Title: The Copper Horse: Pride (The Copper Horse #2)
Author: K.A. Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi & Villani ltd.
Release Date: October 12th 2016
Page Count: 279
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
1907, twenty years into the zombie Plague
After being kidnapped into slavery by a powerful crime family member – Erik Dal, Reuben is slowly adjusting to his new life. He is now Copper, Erik’s proud stallion, serving in any way his master might require – from pulling a cart, to pleasures in the bedroom. But his journey has only begun, and as he becomes increasingly attached to Erik, his devotion will be evaluated. From getting bred by another owner’s human stallion to Erik marking him forever, each of Reuben’s decisions makes him more of a pet and less of a human.
Becoming Erik’s horse isn’t just about getting pampered, wearing hooves and tack, or providing the master with pleasure. It becomes a violent game of prize and punishment, but when Reuben understands he too has leverage – Erik’s attachment to him – he becomes an active player in the negotiations of his stay at the mansion. But with his master’s grand annual birthday party approaching, his loyalty will be tested like never before, and the tasks he is to perform might prove too much.
Genre: m/m erotic romance, BDSM
Length: ~90,000 words
Themes: class differences, slavery, steampunk, alternative lifestyle, Victorian, master/servant, captivity, ponyplay, heavy kink, organized crime, violence, power exchange
Erotic content: explicit m/m erotic scenes
“It’s like when you have a taste of vanilla ice cream: you don’t want to go back to eating rat pies.”
“So… is the master the ice cream?”
Reuben nodded. “And I never had ice cream before I came here.”
Copper is now a proud stallion. He has embraced his role as Erik’s pet horse, and he tries his best to please his master. He enjoys the pampering, his stomach is always full, the sex is amazing, and his master has all these great plans for him.
But Copper/ Reuben is NOT a proud man. He’s ashamed not just because he enjoys his place as Erik’s horse, but because he likes men in general. He hasn’t told anybody that he’s gay, and lets everyone think that he’s kept there against his will. Because what will others think if they knew that this is the happiest he’s ever been? And that’s where shit hits the fan.
The truth is that Reuben is falling hard for Erik and their relationship is almost 100% consensual. There’s sex, but there’s also affection and gentleness. Erik is hesitant to fully trust Copper, because of what happened to him the last time he trusted a “horse”. I absolutely loved the opening scene narrated from his POV, about that fateful incident.
What I loved the most was the versatility, the “give and take” in Erik and Reuben’s relationship. They ‘re not just master and slave with nothing in between. Erik is the master but he kept letting Reuben down. And then owned his mistakes, and tried to make up and please his pet. Also, Erik might show Copper off and share him with others, but not with anybody and only when Copper is willing too. He’s possessive and protective, and if you hurt his stallion, he will skin you alive.
Pride is much more kinky than Fear. Humiliation, degradation, animal (all kinds) play, voyeurism, exhibitionism, orgy parties….you name it. That breeding scene!
If I had to use one word for this story, it would be brilliant. Everything is taken care of: the costume details, the world-building, the political situation that will probably play a big part in the next book, the secondary cast…
Favorite scenes: the tattoo scene, Erik and Reuben in bed, as man on man instead of man on horse, and the very last scene told from John’s POV.
The ending of this installment (brilliantly told from a secondary character’s POV) is very satisfying as far as the romance is concerned, but it’s also a cliffhanger regarding the overall story.
I can’t wait for the final part.