An Ali Review: We Met In Death by KA Merikan

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
 
“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being. 

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.
“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. 
But then you saved me.”

This book was a wild ride from the very first page till the end.  I love that I never know what I’m going to get with these authors but I always know that it’s going to be unique and outside the box.  I was really looking forward to this one and it did not disappoint.

Both Robert and Nathan are a bit lax when it comes to morals (especially Robert) but that didn’t effect my enjoyment of the story or them as main characters.  Robert was a bit difficult to like at the beginning and he doesn’t treat Nathan well overall. He was harsh and mean at times.  He has the glimpses of sweetness though that keep both the reader and Nathan interested in more. It was worth the initial struggle because when Robert finally opens up and falls, he falls hard.  I liked Nathan from the start.  He was spunky and funny and he rolled with both the metaphorical and literal punches.  These two had great chemistry and the sex scenes were scorching hot. 
Since the two men are part of the criminal world parts of the story are pretty gritty.  There’s some death and some destruction along the way but I was rooting for them the entire way.  I didn’t think it was very dark but I can’t always be trusted with that because my tolerance is pretty high.  If you are on the more sensitive side you should note the tags for the book. 
I really liked this and thought it was well done.  I enjoyed both the overall plot and the romance.  I thought the entire thing was wildly entertaining and I had a hard time putting it down once I had started it.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow:  I think the cover is perfect for the book.  It has the same dark, gritty vibe the books does.  I like it a lot.

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Acerbi & Villani ltd
ASINB0764CK6TZ
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersRobert Zidane (We Met In Death), Nathan Edwards (We Met In Death)

Review Tour and Giveaway for We Met In Death by KA Merikan

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 90,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being.

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.

“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. But then you saved me.”

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, torture, mentions of suicide, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters, homophobia and homophobic language

October 10 – BooksLaidBareBoys, Mikku-chan, Mirrigold: Mutterings and Musings
October 12 – Urban Smoothie Read
October 14 – My Fiction Nook, OptimuMM
October 16 – Bonkers About Books, MM Book Escape
October 18 – The Librarian’s Corner
October 20 – Jim’s Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Cheekypee Reads & Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sanaa’s Book Blog, Love Bites & Silk Ties

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.


They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

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Release Blitz Tour for We Met In Death by KA Merikan (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 90,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being.

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.

“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. But then you saved me.”

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, torture, mentions of suicide, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters, homophobia and homophobic language.



Excerpt

Robert slowly lowered himself next to the man and watched the thick fabric move with the hurried rhythm of his breath. “How much do you owe Vogel?” He’d seen so many people in this position before that in Robert’s mind this guy was somehow melting into a collection of them all.

The fabric pulled close to the stranger’s face, making his nose poke at it. “If anything, he owes me! I did what he asked of me. I don’t belong here. It’s all lies!”

“What does that even mean?” Robert asked and nudged the body. His tongue was dry, and he groaned when he realized the bottle was now out of reach. How could this night have gone off the rails so rapidly?

Nathan went quiet for long moment. “Have you ever seen Spartacus? You know, the gladiator TV show?”

Robert frowned, thrown aback. “Are you drunk?”

“No! No… I’ve been sober for a while now.” To Robert’s surprise, Nathan crawled a bit closer in his direction, so dangerously close to the hole that Robert had to stand in his way. “It’s just that there’s this one gladiator there, and if you’ve seen the show, I was wondering if you thought he was gay or bi. I promise this is going somewhere.”

Robert rubbed his flushed face, kneading the flesh and letting his scruff scratch his palms. “Are you trying to tell me you’re gay? Yeah, because this is very important right now.”

Nathan inhaled a deep breath. “I… it’s just that it’s my only fault here, you know? I mean, if you don’t want anyone to know you’re gay, don’t put your dick in a man, right?”

Robert rolled his eyes and pulled out a switchblade. It was dark, and he wasn’t in the mood to look for the zipper. The sleeping bag would join Robert’s former colleagues under the dirt.

