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 C.S. Poe, J.H. Knight, Melissa Collins, Louise Lyons and Garret Leigh. 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.
The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter #1)
by C.S. Poe
Snow & Winter: Book One
It’s Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective, Neil Millett. When Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.
He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.
In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive and live happily ever after with Calvin.
Debra’s Quick Bite
I really had a lot of fun reading this book. While it is quite clear that this story was inspired by Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series (the book is dedicated to her) and the beginning reminded me a lot of those stories, the story quickly pulled me in and had me reading it on its own merits.
Murder and mayhem, steamy sex and Edgar Allen Poe all combined to keep me thoroughly entertained. Sebastian Snow is an out and proud, colorblind, antiques dealer who seems to have a knack for falling for closeted cops. The first is his long-time boyfriend Neil and the second is Calvin Winter, part of the team sent to investigate the heart found in Sebastian’s store’s floorboards. Calvin is quick in his pursuit of Sebastian, but is it a good idea on either of their parts? Calvin has issues he needs to deal with and it’s pretty clear that Sebastian doesn’t want to be shoved back in the closet.
The story was well paced and there were some good secondary characters, especially Sebastian’s father and his shop assistant Max. With a HFN ending I’m looking forward to the next story to see how the relationship progresses.
The Last Thing He Needs by J.H. Knight
Tommy O’Shea is raising his seven younger brothers and sisters without any help from his drug abusing father and stepmother. Since he was fifteen years old, he's managed to keep the children fed and out of foster care. It takes up every ounce of his energy and the last thing he needs is romance complicating his life further.
Rookie cop Bobby McAlister doesn't belong in Tommy’s harsh world, but Tommy can’t push him out. As their unlikely friendship turns into a tentative relationship, they weather the daily storm of Tommy’s life with a lot of laughs and more than a few arguments.
Tommy isn't used to trusting outsiders, and he's never asked for help in his life. But when a tragedy strikes the O'Shea family and threatens everything he's fought for, he'll have to learn to do both to recover from the brutal hit.
Jane’s Quick Bite
This is like Shameless the TV series but in book form. With no help from a feckless, drug abusing, largely absent father and stepmother, Tommy O’Shea is raising his seven siblings. He is trying desperately to keep them out of foster care. His world is chaotic, messy and tiring and romance and relationships are the last thing on his mind. Enter rookie cop Bobby McAlister who, for one reason or another, always seems to be round at the O’Shea house. Bobby really wants to help Tommy, but Tommy doesn't trust easily or let people into his life. He relies on no one so he can't be let down again. But Bobby slowly works his way into Tommy’s life and his heart and the hearts of his siblings too. He is determined to show Tommy that he’s in it for the long haul. The relationships are not perfect and neither are the characters but this is an emotional, angsty, heartfelt read that I just loved. I was rooting for the couple, I just wanted Tommy to have something for himself. I was left with a very full and happy heart.
On Higher Ground by Melissa Collins
When there’s no peace after war…
When there’s no solace after death…
When there’s only pain and suffering…
Anxiety and loss…
All you can hope to find is something more…
Something that makes you whole and complete
Something that puts you
On Higher Ground
Mark’s Quick Bite
Lisa and myself just can’t resist a Melissa Collin s book. Every book she has brought out has been a hit for us and this one is no exception. This book follows on from On Solid Ground.
The trial and tribulations of mastering everyday life with a relationship, a marriage, family and kids, how do we cope with these things? And it’s exactly because of all these reasons I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this book. After the “happy ever after” is reached this is when life’s true adventures really begins. Melissa does a WONDERFUL job in showing us all that although you have found your soulmate and partner for life the work doesn’t stop there. You have to constantly work at it. It’s all about understanding, patience, forgiveness, support, a healthy amount of jealousy, having a tantrum and letting off steam, but despite all this knowing that the love and respect for your partner will always be there. So even though there is no heavy angst in this book, as you know Dax and Becks are inseparable, all the above elements will still be found in spades. Let the adventure begin!
Regeneration by Louise Lyons
In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged fifteen, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.
Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim's failing confidence, and Christian's inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other's life, their feelings begin to change.
Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?
Cheryl’s Quick Bite
I immediately fell in love with Kim Fortune, He is one of the most endearing characters I’ve read in a long time. Born in a laboratory, Kim escaped at fifteen and has been on the run ever since. He is stronger and faster than a human, but he doesn’t have the night vision, self-healing or ability to regulate his body temperature. Because of this he thinks he’s a failure.
Stranded on an inhospitable planet when his plane crashes Kim is slowly going insane through loneliness. Then another spacecraft crash-lands providing Kim with the company he craves, and a full regenerate who pushes all his buttons but leaves him feeling horribly insecure. After escaping from the planet, Kim’s life, and troubles, truly begin.
Kim’s love interest, Novak is almost his antithesis. A full regenerate where Kim is only partly successful, tall and bulky where Kim is small and slender, confident where Kim is cripplingly self-critical. Kim is sure Novak is going to leave him, and initially it’s what Novak intends, but Kim gets under his skin and he discovers that regenerants have feelings after all.
There is plenty of adventure to keep the reader on the edge of their seat nevertheless the book advances at a steady pace, without too many jumps and twists.
On the whole, I found this book to be a very satisfying read, with interesting, quirky, complex characters, interesting world building and rich backgrounds. Although sci fi, it is very definitely a romance and the adventures all feed into the romantic sub plot, bringing the characters closer and keeping the readers interested to the end.
Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh
In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul.
Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.
Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.
But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.
Freya’s Quick Bite
Having lost his brother in Iraq, journalist Connor Regan finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead, he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson – a war-hardened soldier assigned to babysit the British civilian.
From the opening sequences, this is a grabbing story. Connor wants to prove to his dead brother that there is more to him than pop-culture and find out why everything was happening out there. He wants to make him proud.
Connor is taken out on manoeuvres, both humanitarian and military. Knowing the local language, Connor helps in ways his soldier friends didn’t expect. But, events become very real when his convoy is blown up by IED’s. Thankfully, his immediate unit survive. However, it is the first of other incidents that befall the group. I found my heart rate increasing because nowhere is safe and each convoy going out of the gates runs the risk of not returning. Add to that, some man loving in a war zone and – wow.
This is a hard-hitting, adrenaline filled story of soldiers doing their best against mounting odds, where survival is the order of the day. Language is strong, the action is brutal, and intimate moments between Nat and Connor are a ray of sunshine in the dust clad, grimy, sweaty, bomb-ridden place, where rockets are launched at the base, daily. The war against terrorism is a brutal one.
The soldiers in this story are British, and the banter between them is something else. Phrases like “Our kid,” “Feels like I’m stuck down a well with my head up my arse,” and “Please tell me you’re not walking around Iraq with your Tesco club card,” are the norm. There is brutality, blood, love, humour – the whole nine yards. There is no stiff upper lip here.
Oh, and just to get eager to buy it. Wow – what a finish.