Sex & Mayhem 6: One Step Too Close by K. A. Merikan

Title : One Step Too Close        Word Count : 135000
Genre : Dark Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : – One love. One motorcycle club. Two stepbrothers.

Ryder. Controlling. Ambitious. Protective.

Jed. Self-destructive. Trapped. Lonely.

Their love? Forbidden. Taboo. All-consuming.

For Jed, the Coffin Nails Motorcycle Club is family. With them, he learned how to think, what to enjoy, and how to fight, but there is one thing he knows his friends can’t find about. They would never accept him as gay, and so his life is a constant struggle with desires that fill him with despair. Only there is a much darker secret lurking in Jed’s heart. His feelings for his stepbrother, Ryder, go far beyond brotherly. Trapped with a yearning that can never be fulfilled, Jed spirals out of control and unwillingly puts the love of his life in danger.

Ryder is climbing up the ranks. Recently promoted to sergeant-at-arms, he has it all: drive, respect, and the love of his biker family. When his stepbrother gets into trouble with the law, Ryder decides to take the blame and save him from a long sentence. Deep inside, he knows there is nothing he wouldn’t do for Jed, but through a desperate attempt to suppress his own hidden desires, he might irreversibly break the man he secretly loves.

But finding out what they feel for each other will test their loyalty to the Coffin Nails MC and change their lives forever.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, criminal activity, forbidden love, stepbrothers, blackmail, homophobia, alpha male

Genre: M/M dark romance, suspense, drama

Length: 135, 000 words (standalone novel)

WARNING: Adult content that might be considered taboo. Explicit content, strong language, violence. Reader discretion advised.

My Review : The life of an Outlaw biker is definitely not an easy road to travel. Step brothers Jed and Ryder knows this only too well. They belong to the Coffin Nails MC, Louisiana chapter. We were first introduced to these bikers in the third installment of Guns N Boys where they butted heads with Dom and Seth Villani. The two step brothers are both harboring deep dark secrets. Not only are they secretly gay, they are both secretly lusting after each other. K.A. Merikan does it again, where they take a secondary character who is totally unlovable and make their readers succumb to them as main characters.
Jed is now portrayed as this vulnerable, yet cocky young man that remains true to his initial character, but also showcasing his true personality.Ryder has always been the strong voice of reason that takes care of his younger brother Jed and keeps him in check. Ryder would do almost anything to protect his brother. Over and over again we see him stepping in to save Jed from his self destructive ways. It soon becomes apparent that Jed is slowly dying inside from self hatred and this unrequited taboo love that he feels for Ryder is overwhelming.
Things come to a head when Ryder saves Jed from committing suicide. All of these pent up feelings overflow when Jed explains to Ryder why he believed this was the only way out. Ryder feels guilty for the pressure that he himself forced on Jed by telling him to supress his homosexual tendencies. He feels especially ashamed and hypocritical, because he knows that he is guilty of repressing these same taboo feelings for Jed.
Finally coming together was refreshing and very explosive for both of them. They delved into their new relationship with a hunger and passion only two starving men would know. Ryder treats Jed to all the love and caring that he’s always entertained for the younger man and Jed willingly soaks this up. They enjoy a full week without too much interruptions, but they know they have to deal with the harsh realities of their lives soon.
As usual Ryder has to protect Jed when a video surfaces of him in a compromising situation. Jed’s devious ex Dana is using the video to blackmail him. Luckily they are able to diffuse the situation, but before they know it they are back in another shit storm. Their passion makes them careless and their unnatural relationship is exposed to one of their vindictive comrades who is homophobic. Surprisingly, he keeps their secret.
The secrecy of their sexuality becomes too much for Jed and he outs himself to the members of the club. This doesn’t go over well and is definitely not accepted. They decide together to go Nomad. They leave their chapter and ride the open roads on their own terms. They are much happier for their decision and even though they have lost their MC brothers, what they have gained with each other is incomparable and can withstand anything. I really enjoyed this one and I believe this was the perfect novel to break my self imposed hiatus. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

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