Sunday, March 5, 2017

ARC Review: Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath (Guns n' Boys, #6) by K.A. Merikan

“I don’t even know who I am anymore.”“All you need to know is that you’re mine.”

Seth would follow Domenico to the depths of hell. He promised to always be at Domenico’s side. But hell becomes all too real when they infiltrate the world of Toro - a notoriously security-obsessed arms dealer, who has eyes and ears everywhere.

Seth becomes unable to steal even a moment of intimacy with Domenico, and the tension grinds them down each day. Beyond the deceptive paradise of Toro’s villa, violence is an everyday occurrence, and the swimming pool could just as well be filled with blood. To survive, Seth has to become the man Domenico needs him to be, but in the process, he might lose who he truly is.

With Seth trained up, and Mark as backup, victory is so close Domenico can taste it. They just need to prove themselves to Toro as valuable assets. With each day though, Seth seems to be drifting away from Domenico, hidden behind a mask of cruelty and indifference. It is exactly what Domenico asked of him, so why is it so difficult to see Seth become his mirror image?


Themes: mafia, cartel, assassin, organized crime, homophobia, human trafficking, undercover, family ties

Genre: Dark, twisted romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit scenes

Length: ~115,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you. ‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

Jewel's rating:

Warning: there may be some spoilers for previous ​Guns n' Boys books in my review below. Proceed with caution.

Guns n' Boys fans, rejoice! Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath is almost here and fans of the series are going to love it!

First, a couple things of note -- Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath​ is not a standalone novel. You need to read this series in order from book 1, onward. The only book you can skip, if you wish to do so, is Blood & Marriage. Also, do heed the warnings. The Guns n' Boys series is not for the faint of heart. Let's face it, there is nothing morally righteous about Guns n' Boys. It's brutal. It's bloody. It's dark. It makes me laugh at the most inappropriate moments. ​And yet, ​Dom and Seth show each other such tenderness and love​, sometimes also at very inappropriate moments. And I love it all.​​ But if the brutal and dark subject matter isn't your thing, then I would not advise reading this series.

Now, for the good stuff...Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath has become my second favorite of this series, just behind Guns n' Boys: Swamp Blood. In so many ways, this series just gets better as Dom and Seth get closer to their goal, and to each other. And their romance is so epic and gorgeous, even amidst all the blood and death that inevitably surrounds them.

Seth -- "You've never seen me like this."

Dom -- "I always see you."

To Domenico, family is everything -- nothing and no one means more. And his family is his husband Seth and Mark, whom they've taken in as a son. Dana and Miguel aren't family, but they are loyal, and he trusts them (I still think of Dana as a snake waiting to strike, however). Bottom line, Dom will do absolutely anything to keep his family safe and to achieve their goal of being able to go back to Italy.

In Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath, Dom, Seth, Mark and Miguel are set to infiltrate Toro's organization. He has ties to Mr. Tropico and so, with their eyes firmly on their goal of finding out who Mr. Tropico is, they go in. Dana is already on the inside, and secure in her position as Toro's mistress, so they have an advantage that Toro knows nothing about, but not everything goes to plan.

For the duration of their stay on Toro's compound, Dom and Seth are watched carefully. They cannot be together as a couple and that causes massive amounts of stress on both their parts. Seth feels insecure when he can't so much as touch Dom, and Dom gets cranky having to go without his husband. And they are both tested, repeatedly, but there are some things even a cold blooded killer won't do.

There were many times during Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath that I felt so awful for Seth. Seth is not cut out for such a brutal existence, but he can't bear to be away from Dom for even a short time, either. Seth can take care of himself, and in a pinch, he can fight and kill if that's what must be done. But Seth isn't really a killer. He wants to take care of Dom and Mark and grow a garden and cook and just be a family. Seth may be a Villani, but the family business isn't really for him.

Dom has grown to respect Seth in ways that he had not, previously, though, and that made me so happy. He still thinks of himself as the man of the house, so to speak, but he knows that Seth will always have his back, no matter what the cost. And that is important to Dom. And Dom will always put himself in the line of fire to save his beloved.

And Mark, who is seventeen now, is nearly a man and even he surprised me here several times. Dom has taught him well, and though Mark isn't as pragmatic as Dom, I do think that he'll be able to handle the life better than Seth. That is, if he can manage to think with his big brain. But he surprised me, and for that I cheered.

Dom and Seth are among my favorite book couples. They find such joy in one another and there is so much love and tenderness between them that I can't help but love them. Their sexy times are hot enough to scorch a planet and even then you can feel their love, and that is why I read this series. Because Dom and Seth, no matter what they face, are always all about each other. If that isn't love, I don't know what is.

PS -- The setup for the next book was seriously ominous. I don't even know what to think about it, but I can't wait to get there.


ARC of Guns n' Boys: Bloodbath was generously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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