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Length: 70,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
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.
First a word to those who may need it—heed every possible trigger warning these authors put at the end of their written blurb—this novel does NOT fool around. Having said that Wrong Way Home is so incredibly well written that this story grabbed me by the throat and never let up. I read it in one sitting and considering I am not always a fan of reading about some of the acts done to Colin by Taron that says a whole lot about how compelling a novel this is. K. A. Merikan does not mince words but neither do they create violent and morally ambiguous stories merely to titillate or spark a reaction. Wrong Way Home was in many ways a love story--just one that took a rather twisted and circuitous route to get there.
The set up for Colin and Taron to move beyond captor and prisoner to something more was carefully hinted at from the very beginning. One gets a real sense that Colin is very unhappy with his life and not much of a people person. From there it is a bit horrifying how Taron justifies essentially kidnapping and imprisoning Colin—yes there is a locked cage—by sloughing off any sense of guilt or wrong doing in the name of end times preparedness. Taron is a survivalist—one that doesn’t like people and only interacts with them when he needs supplies or to scratch the proverbial itch. Being mute means he can often also fool others into believing he is deaf which gets Taron out of many situations where authority or strangers might question him too closely. Essentially he just wants to be left alone as he prepares for the great epidemic or catastrophe that will see the government collapse and lawlessness ensue.
Colin is trapped in a life he never really wanted with parents who continually remind him of how he never quite measures up to their standard. On the cusp of graduating and applying for med school, Colin just wants to break free—do something, anything that is outside the confines of the rigid norm that his life has become. When he takes a different route home he never ever suspects his life is about to be forfeit to a murderer who thinks nothing of locking him in a cage and using him for sex.
Two opposites come together just to discover how very alike they really are. Does their final living situation at novel’s end smack of Stockholm Syndrome where the captive comes to need and have feelings for the captor? Yes, in a certain way one could see that but I think the authors laid sufficient groundwork to actually make the case that Colin needed a radical event to free him from a life he hated and Taron provides the catalyst for him to do just that.
Wrong Way Home is not going to be a novel that appeals to everyone but there is no denying that it is very well written, fascinating to read and challenges everything one might think of when it comes to the ideas of romance. I enjoyed this novel and how it made me squirm just a bit. It certainly will prompt me to check out their other work in the future.
“When Taron looped the heavy metal collar around the slender neck and closed the padlock, his body throbbed with the excitement of knowing he owned this boy.
Was it wrong? Yes, yes it was.
Was it so, so good? Definitely.”
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
Heat level: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes
This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains 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.
K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.
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