Monday, July 10, 2017

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 Brad Boney, Tyler May, Parker Williams and Haley Walsh. 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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The Return (The Austin Trilogy #2)

by Brad Boney

41FKPuJovGLRating ~ 4 Stars 

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Synopsis

Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn't exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.

Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.

Debra’s Quick Bite

Without giving anything away, this is a story of music, friendship, love and second chances with a slight paranormal twist.  You don’t need to have read The Nothingness of Ben before this, but if you have you will recognize some references in the story. Stanton is a music critic for NPR and he meets Topher, mechanic by day/musician by night, when his car breaks down in Austin during the SXSW Festival. At a Bruce Springsteen concert, something happens between the two that changes Topher and will astound the both of them. 

Told in alternating chapters between Stanton's current relationship with Topher and his relationship with Hutch in the early 1980's, the storylines parallel each other. There is a great cast of secondary characters, especially Stanton's best friend Marvin, the men they meet on Fire Island in the 80's, as well as Topher's bandmates and the Walsh family, who all turn out to be connected in unexpected and extraordinary ways.  The characters and writing really drew me in. While the ending was almost fairytale happy, the book had me laughing and crying as well. As someone who remembers the 80's well and loves music I couldn't resist this one.

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The Struggle Within by Tyler May

51U5VWXEhYL._SY346_[2]Rating ~ 5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

Through Ryan’s trials, there are three different perspectives: a best friend watching from the outside, a lover desperate to get in, and his own mind.

His struggles were theirs. He just didn’t know it.
A tragic accident changed Dr. Ryan Jacobs’ life and freed him from a past he thought he’d never escape, but with that freedom came the realization: he could escape the man, but would be bound to the torturous battle within his mind. Fighting for control of his thoughts, he lived recklessly in a life of addiction and the next good time. Wearing a mask of deception, and hiding it beautifully behind his playboy ways, he fooled himself into thinking this was the real him, but he couldn’t fool everyone.

Dr. Michael Jonas considered Ryan more than just a friend, he was his family. With the support of his wife, Michael held Ryan’s hand, listened to him cry, and helped him through the hardest events of his life. He could see through the fake smiles and playboy attitude, seeing his best friend for the man he really was. After Michael’s wife had given birth to their first child, Michael vowed never to let pain affect his family again, Ryan included. But Michael carried his own burdens and watching Ryan struggle was harder than he thought. It tore him apart, silently, until there was only one choice. Save his best friend before it was too late.

As a high-powered attorney, Jayson Alexander thrived on easy thrills both in his professional and personal life, but when his heart broke the rules, he had no choice but to break it and run from the pain. Obsessive about controlling his own life, he set goals and rules and tried to ensure his own happiness, but life had a different plan. So he sought out answers and took on a case that would eventually change everything. He was drawn to Ryan from the moment he laid eyes on him. With a magnetic connection he couldn’t deny, he found Ryan irresistible, but he found out quickly the connection was more than physical. Jayson wanted Ryan, but how could he fight the demons Ryan’s mind was creating and stop them from pushing him away?

Ryan built a force field around his heart, vowing after that tragic day, no man would be allowed close enough to ever hurt him again, but with the support of his best friend and the man he loved, could Ryan beat The Struggle Within once and for all?
Due to strong sexual content and language, The Struggle Within is intended for mature readers 18 years of age or over.
Trigger warning: The Struggle Within may contain a subject matter that is sensitive to some readers as it deals with domestic abuse, self-harm, and addictive behavior. The author asks that the reader please take these warnings seriously and requests discretion be advised.

Jane’s Quick Bite

This is an incredible story, very emotional and it had a lasting impact on me, BIG book hangover. It deals with difficult subject matter but is handled very sensitively. The Struggle Within is a story about surviving domestic abuse. It is told from 3 PoV, the survivor Dr Ryan Jacobs, his best friend Dr Michael Jonas and the lawyer and love interest Jayson Alexander. (This is not a ménage story.) It is a gripping tale all woven together in the court case to prosecute the perpetrator of the abuse. It realistically shows the myriad effects of abuse on the survivor and how that impacts them and their friends and family on a daily basis and the real struggle to move on.

At the beginning and end of this book are real life accounts of domestic abuse, be warned these are harrowing to read, but are told with such bravery, courage and strength. They are very inspiring and I hope this book will speak to those in a similar position to show that it is possible to change your situation, to have hope and courage. Highly recommended but take heed of the trigger warnings.

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Out-Foxed (Audiobook: Skyler Foxe Mysteries, #3)

by Haley Walsh

61MvIuioqaL._SL300_[4]Rating ~ 5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

While chaperoning a high school dance, English teacher Skyler Foxe has just been dragged out of the closet by the hunky assistant football coach - a man he thought he knew. But when Sky discovers Keith has been keeping a big secret, he breaks it off, leaving both of them lonely and confused. With troubles mounting from the press, angry parents, confused students, Skyler's own mom, and a murdered teacher, what's a boy to do but discover - once and for all - who's behind all the dirty doings at James Polk High?

