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 Felice Stevens, Elle Parker, Harper Fox, Rhys Ford and Ashe Barker. 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.
After the Fire (Through Hell and Back #2)
by Felice Stevens
A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.
The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped, taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life doesn’t free him of the nightmare of his youth; it reinforces his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.
As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.
This is a re-release of the original version published in 2015. It has been re-edited with over 4000 words of additional content added.
Debra’s Quick Bite
I recently read the newly released edition (this is my favorite book in the series) and I loved it just as much the second time around. Though it can work on its own, the story really should be read after A Walk Through Fire and follows surgeon, Jordan as he grieves the loss of his fiancé, and Lucas, a financial adviser whose awful childhood left him with major trust and abandonment issues. Jordan has turned to self-medicating and his addiction is threatening everything while Lucas is evading the foster brother who he believes abandoned him and his younger brother with their monster of a foster father.
The story was very emotional and the chemistry between Lucas and Jordan was amazing. Nothing about them getting together was easy, but they manage to really bring the other back to life and create an amazingly loving and supportive relationship. If you love hurt-comfort stories and a real struggle to get a well-deserved HEA this is going to be a perfect book for you.
Like Coffee and Doughnuts by Elle Parker
Dino Martini Mysteries, #1
Dino Martini might accept his friend Seth as a lover—if they can stay alive.
Dino Martini is an old-school P.I. in a modern age. Sure, he may do most of his work on a computer, but he carries a gun, drives a convertible, and lives on the beach. Best friend and mechanic Seth Donnelly will back him in a fight, and there's not a lot more Dino could ask from life. Until his world is turned upside down.
A dangerous case and a new apartment are just the start. His friendship with Seth has turned into a romance, only Dino has never had a boyfriend before. Can he handle this sudden twist? Just as he begins to believe it's possible, he loses Seth in more ways than one. . .
Jane’s Quick Bite
Read this way back when, and fell in love with the old school, traditional P. I. Dino Martini and his snarky, sexy, mechanic best friend Seth Donnelly. This book has a best friends to lovers trope of the very best quality and it has mystery, intrigue and suspense as both men are drawn into one of Dino’s cases. It sees the men take their relationship to the next level, with Dino not having any experience of guys and being slightly more traditional in his dating outlook, whereas Seth doesn't date but hooks up with anyone and everyone. The sex is well written and it has some of the hottest frottage scenes I’ve ever read. The dialogue and storyline are pacey and punchy and the older women, who live in the same block Dino moves into, remind me a little of the golden girls. I loved it way back then and a recent reread reminded me just how much I still love Dino & Seth. There is a sequel Like Pizza and Beer which is just as good and definitely worth following up with. Highly recommended, an oldie but goodie!
Priddy’s Tale by Harper Fox
What doesn’t kill you sometimes makes you wish it had...
Priddy’s a lost soul in a part of Cornwall the tourists don’t get to see. He’s young, sweet-natured and gorgeous, but that’s not enough to achieve escape velocity from his deadbeat village and rotten family life.
He’s a drifter and a dreamer, and self-preservation isn’t his strong suit. An accidental overdose of a nightclub high leaves him fractured, hallucinating, too many vital circuits fried to function in a tough world. When a friend offers him winter work in a lighthouse – nothing to do but press the occasional button and keep the windows clean – he gratefully accepts.
His plans to live quietly and stay out of trouble don’t last very long. A ferocious Atlantic storm washes a stranger to Priddy’s lonely shore. For a shipwrecked sailor, the new arrival seems very composed. He’s also handsome as hell, debonair, and completely unconcerned by Priddy’s dreadful past.
Priddy has almost given up on the prospect of any kind of friendship, and a new boyfriend – let alone a six-foot beauty with eerily good swimming skills – out of the question entirely. But Merou seems to see undreamed-of promise in Priddy, and when they hit the water together, Priddy has to adapt to Merou’s potentials too, and fast. His lover from the sea might be a mere mortal from the waist up, but south of that line...
