Lydia Reviews: A Breath of Innocence by KA Merikan

Title: A Breath of Innocence 

Author: K.A. Merikan 

Publisher: Self Published

Genre:  Coming of Age, Mafia 

Pages: 330 

Kisses: 4  

Blurb: 

“I would wait a lifetime for this.” 

“You don’t have to wait anymore. I want you.” 

Mark is done with flings. He is looking for something real, and he knows just where to find it. Years ago, he fell in love with Charlotte Elswood, but after saving her life, he made the difficult choice to stay in a cartel for the sake of his family.
Now, free of the bloodstained work, he’s ready to rekindle what he’s lost.
But in England, he meets someone who is also blond, blue-eyed, and irresistible. Problem is, Griffith Elswood is Charlotte’s brother. Should Mark even consider putting his hands all over an innocent who would push him away if he knew what kind of monster Mark is?

After years of homeschooling, Griffith wants nothing more than to finally spread his wings at university. Secretly, he dreams of meeting a man he can fall madly in love with. A man he would have all the firsts with. But it’s hard to trust anyone after witnessing his sister’s heartbreak.
When Mark moves in next door, Griffith reaches out despite his sister’s warnings. Mark is mysterious, experienced, cocky, and just oh-so-dreamy. Alternating between hot and cold, Mark’s presence sends Griffith into a frenzy of passion like he’s never known before. So hot in fact, it might just burn him if he isn’t careful. 

Review: 

A Breath of Innocence is the eighth book in the Guns n’ Boys series by author K.A. Merikan.  The author recommends that the series be read in order, something I did not know when I read this book.  While I did not feel lost while reading this story, it did make me want to go back and read the books I missed.  If you do not want to read all seven prior books, I strongly recommend you at least read books 4-7 as this is when Mark comes into the series.  Also book six is when Charlotte is introduced which sets this book up well.   

Mark has decided to step back from the family business and try to make a go of it as a photographer.  At least that is what he has told his fathers.  In actuality Mark has gone to England, not just for schooling, but also to track down Charlotte, the young girl he fell in love with back in Columbia.   Only the loving reunion he has been hoping for turns out to be anything but.  Charlotte has moved on with her life and wants nothing to do with the young man that kept her safe during a trying time.   

I have to say that at first I could understand Charlotte’s reasoning, even if she is a bit of a hag, but it was not until I read book six that I really started to dislike her.  Mark has a plan though.  He’s going to buddy up to Charlotte’s brother, Griffith and use him to get close to Charlotte. 

After his sister’s little adventure in the jungle, Griffith’s parent become a  little over protective, making his life miserable.  When he turns 18 and is finally able to leave home he can’t wait.  Although he does not always get along with his sister, he can’t wait to move in with her and look for some adventure of his own.  What he does not plan on is someone like Mark, or how the other man will affect his life.  

I have to say more than once I wanted to shack Mark because of how he planned to treat Griffith.  However, once Mark realizes just were his happiness lies, he goes after what he wants.  Now if everyone else would just mind their own business he would be happy.   

A Breath of Innocence is different from the other seven books in this series.  While there are a few little twists and one or more secrets, this story is a lot tamer than the previous books.  Since there is an ongoing story line running through the series, one that does not come into play in this story, I wonder if this is the last time we see Mark or if he will return to the family fold when they need him.  If he does, what does that mean for Griffith?  

Reviewed by: Lydia  

Click HERE to purchase A Breath of Innocence

The Copper Horse: Fear by K.A. Merikan


Title: The Copper Horse: Fear
Author: KA Merikan
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 217
Characters: Ruben (Copper), Erik
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Steampunk, Alternate History, BDSM, Dubious Consent
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

Discontented with his state of existence and with his own secret and self-destructive attraction to men, Reuben, the son of a baker, is convinced to engage in an act of rebellion against his father. But when his compatriot betrays him, Reuben awakens to shackles, a filthy dungeon, and the knowledge that he is going to be forced to battle captive zombies for the entertainment of the Bylondon underworld.

