Saturday, April 29, 2017

ARC Review: Laurent and the Beast (Kings of Hell MC, #1) by K.A. Merikan

--- Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. ---

1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.
2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.

time travel, servitude, serial killer, cruelty, motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, disability, demons, tattoos, impossible choices, deception, crime, self-discovery, healing, virginity, black magic, gothic

Genre: Dark, paranormal romance Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes

Length: ~135,000 words (Book 1 in the series, can be read as a standalone)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

Jewel's rating:

“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark. For the straightforward pathway has been lost.”

Time travel. Deals with darkness. Murder. Laurent and the Beast combines the innocence of an early 19th century young man with the grit of a 21st century motorcycle club. And what a pleasure and joy it was to read. I've read time-travel stories before, but none so gripping and original as this one. I loved the premise, the execution and the resolution and if it weren't for the fact that I needed to sleep, I would have read this book in a single sitting.

Laurent Mercier and Beast are such different characters. There's not only an age gap, but a huge time gap, as well. Not to mention life experience. And both Laurent and Beast are dealing with their own baggage that effects how they are with each other, but I loved how they brought out the best in each other and learned how to be with each other.

Laurent is 19 and the picture of 19th century innocence. He's young and, unlike most young men his age, he has no sexual experience at all. He wants to find love, but he's never been attracted to women and in the early 19th century, loving another man could end with him hanging. Still, he wants to know what it's like to experience pleasure that only the touch of a man could bring him. Laurent is also the picture of naivety. He's too trusting. After what seemed to be a courtship from a man who frequented the bookshop where Laurent worked, he thought he could finally know. That decision forever altered the course of Laurent's life.

Beast is 32 and heavily disfigured from a fire more than a decade ago. He lost more than his good looks that day and now Beast has resigned himself to being alone for the rest of his life. He'd rather be alone than be pitied. Beast is such a good guy, though. He's smart and organized and never shies away from doing what needs to be done. His father, King, doesn't appreciate him, at all, but everyone else sees Beast's worth.

I absolutely loved seeing the modern world through the innocence of Laurent's eyes. Everything was fresh and new and things we take for grated every single day are things that are more like magic to Laurent. And I loved that he never once looked at Beast and saw a monster. He looked beyond the scars and tattoos to the man beneath and saw the beauty that Beast really was.

And Beast was generous and caring. He did stumble along the way, because of his own self-esteem issues, but he tried and when he and Laurent finally figured each other out and learned to trust each other, there was no stopping them and not even time, the depths of Hell, or the devil, himself, could keep them apart.

To say I loved Laurent and the Beast would be an understatement. I'm looking forward to seeing what this series has to bring and where this world takes us!

Recommended (to those that like dark, gritty, romance KA Merikan style)!


ARC of Laurent and the Beast was generously provided by the authors, in exchange for an honest review.

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