He lost balance, falling to his knees instead of just leaning down. Grabbing a handful of the thick fabric, he tore a hole in the sleeping bag. “You propositioned one of Vogel’s men?”

“No! He was the one doing the propositioning! I stayed at his lakeside villa for a week! I thought we’d have a good thing going, that he liked me. And then he flipped and turned into a murdering psycho!” Big blue eyes looked up at Robert from the opening he just created. Pretty like a doll, but the dry blood marring the pale skin under Nathan’s nose reminded Robert that the young man was most definitely made of flesh and bone. His lips were swollen under the red smear, but that didn’t make Nathan any less attractive. If anything, their plumpness made Robert want to lick, nip, and part them with his fingers. Nathan’s cheekbones were the kind you were more likely to see in a magazine than in real life, and the slight dimples to the sides of his lips suggested he used to smile a lot before whatever got him here.

He was a toy thrown away by someone who got tired of playing with it, but it was hard for Robert to imagine how anyone could toss such a gem into the dirt. If this boy were his, he’d—What? What would he do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because Nathan wasn’t the kind of toy Robert was allowed to have. He wasn’t a kid anymore, and his self-control never slipped.

Robert tore the bag with a strong tug to both sides of the cut and offered Nathan his hand. In the blurry light, and looking back into the incredible blue of Nathan’s eyes, it almost felt as if he were the one begging for Nathan’s attention.

ntion.


K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Katís the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnesís ass when sheís slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.


They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, thereís one thing you can be sure of ñ it will be full of surprises.
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A MelanieM Release Day Review: Joker (Executioners #2) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating:   5 Stars out of 5

Joker, what a misnomer, but Jackson Webb’s friends were idiots. He’d joined Executioners almost three years earlier after the lead singer King caught him playing his guitar behind his garage. It broke up the monotony of his life, but once he got bored he’d move on to another distraction. He wasn’t nice. He sure as hell wasn’t friendly. He was what he was, his friends handled his attitude and standoffish nature just fine. At thirty-eight he was pretty sure he was too stuck in his way to change shit now.

Demetri “Dem” Urban was settling into a new life in the middle of nowhere. Okay, he was hiding from everywhere in a kitchen as far removed from his five-star kitchen back in New York. Gideon invited him to stay with him and his wife for awhile just until he could get everything back on track. He didn’t see it happening, but he had to admit the scenery wasn’t bad even if the man had the personality of a rabid, man-eating bear. Dem did like a challenge and that fit Joker Webb perfectly.

My first sighting of Joker was in Ghost (Executioners, #1), a deeply moving story that served as my first introduction to D.M. Dabney and that author’s interlocking series (Twirled World Ink, Brawlers and Executioners and hopefully more).  Of course, I started with the most recent in the series which has turned out a fascinating, fortuitous move and I’m now moving backwards to the beginning series.  And Joker aka Jackson Webb has appeared everywhere, a dark, violent presence, sometimes just a fleeting reference, sometimes more as a participant in a rescue or beatdown, but Joker has been an enigmatic thread running through three series who now when ready in Dabney’s mind, explodes into the cacophony that is his heartrending, beautiful and oh so memorable story.

Forewarning.  If you’ve read Ghost, which is where I fell in love with Joker, you knew peeling back the edges of Joker’s armor would be like staring into the abyss.  His past is stomach churning and even though the abuse and descriptions of what happened to him is handled “off stage” , there is no space for your mind and heart to run from his scars…physical, mental, emotional that are revealed here.  They feel intense, all too real, and full of suffering of the unimaginable kind.  For some of you, these are triggers and you should be aware of the impact they will have.  Even if they aren’t triggers, prepared to have the abuse that Jackson suffered stay with you  long after the story is over, which is as it should be I suppose.