When he’s claimed, instead, by a powerful and stunning member of Bylondon’s ruling family, Reuben is willing to serve in whatever way ensures that he’ll see another day, even if that means training to become the perfect human horse. Erik is a kind master, and one that Reuben thinks he could grow to love… but the power of his shame and his self-hate rise up inside him, threatening to tear him away from the love—and the lifestyle—that he could never have brought himself to openly desire.

Review:

Anyone who has read any of my reviews is probably aware that I’m a big fan of KA Merikan. These two ladies never fail to entertain this reader and I always end up wanting more every time I finish one of their stories.

I will be the first to say that this book is NOT for everyone. I think it’s fair to state that it will make some readers uncomfortable because of the dynamics between the two heroes. There will be some readers who will not like the way Erik dominates over Reuben, and I totally understand it. The authors are known to push boundaries in their books, and because of it, their books aren’t for everyone. BUT having said this, I love how their stories are able to make me feel uncomfortable one moment and totally root for the heroes the next. In my opinion, this makes them authors who write stories that I will always remember, look for their next release as well as reread some of my favorites.

Copper Horse: Fear
is one of my favorites by this writing team.

This story definitely has a steampunk setting, also if you have read any of their zombie themed books in the past, this is tentatively set in the same creative world. When we meet Reuben he is going through the motions of his life. He is a baker, who hates what he does. He lives in poverty with his father and his only escapism is through a bottle of gin. One night he is kidnapped and forced into slavery. His kidnappers have hand picked him to fight for his life against the undead in a sick-twisted game that the upper-class residence enjoy. Lucky for him, he is saved by a handsome, but perverse man, (Reuben’s words) and forced into a life of horseplay in which Reuben is both appalled and fascinated with.

This story is the journey that Reuben (Copper) goes through as he learns to let go of his fear and shame and become a more focused and even proud individual. We learn about Erik as Reuben does, and as the pieces of the puzzle are slowly put together, Erik’s mysterious life fascinated me as much as it did Reuben.

I loved every minute I spent reading this book. Yes, there were times I wanted to pull Reuben into my arms and save him from the ‘lessons’ he was made to do. But even then I could see that although Reuben fights Erik as well as his submission to him, he also quickly became more settled with himself and even (to his own dismay) comfortable at becoming Erik’s pet.

I need to point out that Reuben’s submission is not an easy one. If dubious consensual sex bothers you…this story is not for you. Reuben knows he must submit or he could possible lose his life. Erik is not always seen in a positive light. He does things to get Reuben to submit to him that will make a reader that might not be prepared to read such a strongly told tale.

Lucky for me, I sometimes like to step out of my comfort zone; especially with authors that I’ve learned to trust in the journey they tell and to me, the two ladies who write under the name of KA Merikan deliver satisfyingly creative stories every time. In the end, I wanted these two heroes to find a way to communicate and I wanted Reuben to trust his own instincts as well as Erik’s as well.

I can’t wait until the next book in the series. There is still much to learn about these two men and I’m anxiously waiting to see what happens next.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Special Needs 2 by K.A. Merikan


Title: Special Needs 2
Author: KA Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi & Villani Ltd
Pages: 248
Characters: Ryan, Liam
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, BDSM, Fetish, Series
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

— Caretaking. Like a boss. —

So, Ryan isn’t disabled. Okay, he is, but he’s only got a foot missing, that’s hardly a reason to pretend he’s paraplegic and ride around in a wheelchair! Now Liam has to deal with being lied to since the moment they met, and he is not a happy camper. He doesn’t understand why sweet, innocent Ryan would do such a thing. What if there are other things his boyfriend lied about? Or ex-boyfriend for that matter.

