Guns N Boys 7: Gilded Agony by K.A. Merikan

Title: Guns N Boys: Gilded Agony Word Count:257
Genre:Contemporary Gay Mafia Romance

Blurb: “We are two halves of the same rotten apple.”

Deep in the Amazonian jungle, there is a mansion with a rose garden and a hen house where juicy tomatoes are the perfect shade of red, and marble countertops glisten. Inside, where even the shadows don’t reach, something is rotting, and the perfect facade can only hold the stench for so long.

Domenico promised his husband that he would keep him safe, keep him away from the bloodshed and the brutal world of cartel violence. But when a guest arrives to help retrieve a stolen transport of guns, something sinister sneaks into his home, something more dangerous than his enemies. Or has it been there all along, and he just hasn’t noticed?

Seth’s life is what others dream of. Endless leisure time filled with cocktails, a kitchen stocked with anything he wishes for, and a private pool in the sunshine. What’s missing is the man he shares it with, the man he fell in love with. If being cut off from the mafia business was what he wanted, then why is it so painfully lonely in paradise?

Desperate to be the supportive husband Domenico needs, Seth buries his rage, his violent urges, and the anger that simmers inside of him. But he can only hide in plain sight for so long, and when a guest invites him to play with fire, one misstep, one wrong move, could burn their safe haven to the ground.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: mafia, cartel, assassin, organized crime, family ties, domestic violence, inequality, betrayal, revenge

Genre: Dark, twisted M/M romance / crime thriller

Length: ~92,000 words (Book 7 in the series)

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists as well as scorching hot, explicit love scenes. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

My Review: The glorified title of ‘house husband’ has never been one coveted by Seth Villani- Acerbi, but that is exactly what his everyday life has turned into. Looking in from the outside, he has everything at his disposal. He has chickens, his own little garden and whatever else he doesn’t have ,there is money enough to buy it. Seth feels unfulfilled in his life and certain subjects are off limits between him and his husband Dom. Seth feels the tension in their relationship and drinks his loneliness away. When Dom seems to have forgotten their anniversary, Seth drinks until he passed out right after he puts away all the awesome food that he prepared for their intimate private dinner.

Domenico Acerbi feels like he is protecting Seth. He keeps his business dealings away from him and doesn’t talk about work. Taking over Toro’s operations has left a heavy burden for him to carryout. He needs to gain the respect of the people and he needs to prove that he can be a bigger badass than Toro, particularly to the Morenos who are even bigger drug kingpins. Not being able to unload his burdens has created a slight divide between him and Seth. Dom notices that Seth drinks more now and this leaves him feeling disappointed, especially when he comes home late on their anniversary to find his husband passed out . He doesn’t understand why his husband seems so ungrateful with the life of luxury he leads.

It soon becomes clear that Dom isn’t the only one who looks at Seth as his indolent trophy husband, so does Mark and Miguel. Mark is no longer a boy and has since taken on a more active role in the business as Dom’s right hand. This gives him the sense that he can mock Seth’s position as his resentment grows. Things boil over when a 5 million dollar gun shipment is stolen from right under their nose. Domenico is furious and certainly stressed. He feels two inches tall when he has to explain to the Morenos. When Dom feels as if Seth keeps bothering him with inconsequential party preparations, he blows up. Seth feels humiliated and like a stranger in his own home. He definitely sees the ‘fragile’ position he has been relegated to, especially when one of Toro’s men makes a slur comparing Seth to his wife.

Nero Moreno and one of his men Diego rolls into town for the party and also to search for the missing shipment. Diego can’t seem to take his eyes off Seth and corners him in the kitchen , making passes at him. Seth is dumbfounded by Diego’s interest mainly because he knows his husband is Dom. It’s obvious that Diego has a death wish, this titillates and piques Seth’s interest. It reminds him of how Dom was when they first met. Seth likes to flirt with danger, but he knows he can’t take it too far because he is very much devoted to his husband. It’s just his way of testing his appeal.

When Diego makes a disparaging comment about Seth’s lips to Dom, Dom shows him why he is now called Toro. Dom gives him a good thrashing, while barely even blinking. Going home to a darkened home, Dom is slightly worried when he sees movement by the pool. Seth chooses that night to draw Dom in with a sexy role play about him cheating with the pool boy. With his anger still simmering so close to the surface from his fight with Diego, Seth is unknowingly playing a dangerous game with Dom. Dom devours his sexy husband voraciously and unleashes his dominance over him. Dom plays around with breath play by pushing Seth’s head in the pool.He goes at him with such intensity and Seth loves it. The needy part of Seth demands this rough side of his lover. They both are in heaven, reconnecting in this most carnal way. Dom through out the idea of Seth wearing a cock cage and he is certainly intrigued.

