Monday, June 19, 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 five great Quick Bites to brighten up the start of your week from Morticia Knight, Santino Hassell, Layla Dorine, Jay Lewis Taylor and Jake C Wallace. Don’t forget you can also enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a Kindle eBook of your choice from this week's Quick Bites.

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The Rules of Love (The Hampton Road Club #2) by Morticia Knight

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Rating ~ 4 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

Book Two in The Hampton Road Club series

Master Saul is captivated by the beautifully submissive Kenneth and the boy’s love of pain. Unfortunately, Kenneth belongs to Master Preston.

It’s 1926 and as one of the founding members of the Hampton Road Club, Master Saul Liebowitz has enjoyed the charms of many willing submissives over the years. One of the newer submissives to the club has captured his attention more than anyone has in a long time. Kenneth is tall, muscular and also seems to have a greater love of pain than most. If only Kenneth didn’t already belong to another Master.

After Kenneth’s Master died years before, he allowed himself to be taken in by the promises of Master Preston. As time has gone by, Preston has become increasingly crueler to the point where Kenneth fears for his life. They’ve recently joined a sadomasochism club and Kenneth can’t help but yearn for the handsome Master the other boys speak so highly of—Master Saul.

Preston takes things too far one night, and when Saul and his good friend, Master Aaron, do some investigating, they realize that Kenneth might be in real danger. Amidst turmoil at the club over whether there should be rules to keep the boys safe and Preston’s play for power, Saul searches for a way to save Kenneth from what he’s sure is a deadly situation.
Both men fight for what they believe to be the right thing. When they find their way to one another, a wonderful new world opens up to them. But there’s one man out there who refuses to let go of the old ways. Kenneth is his property and Master Preston won’t give him up.

Debra’s Quick Bite

I’m a big fan of BDSM books, but only occasionally read historicals and this story did a good job with both of the genres (although this is the second book in the series I read it before book 1 and it easily worked as a standalone). The 1920’s setting adds extra tension to all the situations the men were facing. If they were discovered to be engaging in homosexual acts, they could be prosecuted for sodomy, but adding in the BDSM aspects, it makes it all the more important for all the club members to be discreet and trustworthy. It was interesting to see them trying to formulate rules to ensure everyone’s safety.

I thought Saul and Kenneth had wonderful chemistry and even though their relationship moved quickly due to the nature of Kenneth’s situation, it felt natural. Kenneth spent years horribly abused by Preston causing him to withdraw into shell (sometimes it even felt as if he was much younger than a man in his thirties), essentially requiring him to learn his worth all over again. While I liked both MC’s, I particularly felt for Kenneth. The abuse he suffered and his despair early on was heartbreaking, with some tough scenes to read, especially in light of how caring and giving his nature is, there is some intensity but overall as far as the MC’s go, it was a sweet, hurt-comfort BDSM romance.

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First & First (Five Boroughs #3) by Santino Hassell

FirstandFirstFS_thumb12Rating ~ 5 Stars 

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Synopsis

Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reigns, and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how… until Oliver Buckley enters the picture.
Oli is everything Caleb isn’t—risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten.
As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.

Jane’s Quick Bite

This is book three in the Five Boroughs series and is, perhaps, my favourite. You could read it as a standalone but it will make much more sense if you've read the series. Less gritty and angsty than the first two, this book sees us dealing with the blue bloods of NYC. Having come across both characters of this book previously, I was slightly worried I wouldn't take to them but Santino’s  writing made sure that I really felt for both men and was invested in what happened to them.

Caleb and Oli both hail from the upper echelons of society and this brings its own unique set of problems, especially with their sexuality. Caleb is weighed down with familial expectations and although he has eventually come out to his family, he suppresses his own wants and desires and is extremely lonely and insecure. A chance encounter on New Years Eve with Oli starts to change things for him. (The flashback scenes of that night are sooooo hot! ) Oli has been disowned by his family and has made his own way in the world. Sexually liberated, provocative and a total commitment phobe, he is the very antithesis of Caleb. Together they are smoking hot and I mean seriously sexy. The dirty talk alone will leave you breathless. This story navigates the sexual liberation of Caleb and the development of both men. The secondary cast of characters adds an interesting subplot with Caleb’s half sibling Aiden. Light and fluffy this is not, but if you're in the mood for something super hot, filled with dirty talk and extremely well written, then this will be right up your street.