Ryan is in a state of complete panic at the sole thought of losing Liam, his first proper boyfriend ever. But the show must go on and after the fire in his hotel, Ryan can’t only focus on his love life. He’s a serious businessman after all. Marketing, networking and promoting will be his new love life. Who needs a boyfriend anyway, when in the end, every guy is either a devotee, or freaks out about his transability? Yet… maybe if Liam stayed around the hotel, they could at least make up and become friends.

There is one more option to consider – walking. If Ryan started walking, would Liam want to be with him again? But how far can he bend to Liam’s wishes before he breaks?

“Special Needs” is book two out of a two part series.

Review:

If you follow this site, you know that I really like the stories that these two authors create. KA Merikan writes stories that often push boundaries and are often thought provoking. In my opinion, Special Needs 2 is one of those stories.

The story begins basically where Special Needs 1 ends. Liam has discovered that Ryan has lied about his disability and because he doesn’t think he can trust him, they break up. This is devastating to both characters and because Ryan wants Liam in his life (no matter how he has him) he hires him as his personal chef and continues to live his life in a wheelchair.

As the story continues, the two men dance around each others’ feelings as well as their own. Liam is confused by his feelings for Ryan and hates that although Ryan lied about his disability, becomes determined for Ryan to embrace the fact that he can walk and live his life a honest one. At first, Ryan doesn’t want to walk, so he balks at Liam’s insistence that he should, but once he realizes that if he does, he and Liam have a chance of actually getting back together, Ryan agrees to try.

I’m stopping my description of the story here. There is A LOT of things that go on between these two characters. They both continue to grow and evolve as men as the story progresses. I know there are those of you who are probably wondering how in the world Liam could ever forgive Ryan, as well as, wonder how me as a reader would continue to like him as well. I have to say as we learn more about what makes Ryan tick and his reasoning behind his actions, I felt sympathy towards him. I found myself wanting him to be happy and even wanting Liam to realize that there was more to Ryan than meets the eye. Ryan’s pain really broke my heart and I couldn’t help but want to reach into the story and give him a big hug.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I hated that Ryan lied to Liam and I actually felt like rejoicing when they actually ‘listen’ to one another. Even though Ryan did what he did, Liam was no angel either, but in all honesty, this is one of the reasons why I loved this book. Both Ryan and Liam are very flawed men, but together they want to be better men, not only for themselves, but for each other.

I loved this book. Special Needs 2 is truly a beautifully written story that lived and breathed in my heart. If you are looking for a thought provoking, well-written romance with plenty of angst, romance, sweet moments and hot sex, Special Needs 1 and 2 are definitely the books for you.

I highly recommend reading the first book before tackling this one. This way you will fully understand the dynamics between these two likeable, but very humanly flawed men.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Stung by KA Merikan


Title: Stung
Author: KA Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi&Villani ltd
Pages: 127
Characters: Victor, Crunch
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Zombies, Victorian, Romance, Series
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

— If you want honey, prepare to get stung. —

October 1907, Honeyhill
Twenty years into the zombie Plague

Victor is a man of delicate sensibilities, not fit to do backbreaking labour on a farm ran by the mob. Upon arrival in Honeyhill, he decides he needs an anchor, an alliance with one of the guards, if he wants to survive. That anchor comes in the form of Crunch, a hunky ex-sailor with a pair of tight leather trousers and a ruggedly handsome face.
But from day one, Victor knows he won’t last long with the hard physical work assigned to him and the torment he suffers at the hands of a sadistic guard. He needs to run, and his new alliance might prove to be a burden instead of solace.

If Crunch wants Honeyhill liberated, he needs to focus on his job, not on protecting Victor, one of many new arrivals on the farm. Distraction is the last thing he needs after months of undercover work. But it’s hard not to get seduced by Victor’s big brown eyes and fingertips that don’t know work. Hundreds of people depend on Crunch keeping his identity a secret, revealing it could be fatal for both him and Victor, and a failure of his mission.
Thankfully, Victor would never be dumb enough to try and escape through a forest that’s swarming with zombies. Would he?