Things are going great between the loving couple for a few days before everything goes to shit. They come home from a party to find their son Mark in their bed with an underage girl Lilli who Dom has said is off limits. Dom is infuriated at Mark’s stupidity. He gets really rough and punches him in the face. Seth jumps into the fray to stop Dom who pushes him hard causing him to hit his face. Seth is now incensed at his husband’s lack of self control. Now his face is swollen and bruised. Dom is apologetic, but the damage is done.

Seth is slowly stewing about all his mistreatment lately. He’s restless with the life he leads. When Diego comes by , Seth is surprised. He has enough sense not to let him into their home, but he still entertains him and feeds him cake. Diego take things much too far when he masturbates in front of Seth. Seth knows that a line has been crossed and he immediately shuts it down. He knows he can never let anything happen again. Seth feels really guilty and he treats Dom like a King when he gets home. Little does Seth know the events he has set in place through his actions.

Their lives are impacted by tragedy when Diego claims to have a tip on the missing shipment. Their world is about to implode. Diego throws Mark over a cliff after an argument ensued. By the time Mark comes out of the hospital , he has lost an eye. Seth is devastated that his son is hurt. Dom tries to understand what happened and questions Mark. Mark reveals that Diego said he was sleeping with Seth. Dom sees the guilt written all over Seth’s face. Unbeknownst to him , Seth has somehow led on this madman in believing that he is interested. Domenico is enraged and feels utterly betrayed. This time he doesn’t even think before he punches Seth, because he wants to pound him. His heart feels like it’s been ripped out with every revelation of his husband’s near infidelity. He doesn’t even care that Seth didn’t sleep with Diego, the intent was there.

Things get messier when they set a trap for Diego, using Seth as bait. Nothing goes as planned. Diego gets Lilli to get Seth to open the gates and then kills her. Seth tries to lure him away from his unprotected family in the house. Diego believes Seth is his and he is ready to collect. Domenico is blinded by rage when he witnesses his husband’s infidelity with Seth kneeling before Diego pleasuring him. He doesn’t realize that Seth is only doing this to survive. In the end its Seth who ends up killing Diego while Dom is severely injured.

Seth knows his life of complacency has ended. It was time for him to remember the man he was and accept all consequences of the life they lead. No longer could he pretend to be the ‘house husband’ cooking and cleaning. Their foundation has been rocked to the very core, which was built upon trust. Dom is disoriented as he doesn’t know what to believe of Seth anymore , a man who was his everything. A man who he thinks is ungrateful for the luxurious life he had. Dom put another nail in their coffin when he shoots all of Seth’s chickens, the only thing that gave him peace in recent times.Dom cannot see that somewhere along the way he stopped giving of himself, the most important thing that Seth craved. They have both made mistakes and it will be very hard to come back from these events.

It takes almost losing Seth when he boards a boat, for Dom to come to his senses. He realized that throughout the years, Seth has always remained faithful to him no matter how many men have tried. They have a serious talk and Seth explains the despair and how truly stifled he felt in their relationship in the last two years. Dom is saddened that his overprotective personality has led them down this road. They know that it’s going to take hard work to rebuild the trust on honesty that they one had. They need to re-engage and become attuned to each other feelings like they once was. They end up in Buenos Aires feeling more like themselves than in El Encanto. Seth has reclaimed agency in their relationship and Dom allows his man to flourish and appreciate all that entails. I give this my ratings of 4-lose the underwear. I love catching up with Dom and Seth, but I’m ready to delve into Mark’s story. Can’t wait!!!

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Joker (Executioners 2) by J.M. Dabney

Title: Joker                    Word Count: 150 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: 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 ways to change shit now. 

Demetri “Dem” Urban was settling into a new life in the middle of nowhere. Okay, he was hiding from everyone in a kitchen as far removed from his five-star kitchen back in New York as he could get. Gideon invited him to stay with him and his wife for a while 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.

Author’s Note: This story contains scenes of a violent nature, mentions of rape and torture (All off page from characters pasts) and severe abuse. If you, as a reader, find this objectionable or triggering in any way, you can skip this story without losing the transition to the next book.

