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 Eli Easton, Mia Kerick, Dal Maclean, Anyta Sunday and J.R. Loveless. 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 Enlightenment of Daniel by Eli Easton
Sex in Seattle: Book Two
Business tycoon Daniel Derenzo lives for his work until his dying father reminds him life is short. When Daniel starts to reevaluate his world he experiences a startling revelation—he’s attracted to his business partner and best friend, Nick, even though Daniel always believed himself to be straight. In typical type-A fashion, Daniel dissects his newfound desires with the help of the experts at the Expanded Horizons sex clinic. He goes after Nick with the fierce determination that’s won him many a business deal.
Nick Ross was in love with Daniel years ago, when they were roommates in college. But Daniel was straight and Nick patched his broken heart by marrying Marcia. Two kids and fourteen years later, they go through the motions of their marriage like ships passing in the night. But Nick’s kids mean the world to him, and he’s afraid he’ll never get joint custody if they divorced. If he can trust his heart to an awakening Daniel, they all might find their way to a happily ever after.
Debra’s Quick Bite
Daniel is successful and driven, just like his father who is suffering with cancer and pushes Daniel to change things and enjoy life before it is too late. When Daniel realizes what he has been missing out on, he does everything in his power to get it. It being Nick, his college roommate and now business partner. Nick knows what he has been missing, having had a crush on his straight friend and partner, but he is currently in a miserable marriage, going through the motions for the sake of his children and has become quite passive. With some help from Dr. Jack and PI Tony from the first book (which you don’t need to read first), Daniel sets out to come to terms with his newly discovered sexuality, and win over the man he loves. Too bad Nick's wife Marcia isn't going to be easily dealt with.
I loved Daniel and his attitude. It’s what made the book for me. His relationship with his father and Nick’s children was wonderful. Nick is struggling and putting aside his wants in order not to hurt anyone around him. He really has some work to do here. The story is at times serious and other times humorous. If you draw the line at any type of cheating you may want to pass (though Nick’s wife is pretty horrible), but if you like friends to lovers stories with a super happy ending you’ll probably enjoy this one.
Intervention by Mia Kerick
As a musician at the popular college café Coed Joe’s, high school senior Kai Manter is never lacking for male attention. Out, proud, free-spirited, and sexually aware, Kai sets his sights on his darkly Gothic and undeniably bad-tempered coworker, Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. Sporting long hair and alluring hippie style, Kai expects his interest will be reciprocated, with satisfying sex as the end goal. That’s what usually happens. But Jamie’s lessons in life have been harsher. Having been sexually abused by his older stepbrother for several years, Jamie has grown an impenetrable outer shell meant to keep the world at a safe distance.
Kai is angry at first when he takes the brunt of Jamie’s bad temper, but after Kai accidentally discovers the abuse Jamie has suffered, he wants to fix things. Kai’s plan is based on what he knows best—music—and he stages a “musical intervention” to let Jamie know he’s not alone and things can get better. When Jamie’s perspective changes and he emerges from his shell, Kai changes, too, gaining a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too.
Jane’s Quick Bite
Kai Manter is a high school senior and a musician playing at the local college cafe, Coed Joe’s. He’s a bit of a player, out, proud and sexy. He’s never short of admirers and he usually gets whomever he wants. He sets his sights on his slightly older co-worker Jamie Arlotta. Jamie is aloof and bad tempered and doesn't reciprocate Kai’s interest at all. He’s outwardly hostile to Kai who doesn't take this well at first. Then when Kai discovers the reasons for Jamie's behaviour, he changes his approach and some things about himself. He is single minded in his determination to get Jamie to trust him and open up about his past history of sexual abuse. To do this he stages a ‘musical intervention’.
Written entirely from Kai’s PoV we get a much more realistic portrayal of Kai, his thoughts, feelings and the reasonings behind them. Whilst billed as a young adult novel, this book is so much more. It is a sweet, tender, emotional coming of age story where two flawed young men learn about themselves, each other and falling in love. If you’re a fan of slow burn romance and the hurt/comfort theme then this book is definitely worth picking up.
Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean
Detective Sergeant James Henderson’s remarkable gut instincts have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. But the advancement of his career has come at a cost. Gay, posh and eager to prove himself in the Metropolitan Police, James has allowed himself few chances for romance.
But when the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, all that changes. His investigation leads him to a circle of irresistibly charming men. And though he knows better, James finds himself enticed into their company.
Soon his desire for photographer Ben Morgan challenges him to find a way into the other man’s lifestyle of one-night stands and carefree promiscuity. At the same time his single murder case multiplies into a cruel pattern of violence and depravity.
But as the bodies pile up and shocking secrets come to light, James finds both his tumultuous private life and coveted career threatened by a bitter legacy.
