Monday, February 26, 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 RJ Jones, Becky Albertalli, Kim Fielding and Matthew J. Metzger. 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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Out of the Blue by RJ Jones

51z42rmLRELRating ~ 4.5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

When everything happens Out of the Blue…

Lt Cameron Cooper has been with the San Francisco Fire Department for fifteen years. He’s seen and dealt with a lot of horrifying situations. He’s always considered himself mentally tough, but when he attends a multi-vehicle accident and sees a dead boy with features remarkably similar to his long-time boyfriend, his mental health takes a hit.

All Jake Montgomery wants is to propose to his boyfriend on their ten-year anniversary. He’s already bought the perfect rings, but when Cameron struggles to look at him after a tragic accident, he has doubts about their future. Cam is withdrawing, and Jake doesn’t know why.

With heated arguments and cold shoulders, Cam and Jake’s life starts to fall apart. Just when Cam thinks he can overcome his issues and finally talk to Jake, memories from Jake’s past threaten to push them apart forever.

Debra’s Quick Bite

You know I love it so bring on the angst! While at times this book was painful to read, I was completely sucked in.

The crumbling of Cam and Jake's nearly 10 year relationship seems so preventable, yet miscommunication, Cam's failure to seek help for PTSD and Jake's trust issues from a previous relationship all create a perfect storm that tears them apart. After seeing how good they were together, it was heartbreaking to see it fall apart. After the two split up, the story definitely benefited from the dual POV as both men struggle with figuring out how to fix themselves before the separation becomes permanent.

This is a character-driven story and yes, there is a happy ending, but it doesn't come easy. It’s one for the angst and heartache lovers.

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Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

51weWIHfnjL._SY346_Rating ~ 5 Stars 

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Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met.

Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance—is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.

Jane’s Quick Bite

I've had a reread of this treasure of a YA novel in time for the release of the film Love, Simon next month and it's just as good as I remember. Simon Spiers is a gay teen and closeted. He starts an anonymous email exchange with ‘Blue’ another gay closeted classmate. The email exchanges feel very real and genuine, sometimes funny, sometimes touching, often revealing. They document the goings on in Simon’s life ( and Blue’s ) and they come to mean so much to him. You can see Simon and Blue falling for each other through the emails and the narration.

When he is cruelly outed at school, Simon has to deal with the complex fall out. We see the relationships he has with his family and friends and we see him trying to guess the identity of Blue. Just who is it he has fallen for? I guessed Blue’s identity about half way through but it didn't detract from the story or the reveal. Simon is such an adorable, funny, self aware character, you just fall for his charm and you are praying he gets to experience love after the heart wrenching secrecy and subsequent outing. This is a beautiful, poignant, well observed and often funny book full of hope and first love. A true gem even if YA isn't usually your thing.

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Vivaldi in the Dark by Matthew J. Metzger

81khDAjz8WL._SL1500_[3]Rating ~ 5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

Out-and-regretting-it comprehensive attendee Jayden Phillips turns his cast-iron plans for life upside-down by falling in love with private-school violinist Darren Peace, a sardonic boy with the craziest hair Jayden's ever seen.

But all is not what it seems, and Jayden's bullying problem becomes meaningless when he is confronted with what the music does to Darren. How do you stop a dangerous depression rooted in the same thing that makes someone what they are? Dark moods, blank apathy, and the undertow of self-loathing all simmer beneath Darren's dry and beautiful veneer, and Jayden feels powerless to stop them.

Then a mugging gone wrong takes the music forcibly away, and Jayden is finally given the chance to change Darren's life -- and, quite literally, his mind.

Mark’s Quick Bite

Why do I like YA? Well, it makes me remember that very first kiss, that sense of trepidation with your first real love, the emotional turmoil of being sixteen again. This book brings all those feelings together in one wonderful story.

This book deals with a number of teenage problems and issues beautifully described, emotional and harrowing, especially when you are sixteen. I was enraptured by the writing from the very beginning. It flows beautifully, is coherent and a joy to read. It made me fear once again the horrible school bullies, it made me coy at the first touch of someone else’s body. The first sweet kiss with sparks flying and hormones racing, would I want to be a teenager again? No definitely not! But what sweet joy, so for all the Mums, Dads, teachers, carers and young at heart this book will be a real treat.

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Rattlesnake by Kim Fielding

81iq1ymSg-L._SL1350_3Rating ~ 4.5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.

On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.

Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.

Jay’s Quick Bite

Can a wandering man finally find a home?

Jimmy Dorsett has always floated through life moving around in the dark places never settling anywhere for very long. On a road trip in a junker car barely holding it together, he encounters an old hitchhiker. As the night unfolds, things spin out of control and Jimmy is compelled to complete the dying man’s wishes, complete a trip to tiny town of Rattlesnake were the old man lived, and try give a message to his child. As Jimmy decides to take on the task, his car breaks down in the town before he can complete his mission. He is left to figure out his next move, finding the kindness in strangers, especially at the Rattlesnake Inn, with it’s fascinating cast of family characters, including the bartender, Shane Little, a man who feels like he is damaged but truly has a heart of gold. “I’ll leave in the morning,” Jimmy continually says, but he keeps being compelled to remain in the town. Can he truly find his roots? Or is his wanderlust too strong to stay in one place?

I always think that I’ve read all of Kim Fielding’s work and then I come across another book of hers and realize, “Why didn’t I know about this amazing book?!?” Her writing is top notch with an organic realism to the characters and locations. She writes of places in California not easily associated with the state unless you’ve completely driven through its vast inner regions. Being a child of the west myself, I appreciate that she gives a true feeling to living in the strange and wonderful desert towns that make up the Western U.S. Now I need to go back and make sure I’ve read all of Fielding’s work, or you may see another Quick Bites review from me with one of her books.

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Giveaway

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11 comments:

  1. Rattlesnake looks the most interesting of the bunch for me.

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  2. Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda would be my choice this weel

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  3. Although I don't usually read YA, I'll take your recommendation on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

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  4. I already have Rattlesnake waiting to be read on my Kindle so I think I'd choose Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The movie looks adorable but everyone knos the book is always better ;-)

    psshepherd(at)earthlink(dot)net

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  5. Rattlesnake by Kim Fielding..would be a new author for me

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  6. Out of The Blue would be my choice this week. Every once in a while I love books with angst.

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  7. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
    by Becky Albertalli
    ...
    I've never read anything by Becky and this looks like such a great book!

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  8. Out of the Blue by RJ Jones would be my choice.

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  9. Thanks for the good bites. I'm in tune with Mark about Vivalde (sorry), and I've heaerd great things about Simon, so that goes on my agenda (there I go again). - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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  10. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda doesn't look like something I would read but it sounds interesting.

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  11. My Google+ is https://plus.google.com/107784879705431338662
    I would love to have Out of the Blue by RJ Jones

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