Monday, January 15, 2018

MONDAY’S QUICK BITES and GIVEAWAY

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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 Brandon Witt, A. Zukowski, Kim Fielding 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 weeks Quick Bites.

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Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt

UnderaSkyofAshLG[3]Rating ~ 4.5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

More than a decade after leaving Colorado to attend college and escape his past, Isaiah Greene moves back and builds a life in Denver as a special education teacher. When he meets Ben Woods, the mentor of one of his students, the attraction is immediate. The revelations that they’ve both suffered traumatic childhoods form a bond between them.

Raised by an abusive grandmother, Ben is a recovering addict who has made a family with his construction worker boss, Hershel, and Hershel’s husband, Daniel—drag queen ManDonna. Adding Isaiah to his life gives Ben a glimpse of a future he’d never dreamed possible for himself.

Both Isaiah and Ben are survivors, but when guilt drives a wedge between them, the past threatens to end their relationship.

Ben and Isaiah embark on journeys of self-discovery. Though their path will be difficult at times, humor and love find a way to bring light to the darkness.

Debra’s Quick Bite

This story covers so many emotions, warning - you will shed tears.  There is a lot of love, humor and hope, but it’s also heavy and there a lot of painful issues that need to be dealt with on the way to Isaiah and Ben’s HEA. Brandon Witt did a fabulous job of getting me engaged with both main characters from the start. Not only do they have great physical chemistry but they are very open with each other, both having had acts of violence in their pasts change their lives for good.

Along with the leads, there is a wonderful cast of secondary characters that add to the emotional impact of the story. The sweet RJ crushed me while I wanted to rain fire down on Leslie and Dotty and Mandonna/Daniel and Hershel are heaven sent. Told through alternating points of view and flashbacks, it works well to bring out the stories and mindsets of both men. All the characters feel real and the writing is straightforward. The story flows well, with some unexpected surprises and some pretty shocking moments.

Under a Sky of Ash is a story of surviving unimaginable loss, making family, finding love and letting go in order to move forward. If you’re willing to put in the effort and live the ups and downs Isaiah and Ben struggle through for a hard won happiness, this book won’t disappoint you.

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The Boy Who Fell to Earth by A. Zukowski

the boy who fell to earth[3]Rating ~ 5 Stars 

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Synopsis

Jay Palmer is two months away from his sixteenth birthday. He doesn’t realise how his life will be changed forever when a gang of thugs leaves a badly injured boy on his doorstep. The biracial boy and his white single mum Maggie nurse the stranger, sixteen-year-old Aleksander Zukowski or Sasha. Sasha ran away from care two and half years ago. He sleeps rough, is addicted to drugs and sells himself on the streets of London to fund his habit. For the first time in his life, he has a reason to change.

Sasha confirms what Jay already knows about himself but it won't be easy for Jay to come out to his macho mates in a largely black neighbourhood. Sasha has an uphill struggle to stay clean when his past threatens to throw him back into the abyss. Are the two boys strong enough to stay together against all odds?

Jane’s Quick Bite

I read this recently and I haven't been able to get it out of my head, I loved it. This book had such an impact on me, gave me all the feels. It is a hard, powerful read that deals with some real and hard hitting issues. It also has a hopeful and enduring love that I was praying would overcome all.

Jay is such a sweetheart of a young man and together with his mum he nurses Sasha, a complete stranger, when he lands beaten to a pulp on their front lawn. Jay falls hard and fast for Sacha, such an enigmatic character. Sasha has led a very hard life. He is homeless on the streets of London, addicted to drugs and using prostitution to fund his drug habit. He thinks he's not good enough for Jay so he manages to clean up his act. His strength of character is astounding, what he endures is so painful and shocking, that when things go spectacularly wrong for Sasha and he relapses, my heart broke for him. I desperately wanted him to be ok and for Jay’s love to be enough for him. Reading what he goes through is hard but it's so real and relevant in today's world. This was a truly compelling book and I couldn't put it down. I was left with the biggest book hangover, that I'm still not over it. Though it is not an easy read, it is a satisfying one and I highly recommend it. Can’t wait for the next in the series Liam For Hire out in March.

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The Tale of August Hayling by Kim Fielding

51 vS5bi5CLRating ~ 5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

August Hayling went west following the discovery of gold in California. While most prospectors were hoping to strike it rich, August was more interested in a place big enough to let him get lost. Sitting alone in a saloon, he is approached by a peculiar man named Georgios Cappadocia, who offers August a fortune in gold if August will come along and help him fetch it. August soon learns that his strange new employer is engaged in some kind of ancient dispute. And when they arrive at their destination, both men will realize that not all treasures are golden—and sometimes destinies can be changed.

