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 Jack L. Pyke, J.P. Barnaby, Caleb James, Clare London, Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen. 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.
Don’t… by Jack L. Pyke
"Don't... open me." Three simple words that tease Jack, taking him places from his dark past. For Jack, BDSM is a way to resist his worst impulses. Yet, the stranger calling himself The Unknown seeks to use that to seduce him. As Jack slips further down into the abyss, two men hold the power to save him. Will it be Gray, the Master who knows Jack's every secret? Or Jan, the first man to give Jack a reason to hope? With deadly ghosts coming out to play, Jack may lose everything, even his life. (M/M)
Debra’s Quick Bite
I could not put this book down both times I read it. On my first read I gave it 4.5 stars but on the second I bumped it up to 5. This is a dark, psychological thriller with so many twists and turns I’m not even going to say anything beyond the blurb. It’s full of character driven emotion with the three men at the center, Jack and his Dom Gray who share a complicated past and the vanilla newcomer Jan who falls for Jack and then finds himself also pulled in by the mysterious Gray. It's dark and sexy but there is so much more as you dive into the relationships between the three MC's and start to uncover their individual layers. There are heart stopping moments, but at the same time moments where I felt myself tearing up for Jack as he struggles with his disorders and the danger that seems to follow him, and cursing Gray’s handling of him (I’ll admit that Gray was not my favorite person even at the end of this story). Then there is Jan who seems to have no clue what he has gotten himself into but can’t stay away.
The first in the series, it only scratches the surface of the complex relationships and men at the center and the end left me waiting for more. Luckily if you pick it up now you won’t have to wait for the next one.
Aaron by JP Barnaby
A Survivor Story.
I can’t describe what it’s like to want to scream every minute of every day.
Two years after a terrifying night of pain destroyed his normal teenage existence, Aaron Downing still clings to the hope that one day, he will be a fully functional human being. But his life remains a constant string of nightmares, flashbacks, and fear. When, in his very first semester of college, he’s assigned Spencer Thomas as a partner for his programming project, Aaron decides that maybe “normal” is overrated. If he could just learn to control his fear, that could be enough for him to find his footing again.
With his parents’ talk of institutionalizing him—of sacrificing him for the sake of his brothers’ stability—Aaron becomes desperate to find a way to cope with his psychological damage or even fake normalcy. Can his new shrink control his own demons long enough to treat Aaron, or will he only deepen the damage?
Desperate to understand his attraction for Spencer, Aaron holds on to his sanity with both hands as it threatens to spin out of control.
Jane’s Quick Bite
Aaron is book 1 in the survivor series, a series which I have a lot of love for. We meet Aaron in the aftermath of a brutal, sadistic attack which left his best friend dead and Aaron with physical, psychological and emotional scars. We see him struggle everyday just to go on living and see the impact the attack has had and is still having, both on Aaron and his family members. As Aaron battles to regain some ‘normalcy’ and control in his life, both for himself and his family, (he is very aware of his impact on the family and that some would prefer him institutionalised) he manages to go to college. It is here we meet the beautiful, kind, deaf Spencer. They are paired up on an assignment and with Spencer’s patience, tenderness and loving care we see Aaron gradually able to function better and even begin a tentative relationship with Spencer. He is also introduced to Spencer’s father Dr Henry Thomas who is able to work with Aaron in therapy, further advancing his recovery. Throughout the story we see flashbacks and therapy sessions relating to the attack so please read the trigger warnings. It is heart breaking to read at times, so keep the tissues handy, but it is a story of survival, hope and love too.
It is the beginning of an incredible series, followed by Ben, Spencer, Anthony and newly released Sophie as the final instalment. A book and a series that is both powerful and emotional and one that will always stay with me.
Dark Blood (Dark Blood Saga#1) by Caleb James
Handsome, brilliant, and surrounded by good friends, twenty-three-year-old medical student Miles Fox has a secret—and it’s not that he’s gay. Though he harbors a crush on his straight best friend, Luke. Miles, like his grandmother, Anna, possesses the healing gift, an ability she’s made him swear never to use or divulge, lest horrible things befall those he loves. It happened to her when Nazis butchered her family.
But it all goes to hell when Miles heals a terminally ill man on a New Orleans cancer ward and wakes locked in the psych unit. Worse, news of the healing miracle spreads. For millennia, its carriers have been hunted by those who would steal it. Dr. Gerald Stangl and his teenage son, Calvin, know what Miles possesses. They, like their predecessors, will stop at nothing to take it, including kidnapping, torture, and murder. As the Stangls' noose tightens, Miles and Luke are trapped in a death match with stakes higher than they could ever imagine.
