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.
WARNING Contains adult content: a gritty storyline, sex, explicit language, violence and torture
Themes: Outlaw Motorcycle Club, organized crime, homophobia, family issues, coming out, first gay relationship, tattoo, piercing
Genre: contemporary homoerotic romance
Length: ~ 100,000 words (Standalone novel, no cliffhanger.)
What a kick-ass ride!
When I first heard of this book and read the blurb my exact words were “OHMYGAWD I WANNA READ THAT SOOOOOO BAD!!!!!!!!” It looked to have everything I could ever want in a book. Bikers, tattoos, piercings, bikers, sex, bikers, bad boys, bikers, did I mention bikers? When I got an ARC I thought I was gonna pee myself I was so excited. I was a bit nervous too as I hoped I didn’t get myself so worked up just to be disappointed.
Well, let me just tell you; it was everything I hoped it would be and more.
It was dirty and ugly and violent and rough and raw. And just fucking gorgeous.
Stitch is a rough and tumble member of the Hounds of Valhalla, the local motorcycle club. He’s tough and brash with a “take no prisoners” type of mentality. And he’s also got a secret that can never get out or his life may possibly be forfeit. You see, life in a motorcycle club does not allow one room to be gay. So he just goes on pretending to be straight and tries to push his urges to the back of his mind and not act upon them. That is, until he’s sitting at the bar celebrating the day his divorce is final and in walks sex on legs. Or Zak, if you want to be specific.
Zak, mmm… Zak. Zak is a tattoo artist who has just moved to town and set up shop in his home. He’s pretty much covered in tattoos and piercings from head to toe. That right there was a guarantee that I was going to love him. It flips all my switches and hits all my buttons when a character has tattoos AND piercings. Especially the nipple piercings… mmm… but I digress.
Their first encounter totally captured what I imagine it must really be like for a man who’s never been with another man. Stitch tries to treat Zak like he’s treated the women he’s been with; calling him ‘baby’ and going the caveman route, trying to own him.
“Lets fuck the chit-chat. You want to suck me, don’t you?”
He’s not misogynistic; it’s more that he’s ignorant. This is the only way he’s ever known how to be when he’s with a lover. But Zak’s not having it and reminds Stitch that he’s with a man and demands to be treated as such. It surprises Stitch and he’s not sure how to react at first. There’re a few stops and starts and it is uncomfortable and awkward at times but that just made it all the more real to me.
At first it may seem as if their “relationship” is toxic but as the story progresses it turns out these men are made for each other. What they each bring to the table complements the other. Oh, Stitch may resist but he can’t ignore the fact that Zak is what he needs. Because Zak...
Made him remember he was still human, not a man whose muscles were made out of violence and bones out of fury.
This book is dark. There is no fluff to be found here. What these men had to endure throughout the course of this book was heart wrenching and horrific. There was even a moment where a full body stop, along with a HOLY FUCK!, was required. It’s not pretty. Yet I was still left with a sense of relief by the end. I do wish we had just a little bit more at the end. It was a bit abrupt. But what there was of it was satisfying.
Do I think this book was awesome? Fuck yes! Do I think it will be for everyone? Definitely not. But for those who enjoy a dark, brutal realistic read, this is the one to pick. I was captivated throughout the entire story. I was barely able to put it down because I just had to know what happens next.
Bravo, K.A. Merikan. You now have a loyal fan in me.
ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.