Sex & Mayhem 9: Heart Ripper by K. A. Merikan

Title: Heart Ripper                               Word Count: 303 pgs
Genre: Dark Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: You always want what you can’t have. —
David. Catholic. Gay. Set on keeping his purity ring.
Raja. Biker. Manwhore. Never refuses a bet.

David has always tried to be the best son his parents could dream of.
Always at church on Sunday.
Always eager to help with the garden.
Always trying his best at school.
Prim, proper, innocent, and kind.

But deep inside of him, there is a yearning planted by the devil himself, and when a cocky, foul-mouthed biker pulls him a step too far, David doesn’t fall into the abyss. He leaps.
Raja is all he’s ever dreamed of, yet didn’t dare voice. Older, dangerous, a wall of muscle with a grip so strong David can’t resist him no matter how hard he tries.

As a freshly appointed president of a motorcycle club on the verge of ruin, Raja has a lot to live up to. Being gay doesn’t do him any favors in terms of commanding the respect of his men. He has his way of compensating though.
Always first in a fight.
Always bragging about his sexual conquests.
Always up for a bet.
Daring, tattooed, sexy, and unapologetic.
After he boasts he can have any man he wants, he gets challenged to hook up with the preppy guy wallflowering at a party. Raja can’t wait to pop the innocent cutie’s cherry. But when he finds out the guy is his friend’s younger brother, life gets a whole lot messier.

Why is the one guy who should be off-limits always the most tempting?
POSSIBLE SPOILERS:Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, organized crime, religion, homophobia, bet, good boy meets bad boy, coming out
Genre: M/M romance, suspense
Length: ~100,000 words (Standalone novel)

WARNING: This book contains steamy content and graphic violence.

My Review: Raja is the newly appointed president of the Coffin Nails MC in Toledo. When he sees the pure innocent wallflower David at a party thrown by the Detroit chapter, he is quite intrigued. David’s purity sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the sea of foul-mouthed bikers. Raja is dared to take a slice of this man’s innocence and he relishes the challenge. Raja corners his prey in the bathroom and sweet talks the good choir boy into dropping to his knees and worshipping him. David succumbs to Raja’s charms and for once he wants to take a walk on the wild side and not be such a goody two shoes. Raja soon has David panting and begging for it. Even though he is embarrassed by the things he does, something is unleashed within David. He personifies the slutty little cocksucker that Raja wants and he is thrilled by this forbidden behaviour. Their little session is super hot and David is totally debauched when Raja is done with him.
Raja makes his mark on David’s body by leaving him his phone number.The self recriminations start for David as soon as Raja leaves the bathroom. He feels incredibly ashamed and like the dirty slut that Raja had called him.Raja soon regrets his hasty hookup when he realizes that David is the brother of his bestfriend Hunter. He vows to stay away, but he can’t seem to get the innocent sweet boy out of his head. The same can be said for David. David feels really overwhelmed by his feelings, not only of guilt but of remembered exctasy. He makes a partial confession to the handsome young pastor at his church. When the pastor comes on to him, he is further confused. He decides to get away from his overzelous religious family for awhile by staying with his brother Hunter.
My two favorite characters Lucky and Tooth from the previous novels are reintroduced. They are getting married and Lucky gets David a job interview with the flower shop which is catering his wedding. David has a green thumb and he is very excited when he gets the position at the flower shop.He tries to set Raja straight by telling him that he is not gay and that their brief interlude was a mistake. Raja knows that David is fooling himself. He gets very angry and storms off when David mentions that he is thinking about conversion therapy, but he is also very concerned for David. It is this concern that leads him to send a pleading message to David telling him to forget about conversion therapy. It opens the line of communication for them again and it leads to them chatting back and forth in a civil manner.
Raja is called to his duties as the president of his club and he takes to the open road in order to establish himself with other chapters. He hoped that while he was away he could forget about David, but that is not in the plans. As soon as he gets back, he goes to see David at work. These two have an irresistible pull toward each other and it makes for some steamy make out sessions. They both realize that they have feelings for each other and David is living in idyllic bliss while they keep their rendezvous secret. This bliss turns to betrayal when David finds out about the long ago bet that Raja made with his friend. David is hurt and when Hunter finds out that Raja broke his baby brother’s heart all hell breaks lose.
Raja acknowledges the seriousness of his feelings for David when he loses him. Raja begs for forgiveness and tries to open up and let David see a side of him that nobody else knows. David sees the strength in their relationship when Raja reveals some of the clandestine plans that he wants to implement to take his chapter to the next level. It is very dangerous for David to learn all the nuances of the club’s business, but he decides he is in for a penny, in for a pound. With the help of Tooth and Lucky, Raja realizes that the ultimate commitment to his relationship is ‘coming out’ and claiming David for all to see. Hunter is definitely not happy with Raja, but he acknowledges that Raja coming out for his brother is a big step forward to having a committed relationship. I loved these two characters and it was great revisiting some old favorites and keeping up with their current life. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Blue Collar by Sean Micheal

