Group Review: We Met in Death by K.A. Merikan

“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being.

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.


“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground.
But then you saved me.”

Themes: enemies to lovers, protector, cruelty, homophobia, crime, self-discovery, family conflict, age gap, escort, self-hate, first time, revenge, on the run

Genre: Dark, gritty, contemporary M/M romance
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes

Length: ~90,000 words (Standalone novel, HEA)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, torture, mentions of suicide, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters, homophobia and homophobic language


Chelsea - 4.5 Hearts

Mostly this book is about homophobia and second chances. There are gay slurs from side characters and a deeply closeted homophobic main character, Robert. So if you can't stand to read about 'the gayness rubbing off’ and 'the gays perving on every straight man out there’, then maybe turn away. But I'd urge you not too. While we'd all love to hate homophobic assholes, this book reminds us that the people aren't assholes, just their opinions and opinions can change. With that being said, Nathan has more patience than I ever would!

Robert and Nathan meet in a chance moment of bullets, blood and gratitude. They connect on a deep personal level that both men have been missing from their lives thus far.

Nathan glanced Robert’s way, and even just that moment of connection sparked excitement in Robert’s chest. A rush he hadn’t known for a long time, a lust for life meaning that whatever he’d done and whatever he’d felt last night didn’t matter anymore.

He didn’t want to die after all.

Nathan develops a bit of a crush on his heroic rescuer and with Robert being homophobic, there are some very unpleasant words said when Robert gives in to his lust again and again. Like I said Nathan is much more patient than I would be, but he's no doormat! Despite Robert's unpleasant words postcoitus he is utterly devoted to protecting Nathan, at all costs!!

“No one will get through me when I stand in front of you.”

It was super swoonworthy!!!!! Robert is also a secret sweetheart which he let's escape in moments around Nathan. If he could just let go of his prejudices, you know he'd be such a happier, freer man. His 'admiration’ for Nathan is a pleasure to read and the internal torture also serves him right for being such a douche nozzle!

Robert felt as if a blood vessel had broken in his brain and he was about to have a nosebleed at the sight of that ass flattened against the see-through wall.

In the end this story was more… calm? than I thought it would be. Obviously it was still violent (ew that ending *shivers*) and tense in places, but the majority of it was spent lying low. I kind of appreciated that, KA Merikan’s tense is heart attack type tense.

I really enjoyed this story! Nathan and Robert had a wonderful and unique story and it'll definitely be a reread!

Lorix - 4 Hearts

KA Merikan are a writing duo who never fail to deliver something uniquely them in their words. It's a style I love very, very much - there is  little soft and sweet in their words at first glance, and yet I feel as though the hardened characters they create are some of the most lovable I've read. 

Robert is a closeted gay. Closeted and hateful of his sexuality; hateful of himself because of it. Loving, or being attracted to, the same gender does not fit into his world. His life is violence and he has hardened himself to it through need, pushing his own needs away as a result... it seems to him the only option of survival. No sane man can live only in a world of hate and violence though. His involvement in this world was born of need rather than greed and whilst he'd armour-plated himself in indifference, as was bound to happen, the hate filtered through eventually. Speared by his own self-hate and his actions. Of the crimes he'd committed in the name of work, of the violence he'd lived by and with and of the consequences he could no longer ignore. Add that to the bubbling hate of his core self, and the answer is him alone and drunk in a graveyard with a bullet designed for himself. 

Fate had another idea though.

Redemption - maybe - came in the form of Nathan; a man more than comfortable with his own sexuality who happened to be the wrong person at the wrong time. Nathan was about to be put in a grave by the same gang Robert was a part of. Robert saved Nathan that night and the following weeks had them running for their lives.

Hiding in plain sight, they moved in with Robert's dysfunctional family and together they all started to build something functioning. The lust between Robert and Nathan was instant - but it was always quickly followed by Robert's self-loathing; a self-loathing that spilled out. He was hateful to Nathan at times in his bid to hide the part of himself he hated the most. Nathan though was more patient than he should've been - he believed in love and in family and wanted it to grow.

In a story full of such violence and hate there is a bulb of love that blossoms and grows. It is pure Merikan, and if you're a fan I think you'll enjoy this story. I have to say, that at times this story felt a tad rushed to me; it could have been a five heart read but it just fell short - for me. I still loved it though!

If you're a fan of KA Merikan you know you're going to like this! If you've yet to read this author I urge you to give them a go, just be sure to check out the trigger warnings first.

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 2 Hearts

Whelp. I'm totally the odd man out regarding this story. I had high expectations just because of the inherent reputation that comes with this writing duo, and maybe that set me up for a big fat failure. I was so wanting to be wowed and wooed, but sadly, that did not happen.

Overall, I love the premise. Who doesn’t want to see a bad guy redeemed in the face of love? To be on the brink of self destruction, only to find salvation in saving another? Essentially that's what happens when Robert saves Nathan from being executed, but I struggled with their journey towards their happiness.

For me, I never really connected with either character. Robert’s own ingrained homophobia and denial were hard to take and as usual, while understandable, it was just too painful to witness how poorly he treated Nathan again and again. His extreme hot and cold manner made my head spin, rubbing me the wrong way at each occurrence. Of course, he eventually unsticks his head out of his ass, but the transition didn’t feel true to me.

Apparently too, I might not be cut out for these types of scenarios where the MC’s are on the lam. The anxiety this wrought was just too much for my fragile self. I was a nervous wreck every time Nathan put his foot in his mouth and it seemed he could never not do that. Again, though understandable that he would react possibly poorly to all the crazy surreal and scary situations he was put in, I just couldn’t easily accept how Nathan dealt with the challenges he faced.

So, I’m gonna say my opinion won’t matter much in the face of the many who have absolutely adored this. Common things that all of my friends remarked on were the action, humor, and fabulous love story that unfolded. It seems I must be a bit dead inside because I hardly felt any of that. To top it all off, the easy resolution at the end was completely unrealistic to me, despite the sweet HEA.

Having said all that, I know for sure this hasn’t hindered me from trying more from this duo in the future. They wrote Diary of a Teenage Taxidermist which is one of the smexiest and favorite YA’s I've ever read, so I know they have the potential to move and impress me. This just wasn’t it.

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment