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 Megan Erickson, N.R. Walker, Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock and C.S. Poe. 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.
Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson
With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.
As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.
But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.
Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This book was super sweet, like my teeth hurt by the end. Both Landry and Justin were endearing in their own ways. Best friends to lovers is always a pleasing story for me and here it wasn't all that easy for the two to make the transition. They've grown up together, but their pasts are very different and neither can imagine the secrets they have kept from each other. As they travel the country and Justin falls more in love with Landry, he’s got some tough decisions to make and wonders if he has the guts to grab for what he’s always wanted – a life with Landry by his side. There are plenty of ups and downs and many times where I wanted to shake Justin, but I also found him acting appropriately for his age and experience.
While the story is told from Justin's POV, and he is the one who has so much to work through, I enjoyed getting bits of insight from Landry through his blog posts. The story moved quickly, had some very touching moments and I would absolutely recommend it if you're in the mood for a feel good sweet, new adult read with a side of angst.
Red Dirt Heart 2 by N.R.Walker (audiobook)
Narrated by Joel Leslie
Narration ~ 5 Stars
Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun, and loneliness. Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll. Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what's on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he's pushing Travis away - yet seems helpless to stop it. When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won't be theirs to make.
Jane’s Quick Bite
The one where Travis nearly has to go back home after an issue with his visa, Charlie punches Fisher at the meat farmers association meeting and Travis swaps out baby kangaroo Matilda for baby wombat Nugget. We have the ever deepening relationship between Charlie and Travis with its stubbornness and heart and the ever present cast of Sutton Station playing their roles.
Joel Leslie voices this pitch perfect. He not only has to nail the Aussie accent (which he does perfectly), but switches seamlessly between Aussie and American as he narrates dialogue between Charlie and Travis. No mean feat but he does it with aplomb. The voices of the rest of the members of Sutton Station are all narrated extremely well, especially Ma, making each character more and more memorable.
This is the second audiobook to be released in the Red Dirt Heart series, the first is also narrated by the great Joel Leslie and I for one can't wait for the rest to be released. Highly recommended, a funny, romantic, moving book now available with great narration.
Tempest (Playing the Fool #3)
by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock (audiobook)
Narrated by Nick J Russo
Narration ~ 5 Stars
Something wicked this way comes.
FBI Agent Ryan "Mac" McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they're headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry's not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they've got nowhere else to go.
While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he's really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren't the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.
If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they'll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.
Mark’s Quick Bite
I LOVED this series from start to finish. Henry is still playing the fool but more and more he is beginning to realise that despite all his efforts to deny it, he is falling madly in love with Ryan. The thing for me was I just loved listening to how these two interact. The dialogues at times absolutely hilarious. Henry drives Ryan nuts at times but I felt Ryan needs this too to stop him from becoming too serious and missing out totally on the fun in life. I’m so sorry this series has ended as I loved every single minute of it.
Nick J. Russo has done an excellent job. Everything was perfect! The voice characterisations were spot on, giving Mac the hard, emotionally stunted voice that was need and also the playfulness and cheekiness of Henry’s voice was super. Super narrator
The Mystery of Nevermore by CS 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.
Freya’s Quick Bite
Sebastian Snow is an antiques dealer with a condition that only allow him to see the world in shades of gray and white. Neil, Sebastian’s partner is a detective so far in the closet one more step backward and he’d be in Narnia. And, Calvin Winter, the nice looking, older, been there, seen it, done it, investigating detective – are three from this delightful cast.
Seb and Neil are on rocky ground. Then someone leaving a heart under the floorboards of Seb’s shop ignites his inner sleuth. The mystery that follows involves, murder, attempted murder, messages in various forms, drama, hot sex, some gruesome imagery, and frying pan to fire scenarios. They are all connected to the poems of Edgar Allen Poe. The investigation has life altering effects on Seb, part of which includes Detective Calvin Winter.
The scene setting is excellent, and the author skilfully merges work with personal life. The story is engaging, and the final whodunit kept me guessing until almost the end. It was a delight to read. One of the reasons I picked this out for my quick bite is that, although this can be read as a standalone, the next book in the series is out this month. Watch out for The Mystery Of The Curiosities. My review of that story will be on sinfully soon.
*As we are unfortunately unable to gift audiobooks then any winner who chooses Red Dirt Heat 2 or Tempest (Playing the Fool #3) will receive from us the Kindle ebook. Thank you.