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…And All Shall Fade to Black by Layla Dorine

51n2nbFzsiLRating ~ 4 Stars 

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Synopsis

Moving into his new apartment, Jax never expected to have to break up a fight between his new neighbors, resulting in a physical altercation and a visit from the cops. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that it would lead to him meeting Danny, the cute theater manager and playwright that lived next door. Unfortunately, his first impression of Danny and the way he’d cowered away in the fight with his ex, wasn’t exactly a favorable one. Jax already has his own issues to deal with, between his past problems with his mother and the chain of men who’ve floated in and out of her life, his new job as a piercer in his sister’s tattoo shop and his struggles with an eating disorder; the last thing he plans to add to it is a relationship. Yet Danny isn’t so easy to ignore and when they find themselves bonding after Danny shows him around town, and more when Jax offers to help with sets for his latest play, it becomes harder and harder for him to ignore the connection forming between them. As Jax’s insecurities and food issues grow more and more out of control, he find himself turning to Danny for help, rather than his longtime friends Callum and Max who lives just downstairs. Danny’s mix of patience, stubbornness and tough love make it harder and harder for Jax to keep his distance, and somewhere in the course of their daily lives, they find themselves moving from being friends, to being more.

Cheryl’s Quick Bite

This is not the kind of book I usually read, but I was pulled in without too much resistance as it has a very strong story with plenty of interesting details to keep me amused.

I loved Danny from the start. He’s a playwright who’s basically married to his job, and thankfully not to his abusive boyfriend, Sean who soon became his ex. He can be awkward and uncertain, but he knows what he want and can be uncompromising in holding to his ideals.

I didn’t warm so quickly to Jax, mainly because he was being a judgemental asshole. Thankfully, he grew on me, especially when we started to see his vulnerabilities and how hard he was struggling with his issues, a struggle that got harder through the book. By the end, I was invested and shared every hurt and triumph

The supporting characters were awesome. My favourites were Jax’ sister, and Herman, Danny’s best friend. Steph’s sarcastic humour appealed to me, and Herman was just hilarious.

The story itself wasn’t complex, but there were a lot of little details that made it full and rich. I enjoyed watching Danny’s play come together and Jax’s inner journey was compelling. There were surprises and not-surprises and plenty of interesting little nuggets of information, fun facts that made me think. The best thing about it was how real it felt. There was nothing contrived and gave the feel of peeping into the lives of two interesting people.

We had to wait almost right to the end for a sex scene and when it came it was hot and sweet and fit the story perfectly.

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and would certainly read a sequel.

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Dance of Stone by Jay Lewis Taylor

41i6H60b63L[3]Rating ~ 4 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

Late twelfth-century England: a country of divided loyalties while the Lionheart is on crusade. Hugh de Barham, master mason at Wells, walks a dangerous path between Glastonbury and Wells as the two vie for supremacy, a path made more dangerous still by the fact that Hugh, if he could, would share his bed not with women but with men.

The only way to stay safe is to keep his head down, but building the church of his dreams is no way to do that: and then there is Arnaut l’Occitan. What does this stranger from Provence want with Hugh? And can he, or anyone, be trusted?

Mark’s Quick Bite

A wide-sweeping historical epic that will take you back to the days of stone masons, cathedral builders, religion and church politics. This book is not for the faint hearted, beautifully written, full of historical details, spans several years as we follow the life of Hugh.

Hugh is struggling with his sexuality or I should say he knows exactly what he is and prefers but in this time not a good idea to advertise the fact. Hugh is travelling to Wells and on his travels meets Arnaut l’Occitan a secretive stranger and is obviously very interested in Hugh but Hugh’s affections are for someone else, Godric, who was his guide to Glastonbury and now lives with Hugh as his servant. Hugh is attracted to Godric and doesn’t see the affections from Arnaut, so we have your typical case of not seeing what is right under your nose.

This is definitely one for hard core historical readers, the detail and attention historically is breath taking and I could feel as if I were back at Wells Cathedral during the days it was being built. I could imagine the lofty towers and heights of the vaults, the dangers of working on such constructions in this time at such lofty heights. I was getting vertigo while reading! It was really like being in a time capsule. Of course at this time all the political intrigue is there between rival deans and bishops all trying to out do each other. One minute dishing out their blessings and goodwill and the minute your back is turned stabbing it to further themselves.