“Stung” is a standalone book and a part of the “Zombie Gentlemen” universe.

Themes (may contain SPOILERS): zombies, prisoner/guard, beekeeping, gore, deception, undercover agent, captivity, romance, brutality, forced labour camp, murder, farm, torment, forbidden romance, Victorian

Erotic content: explicit m/m sexual scenes (including dubious consent)

Genre: dystopian homoerotic thriller

Review:

Stung is the latest book from the writing team of KA Merikan. I’ve read several books by these talented authors and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. KA Merikan’s books are quirky, sexy, unique and very creative. These two ladies never fail to give this reader many hours of pure reading enjoyment. When I received Stung to review, I admit I was pretty excited to read it. So much so, I ended up pushing aside some of my other books in my TBR mountain, just to check it out, and before I knew it, I had read the entire book from start to finish without any interruptions.

The blurb does an excellent job at describing the story, so I won’t rehash a lot of it. Instead, I thought I’d talk about why I liked this book and why I easily recommend it to those who enjoy these types of romances.

I’ve really enjoyed the world that these authors created. Living and trying to survive in the land of the undead is not an easy one. Since the plague, people have become accustomed to being cautious and taking steps to ensure their safety and survival from the undead.

Victor isn’t really one of these people. He’s a little spoiled, gorgeous and lives in a safe zone. He doesn’t really remember what life was like before the plague so it hasn’t affected him as it has others. This changes when he is forcefully taken away from his easy-going life and placed into a camp where others must do hard labor. For once in his life, Victor must find his inner strength and somehow survive the terrible conditions and the cruelty from the guards. As soon as he spots one of the guards, Crunch, he is shocked by the mutual attraction that sizzles between them. He instinctively knows that somehow getting under Crunch’s wing, he’ll be able to be more protected in more ways than one.

I honestly didn’t know if I would like this one. At first and throughout the setting itself reminded me of the concentration camps I’ve seen in pictures. This disturbed me, but because of the author’s ability to allow us to see what’s really going on in both Victor and Crunch’s heads as well as the sizzling chemistry the two men had together, allowed me to really see what the story itself was really about.

I’m read several of KA Merikan’s books and I realize before I start reading any book they’ve written that these two ladies like to push the envelope…both sexually and also with the story itself. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy reading their stories. They always give me something I haven’t read before and whether I feel comfortable or not, I always enjoy the ride they take me on.

If you like books that are creative, sexy and a little scary, Stung is a good choice for you. I ended up really loving this book and hated to see it come to an end. I HOPE they will continue writing more about Victor and Crunch one day. I’d love to see how they end up.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Rainbow Bash’d by KA Merikan


Title: Rainbow Bash’d
Author: K.A Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi & Villani ltd
Characters: Kyle and Dan
POV: Third Person
Kisses: 3



Blurb:

— The Strange Case of Dr. Proper and Mr. Slut —

Kyle promised himself that when he goes to college, things would change. He wouldn’t be the gay boy willing to hop into bed with any guy who wants to experiment. This was his life on the line after all. He would never find a proper boyfriend this way.

So Kyle did everything in his power to be angelic. He became the poster boy for acceptable gayness and the president of the LGBT club. But the side of him that wants to fulfill all those dirty, kinky fantasies is about to rear its ugly head when the LGBT club gets a new member.
Dan is the big, bad boyfriend-to-be Kyle always dreamed of, but will Dan still treat him seriously when he finds out about Kyle’s most secret fantasy? One that goes against everything Kyle stands for in real life.

Review:

This book is an entertaining sip of smut. Nothing more, and nothing less, and because it doesn’t claim to be anything else, I enjoyed it very much.

Rainbow Bash’d is the prequel to another book, Clown’d, which I haven’t read, but that didn’t seem to matter here.