Jackson is the town vigilante/Paladin and his friends’ worry now that Harper has found love, happiness and safety with Ghost. Jackson aka Joker is still on his mission to protect and deliver his own forms of justice to those thugs/bullies in town who have been under the protection of the old corrupt (and now dead) Sheriff.  Given that mission it’s no surprise that he’s often found in one of the jail cells,  with his friends called to bail him out.  Outside of jail, his little dog Killer is his constant companion and yes, unacknowledged therapy dog.  He’s violent, untouchable, moody, and broken.  Yet everything about him shouts need.  I wanted his story from the minute I met him in Ghost.  And love him completely.

Then comes Dem, a man from a loving home who sets his eyes on Joker, knows that he and that broken man are somehow ‘meant’ for each other like his mom and dad. Dem is unique. Some see him as broken too. Dem is also a character you come across in Ghost, but here Dem becomes a complete person.  I loved his parents, the background Dabney supplies for him and his reasons for being in this small town. He’s pretty easy to fall in love with himself.   In the book, it all makes perfect sense as do the characters.  Dabney’s characterizations and writing is so good, so perfect for the themes the author chose and the paths the story needs to take, that all I could do is be pulled in, totally absorbed by the drama and evolving relationships.

Dem’s pursuit of Joker shakes the man to his emotional and mental foundation.  It’s everything he fears and has no reason to understand.  Love. J.M. Dabney creates two of the most perfect, broken, believable characters and then takes us on their journey towards a love only they can find with each other, and a  small dog named Killer.  At times, your heart will break over the blackness and evil suffered, sometimes your breath will catch with hope as they get close at times a relationship only to see it crash under the weight of the past and reality, and finally  your heart gets to soar with laughter and love at what the author has wrought out of darkness and pain.

How I love Joker (Executioners #2) by J.M. Dabney and the entire series.  I highly recommend it and Ghost.  Start with Ghost and then read Joker.  And look for all my reviews of the Twirled World Ink, and Brawlers series by J.M. Dabney to come.  I’ll be covering them all and the evolution of a universe.

Cover Design: Winterheart Design.  I think the cover captures Joker perfectly.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Published August 29th 2017
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL https://www.jmdabneyauthor.com/executioners
setting Georgia (United States)

Series Executioners:

A Sammy Review: Better the Devil You Know by Bey Deckard

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Better The Devil You know cover“I am serious. I know I have your fear—and I thank you for that—but you’re only just tasting the beginning of what fear can do to you. I find that a good, firm grasp on fear and pain helps to create fertile ground for proper rehabilitation and personal growth… But don’t take my word for it. I just work here.”

Byron isn’t like other men. For those who go out on a weekend night to celebrate, he prefers to spend his time indoors with a victim, savagely ripping them to pieces. For him, it’s a source of joy. For him, it’s life.

But his own crimes and murders of over fifty people eventually catch up to him, and when it becomes time for his soul to be reaped, the devil himself comes to collect. Still, Hell’s never seen evil quite like Byron before, and it’ll take more than torture to get to his core.

The fear of death is what drives man to succumb to his pain—fear weakens the resolve. Without the fear of death, what is left?

Weak stomach? Like things light and fluffy? Then heed my warning and keep on going. This story is gore and macabre from beginning to end.

Verging on torture porn, Deckard manages to weave plot into an infinitely dark story. Bits of Byron’s life are given at times, playing the reader like a true fiddle. Out of nowhere comes sparks of an interesting and intriguing plot. There are times when you may wonder what the point of it is, why read something so dark? Maybe you’re sick, maybe not. No matter the answer, this story is a true mind fuck.

Small hints of something that may resemble pieces of romance take parts of the readers heart, drawing you into a connection that is manufactured for a purpose. To find out why, though, you must read to the very end.

Even more surprising than the conclusion (though I figured it out a bit before it was unraveled), is the little bits of humor. In a story so depraved, it seems impossible to smile, but then the author would throw in a little phrase here or some joke there and it’d break the darkness.

Paired with a dash of hotness, the story is a quick read, but not for the faint of heart by any means.

The cover by Bey Deckard fits the story. It’s dark and has a menacing feel.

Sales Link:   All Romance (ARe)  | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Bey Deckard
ISBN139780994790040
edition languageEnglish