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 Rick R. Reed, Maris Black, R.J. Scott and Charlie Cochet. Don’t forget you can also enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a Kindle eBook of your choice from this week's Quick Bites.
The Couple Next Door by Rick R. Reed
With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.
Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.
Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.
So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.
Debra’s Quick Bite
Do you like creepy, sinister stories that get even crazier with every secret revealed and every twist? One of those stories where you’re not sure what the truth is and what will be revealed next? The Couple Next Door is a wild and strange ride with a love story that adds even more tension into the mix.
When Jeremy gets involved in the lives of his neighbors Shane and John/Cole, he has no idea what he is in for. He was just looking to help out Shane after he sees Shane pushed down the stairs. Jeremy lived through his parents’ abusive relationship and he can’t help being drawn into Shane’s life. But as things go from strange to WTF??, Jeremy is too far in to leave.
I really had trouble putting this book down, living out the story as Jeremy is, not knowing what’s coming, but knowing it probably won’t be good. Rick R. Reed did a great job of moving the story forward and dropping hints, clues and bits of information without stringing the reader along unnecessarily. Set aside a few hours, dive in and enjoy the ride!
Kage by Maris Black
My name is Jamie Atwood, and I’m an addict. I never thought I’d say such a thing. Never had a problem being overly-attached to anything in my life. I came from a perfectly middle-class family, made good grades, and had a hot cheerleader girlfriend... but the truth is, nothing ever really moved me. So how did a guy like me become an addict?
I met Michael Kage.
Kage is an MMA fighter. A famous one. I like to think I helped him get that way.
He’s charming as hell, with looks to rival any movie star and talent to back it up. So why did he need to hire me as an intern Publicist? Simple. He has a darkness in him– like a black hole so deep it could swallow him, and me, and everyone we know– and that’s not good for business.
The first time I met him, I felt the pull. I think the addiction began at that very moment. And even if I’d known then what I know now, I would have fallen for him. How could I not?
For me, Kage is everything.
Jane’s Quick Bite
This is book one in a brilliant trilogy, each book is worthy of the 5 stars. In this one we meet the two main protagonists Jamie Atwood and Michael Kage Santori. Jamie is at college and dating a hot cheerleader and for a project attends a MMA tournament. There he meets Kage who is an immensely talented MMA fighter. The relationship and romance that develops between the two of them, whilst it’s slow burn, is extremely intense. They just have a magnetic attraction to each other, you can feel the frisson, it’s so highly sexually charged. Where Jamie appears sweet and somewhat naive at times, Kage is just the opposite. He is hot, gritty and enigmatic. He’s a complex character and you just know bigger issues are at play that have yet to be revealed to explain his erratic behaviour. Book one does end on a heart in your mouth cliffhanger but you can, and will definitely need to, jump straight into book 2 to seek some answers. Totally recommend this trilogy and it's also available in audiobook, superbly narrated by J.F. Harding.
The Heart of Texas (Audiobook ~ Texas 1)
by R.J. Scott
Riley Hayes, the playboy of the Hayes family, is a young man who seems to have it all: money, a career he loves, and his pick of beautiful women. His father, CEO of HayesOil, passes control of the corporation to his two sons; but a stipulation is attached to Riley's portion. Concerned about Riley's lack of maturity, his father requires that Riley 'marry and stay married for one year to someone he loves'. Angered by the requirement, Riley seeks a means of father's stipulation. Blackmailing Jack Campbell into marrying him "for love" suits Riley's purpose. There is no mention in his father's documents that the marriage had to be with a woman and Jack Campbell is the son of Riley Senior's arch rival. Win win.
Riley marries Jack and abruptly his entire world is turned inside out. Riley hadn't counted on the fact that Jack Campbell, quiet and unassuming rancher, is a force of nature in his own right.
This is a story of murder, deceit, the struggle for power, lust and love, the sprawling life of a rancher and the whirlwind existence of a playboy. But under and through it all, as Riley learns over the months, this is a tale about family and everything that that word means.
Mark’s Quick Bite
Oh my, talk about “who shot JR?” for all those who are old enough to remember who JR was - lol! This book has it all; Dallas, Falcon Crest, Dynasty, feuding families, moneyed families, dysfunctional families and everyone with more secrets than you can shake a stick at. I actually really did like it in an over the top, soap-opera kind of way. You have more emotional situations than you can count, combined with some detestable characters à la JR, some who manage to redeem themselves by the end and others who get their just rewards. What I loved about this book was to see the transition that Riley went through from spoilt, manipulative, rich kid, to someone who is loving, caring and down to earth. All this achieved by steady, grounded, loving Jack. Riley was never all bad, it was just the circumstances he was surrounded by and living in that made him behave the way he did. The end of the book is seriously an HEA love fest - lol!
The Soldati Prince by Charlie Cochet
One moment Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger shifter he would rather strangle.
Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world where he belongs. On their journey they might discover why the priestess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.
First Edition published as The Soldati Prince in Charmed & Dangerous by JCP Books LLC, 2015.
Freya’s Quick Bite
In a nutshell, Riley has on his arm a mark of royalty. Khalon is the tiger shifter king he is destined to be mated to. However, Riley knows nothing and is happy to work in the earthly coffee shop, until he is in the middle of a scene reminiscent of a horror movie involving breaking glass, black goo, zombies, running for his life and tigers. Then to top it all he is snatched from the world of humans. Riley was none too impressed. Nor was the man who took him.
The Soldati Prince isn’t long, but it’s packed full of juicy drama and emotional situations. It also contains some supernatural elements such as, an all-seeing eye, hunky Spartacus lookalikes, shapeshifters and in the middle of it, Riley, doing his best to make head-nor-tail of the new world. The characters have their grumpy broody and pain in the ass moments, helped along by an entertaining dose of snark. Oh, and the fate of the Kingdom also hangs in the balance.
The Soldati Prince tickled several masculine hero fantasies. Tiger Knights, not in shining armor, but black leather – yum yum. But, this is not a simple story where man meets man, they fall in love and live happily ever after. Love doesn’t happen at first contact.
It was a delight to read and one I will read again.
*N.B. As we are unable to give away audiobooks, we will give away the Kindle ebook for any audiobooks featured in our Quick Bites posts.