Sue’s Quick Bite

I love the different worlds and imperfect characters that Kim Fielding creates. The Tale of August Hayling is a delightfully-crafted short fantasy story of only thirty-five pages. It’s historical in the sense that it’s set in California at the beginning of the Gold Rush, yet it’s anything but historical as it draws on legend and mixes in some paranormal elements to give an old story a very new twist. It’s like a tall tale one of the characters could be telling in a Wild West saloon bar. There are splashes of humour that will make you chuckle and an uplifting hint of a HEA.

A highly recommended short read that also appears in Dreamspinner Press's anthology Once Upon a Time in the Weird West.

And what’s more, all the  royalties from the sale of this individual story will go to the charity,  Doctors Without Borders.

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Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet

download[3]Rating ~ 4 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

He's hot. He's dangerous. And he can't remember anything.

As the owner of Apple’n Pies, Joe Applin leads a quiet, uneventful life, content to spend his days serving customers who come from all over to eat his delicious homemade pies. Along with his motley crew—Bea, Elsie, and Donnie—Joe couldn’t be happier in his little kingdom of baked goods and java.

Experience has taught Joe that love is overrated—and at times dangerous. He has no intention of repeating past mistakes. But then he meets a mysterious, handsome man with amnesia, and Joe can’t deny something sweet is in the works. He isn’t one to take risks, not with his heart and certainly not with his life, but the more time he spends with the man he knows as Tom, the closer he is to losing both.

Jay’s Quick Bite

Can love be as simple as apple pie?

In the first time in several years, I had the entire holidays off from work which meant I got the opportunity to catch up and read some great MM novels. I had finished Cochet’s amazing Thirds series in the summer right before GRL (in which I fangirled Charlie the moment I met her - I apologize, Charlie #teamSparks). I hadn’t read any of her other works, so I chose this adorable book to read between some heavy hitters.

Joe Applin has the ideal life in his cute Manhattan pie shop with great customers and his staff of quirky characters when his life is turned upside down after a mysterious man turns up in his garden beaten up and claiming amnesia. Who is this man? Why are people after him? How is he so impossibly irresistible? Can he be trusted?

Cochet takes what could be too saccharine of characters and turns them on their heads, creating believable people and a story that is intriguing but still fun to read. She paints a picture of mystery and beauty in the world that today sometime feels way too cynical. I had a fun time reading this book and wished my life could be a bit more joyous, and that the shop around the corner from my Manhattan office really was owned by Joe. We all need some whimsy in our lives.

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Giveaway

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17 comments:

  1. So difficult... Maybe The Boy Who Fell On Earth

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  2. Some great choices but I admit I'm a Charlie fan too and I don't yet have Forgive and Forget so that would be my choice.

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  3. I'd chose Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet. I wanted to read it when it came out.

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  4. Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet b/c I love Charlie's stories

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  5. Forgive and Forget looks to be interesting

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  6. Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt,
    This looks like a great read. Lots of emotion, just what I need.

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  7. Forgive and Forget because well...it's Charlie.

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  8. Nice to see the bites are back. I've heard good things about "Under a Sky of Ash" by Brandon Witt, and Debra reinforces that. Beautiful cover, too. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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  9. Forgive and forget. I already have Brandon Witt book. Thanks for chance.

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  10. I already have Charlie's book, so probably Under a Sky of Ash.

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  11. Pie AND amnesia?! Forgive and Forget for me please.

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  12. Under a Sky of Ash would be my pick.

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  13. I've been wanting to read The Boy Who Fell to Earth for awhile, but I just haven't gotten it. Thank you for the chance!

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  14. Such a difficult choice. I think I would go with The Boy Who Fell to Earth. colby69@verizon.net

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  15. The Boy Who Fell to Earth is fantastic!

    I'd select Brandon Witt's book this week...'Under a Sky of Ash' because I'm in the mood for a relationship that isn't easy to come by...making it richer once it's realized.

    dfair1951@gmail

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  16. I've had Forgive and Forget on my TBR, so I would love to win and finally read it.

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  17. Read and liked (3*) Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet.
    I'm not a fan of young adults or fantasy...
    So I'm choosing Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt.
    Thanks for the chance.

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