My Review: From the moment of conception Joker’s life has been embedded in violence. Joker is the product of a rape, where his father kidnapped his mother and continued to abuse her for years. That physical abuse turned into torture for Joker, especially when  his mother disappeared. His father perpetuated the cycle of violence that was passed on from his grandfather. Joker fears the blood that runs through his veins has tainted him and will cause him to be the same kind of man. He has always shyed away from touch, learning to live with the bare minimum of everything. Joker leads a very structured life where he sticks to routine as a means of controlling all the rage and anger he is filled with.  

Gideon’s best friend Demitri needs a change after he breaks up with his boyfriend of two years. From the moment he sees a picture of Joker, he feels a certain spark. Demitri leads a pretty upbeat life and he doesn’t allow anything to get him down. He was borned with a degenerative disease that has gotten progressively worse and causes him to use arm crutches.Demitri loves being in the kitchen and is currently working at the diner where Joker eats all his meals. Demitri forces his way into Joker’s life by disrupting his monotonous routine. When he purposely messes with Joker’s breakfast, he is pissed and storms out. Dem realizes that he needs to nudge Joker in the right direction rather than  push him over the edge.

Dem starts inserting himself gently into Joker’s life and even though Joker balks, he still ended up taking Dem on a date. Dem is definitely the aggressor in this relationship, pursuing Joker at every turn. Dem even goes to Joker’s isolated cabin, drops in unannounced and stays two days. This is unheard of, everyone usually just leaves Joker when he needs his space. When Dem leaves the cabin , he tells Joker he will be staying at his home. Even though Joker is a bit standoffish and skittish, he doesn’t push Dem away.

Joker gives Dem one night of unadulterated passion. Dem has needs and he begs Joker to give it to him hard. He is tired of everyone treating him as less than because of his disability. Joker becomes swept up in the passion and gives in to both of their desires for the first time. Joker is understandably conflicted and he flees for 3 weeks. Joker doesn’t have the proper framework when he thinks about sex. He associates any type of rough sex with rape.

Dem was worried sick and he thinks he might have pushed Joker too hard. Joker acknowledges to himself that he wants their relationship to work. Their friends give them both advice , but what resonates with Joker is Sheriff Pelter’s advice to be honest. Dem understands that they will never have a touchy feely traditional relationship, but what they have is real and very promising. After being together for more than 6 months , Dem spits out a wedding proposal that is quite untraditional. Joker gladly accepts, hoping that he will be the man that Dem needs. I give this my ratings of 3- It was ok, give it a try.

Someone to Hear Me by T. A . McKay

Title: Someone to Hear Me             Word Count:290pgs
Genre:Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Kohan has a simple life but he’s happy. The only thing that’s missing is that special someone to come home to at night. That is until he literally bumps into Ares, a man who sparks his interest, but he rushes off before Kohan can talk to him. When he sees the stranger again, Kohan is determined that he’s not going to let him escape this time.
What Kohan doesn’t know is he’s falling for a guy that has been through more than he could ever imagine, and when Ares’ dark past catches up with him, there might be a chance that neither man will walk away unhurt.

We all dream of finding that one true love, the person who completes you, and when you find them you should hold on tight to them. But what happens when that dream turns into a nightmare, one that you can’t escape from? Ares is running from a past that almost cost him his life, a past that changed everything.
When he meets Kohan he’s scared of letting someone in, scared that history will repeat itself, but finally he sees that not everyone is out to hurt him. He sees that maybe someone could love him without causing pain.
But when the thing Ares is hiding from appears again, it takes him right back into that dangerous past and he doesn’t know if he will survive it this time.

My name is Ares, and the man I married is the person who will probably kill me.
I want to leave.
I want to escape.
I don’t want to die.
My name is Ares and I want Someone To Hear Me.

Please Note this book contains scenes of domestic abuse that some people may find uncomfortable.

My Review: It is never easy when someone who swore to love and cherish you breaks your trust. Twenty five year old Ares learns this the hard way, after he wakes up in the hospital with his life irrevocably changed. After being beaten and terrorized numerous times by his husband Micah for the slightest infractions, his husband finally went to far. Micah has beaten Ares so badly that his face is left disfigured with a scar bisecting his forehead and he is now deaf. As many victims do , Ares blames himself for what Micah did. Even though Micah is imprisoned, Ares still lives in fear for his life.