Mark’s Quick Bite
OK, for those of you who follow my reviews, you know what I’m going to say, “OMG! THIS BOOK………..!” I mean this book completely rocked my world and blew me away in 2016. It’s one of those very rare books that comes along once every so often for me and if I could give it ten stars I would. To be honest stars don’t really do this book justice.
The way this whole book is plotted. The romance and murder / mystery part is well balanced out. I love it where a book doesn’t try to give the one or the other more importance. A true romantic thriller in all senses. The murder / mystery is realistic, at least for me, in the very best British tradition of all those TV shows like Taggart, Inspector Morse, The Bill, Silent Witness etc. All murders solved, the killer caught and oh my what a final scene. Could I understand the motive of the murderer? Totally! I actually felt sorry for him in a way. A pure victim of circumstance. It would still never excuse his deeds though. The plot is detailed and challenging, keeping the reader on their toes all the time. First the MIT team think they have their suspect, question him, then they don’t , then they do. A lot also revolves around James' almost sixth sense with people, always getting the feeling that something doesn’t add up which brings him to another revelation in the investigation. He drives his boss Ingham, who I adored, absolutely potty. Just when she thinks everything is hung cut and dried she has to go back upstairs to explain to the top brass that maybe it’s not all over yet. Loved it. However, she believes in his talent and that's why she put him in charge of this investigation. All brilliantly plotted out and crafted. As far as motives are concerned all plausible and enough there to lead anyone down the wrong path.I defy anyone who can say or work out who the murderer is in this story before at least 75% of the book has been read. But even then, just as you think they have their man, James has one more last minute revelation that turns everything on its head and the final twist in the story had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. SUPERB!
Taboo for You by Anyta Sunday
Sam’s freaking out.
He’s 30 in three weeks. And what has he done in his twenties? It’s pretty simple math: nothing exciting at all. But hey, he has three weeks right? Maybe that’s just enough time to tick his way through a 20s Must Do List . . .
Luke’s freaking screwed.
He’s come out to his family, and his friends. Except there’s a certain someone who doesn’t know yet: his neighbor of 7 years. Who also happens to be his best friend. Who Luke needs to tell the truth, but he just . . . can’t . . . seem to . . .
Jeremy’s freaking over-the-moon.
It’s the countdown to his 15th birthday, and his goal is simple. No matter what, he’s going to spend heaps of time with saucy Suzy. But first he needs to get his over-protective, no-girlfriend-'cause-you’ll-get-her-pregnant parents off his back. And what better way than pretending he’s gay?
Sam, Luke, and Jeremy. Three guys who have a lot of history together, and a lot of future too—
—well, if they can sort out their issues, that is.
Sue’s Quick Bite
I’ve recommended a few of Anyta Sunday’s stories over the past couple of months and this one has been on my to-read list for a long time. I finally got around to reading it last week and am so glad I did. I LOVED it. I enjoyed the immediacy of the writing in present tense and that we are given three points of view: Sam, Luke, and Sam’s son, Jeremy. It’s a slow burn, uplifting friends-to-lovers story with a happy ending. It’s sweet and romantic with so many lovely gooey moments when Sam and Luke come close to admitting what they want and how they feel. Everyone around them can see what’s going on between these guys, but Luke holds back from telling Sam he’s gay and Sam keeps trying to persuade himself that he just wants to try something ‘taboo’ before he turns thirty. I highly recommend this fabulous feel-good story.
You Belong With Me by J R Loveless
Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years, but watching Craig with his manipulative boyfriend has worn Scott down, and he knows he needs a break from the pain and maybe a change of scenery and perspective. His twin sister, Karen, convinces him to spend a summer in Paris.
Karen is sick and tired of seeing Scott suffer, and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. She confronts Craig and tells him what he’s been missing by spurning Scott’s affection in favor of a jerk who mistreats him.
When Craig unknowingly breaks Scott’s heart, Craig opens his eyes—and his own heart—to the possibility of a future with Scott. He plans to use the time while Scott’s abroad to orchestrate a romantic surprise that will show Scott they belong together. But when he sees Scott with another man at the airport, Craig fears he’s too late.
Freya’s Quick Bite
Scott loves his best friend Craig and is saving his cherry because no other man measures up. Craig is acting without thought, with his dick of a boyfriend Derek, and in the process, hurts (multiple times) the man who means everything to him – Scott. Love is blind, and it’s going to take one hell of a shock to open Craig’s eyes. Thankfully, that comes in the form of Karen, Scott’s twin sister, whose character I LOVE. She’s a feisty, protective little spitfire who say’s everything to Craig that should be said. I found myself thinking – yeah you go, girl - on more than one occasion. That doesn’t mean Scott’s a wilting flower. He knows how to stand up for himself.
There was enough heartache, angst and drama to make it believable without going overboard. My heart was in my mouth several times, and on one occasion, tears appeared.
For a friends to lovers story of this length, I’d be hard pushed to find better than, the classically salacious plot in, You Belong With Me.