Far-flung west Cornwall has a hundred mermaid tales. Priddy’s loved the stories all his life. Now he has to face up to a wildly impossible truth. Merou’s life depends upon his courage and strength, and if Priddy can only find his way in the extraordinary world opening up all around him, all the ocean and a human lifetime needn’t be enough to contain the love between merman and mortal.
Mark’s Quick Bite
There is no other author in my opinion who can conjure up all the brooding and mysterious atmosphere of my home county of Cornwall better than Harper Fox. And for this tale of a merman with all its mystery and legend this is exactly what is needed.
The romance made my heart soar, seeing that Merou is exactly what Jem needs and they complement each other totally. But when Jem finds out the full truth about Merou then hard decisions have to made as to whether there will be a chance of a future for them. But then what does Jem have to lose? It’s not as though he’s going to have a bright future in Cornwall. So when the time comes I’m egging and cajoling him all the way to just go for it. Do it and be happy!
If you want a read that combines the mystical with a mystery, a good portion of legend and beautiful characters then you will not be disappointed with this story at all. I can thoroughly recommend it, entertaining, empathetic and with lots of soul. A story that even this die hard sceptic of the fantastical fell in love with and enjoyed every bit of it.
Fish Stick Fridays (audiobook) by Rhys Ford
Narrated by Spencer Gross
Story ~ 4.5 Stars
Narration 4 Stars
Deacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suits him just fine, until his baby sister dies and he finds himself raising her little girl.
Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.
Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu, blows into his bookstore, and then he's left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid, walks in hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe, but Deacon tempts him to step over the line...just a little bit.
More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.
Unfortunately, Zig isn't the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strike, leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.
Sue’s Quick Bite
This is a compelling and entertaining romance with suspense and plenty of action provided via the murder/mystery plot, and there’s humour courtesy of Zig.
It’s an opposites attract type romance, but also the focus of the story shows that family matters. The main characters are unique and come across as real. Deacon is a growly, motorbike riding alpha, whereas Lang is a posh and slightly reserved bookseller who provides the stability both Zig and Deacon crave. They each have to deal with problems that arise from their pasts that could threaten their happiness together.
The romance is a slow build because Deacon has to consider his niece’s future rather than his own, but once the guys commit to a relationship they are loving and caring for each other no matter what happens. The story is more about the relationship development than the sex, although they do manage to sneak some sexy times together
I enjoyed the writing style of the narrative, but what stood out for me were the almost poetic descriptive phrases woven into the text which beautifully paint the settings.
Spencer Goss narrates the story well with an excellent range of voices, each distinct and clearly recognisable. He portrays the personalities and the emotions of the characters superbly.
Gideon (Order of the Black Knights, #1)
by Ashe Barker
Order of the Black Knights
Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.
Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.
As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.
Freya’s Quick Bite
Gideon is one of a series of books – Order Of The Black Knights. They all work to a similar formula. A chap gets wronged, a wizard turns up and offers him vengeance with a catch. The only way to break the cycle is to forgive his enemy,
In this story Gideon is a merchant banker who through the death of his older brother (Richard) inherits the family title. Michael sees the announcement on TV and is immediately suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Richard’s passing. Michael knew Richard at school, and has personal experience of Gideon’s reputation. As such he believes Gideon is the bad guy and wants to expose him. Little does Michael know, Gideon is an assassin working for the state.
What starts as revenge, becomes a challenge in more ways than one. There are periods of cat and mouse, cocky mutual admiration and in the middle of it all, a web of lies exposing a more pressing mystery. Assassination isn’t restricted to one person able to end a life. The question is who would survive and who would die?
Gideon is a multi-layered story with hot explicit scenes, handsome men in dress suits with ties and collars undone (lovely imagery that), and a healthy dose of intrigue. I found the first couple of chapters hard going, but after that, the story settled and drew me in. Oh, and it’s the first time that I’ve read the term, rosette of muscle, for the sphincter. I think it goes to the top of the list for alternatives.
*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.