Title: The Copper Horse: Fear (Zombie Gentlemen) (The Copper Horse #1)
Author: K.A. Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi & Villani ltd.
Release Date: October 12th 2016
Page Count: 298
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
1907, twenty years into the zombie Plague
Reuben is a baker living in the slums of London, sharing a room with his father and an extended family of cockroaches. Poor, uneducated, and repressing all his sexual desires, he leads a life of misery, only sometimes sprinkled with gin and a rough tumble in a filthy back alley.
But when he is abducted into Bylondon to be the slave of a wealthy crime family member named Erik Dal, his values are put to the test. His new master is obsessed with all things equestrian, and Reuben soon learns that if he obeys and performs well as Erik’s horse, he might just get everything he yearns for: pampering, foods he never even dreamed of, and shameless sex with a demonically handsome young man in leather riding boots.
As Copper, Erik’s treasured dun stallion, Reuben must submit to his new master’s obscene fancy of possessing another man completely. That is, if he yearns for treats and not the lick of a riding crop. Fake tails, harnesses, and a new haircut to his ginger mane help Reuben transform into Copper, but the fear of losing his dignity in the eyes of society might just prove to be a bigger restraint than any bit, bridle, or handcuffs.
All that for the small price of his freedom. Though at times, Reuben feels it’s his soul that Erik is after instead.
Genre: m/m erotic romance, bdsm, dark
Themes: class differences, slavery, steampunk, fetish, Victorian, master/servant, pony play, kink, organized crime
Length: ~95.000 words
“That’s how I like my horses. Hot. Submissive. And tight.”
Animal play is so NOT my thing! I said the exact same thing a few months ago, after reading The Cattery. It might be that K.A.Merikan is my favorite author duo (because honestly, I can’t imagine reading these stuff by someone else), or just that I’m in denial and have yet to embrace my inner deranged self.
Either way, The Copper Horse is a unique book. The characters, the plot, the secondary cast, the world building. The world building, everyone!
The authors built this amazing alt historical world in 1907 London. It’s no secret that the Victorian/ Edwardian era is my favorite period to study, especially when the focus is on London’s working class and poor population living in the slumps. Reuben belongs in this category. The twist here is that we ‘re twenty years into the zombie Plague. The only safe place is inside London’s city walls. And then there’s Bylondon. Weird things happen there…
Reuben is abducted and transfered in Bylondon. There, he will be trained to be Erik Dal’s horse, his precious copper stallion. Insane and perverted Erik. Bluefingered and gorgeous in leather Erik. Erik who beats and kills, and after a while plays pick-a-boo. Cruel when betrayed, but gentle and caring when loved Erik.
This book is all about submission, battle of wills, and mind
fuck games. Reuben must forget his previous life, and become Erik’s pet. He must please him, and in return he will have everything he missed while living in London’s dirty slumps. Eventually, Reuben submits. But why did I feel like he is the one who has the upper hand now?
I could say that this book pushed all my boundaries (because animal play, violence between the MCs, dub-con), but I don’t know if it would be accurate. In reality, it feels like a whole different thing than what I’m used to. A category of its own.
In the end, Reuben conquers his Fear. I can’t wait to see him conquering Pride too.