Ares suffers from PTSD and he has panic attacks if he is surrounded by too many people. He flinches at every shadow , and he is virtually a hermit. He knows he has to do something to reclaim his life. Ares’ therapist suggests that he find a job and meet new people. Ares finds a job as a cleaner at a newspaper office and that’s where he meets Kohan. Kohan is a journalist and he is immediately intrigued by the quiet man who refuses to look at him and make eye contact.

There is just something about Kohan that makes Ares feels safe. Its the safest he’s felt in a long time with another man. The two men form a tentative friendship and Kohan soon realizes that he wants more, but he sees a dark fear hidden in Ares. Ares finds himself confessing the horrors of his past, at least some of it. Kohan is saddened to know that such a sweet man has been hurt by such a monster. Kohan is extremely patient and understanding with Ares and his issues.

Everyday Ares gets a little bit stronger mentally and continues on his quest to reclaim his life. He makes a concerted effort to open up more to Kohan even though it scares him. He doesn’t feel like its fair to take things any further with Kohan for fear that he won’t be able to follow through. Kohan notices every time Ares takes two steps forward he retreats a little. He refuses to let Ares push him away, because he knows he is the light that Ares needs to step out of the shadows.

Things heat up between the two after Ares attempts a night out with Kohan and his best friend Sophie.Ares feels almost normal after a few drinks, he definitely feels desire when Kohan rubs against him while they dance. He gives in to the pleasure and allow himself to feel again. Kohan realize that underneath that fear is a very passionate willing young man and he wants to stoke that flame. These moments are heartbreaking and oh so tender and just what Ares needs to move past his pain.

We see all the atrocities Micah perpetrated against Ares through his nightmares and flashbacks. One thing that comes through is how much Ares blames himself. He fears he will make the same mistake with another man because he feels like he can’t trust his own judgement. This is a continuous setback in his relationship with Kohan. Kohan’s strength and patience is constant, because he knows its what Ares needs whenever he catches a glimpse of his past pain.

Kohan soon realizes that the key to making their relationship work is to treat Ares as normal as possible and not like he is fragile glass. Ares is able to experience the beauty of a relationship and receiving pleasure without the repercussions of pain. It is exhilarating for Ares the freedom he is finally experiencing. Ares takes charge for the first time in his sexual encounters. Kohan relishes this new dominant side of Ares and he allows him this freedom of taking the role of top. He understands that this role empowers Ares and continues to strengthen his positive personality.

They make plans to go out to meet with Kohan’s brother Carey and his new beau Duncan. The whole night starts going downhill from the beginning when Duncan doesn’t turn up. Carey’s in a foul mood and this causes the brothers to argue. Kohan is upset that Carey isn’t even trying to get to know his boyfriend. Ares gives them a moment . He has a panic attack when he thinks he sees someone who looks like his ex Micah. Ares bolts from fear and leaves in a cab.

Once again Ares does not trust his instincts and this proves to be his downfall. It turns out that Duncan is actually Micah who is out of prison on a technicality. Micah attacks Ares and the horrible abuse starts right away. Ares tries to break up with Kohan through a text. Kohan goes straightaway to his house, but Ares is firm in pushing him away. Kohan respects Ares’ wishes and go on a three day drinking binge. It isn’t until a family crisis that his brothers pulls him out of his stupor.

By the time Kohan figures that something is wrong, Ares has been held hostage for more than a week with his despicable ex. The abuse he endures is horrendous and almost pulls Ares deep down in the dark abyss. It isn’t until Micah hurts Kohan that Ares gets the courage to defend the love of his life. Ares kills Micah and ends his cruel reign. Kohan just got a taste of the atrocities that Ares must have experienced, but it scarred him pretty good. Kohan has nightmares and flashbacks now, but it is Ares’ steadfast presence that keeps him sane . I really enjoyed this one. It had the right amount of angst. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Guns n’Boys 6: Bloodbath by K. A. Merikan

Title: Bloodbath            Word Count:305 pgs

Genre: Dark Gay Romance

Blurb:“I don’t even know who I am anymore.”

“All you need to know is that you’re mine.”

Seth would follow Domenico to the depths of hell. He promised to always be at Domenico’s side. But hell becomes all too real when they infiltrate the world of Toro – a notoriously security-obsessed arms dealer, who has eyes and ears everywhere. 

Seth becomes unable to steal even a moment of intimacy with Domenico, and the tension grinds them down each day. Beyond the deceptive paradise of Toro’s villa, violence is an everyday occurrence, and the swimming pool could just as well be filled with blood. To survive, Seth has to become the man Domenico needs him to be, but in the process, he might lose who he truly is.

With Seth trained up, and Mark as backup, victory is so close Domenico can taste it. They just need to prove themselves to Toro as valuable assets. With each day though, Seth seems to be drifting away from Domenico, hidden behind a mask of cruelty and indifference. It is exactly what Domenico asked of him, so why is it so difficult to see Seth become his mirror image?

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: mafia, cartel, assassin, organized crime, homophobia, human trafficking, undercover, family ties

Genre: Dark, twisted romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit scenes

Length: ~115,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.

‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.
My Review: The journey of Seth and Domenico continues with Seth taking care of their makeshift family. Seth is in his element in the kitchen cooking exotic food. This is reminiscent of the easy life of leisure he used to have at the beginning of this series. Domenico as usual is relaxed and happy when his man is cooking for him. The newest additions to their family, Mark the teenage boy who they ‘adopted’ and Miguel the former cartel boss who they’ve joined forces with to fight against their common enemies.

They are on a mission to takedown Toro and the Morenos. Dana is their inside source to Toro since she has been sleeping with him. She reveals to Dom that she is pregnant , but thinks she will have an abortion. Dom is furious on the innocent child’s behalf and we see once again what a cold-hearted  bitch Dana can be. She reveals some of Toro’s plans and Dom is excited to get his plan underway.

When they instigate the first part of the plan, everything goes awry. Seth is forced to kill once again. This proves to Dom that his head is in the game, but he also sees the innocent , sweet part of Seth receding more and more. It seems they have bit off more than they can chew with this latest scheme. Unbeknownst to them, the boat that they have captured is trafficking a teenage girl and this is their only way to infiltrate Toro’s camp as smugglers. Dom and Seth are pretending to be brothers and this definitely does not sit well with Seth. He knows that they can’t be openly gay, but now he has lost the right to touch Dom intimately because of their ruse.

They pull off their con successfully and are now guests at Toro’s mansion. It is slow going though because everywhere has cameras and bugs. Seth is trying really hard ,but he is slowly losing his composure at some of the cruelties he witness. Dom is in his element, because he is used to playing the spy from his days in the mafia. Dom sees this as a way they can finally get their lives back and return to their home in Italy one day. In his mind, Seth questions whether this new plan to go back ‘home’ is worth endangering their lives.

Things go off without a hitch for a few weeks. They lounge by the poolside and play the part of criminals. Their cover is blown to bits when the Morenos show up. The younger brother Nero Moreno is a well known gay man who likes to make all these macho men squirm with his flirting. He is instantly attracted to Seth and sits on his lap, this causes Dom to go ballistic. Hotheaded Dom approaches them and pulls Nero up by his hair. Everybody is definitely shocked when Dom ‘outs’ them and tells Nero to get his hands off his man .

Seth is shocked and furious at Dom’s lack of control. He is upset at the new predicament that they have now landed in and argues with Dom. In the heat of the moment, he reveals secrets that he was forced to keep for their son Mark. Seth recently found out that Mark is bisexual and has been sleeping with the teenage girl who was meant for the elder Moreno. Dom is outraged that Seth could keep something like this from him. Without thinking he slaps Seth around and Seth responds with aggression of his own. Dom tries to pull back as he remembered the rift they had the last time he was physically aggressive towards his husband.

Their physical aggression soon turns into passion and they find themselves kissing and touching, something they have long been denied. These two hot men are like a furnace burning for each other. The chemistry between these two always makes for some hot sexy times. Although, I must admit they always end up making love at the most inopportune times, but I guess the danger enhances their passion to a frenzied state.

It becomes clear that they are now pariahs in Toro’s mansion. Since they have been caught in a lie Toro demands that Seth proves that he can get his hands dirty. Toro tells him to cut off a little girl’s hand. Seth is willing to do mostly anything to keep their cover intact, but he finds this request to be horrifying. Toro takes exception to Seth’s defiance and takes him as his prisoner. When Toro’s thugs go to fetch Dom, Dana comes through and helps Dom to kill the men and get away. Dana promises to stage a distraction to get Seth away. The waiting almost kills Dom and he is distraught at having put Seth in a position of danger  yet again.