The basic premise is that Kyle, the outwardly straight laced president of his college LGBT club, meets and falls for new student Dan. Their relationship is very much an insta-love set up, something that can grate on me at times, but as the book is just 16k, it works well.

The book is divided into two parts. The first sets the scene and brings the two MCs together. Sparks fly, and sets up the second half of the book, which is, essentially, a massive bonk. More of that later…

I really enjoyed the first half of the book. Kyle obviously had a secret, and because I knew the book had a BDSM undertone, the mystery was a lot of fun. Dan intrigued me too. Though he was more at ease with himself than Kyle, I still had trouble picturing him doing what I suspected was to come.

The second half of the book was less coherent, and the writing a teensy bit sloppy. The protracted BDSM themed sex scene went on and on, and I found myself tempted to skim parts of it. I didn’t, but that was because I knew there was nothing else to the book. Had it been a novel, I’d have skipped for sure.

That being said, though the sex scene is a little overdone, the general tone of it was very good. The balance between the two characters felt right, and this is tremendously important when writing dub-con scenes. Dan was aggressive and forceful, but because the scene was told from Kyle’s POV, the consensual enjoyment was undeniable.

A good read. Just the thing for a clandestine coffee break.

Reviewed By: Lucias Marsden

Scavengers: August


Title: Scavengers, Book 2: August
Author: KA Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi&Villani ltd
Pages: 47
Characters: James Hurst, Ira Russell
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Historical, Steam Punk, Zombies
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

In 1887, history changed course. A new Plague turned the infected into flesh-eating monsters and bound the population to overcrowded cities. The rapid advance in technology creates opportunities for the rich, but also helps to spread new social ideas which challenge traditional Victorian morality.

In July of 1893, James Hurst, a perfect English gentleman, had retrieved a treasure that would secure the financial future of his family, got scarred by a zombie and lost his virginity to Ira Russell, the mercenary he hired. It seemed to be a match made in heaven but back in London, the harsh reality of having a wife and child came crashing into his new found infatuation.

A month later, James’ life has returned to normal, but the recent past is there to haunt him. His newly acquired wealth makes him very interesting to a lady he works with but her agenda might be more political than financial. She seems to support a new mysterious cult – The Witnesses of the Apocalypse.

Review:

I’m a fan of KA Merikan’s writing. I really enjoy their creative story-lines and their characters are always unique and very interesting. Throw in some action and hot sex and I’m a very happy reader!

It’s been about a month since Ira and James has parted ways. James should be living the high life, but instead he can’t get Ira out of his mind. He and Ira had fought for their lives and the forbidden, shared, intimate moments between them lives in the forefront of James’ mind. But because James believed the relationship they have together is ‘sinful’ he wanted to keep Ira at definite arms-length, they bitterly broke up, leaving James confused and longing for more. When James notices Ira at the University working to make at making the zombie immobilized, he finds he can’t stop himself from going to him and trying to rekindle the relationship he thought he’d lost forever.

At first, Ira is thrilled when James comes to him, but he soon realizes his ‘boy’ has changed, and he knows it not for the better. James has apparently given into the prejudices of his class and although Ira loves James, he doesn’t want anything to do with him and his apparent backward way of thinking. Will these two lovers ever find their way back together or will misunderstandings and prejudices keep them apart forever?

What I really like about this couple is the fact that they are so different. They both come from totally opposite backgrounds and although they probably shouldn’t connect the way they do, they seem to fit together. I also like how Ira shows James that his ‘noble’ ways and way of thinking isn’t always the right one. There is plenty of heat and the attachment these two men have together keeps this reader fascinated with their relationship.

There is a definite cliffhanger to the ending and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Scavengers: August is the second book in the Scavengers series. I Highly recommend reading the first book in the series before tackling this one. There is a lot that goes on and it will help you understand the dynamics between the two heroes.

Scavengers: August is a great addition to the Scavengers series. If you are looking for a creative, thought-provoking and sexy read, this is definitely the series for you!

