PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: “Road of No Return” by KA Merikan
— Don’t talk to strangers. —
Zak. Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.
Stitch. Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.
On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.
Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn’t know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.
As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.
Here’s what I loved about this book:
Except for some long scenes depicting sex between a “dirty tattooist” and “virgin of the gay variety”, that’s where the joy ended for me.
I should have known by the blurb. I should have read between the lines…
Zak. Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships. Translation: Zak. Tattoo artist. Independant. Waiting for The One who will make him change his mind about relationships.
Stitch. Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property. Translation: Stich. Badass. Wants things he thinks he can’t have. Behaves like a big bad Alpha who grunts and wants to make his lover “Mine”.
And here’s what happened:
I felt the characterization was shallow. I didn’t feel enough for either character and I didn’t feel sorry for them, or feel like I wanted to root for them.
Their attraction and connection (i.e. first sexual encounter) was instant. There was no push or pull from either character. They wanted it, so they went for it – which is absolutley fine – but when we’re dealing with a character which has been so heavily closeted, well, it just felt too easy. I’d expect more turmoil from a character that’s amongst a homophobic biker gang and is too scared to out himself.
A lot of the dialogue from MC Biker Stitch seemed altogether alien for him. For example, here’s what he says to an extremely hateful homophobe:
“…When you fall in love, even a kiss is mind-blowing. You don’t fuck other people, because there’s only one person you want to be close to. When he fucks me, it’s like I give him a part of my soul.”
I mean, all power to him, but those words seemed highly unlikely given his badass persona.
The writing is, well, um, not my cuppa tea and I firmly believe the following words should never be put together:
“A silly grin surfaced onto Stitch’s face like a dead body floating in the bayou”
um, what? A dead body floating in a bayou can look like a silly grin?
And dirty talk has never been so cannibalistic:
“Suck the marrow, gnaw on your fingers, crush your flesh, and squeeze come out of it.”
Nor has love’s messenger (Cupid) ever worked in quite this way:
“One day, I’ll do it. I’ll come deep inside of you so hard, you’ll fall in love. It’s gonna be like Cupid’s arrow.”
And I’m not going to say a thing about this one (which takes place in the middle of sex):
“You like to be fucked like a little bitch?”
The great big humdinger plot twist is frankly OTT. The developments from there are simplistic and the characters’ reaction too forgiving.
Lastly, the ending was too convenient, which left a “all tied up in a pretty HEA bow” bitter taste in my mouth.
This was my first book by K.A. Merikan, so seasoned fans of their work may enjoy the writing style and direction more than I did.
RATING: 2 STARS
Title: Road of No Return (Sex & Mayhem #1)
Author: KA Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi & Villani ltd.
Release Date: July 19, 2014