Domenico is overwhelmed with relief and joy when Seth and Miguel meets him in the designated tunnel. It is a double edged sword however , because their son Mark is still trapped in the mansion. Everything goes to shit and by the time they get back to the mansion chaos reigns. Mark is able to kill one of the Morenos and two of his thugs when they come to take Charlotte away. Dana is able to use some kind of poison that puts everyone to sleep. Domenico is impressed and very proud that Mark has learnt his lessons well. 

Domenico certainly doesn’t know when to quit while he is ahead. Even though they are all safe and free to walk away unscathed, he decides that he needs to go after Toro who is planning to get away in his helicopter. Dom tells Seth to stay behind as he cannot afford any distractions. Seth is definitely hurt when he thinks that Dom doesn’t think he is man enough. However , he is placated when Dom assures him its only for his protection.Seth always seem to have a sixth sense where Dom is concerned or maybe its just the fact that he loves him so deeply. There he is watching his husband from afar, when he noticed that Dom might be cornered and  in trouble with Toro and his thugs. He doesn’t hesitate to get the job done. He kills them with his high-powered rifle, leaving only Toro alive  so that Dom can interrogate him. 

Dom is impressed and elated that his husband has once again saved his ass. Time and time again throughout this series, we have seen the ruthless side of Seth when it comes to taking care of the love of his life. The main thing that has been constant and steadfast is that even though Seth abhors violence, he will step up to the plate and protect his loved ones. I really enjoyed this book and I think that Dom finally sees Seth as his equal in terms of his emotional strength in the way he deals with their harsh world. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Guns N’ Boys 5: Chokehold  by K. A. Merikan

​Title: Guns N’ Boys 5: Chokehold       Word Count:336 pgs

Genre: Dark Gay Romance

Blurb:The ugliest truths blossom into the prettiest lies. —

A year into the relationship with Domenico, Seth still wants him as desperately as ever. Nothing is better than being intoxicated with lust for his deadly man and feeling his steady hands all over. 

No matter the misunderstandings, the fights… The crash. The burn. 

Crossing the Mexican border has been a goal for Seth and Domenico for a few months, but the trip couldn’t have ended in more of a disaster. While Domenico is stuck at home, for Seth each passing day becomes more difficult. Desperate to keep his family afloat, he accepts a job offer from Los Sepultureros. The Gravediggers. 

When Domenico’s need for control starts eroding their trust, Seth is sure their love can conquer all. But when Domenico rips open the wound left after the violence at the beginning of their relationship, it gushes blood all over their cozy lies and this time, there may be no way to seal it. 

POSSIBLE SPOILERS: 

Themes: mafia, cartel, assassin, organized crime, trust issues, religion, love 

Genre: Dark, twisted romance / crime thriller 

Erotic content: Explicit scenes 

Length: ~110,000 words 

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you. 

‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.
My Review :  It is always great to get in the lives of Seth and Domenico and see what they are up to. When we catch up with these two lovers, they are still on the run from their mafia family. Dom is waiting for his connections to set up things so they can have safe passage to Mexico.   The chemistry between these two virile men is oh so hot and nothing really changes now that they are faux- parents. Dom continues to show is softer, more caring side by adding someone new to their little family. Mark is a teenager who has had a rough start in life. They rescued him from their jaunt in Louisana and it’s Dom’s aim to turn Mark into a great man.

Dom’s connections are finally granted and they are led to the sewers where they escape to Mexico. There is a fissure of fear when Domenico realizes that they will be locked in from the American  side of the tunnel and have to make their way  in the dark. An unexpected trap is set for them, but Dom being the former hit man is ready for mostly anything. He kills the three men who were about to hurt his family but not before a grenade is detonated. A part of the ceiling caves in which causes Dom to be hurt. Seth is panicked but he knows he has to find a way to get Dom and Mark to safety. Seth as usual steps up to the plate and gets Dom to a hospital. They are in an unknown territory with hardly any money . Luckily, Mark knows a little Spanish and finds them a place to stay with an old lady in the little rundown town.

Seth being the only able-bodied provider of their family tries to find work.His insecurities rise up when he feels utterly clueless after  his futile search. He stumbles on a bar and realized that he might be in trouble when he meets the owner Miguel. Seth plays the clueless tourist and Miguel gives him a job working close to the tunnel that caved in on them. It’s his hope that he can recover Dom’s suitcase filled with all their money and get them out of the mess they are in.

