Crimnal Delights: Taken: Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
— One wrong turn. One right man. —
Colin. Rule-follower. Future doctor. Witness to murder. Captive.
Taron. Survivalist. Mute. Murderer. Captor.
Like every other weekend, Colin is on his way home from university, but he’s taunted by the notion that he never takes risks in life and always follows the beaten path. On impulse, he decides to take a different route. Just this one time. What he doesn’t realize is that it’s the last time he has a choice.
He ends up taking a detour into the darkest pit of horror, abducted by a silent, imposing man with a blood-stained axe. But what seems like his worst nightmare might just prove to be a path to the kind of freedom Colin never knew existed.
Taron has lived alone for years. His land, his rules. He’d given up on company long ago. After all, attachment is a liability. He deals with his problems on his own, but the night he needs to dispose of an enemy, he ends up with a witness to his crime.
The last thing Taron needs is a nuisance of a captive. Colin doesn’t deserve death for setting foot on Taron’s land, but keeping him isn’t optimal either. It’s only when he finds out the city boy is gay that an altogether different option arises. One that isn’t right, yet tempts him every time Colin’s pretty eyes glare at him from the cage.
Themes: prepping, alternative lifestyles, disability, crime, loneliness, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, abduction, Stockholm syndrome, family issues
Genre: Dark, thriller M/M romance
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes
Length: ~ 70,000 words (Standalone)
This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and will contain a dark M/M romance.
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.
This story contains scenes of explicit violence, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters.
So the book comes with all these dire warning and promised to be dark but what we really get are bunnies, kittens and animal lovers who stand by their pets come hell or high water. Sure, somebody got an axe to the face and a few more were murdered, but they all deserved it. Like that guy who planned to burn an entire house full of cats. As Lucifer Morningstar would say, there’s a special place in hell for you, buddy.
The real star of the show were Missi and her kittens, who turned things around, kicked the story up a notch and made me warm up to the humans.
As for the humans, well, Colin was a bit none too bright for my liking. Like those horror movie characters, he made a wrong turn and was caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time. He was held inside a cage and his plan was to fuck his way out of captivity. Good luck with that. To his credit, Colin never gives up without a fight. He could be a brat but he really did care about the cats.
Lucky for Colin, his captor, Taron, was an attractive hulk of man who lives in the middle of the woods so putting his plan into action was no hardship. Taron is a prepper who had some enemies out to get his property. He is very territorial, self-sufficient and makes a mean rabbit bacon. He has a soft spot for strays and doesn’t want to go to jail, so quite understandably he couldn’t let go of Colin, who, aside from being a witness to murder, has appealing chestnut eyes, is conveniently gay and most precious of all, knows ASL. The book felt entirely like him. Gruff, intimidating, hard-edged, intense, wild and rough but also with a surprisingly caring side that could give you a case of warm fuzzies.
I wasn’t entirely convinced with Colin’s reasoning during his captivity but maybe that was the point. They weren’t supposed to be 100% rational for the rest of humanity (and who cares really). But Stockholm Syndrome or not, the attraction between Colin and Taron was real and the part where their relationship gradually transformed from captor to partner was believable and executed really well.
Overall, Wrong Way Home falls between like and love. It is written in the usual K.A. Merikan style where huge chunks of the story were devoted to sex scenes and skipping those parts makes things go faster without losing the thread. It took a while for me to feel entirely invested in the story but in the end, it won me over and now, I am entirely convinced Colin and Taron would make it work. Also, the cats were safe which is what really mattered.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love