©2012 Haley Walsh (P)2015 Haley Walsh

Mark’s Quick Bite

This series has seriously addictive qualities thanks to the wonderful story telling of Haley Walsh and the fantastic narration by Joel Leslie. This is the third and final book of the initial trilogy, however there are a lot more stories to come as this series goes from strength to strength. It’s always difficult to find something different to say in a series when you go directly from one book to the next.

The main thing I loved about this book was not only solving the final mystery but how Skyler’s coming out is managed. After the initial surprise coming out in the second book we get a taste of how bigoted some people can be but nice to read that the majority support and stand behind Skyler in solidarity. There are still a few more bumps in the road to go through with Keith. These two are crazy in love but now Keith’s secret is out you would think it should make things easier. But not here, it just makes things more complicated, well at least as far as Skyler is concerned because the one thing Skyler doesn’t like is when Keith has to keep things from him. There is quite a bit of make-up sex in this book and it is HOT, so yes they eventually iron out all the kinks in their relationship but had me on the edge of my set until the very to be sure that Keith is going to stick around. This first needed Skyler though to admit to himself that yes, he is in love and wants Keith to be at his side as his boyfriend. Skyler leaves his days of being a tart well and truly behind. This was so sweet and left me with a goofy grin by the end of the book.

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Of Love and Corn Dogs by Parker Williams

OfLoveCorndogs-400x6004Rating ~ 5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

With more money than he could spend in ten lifetimes, Darwin Kincade still couldn't keep death from stealing his lover. A little older and a whole lot wiser, flirting with his twice-a-week waiter is the perfect no-risk substitute for a real relationship. Until the night his routine is upended by the restaurant's newest employee.

Ricky Donnelly loves people. While being a server isn’t his dream, he’s good at it. When a grumpy man is seated in his station, Ricky sees there’s more to him than he lets on, and when the man relaxes, he’s actually sweet.

As the two men bond over a discussion about corn dogs—something Darwin’s never heard of—he realizes how much he’s missed out on in his life. He vows to open himself to new experiences—including, perhaps, a chance at finding love again.

Not wanting anything to muddy their blooming relationship, Darwin hides part of himself from Ricky. He likes the look in Ricky’s eyes, unclouded by Darwin’s notoriety. Unfortunately, the truth can never stay hidden, and when it comes out, Darwin may lose any hope of holding onto the future they’ve begun to build.

Freya’s Quick Bite

Darwin has more money than he could ever hope to spend He also lost the love of his life to cancer. When his favourite server at his regular restaurant leaves, he is tended to by Ricky, who cheekily suggests a corn dog would be better than the house special. This small gesture shocks Darwin and opens him to a world of tasty, if not so healthy, food, along with some fun activities he never knew existed.

What follows is beautiful, fun, light, heart-warming story that totally made my day. Have no fear it has its moments of angst too, in just the right proportions.

The cast is delightful. For me, Henley stole the show. He’s the faithful best friend/chauffeur, and often, the voice of reason coupled with a wry sense of humour. His line of, “Suck it up buttercup,” creased me and was the embodiment of his character.

Of Love and Corn Dogs, was like a breath of fresh air. It explores the difficulties of people falling in love from opposite sides of the tracks. Numerous sections as well as the humour, had me smiling, and several others had me shedding a tear. I started this book with the intention of reading a couple of chapters and returning to it later. I finished it in one go.

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Giveaway

*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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

  1. The Return (The Austin Trilogy #2) by Brad Boney. I love 80's music!

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  2. I haven't read anything by Parker Williams yet so my choice would be Of Love and Corn Dogs. The title is cute and caught my attention (haven't had a corn dog in years and now I want one!), I love humor in my stories, and Freya's review clinched it for me.

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  3. Of Love and Corn Dogs sounds great, but I The Struggle Within is also interesting... It would be a really tough choice this week

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  4. I'm also choosing Of Love and Corn Dogs.

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  5. The Struggle Within sounds like a good read this week.

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  6. The Struggle Within by Tyler May is on my TBR list.

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  7. I've wanted to read THE RETURN for ages!

    --Trix

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  8. Of Love and Corn Dogs sounds good. colby69@verizon.net

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  9. Of Love and corn dogs because I had forgotten about it and so wanted to read it when it came out.

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  10. They all look great. I read the Fox one. I choose Of Love and Corn Dogs by Parker Williams

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  11. The Struggle Within by Tyler May..i love tyler and this story sounds great

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  12. Of Love and Corn Dogs by Parker Williams

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  13. The Return I think.

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  14. Of Love & Corn Dogs because I have no idea what a corn dog is either , I shall have to google it.

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  15. Thanks for the bites. I "stuggled" with going for serious or fun, and choose the latter - I've enjoyed reading the Foxe mysteries, and with Out-Foxed I can now hear one. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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