Dom hates being laid up and feels very neglected when Seth goes to work. He feels guilty for not being able to provide for his family and not being able to pamper the man he loves. We see a different side of Dom when he gets in touch with his Catholic religion.  His close brush with death leaves him thinking what would have happened to their love if they had died in that tunnel. Dom thinks that they would have been torn apart to forever be alone in the afterlife since they are not married. He tries to push for them to get married but Seth rejects him on the basis of him being still married in his former life. Seth argues that he would rather not be a bigamist since he believes that his former wife is still alive. 

Domenico is on the mend  and he acquires some money for them from his old acquaintance Santo. He becomes aware that Seth might be hiding something from him , but he is not sure if it’s just his insecurity talking. Dom doesn’t realize that Seth has become embroiled in a very dangerous situation at his ‘job’ working for Miguel who seems to be a cartel boss.They have a big fight when Seth refuses to quit his job. This deteriorates into a shouting match where Dom says some really hurtful things to Seth making him feel inadequate.Dom does irreparable damage to their beautiful relationship  when he cuffs Seth to their bed to keep him from going to work for his dangerous boss.As usual , Dom’s heart is in the right place but his methods are way off base. It doesn’t take long for Dom to acknowledge the error of his ways and he understands that maybe he has pushed Seth too far. Seth is humiliated , furious and feels utterly betrayed by the man he thought he loved above all else. Seth throws back Dom’s signet ring , the main object of their commitment to each other.

They are each devastated and wrecked in their own way, but they have vipers surrounding them that they have to deal with first. They have to work together to protect each other , but there is a great divide and disconnect that was never there before. This goes on for weeks and the distance seems greater day by day. Dom reforms some connections with Santo and try to set things in motion for their uncertain future. Also, things are revealed to them when they find out that Seth’s ‘wife’ Lucrezia is actually married to Santo after getting an annulment. This is one less thing hanging over their head. However, it’s hard to rejoice in this news when their own relationship is in shambles.No matter how hard they try , they can’t seem to get beyond  their fight this time.  The truth finally comes out when Dom discerns that Seth’s anger is steeped in memories of fear when Domenico onced raped him at the beginning of their relationship . Their dirty laundry is aired in front of Mark who unbeknownst to them has been secretly learning Italian. Seth is extremely ashamed and Dom sees how his past actions will haunt him forever. The one thing he regrets the most is the one thing he cannot fix in their relationship. 

Seth recognizes that the  only way to move forward with their relationship is to leave the past where it belongs. It is a step in the right direction and it goes a long way in repairing the rift between these volatile men. Dom appears very vulnerable during this time and it’s that vulnerability that gets through to Seth. After facing  some more dangerous situations together in Mexico, they start moving in sync once again. Finally , Seth asks Domenico to marry him and Dom is only too happy to accept. It’s definitely what he wants to feel more complete and secure in their relationship. I really enjoyed this new addition to the series. It is best to read from book 1 to understand fully the intricacies of the characters. I just can’t get enough of Seth and Dom, I’m eagerly awaiting Book 6. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Stealing Innocents by Cari Waites, Lisa Henry

​Title: Stealing Innocents                        Word Count:70,700

 Genre: Gay Romance

Blurb:Those who dare to scratch the surface of ordinary, everyday life may be horrified to find a sick underbelly beneath—a nightmare world populated by villains and victims, predators and prey, where the rules of society no longer apply.

Where you’ll find people like Danny, the boy who sells himself to pay for his father’s gambling debts and ends up in a situation more twisted than he ever imagined. Or Troy, the cop whose obsession with saving a brutalized human trafficking victim turns deadly. Or Drew, the mental patient who begins to suspect his nightly delusions of abuse by his doctor are actually real. Or David, the cuckolded husband who decides the best way to get revenge is to seduce his wife’s barely legal son.

Stealing Innocents is an exploration of our darkest human impulses, where sex is power, love is horror, and there’s no such thing as a happy ending.

READER DISCRETION ADVISED.

