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 Zoe X. Rider, Sean Kennedy, Atom Yang and Anyta Sunday. 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 Roommate Situation by Zoe X. Rider
College freshman Shane Hahn finds himself unexpectedly shuffled to a new dorm room--which is fine by him, but his over-involved mother takes one look at toothpick-chewing, motorcycle-riding Derek McClain, his new roommate, and gets on the phone with the school. The school requires that Shane be the one to file the room-change paperwork, but Shane's reluctant.
He's attracted to Derek's independence, even though that independence means Derek has to pay his own way through college, which he does by making leather products (you know: belts, wallets...bondage gear) and selling it online. Shane isn't even allowed to work while he's in school, much less join a band, which is what he really wants to do with his life. Unfortunately, his parents are holding his guitar hostage until he can prove he's taking his future seriously.
When he decides he needs a way to come up with cash--the kind his parents won't find out about--so he can buy a guitar his parents can't take away from him, he turns to Derek with what sounds like a win-win solution: he'll model bondage gear for Derek's online store photos, Derek will get more sales, and Shane will get a cut. The one thing he doesn't factor into his plan is the giddy stomach-flip feeling Derek McClain causes whenever he walks in the room--and what that might mean for them when Derek starts locking leather cuffs on his wrists.
Debra’s Quick Bite
This was my first book by Zoe X. Rider and won't be my last. I really enjoyed this surprisingly sweet, new adult college love story between freshman Shane and junior Derek. With some good sexual tension and a bit of a slow burn, the pace of the relationship felt very natural as the two meet for the first time, becoming unexpected roommates, and eventually begin to explore a new found side to their sexuality ( with a little bit of light bondage thrown in).
The biggest drama comes in the form of Shane dealing with his overbearing parents, which is really the main focus in the last part of the book. You’ll probably dislike them as much as I did. The selling point here is the sweet and sexy relationship between the boys as they both find something they never expected and as the seemingly all together Derek provides Shane with the support and care he so desperately needs.
The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson
(Get Out #1) by Sean Kennedy
Micah Johnson is out of options.
Following a stint as a runaway after the cruel revelation of his sexual orientation, Micah vows to get his life back on the right track. But there are roadblocks between him and his goal of making the national draft and having a shot at becoming an AFL player, including struggles with other students both on and off the football field. Hiding behind sarcasm will only protect him from so much, and Micah knows just making it to graduation will be an epic battle. If only Micah could find a fraction of the faith that his mentor, Declan Tyler, has in him, but he can’t seem to see what Declan does.
Micah is trying to reform, but the end of the road is a long way off, and it’s clear the process is ongoing.
Jane’s Quick Bite
This is a young adult novel, a spin off of The Tigers and Devils series. It focuses on seventeen year old Micah Johnson and how he’s coping, (or not) at school, home and mainly on the football pitch after he was cruelly and publicly outed and ran away from home. Back home now he tries to get his life back on track.
His number one coping mechanism is his defensive, snarky demeanour. His attitude is what continually seems to get him into trouble. Even though he has his parents and younger brother onside now and has the guidance of former pro football player and founder of GetOut, a charity that helps combat bullying in sports and schools, Declan Tyler, his mouth still runs away with him and lands him in arguments and fights. This documents his year leading up to the national football draft. His dream is to play, like his mentor Declan Tyler did, in the AFL. We see him try, try and continually try to improve his attitude and to make new friends. It’s a fascinating insight into his world and his sarcasm makes for good, humorous reading. It is excellently written, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're a Tigers and Devils fan or a fan of young adult novels this is a definite read for you. The sequel Micah Johnson Goes West (GetOut book2) has just been released.
Herc & Pyotr by Atom Yang
Herc thought he had the perfect life: a great partner and a meaningful career as a psychotherapist--until his partner left him a week ago and Herc became too depressed to see his clients. When a random meteorite punched a tidy hole in his car's engine, it seemed like the world had it in for him, but bumping into Pyotr, the handsome older man who's moved in a couple of doors down and happens to study things like falling stars, things might be looking up for Herc--and more may be falling than the skies in this light-hearted, apocalyptic romance.
Mark’s Quick Bite
I did something with this book that I don’t normally do and that is I dove in blind not knowing what to really expect. I was delighted how this story turned out for me personally. Under any other circumstances the romance between Herc and Pyotr would have been a sweet, angst free romance but put them into circumstances that no one would like to imagine you have the angst, not for their romance but for their very lives.
I loved the way that this story builds up gradually and kept me guessing as to how it’s all going to pan out. The way the romance between these two developed was so sweet, sensitively handled and with copious amounts of tea. No, Pytor is not British but from another nation that regards drinking tea almost as a ritual. I just loved reading about these two getting to know each other bit-by-bit, a gentle romance which kept me interested in itself, lulling me into a false sense of security and totally oblivious as to what is about to happen to the world around them.
True Colors by Anyta Sunday
Oskar used to be Marco’s best friend. His everything. His sunshine yellow.
But that was before. Before Marco stopped being a hot jock. Before he learned to live with scars and pain. And before Oskar tore their friendship apart.
Now the boy next door has returned home, determined to rekindle his friendship with Marco, and Marco’s more afraid than ever. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being humiliated.
Afraid of falling in love.
Can Oskar find a way through Marco’s fear, back into his heart?
Sue’s Quick Bite
This is a slow-build friends-to-enemies-to-lovers story told in the present tense from a single POV. It took until about 40% before I really started to enjoy this story, which is unusual because Anyta Sunday’s writing style normally draws me in straight away. Marco and Oskar’s past falling out gradually unfolds, but Marco takes his time before he lets Oskar back into his life. The scenes where they first kiss and then later get together are lovely. I particularly liked this last third of the book when they are together without sniping at each other and he lets Oskar see his scarred body. Marco also builds up the courage to come out to his friends and family. The various colours connecting the chapters and Marco's feelings for different people reminded me a little of the various stones in Rock. Overall, I’d recommend this second chance new adult romance.