The Scavengers series in book order are:

Scavengers: July
Scavengers: August
Scavengers: September

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Queer Fear by Erin Sneath, EE Ottoman, Zach Sweets, Ariel Graham and KA Merikan


Title: Queer Fear
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 121
Characters: Multi-Characters
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Dark Themes, Horror, Romance
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

It’s long been known that fear and arousal create the same type of response inside the human body. Putting them together, then, is a recipe for a scorchingly hot time. Queer Fear does just that by exploring the world of erotic horror. It’s the ultimate marriage of lust and terror, the perfect blend of dark horror elements with sensuality and erotic content. This isn’t some safe and sparkly paranormal romance; this is the place where angels fear to tread, and so would you, if you had any sense. Turn back before it’s too late!

We begin with Reading Arteries, where a new designer drug engineered to force feelings of lust in those who take it. When the men hired to steal the formula decide to try it out, they end up addicted to love. Then, in The Possession of Lawrence Eugene Davis, following the death of his father, Lawrence has returned to his family’s ranch, but is quickly set upon by a demonic presence. Hope for release comes with the conveniently-appearing Elijah, but the deal he offers may be just as unholy as the demon itself. Next, The Dark Revelation brings us Derek, constantly at war with his darker half, a demon who uses Derek’s body to rape and kill. And though Derek tries to isolate himself from people, nowhere is truly empty, and Derek’s demon hungers again. The Pain Cycle follows Luke, despondent over the disappearance of his lover six months ago. When he witnesses a friend dragged into a tunnel by a hideous creature, he gives chase, only to learn the chilling truth about his lover—and who knows how many others. Finally, in Matthew Powers Lives!, a porn shoot in a former mental hospital is plagued by strange equipment failures, leading the crew to believe the site is haunted. For Matthew, those fears are confirmed when a restless spirit confronts him personally, and he’s a hottie!

Review:

Anthologies can be a tricky read. I’ve read several of them where there might be a story or two that didn’t keep my interest. I can honestly say that Queer Fear definitely delivered! Between the mystery, scary moments and steamy sex, this is Queer Fear is an anthology not to be missed!

Reading Arteries
by Erin Sneath 3 out of 5 Kisses

This story disturbed me a little. I thought the premise to it was interesting, but maybe because it felt rushed, it didn’t jive with me in some way. I did like the chemistry between the two men. I thought the whole scenario of taking a drug to make them fall *temporarily* in lust with each other was interesting and disturbing at the same time. If the author meant to creep me out, then it worked!

The Possession of Lawrence Eugene Davis by EE Ottoman 4.5 out of 5 Kisses

I enjoyed this story a lot. It read like a fast-paced novel and before I knew it, the story was over. There is plenty of action, mystery and intrigue that kept me anticipating what was going to happen next. I found myself liking Lawrence and Elijah and I hated to see it come to an end.

The Dark Revelation by Zach Sweets 5 out of 5 Kisses

Wow! From the first sentence to the last word, this story kept me on the edge of my seat. It read as if it was a true horror book, but with a romantic twist. I liked how Mr. Sweets seemed to really know his characters and wrote them in a way that I found myself really caring about them. I’m definitely going to be looking out for more books written by him.

The Pain Cycle by Ariel Graham 4.25 out of 5 Kisses

This short was filled with action and intrigue. I really liked the main hero Luke and found myself really rooting for everything to go alright for him. I thought the secondary characters were interesting and enjoyed the action filled fight scene. Very enjoyable horror story!

Matthew Power’s Lives!
By KA Merikan 5 out of 5 Kisses!

I really enjoy KA Merikan’s stories. They always have a very unique voice and I love their characters. This story definitely had a creepy feel to it. Between the spooky things that went on at the mental hospital and the hot chemistry between Matt and Will, this was one of my favorites. I will say it had a little bit of a bittersweet ending to me, but I still loved it and wished there was more of it.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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