Mark’s Quick Bite
SHEER BRILLIANCE! From the very first chapter my feet touched the ground running with this enthralling paranormal, medical thriller with an M/M story. I loved the whole idea and it reminded me a bit of the medical thrillers by Robin Cook. It had all the elements I love in a good thriller.
Miles is on the run and Luke's unrequited love for Miles plays out in the fact he can’t and won’t believe that Miles is capable of the things being levelled at him by the authorities. He flies close to the flame by aiding and abetting Miles but in the end his love for Miles means that he has to rescue Miles otherwise there is no hope of any kind of future together. This book has many facets that kept me enraptured all the way, from Miles and Luke’s love for each other, the thriller side with Miles running and trying to escape the clutches of Dr. Stangl, to Miles’ family and his inherited gift. An all round great read that had me on the edge of my seat and not capable of putting the book down for five minutes.
Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London
How tangled can a romantic web get?
When gruff mountaineer Dominic Hartington-George seeks sponsorship for his latest expedition, his London PA insists on a more media-friendly profile—like dating celebrity supermodel Zeb Z.
Zeb can’t make the date, so he asks his identical twin, Aidan, to stand in for just one evening. Aidan, a struggling playwright, shuns the limelight to the extent people don’t even know Zeb has a sibling, but he reluctantly agrees.
When the deception has to continue beyond the first date, Aidan fights to keep up the pretense. Dominic likes his sassy, intelligent companion, and Aidan starts falling for the forthright explorer. But how long can Aidan’s conscience cope as confusion abounds? Will coming clean as “the other twin” destroy the trust they’ve built?
Sue’s Quick Bite
A fun, light-hearted story that gives the impression of a British farce or a comedy of errors. One twin pretending to be the other was bound to lead to trouble, especially with them being in the public spotlight. And it was clear the mountaineer would fall for the wrong twin! Lovely!
What I liked best was the romance that blossoms between Aiden and Dom despite all the intrusions from the paparazzi and agents acting on behalf of the clothing sponsors. Both characters become better people for knowing each other and I especially adored how Dom changes from gruff to sweet and how Aiden becomes more assertive. Their sensual scenes were steamy and I liked the little surprise here.
There’s also a host of supporting characters who all add to the fun. I was half-expecting a big bust-up towards the end when Dom discovers Aiden isn’t Zeb and I’m glad that didn’t happen. A very enjoyable and very British story set in London.
Phase Shift (Chaos Station #5)
by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Book five of Chaos Station
Zander and Felix’s relationship has always pushed boundaries—personal and professional alike—but their love and commitment is stronger than ever. So strong that Zander’s ready to ask commitment-shy Felix the question of a lifetime when he’s interrupted. The Chaos is being hacked, and crucial, top secret information about the project that created Zander—and his fellow super soldiers—has been leaked.
Neither man could have expected the enormity of what’s discovered at the end of the data trail: an entire colony of super soldiers run by the very doctor who changed Zander’s life forever. And now she needs them both—Zander to train her new crop of soldiers, and Felix’s new crystalline arm to stabilize their body chemistry.
With help from the unlikeliest of allies, Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew must destroy the project and all its ill-gotten information. But when the team is split up and Felix is MIA after a dangerous run, galactic disaster is a very real possibility…and Zander may have missed his chance to ask for forever.
Freya’s Quick Bite
This is the 5th book of the Chaos series. A series where reading the other books is recommended.
Phase Shift follows the adventures of Felix and Zed. Their ship has been hacked, and sensitive information downloaded. What worries the crew is the perpetrator phase shifted, something only Zed, as the last of his kind, was supposed to be able to do. They crash land on a planet that thought to be uninhabited – a fact they soon discover is wrong. A doctor from the super soldier project is working there, perfecting what she started.
Stopping a medical maniac is one problem, but Zed asks Felix to marry him, and Felix isn’t the marrying kind – a fact he makes clear.
I like the contrasting personalities of Zed and Felix. Zed is essentially a gentle character, capable of untold destruction. Felix is an on the ball firecracker. They are what the other needs to make them whole - a beautiful combination. In this story, the boys still have some issues to sort, but as they understand each other, there are no grand gestures of hurt. Instead, they talk while working as a team to get out of a dire situation. Their love for each other is absolute.
This story, and the series speaks to every ounce of sci-fi lover in me. Terminology and scene setting put me anywhere else the author wanted me to be. The story is gripping and the action awesome. And OMG the ending will have your heart in your mouth.