Title: Blue Collar                                      Word Count :42,500
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Kendall Webber is deep in the closet. Between working in a garage, having been in the army and a fundamentalist preacher step-father who sent him to summer camps to make him straight, he’s learned to hide his sexuality from absolutely everyone.

Still, when Barton Willis the Third roars into the garage with his Mustang, Kendall can’t help but look, just a little. When Barton not only looks back but invites him in, Kendall’s whole world is turned upside down.

Can Barton help Kendall let go of the past and the attitudes he had literally beaten into him?

My Review : From the moment that Kendall meets Barton Ellis the third at the mechanic shop where he works, he knows he’s in trouble. Barton is just as flashy as the cherry red mustang that he wants to be serviced. It soon becomes clear that’s not all he wants serviced. Kendall is a bit uncomfortable around Barton and this feeling intensifies when his boss suggests that he should drop the flirty Barton home. Barton invites him to dinner as a thank you and Kendall tentatively accepts not wanting to offend a customer .
Kendall is very nervous around this man who exudes class and money. Barton pushes Kendall to open up to his desires. He sees something in Kendall that he can’t wait to tap into. Ken is very resistant to his advances at first, but clearly he is attracted. Barton stirs something that has been long held dormant inside him. Barton pushes him to explore their passion for each other and even though it feels really good it is tainted by shame. Through their conversations Barton realize that someone has had a hand in making Ken feel that his homosexual desires are wrong and needs to be repressed.
Kendall reveals that he was sent to conversion therapy when he was younger and this makes Barton want to hurt the people responsible. Barton makes it his mission to make Ken feel good about himself and he offers his home as a safe space to be free. Their explorations become less one-sided and Ken revels in these new feelings that Barton brings out. It takes awhile for Ken’s shyness to disappear, but there is a whole new world that Barton would like to gift him on a silver platter. Barton loves his toys and he has a wide array that he wants to introduce to Ken. The first toy he tries on Ken is the sound which he inserts in his penis. Barton explains that this will give him a more intense orgasm without the ejaculation. Ken is a bit unsure, but he gives in to Barton and truly let go. The feeling is exhilarating and so overwhelming that he breaks apart in Barton’s arms.
The more time they spend together is the closer they become to each other. Ken starts opening up about his horrific experiences as a kid at the conversion camp. Barton heart goes out to the little boy who was abused , but surprisingly not broken . He is amazed at how remarkable of a man Ken has turned out to be. He continues to show Ken just how much he adores him by inviting him to come live with him.
They get really comfortable with each other and start to live a blissfully idyllic life. All this changes slightly when they go on a shopping trip to the mall. Kendall is brought back to the real world and all his fears of discovery. While he is shopping he comes across his sister who he had not seen in months. It brought home how much he missed his sisters. He introduces Barton as his friend and leaves a card with her to contact Barton if ever she cant reach Ken. Its when they run into one of Ken’s homophobic coworkers where things get dicey. Ken knows he is going to face a lot of questions on his return to work.
The atmosphere definitely changes for him at work and puts a little distance between the young couple. It isn’t until Ken gets pushed at work causing him to break his wrist and leg that Barton knows the severity of Ken’s troubles. Barton is furious that someone would hurt his sweet young lover. He corals some of his high powered friends to help and convinces Ken to sue the garage and everyone involved. Ken realizes how in love he is with his sexy man. Barton has only ever encouraged him and Ken truly feels a sense of purpose in life now. In the end, he opens his own garage where he can use his skills as a mechanic and be his own boss. I really enjoyed this book, but I believe that the ending was too abrupt. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Welcome to Alvarado 3: In the Wind by C.E.Kilgore

Title : In the Wind                          Word Count :64,000
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Sometimes you have to get good and lost before you’ll have any hope at finding yourself.

