Title: Road of No Return: Hounds of Valhalla MC (Sex & Mayhem #1)
Author: K.A. Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi & Villani ltd.
Release Date: July 17th 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary, Dark romance
Page Count: 370
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
— 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.
WARNING Contains adult content: a gritty storyline, sex, explicit language, violence and torture
POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Themes: Outlaw Motorcycle Club, organized crime, homophobia, family issues, coming out, first gay relationship, tattoo, piercing
Genre: contemporary homoerotic romance
Length: ~ 100,000 words (Standalone novel, no cliffhanger.)
“Don’t talk to strangers”. Zak has that phrase, from Master and Margarita (that happens to be one of my all time favorite books), tattooed over his collarbone. Little does he know that Stitch is not just a stranger, but the devil himself.
This was the very first K.A. Merikan book I ‘ve read. Although I hardly ever do re-reads, I wanted to come back to this, because I was too shocked to appreciate it the first time. I do remember, though, that it left me book hungover and thoroughly mindfucked for days. But most importantly, it taught me something about my reading tastes; that no matter how much I like sweet and fluffy, that’s not ALL I want to read. Sometimes I want my boundaries pushed. I need gritty, brutal, unconventional, and raw. Which pretty much describes the majority of the authors’ books.
If you ‘re looking for a MC fairy tale, where the characters have sex, give roses to each other and the club doesn’t bat an eyelid (you know what I’m referring to, don’t you?), look elsewhere. This story is very authentic to the motorcycle subculture, meaning that bikes and brotherhood aside, there is violence, crime, blood, and homophobia. Did I mention homophobia? Think about it before you judge Stitch too hard.
“[Zak] Made him remember he was still human, not a man whose muscles were made out of violence and bones out of fury.”
Stitch and Zak are toxic together. To say that the “relationship” they form at first is unhealthy, is an understatement (although I loved the irrationally jealous Stitch, who reminded me of Domenico Acerbi). But just when you think that the grittiness went too far….
“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”
“He didn’t owe anything to the people who’d call this love wrong, not when it felt so right, so fulfilling.”
I think my reaction regarding that big -WTF just happened- scene at 85% is indicative of how much I have grown as a K.A. Merikan reader. I feel proud of myself. Because back when I first read it, I was like…
Good riddance. Fucker needed to go anyway.
Bottom line, this is a good, good story. NOT for everyone, but definately for me.