and we receive a sexy and HFN ending.
Even though this is a short story (19K) I felt the characters were portrayed as distinct and with their own personalities. I adored how Troy became shy when they were in bed together. It’s a fluffy, feel-good story that has all the lovely trademark features I associate with N.R. Walker’s writing.
Happy by Chris Scully
Growing up Greek-Canadian, Peter Georgiou always knew his duty was to his family, for whom twenty-first century rules don’t apply. In his early thirties, Peter still lives at home, dates who his parents tell him to, and works at the family restaurant. But watching his two best friends find happiness in each other’s arms has made him worry over his destiny.
When Louie Papadakis returns home to nurse his broken heart and start a new life, he can’t believe his sister is dating his high school crush, Peter. There’s a sadness behind Peter’s eyes that draws him in, and a chemistry he wishes he could ignore. After his closeted ex broke his heart, Louie is afraid to fall in love again, especially with a man who's keeping secrets.
As Peter finds himself drawn to Louie in unexpected ways, old and new worlds collide. Then a family crisis forces Peter’s hand, and he must decide if he’s willing to sacrifice his happiness for family duty.
Freya’s Quick Bite
Peter’s family wanted him to find a nice Greek girl, have a nice Greek wedding and produce lots of Greek babies. Unfortunately for them, Peter is gay. However, he can’t stand the thought of breaking their hearts. Then along comes, unwilling to be a secret, Louis and Peter is thrown into turmoil
During the, should they, shouldn’t they? Would they, wouldn’t they, part of the story Peter knows what Louis deserves and due to his inner conflict there are periods of avoidance, which the author writes extremely well.
The pace of this novella is delightful - perfect for the story. The emotional tension, too, went straight to my heart. I was able to see all points of view, the emotional struggles – the whole schebang. Happy, thoroughly entertained me, and kept me engrossed.