Dustin Hunter has returned to Alvarado after seven years of military service and one bad shot that shattered his self-assured ego. Struggling to forget what he left behind in the desert, he finds himself drifting in the wind, homeless and without direction. When the wind blows something unexpected his way, he has to decide if he’s ready to feel emotion again and deal with what he lost in the sand.

Scott Weller’s red hair, strange clear blue eyes, glasses and mechanically inclined intellect have always made him the perfect lure for bullies. Despite being well past the age of school yard harassment, Scott’s reoccurring bruises don’t go unnoticed by his friends and the newly returned Dustin. Scott’s easy smile and calm voice give Dustin a needed sense of peace, and Scott’s blushing freckles make Dustin feel something he never has before.

As the desire to protect Scott grows, Dustin finds himself in a different kind of war. An unsettling wind is blowing through Alvarado, dividing families and bringing change. When the dust settles, the small town of Alvarado will never be the same again.

My Review : Dusty comes home to his small town Alvarado from a seven year stint in the military. He is a little bit broken from all the horrific things he has seen and done. Dusty is a shell of a man his first night back, seeking out something familiar. He shows up at his grandmother’s house only to find out that it has been sold. The occupants are none other than Clint and Ricky. Clint is a familiar face from his high school days. Clint is shocked to see Dusty, but he offers him a safe place to stay while he gets his land legs. Dusty is shocked to find out that Clint is gay, but it doesn’t bother him seeing the beautiful love that these men share. He hopes one day he’ll find his way out of the darkness to experience what they have.
In a small town, news travels at the speed of light. It is not long before the whole town knows he’s back. When an old friend stops by, Dusty starts to reminisce about his old school friends and the good times they had. He is shocked to see how much Scott has grown, the little boy he used to protect from schoolyard bullies. Dusty realizes how easy it is to talk to Scott and they gravitate towards each other forming a very easy friendship. Scott is a loner who lights up whenever he is in his junkyard tinkering with old cars. He likes breathing new life into things that no longer work. Scott is laced with mysterious bruises around his neck , but Dusty doesn’t feel as if it’s his place to question him.
Dusty’s reintegration into civilian life is going better than expected especially with the help of Scott. Soon Dusty realize that what he feels for Scott is more than friendship. Dusty and Scott fall into an easy , comfortable, loving relationship. It is made easier by the fact that Dusty is also working alongside Scott at the junkyard. Their relationship is definitely not embraced by everyone in the small town of Alvarado. They make an enemy out of one of the more esteemed members of the community. Dusty defends
Scott from his bully Ryan McMasters who turns out to be the bank manager’s son. Ryan is arrested for beating up Scott and almost raping him. It’s only Dusty’s timely intervention that stops Scott from being abused further. Lots of secrets come out into the light when Ryan commits suicide and leaves a note for Scott.
Sweet , caring Scott is devastated by his bully’s death wishing that he could turn back the hands of time to help a lonely, terrified, repressed young man. Ryan leaves behind a legacy of self hatred when he tells of the conversion therapy that was foisted upon him by his father who could not accept his homosexuality. He left the world feeling still confused and so desperate and totally in love with Scott, the same man he bullied because he could not acknowledge his feelings. It is so sad to think that so many young men go through these feelings of desperation, confusion and utter loneliness because of their sexuality.
Scott confronts Ryan’s father and he continues the cycle of violence. Gabe McMasters retaliates by setting fire to Scott’s home in the middle of the night. Scott is hurt, regardless of Dusty pulling him to safety. Dusty realizes how precious Scott is to him. He makes a conscious decision to leave the shadows of his past that haunts his every waking moment and live in the light with Scott beside him. Scott and Dusty create history by being the first gay couple to tie the knot in small town Alvarado. I truly enjoy watching these flawed characters redeeming themselves through their love for each other. I give this my rating of 4 – lose the underwear.