This collection contains three edited second editions stories that were previously individually published, plus one all-new story, by Lisa Henry writing as Cari Waites.
 My Review: When Danny is sold to the man who his father owes insurmountable gambling debts, he learns how irrevocably his life has changed. From the very first moment he meets Archer, he understands the true meaning of ownership. The first thing Archer does is to place Danny in a cock cage  and demand that he be addressed as ‘ Sir’. Danny who is a 18 yr old virgin has never been  exposed to the world of BDSM. He is extremely confused when he is placed in a childlike room. He is further confounded when  Archer explains that it is for his own benefit since he had a horrible role model for a father. From night one Danny is made to understand that he won’t be eased into the lifestyle gently. Danny is forced to learn how to pleasure his master and is breached with an  anal plug without any gratification for himself. This is just a prelude for things to come.

Danny learns a fine lesson in humiliation and degradation on his second day in Archer’s household. He certainly can’t reconcile the changes he sees in himself in such a short space  of time. He yearns for the torture that his body undergoes when he is caned and simultaneously stimulated by the anal plug. Archer shows him that there is a thin line between pain and pleasure. Daniel submits to Archer and quickly fall into subspace where everything feels like an  out of body experience. Danny continues to learn harsh truths about his body and his tolerance. He is exposed to many unknown tools and practices such as enemas, sounds , fisting and orgasm denial that  causes humiliation but titillate his senses as well.

At first, Danny sets out to please his master only to avoid punishment. However, he soon realizes that in the nether recesses of his mind, he is embracing this part of himself that he has only just acknowledged. Danny meanders between feeling ashamed and dirty while reveling in the ‘special’ relationship he has with ‘daddy’ Archer. That is until he remembers this situation is not of his own free will. When Archer decides to share his new slave with his business associates, Danny becomes a little bit combatant.

Archer shows Danny how well and truly he is owned. Archer proves to him that he has no agency in their relationship and the more resistant he is, the harder it will be for Danny. Daniel experiences all forms of debauchery at the hands of his ‘daddy’ and he is denied all gratification. This is where he understands that the only pleasure  he will gain is by living vicariously through his master.

There is a juxtaposition between the old Danny and the new Daniel.Danny realizes that he is losing the will to fight. Self preservation kicks in and he decides to hide away that part of himself that makes him Danny. He cloaks Danny under the skin of Daniel, the one who thrives on being a good Daddy’ s boy. However, there are times when the spitfire Danny pushes through and this always leads to punishment. He shows resistance when Archer takes him to a tattoo parlour. Without knowing the plans that his daddy has for him, Danny defies him. This proves to Archer that Danny still has not learnt how to trust him wholeheartedly. Archer is very disappointed that his boy still does not believe that daddy knows what’s best for him. At that very moment, Danny glimpsed his biological father going into a well known gambling den. Danny is truly broken by this sight, because it means that all his sacrifice was for naught. He now has to reevaluate his arrangement with Archer and figure  out what is the true purpose of his debauched life. That night, Danny cries for a father that still has not learnt his lesson, but things are now clearer in his mind.

Everything comes to a head the next night when Danny is put on his knees to service Archer and his associates. The last guest arrives while Danny is taking care of his ‘daddy’s needs and it’s none other than his father Clyde. Clyde is disgusted by seeing Danny this way, but what is even more disgusting is when he suggests that he should have gotten more money for  basically selling Danny into this lifestyle. The true monster reveals himself and any love that Danny felt for his father in that moment was extinguished.

Danny’ s eyes have truly opened up and he now gains insight into the life he has been living with Archer. Archer treating Danny like a child was his way of giving Danny a rebirth for the childhood he knew Danny had lost at the hands of his father. Danny always had the responsibility of dealing with an addict for a father, rather than embracing a carefree childhood. Archer gave Danny a chance to be a child again in order to be the man he was always meant to be. Danny realized that he got a new identity by being  ‘daddy’s’ baby boy Daniel. For the first time, he thinks he is really ready to embrace Daniel and every nuance that comes with this persona.

Daniel regains his agency in the most unexpected way. He kills the man that he now sees was the poison in his life. Clyde is dead and Daniel is freed of all charges. He is also free to make the decision to be his daddy’s boy. Archer will allow him to be the man that will be his partner in everyone’s eyes, but at home Daniel will be the perfect daddy’s boy.

 I am still not sure how I feel about this book. It  was so horrific that it was good. This was very well written.It was nitely a page turner and not for the feint of heart. It is really heavy on the BDSM elements, violence and abuse. It was weirdly good and I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.  

P.S. This review was only for the first story. I found that the other short stories were too inhumane. I was not able to review them as they made me a little bit sick to my stomach.

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.