Tag Archives: K.A. Merikan

Laurent and the Beast

Book Book Review of Laurent and the Beast (Kings of Hell MC, #1), by K.A. Merikan

I borrowed an audio copy of Laurent and the Beast (by K.A. Merikan) through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

1805. Laurent: Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart. 
2017. Beast: Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. 

Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living. 

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.


Honestly, not bad. I generally enjoyed this, but several things held me back from loving it. First, I struggled with how naive Laurent was. That he would be confused by the future makes sense. But he also seemed naive in his own time and there was at least one point in the story where his naiveté seemed so extreme as to feel artificial to force the plot along. 

What’s more I struggled with him only being 19, to Beast’s 32. I understand that in 1805 19 wouldn’t have been very young. But the way he was constantly called ‘the boy’ and treated as a child, even during sex scenes squinked me out. 

Second, the lack of communication between the men, leading to misunderstandings annoyed me. This isn’t a rare plot device, but here some of them were too ridiculous to swallow. What was causing the problem was so very obvious that I couldn’t believe Beast didn’t see it.

Lastly, I didn’t feel like anyone outside of Laurent and Beast were given any depth. Everyone accepted time travel and demons with barely a raised eyebrow, and Merikan wasn’t whole successful in making the bikers both dangerous outlaws AND not bad guys. 

Despite all of that, I did mostly enjoy it and will likely pick up the next in the series at some point.

Book Review of Guns n’ Boys (Guns n’ Boys #1.1), by K.A. Merikan

Guns N' Boys I downloaded a copy of K. A. Merikan‘s Gun’s N’ Boys from the Amazon free list.

Description from Goodreads:
 Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon.

The Family is always right. 
The Family doesn’t forget. 
The Family pays for blood in blood. 

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins. 

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself—with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

If I was going to use ratings I would call this a 2.5, but I’d round up for being well enough written. My problem with it was that I expected some gritty Mafia action, with a hot sex on the side. What I got was almost literally just two men in a room fucking and fighting. It wasn’t even physical fighting for the most part, just bickering like kids. Sure some of the sex was hot and, to be fair, they occupationally went and fucked or fought in a park or a new apartment, but after 300+ pages of it I just got bored.

The Mafia played almost no part in the book beyond a device to force them together and you never learn the reasons behind the decision that led to the events. No doubt you will in future books, but I won’t be bothering with them. So I’ll never know.

I found neither character particularly relatable either. Dom was sexy, sure, and some of his confused moments were surprisingly endearing in their rarity, but he was basically an asshole, lacking in even basic empathy or sympathy. Plus, he was ‘grooming’ Seth, so all his actions are suspect. Seth, for all his hot bod, etc was annoying and whiny. Mostly I just wanted him to shut up.

It’s a fine book if all you’re looking for is porn with plot, but I was hoping for something more. Also, as a side note, I hate all this 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2 numbering. Why can’t it just be 1,2,3? Anything else makes me think of novellas between books and those annoy me too.

Book Review of Road of No Return (Sex & Mayhem #1), by K. A. Merikan

Road to No Return

I was provided an ARC of K. A. Merikan‘s Road of No Return.

Description from Goodreads:
Zak. Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.
Stitch. Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.

On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.

Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn’t know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.

As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.

When I was 18 or so, I lived with a guy. We’ll call he D., shall we? In a lot of ways, he was wonderful. He was sweet, loved to cook and equated sex with love. And while we were young and hardly tantric gods, he always strove to let me know I was appreciated. *sigh*

D. however had had a bit of an unfortunate childhood, bouncing from foster home to institution to foster home until a wonderful family adopted him as a teen. (Do you know how rare that is?) Despite therapy to address his oppositional defiant behaviours, he never developed any real coping mechanisms. NONE. As a result, disagreeing with him, even on small matters, was tantamount to a verbal attack. And any attempt to hash out larger issues or have an actual argument (which, lets face it, relationships need occasionally) would throw him into a blind rage. He’d lash out, hit and randomly destroy things. (Never me, just things.) Our apartment took more than one thrashing.

D. was scary at those times. But no matter how angry or scared I was, I wasn’t ever blind enough not to see that a good bit of his ill-timed anger was actually hurt, confusion or plain frustration that he had no other way to express. At those times, my heart always ached a little for him. Even more so when I had to face his lost, betrayed face after the anger ebbed. The puffed up gorilla melted into a wounded puppy. (Not that I ever would have told him he gave that impression.)

I say all this because, for a lot of this book, Stitch reminded me a lot of D. I recognised so many of D.’s quirks in him that it was a little frightening. (But also made him feel very real for me.) Especially the way he could do something shockingly inappropriate and not grock why I was angry. Or the way he could sometimes go from irate to conjoling almost instantly, as if I was the one who’d been upset in the first place. Or the way he would react with almost mindless violence, only to then be bewildered by the aftereffect of his own actions.

Because I loved D. for a little while I understood Stitch’s emotionalism. I don’t think I would have otherwise. My own past endeared him to me. But honestly, that grace only reaches so far. I may have understood his outbursts, but I can’t make the same claim for some of his other actions. For example, I wasn’t ever sure how Stitch made the leap from closeted, will-never-act-on-it gay to seeking out Zak between one chapter and the next.

Or that for much of the book, he came across as a little dim or at least like the kind of guy who isn’t well versed in verbally expressing himself. Then he would randomly come out with seemingly soul searing statements that were romantic, sure, but way out of character for him.

Having said all of that, if in the years since I last saw D. he has managed half the personal growth Stitch does toward the end of this book he’d be quite the catch now. It is toward the end of the book though. The vast majority of it is Stitch trying and largely failing to come to terms with his own proclivities. It’s hugely satisfying when he finally does, but I thought the book drug a bit in the middle as he came to accept himself.

This is largely because there was just too much darned sex. Yes, I did say that. It got in the way of the plot (which isn’t really all that thick to start with). Plus, every single stage of his gayness had to be addressed separately. (I don’t know how better to phrase that.) As a result, the only thing we see Stitch and Zak do is have lots and lots of sex. We’re told that they walk the dog, cook together, fix up the house, etc. but we never see any of it. We also never see any of their personality that isn’t directly related to their sexual orientation, the motorcycle club or Holly & Chrystal. So their personalities feel a little weak, as do all of the club members.

So I’m a little torn about how I feel about Road of no Return. I liked the ending. I liked Zak a lot (even if he did get a little wife-like at one point). I liked that Stitch finally came into his own and I loved his  vulnerable moments. But I didn’t like the WTF at 85% and feel the book ended with the issue unresolved. I didn’t care for the insta-lust. I also thought there was a bit of a cheesy undertone to a lot of the dialogue. In the end I could easily go either way, liking the book or feeling ambivalent about it. I didn’t dislike it. I just didn’t love it either.

Best line of the book: “Not to mention he’s most probably in a closet so deep he’s, like, in Narnia.”