Recently I won a free ebook from KC at SmokingHotBooks. She blogged over the first 2 weeks in February with the theme “14 days of man love.” Although I had never read any m/m (male/male) romance books, I figured I would enter the contest to win a free book. When KC notified me that I WON, I was so excited. But then I thought “What will I read?” She has been going on and on about all these great m/m books she reads, but to be honest, they didn’t sound all that appealing to me. Not to mention I am a HUGE paranormal fan – I just don’t read contemporary or historical books/romance books. It seemed that all of the m/m books were contemporary.
After asking KC for advice, I selected the book Without Reservations, by J. L. Langley for my prize. I selected it because it is paranormal at heart – a story about werewolves. I figured I could handle werewolves.
My synopsis: Chay is a werewolf that has waited is whole life for his pre-destined mate to come along. As a vet, he knows the injured wolf brought into his office is more than just a wolf, it’s another werewolf and his mate. Imagine Chay’s shock when he discovers his mate is male.
Keyton has been hurt by a straight male wolf before. He’s not ready to jump into another relationship, even with his pre-destined mate. But he cannot deny his attraction to Chay.
The two male wolves decide to jump into their relationship and never regret it. The community is super excepting and the few that don’t, well they come around quickly. It’s seems a bit too easy to me, but this is paranormal romance!
The story line was interesting and fun. There is a bit of “who done it” and the action was a good mix with the sex. The sex was um, *fans herself* HOT. And there is a lot of it. If you are someone looking to break into m/m and are a bit leery of the sex, this may not be for you. The males are happy to explore each other and the mating pheromones draw them together often. The romance was a bit cheesy at times, the nickname Chay gives to his mate “Lil Bit” is a bit well, annoying. But the feelings are mostly well written. Every once and a while the dialogue seems a bit to “sweet” and overly cheesy.
I enjoyed reading this book and immediately purchased the other 2 stories in the series.
The second book, With Caution, was a better overall story. The relationship didn’t come off as “hokey” as the first book. The chemistry between the two males was hot. The story didn’t focus as much on the physical as the first book. Overall this was a very good story and I would recommend it to anyone looking to try m/m.
Finally, I purchased the ebook version of a novella titled With Love. (Originally released in the anthology Hearts from the Ashes) All though this story is from the With or Without series, it is a stand alone spinoff
and can be read at anytime. The story was not nearly as good as the two full-length novels in the With or Without series. The “endearing traits” of the omega male were annoying and I wanted to slap him. I did like the new characters and pack that were presented in the story, and I hope we’ll see them again in the full-length books (except please tone down Lainey!) It was an okay story – but I wouldn’t recommend unless you are reading the series.
Bonus time: The author has posted 3 short stories from this series on her website. Do not read unless you’ve read the first two books because there are spoilers. But oh, the shorts are SO GOOD!
So overall I give my first m/m reading experience 2 thumbs up! What I realized it when reading, it didn’t matter who the main couple in the relationship is – as long as the story was well written and interesting, the sexual orientation of the people didn’t really matter. These stories were fun and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Langley’s books in the future.