This book is a real joy for all historical fans who wish to sink their teeth into something a little meatier, leaving the fluff behind for a while and immersing themselves into a past as dangerous as it is intriguing. A mediaeval historical novel that gives us an insight into the life and times of the great Cathedral Builders.

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Soul Seekers by Jake C Wallace

soul seekers[3]Rating ~ 5 Stars 

Buy from Amazon

Synopsis

Nineteen-year-old college student Levi Reed has spent his life with hollow emotions and a darkness so deep that he’s convinced he’s losing his mind. He’d give anything to feel something, anything, real.

When a mysterious stranger appears, Levi is convinced the man is trying to kill him. When he’s near, Levi experiences head-crushing pain and something surprising—real emotions for the first time. Jeb Monroe is arrogant, self-assured, closed-off, and handsome, but he isn’t the harbinger of doom Levi assumed. Jeb’s mission: help Levi find his missing soul.

Levi is pulled into the secret world of Seers and Keepers, those born with the innate ability to manipulate souls and tasked with balancing the negative energy they can produce. Levi learns he possesses a rare gift, and he’s in danger. As Jeb and Levi grow closer, they discover a group of zealots who want to harness Levi’s power to cleanse the world of damaged souls. Everyone Levi cares for is threatened unless he agrees to become their tool of death. But agreeing could spell the destruction of humankind. With no one to trust and nothing as it appears, it’s up to Levi to save them all.

Freya’s Quick Bite

Nineteen-year-old college student Levi Reed has spent his life with hollow emotions and a darkness so deep that he’s convinced he’s losing his mind. He’d give anything to feel something, anything, real.

When a mysterious stranger appears, Levi is convinced the man is trying to kill him. When he’s near, Levi experiences head-crushing pain and something surprising—real emotions for the first time. Jeb Monroe is arrogant, self-assured, closed-off, and handsome, but he isn’t the harbinger of doom Levi assumed. Jeb’s mission: help Levi find his missing soul.

Levi is pulled into the secret world of Seers and Keepers, those born with the innate ability to manipulate souls and tasked with balancing the negative energy they can produce. Levi learns he possesses a rare gift, and he’s in danger. As Jeb and Levi grow closer, they discover a group of zealots who want to harness Levi’s power to cleanse the world of damaged souls. Everyone Levi cares for is threatened unless he agrees to become their tool of death. But agreeing could spell the destruction of humankind. With no one to trust and nothing as it appears, it’s up to Levi to save them all.

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Giveaway

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17 comments:

  1. First & First (Five Boroughs #3) by Santino Hassell. I read the first two in the series and loved them, but somehow I forgot about this one.

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  2. And All Shall Fade to Black sounds interesting... And Layla is a new author to me, so that makes it even more appealing!

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  3. …And All Shall Fade to Black by Layla Dorine would be my choice. She is a great author.

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  4. I'm interested in Morticia Knight's book. I have enjoyed her other BDSM books Kiss of Leather series, but have not read this series yet.

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  5. I would choose Soul Seekers because the premise sounds so great.

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  6. I would choose And All Shall Fade to Black by Layla Dorine. It sounds like a good book. colby69@verizon.net

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  7. I'd pick Rules of Love...I'm in a BDSM romance mood and don't have this one yet, and I already own two of the other titles ;-)

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  8. I would pick Rules of Love, mainly because it's the only one I haven't already bought :p
    Brettonc@gmail.com

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  9. First & First (Five Boroughs #3) by Santino Hassell

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  10. Wow! A bunch of good ones that i never heard of...Thank you!!!

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  11. The Rules of Love (The Hampton Road Club #2) by Morticia Knight

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  12. Dance of Stone by Jay Lewis Taylor

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  13. Thanks for another bite. I agree with Jane about First, and Freya about Soul Seekers, but there's still another one that sounds quite interesting - Dance of Stone. I love historicals and noted Mark's note about hard core historical readers. Not sure I'm that hard core, but I'm willing to give it a shot. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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  14. Soul Seekers by Jake C Wallace

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  15. I'd go with Dance of Stone by Jay Lewis Taylor.

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  16. I'm torn between Soul Seekers and Dance of Stone. Thanks for the chance!

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  17. I would choose "…And All Shall Fade to Black" by Layla Dorine

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