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"Secret trysts, whispered naughtiness, sex in watchtowers and grassy ditches, all composed to the hum of insects and the groans of the circling zombie hoard- this is a different kind of romance." - Sid Love
"There is a true connection between Victor and Crunch. Their witty rapport when they are together is perfection." - 3 Chicks After Dark
"Crunch was the beast and Victor the beauty." - Live Your Life, Buy the Book
"There's a lot to sink your teeth into within the cover of this book" - The Novel Approach
I can never look at honey the same way again...Or bees...
Stung is set in the Zombie Gentlemen universe , and runs parallel to The Copper Horse: Love , I believe. I was so happy to be in this world again!
This is a love story between a slave and his guard. Or so I thought, because really, it's more than that. But I won't spoil it for you.
Victor finds himself captive in Honeyhill (and holy shit this is how the Dals make their honey! EWW!!!). But soon things will heat up between him and his cruel guard, Crunch.
Despite the setting and the circumstances under which the MCs meet, this is a surprisingly sweet (no pun intended), gentle romance. Even the heartbreaking (view spoiler) scene toward the end is wrapped in tenderness. So amazing!
The sex is scorching hot, the action intense, and the zombies...GROSS! Seriously, I applaud the authors for the creativity, but the zombies and the bees and...everything that's going on in Honeyhill is so.damn.gross!
This is turning out to be my favorite alternate universe. This is important because I very rarely read paranormal. I can count on one hand the non-contemporary books I 've loved. Actually, it's just two: this one and Darien Cox's The Village.
Every book in the Zombie Gentlemen series has something different to say, and new things to explore, but the ongoing theme is pretty awesome, original, and imaginative.
As for the ending, it's very realistic, satisfying enough, but I would call it a tentative HFN. I expect things to get settled in Stung: Winter Special which I'm planning on reading very soon, as well as the rest of the books in the Zombie Gentlemen series.
I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review. Thank you so much for letting me review your book.
Before I start this review let me tell you a bit about how I came across this one. As most books do..this one popped up on my radar by a fellow goodreads friend. Instantly the Theme and Erotic content warning grab my attention. But, do you know what seals the deal? That cover. Yup. It's AMAZING! But, it's set in 1907. I give a pretty wide girth to Historical or in the case Victorian Era books. So onto the TBR list it went, eventually I would get to it. Of course it came sooner than I thought. It was picked for a reading challenge. Finally I have the push I needed.
Boy, am I glad I got that push. Not only was this book everything the warnings said but it had an unexpected softness in all the zombies, bees and horror. The disruption in the book are so vivid!
Crunch was my favorite part of this entire book. He was so unexpected and complex. He had the gentle giant thing going on. While Victor was a twerp. He complemented the story. He brought all the characters around full circle. The unexpected softness that Crunch gives Victor was a beautiful contrast to the hell they were in. While their rolls as guard and prisoner were clearly defined, it was nice to see that other side.
So now that I have painted you this flowery picture of sunshines and rainbows. Here's your reality check. Adhear to the warnings. The book follows through with them. Here's a pretty picture for you! (view spoiler) Yup. This authors descriptions take you straight there. Close your eyes. I bet you can picture it. I know I can.
So 1907. The reason I almost stayed away. I felt like the customs and dialogue of that era weren't very pronounced in this book. It was not set modern day. But, it's Victorian era wasn't thrown in my face, which made it more enjoyable. I can't decide on the dialogue between Crunch and Victor. Crunch's slang when he talked made him seem simpler than the undercover agent he was.
Personally, I wish there was an epilogue. Because, well I'm greedy and want more. although, I like of liked that it ended the way it did. It fit the story and the characters perfectly.
I have to be honest I was expecting some erotic bee play. I was expecting a harshness to the story. I was expecting to be cringing and loving every nasty moment. I let the warnings and my imagination get the better of me. This book doesn't need that at all. It was a great read!
Review: Victor is high class gentleman who is forced away from his home for a mistake he made toward a family in high places. He is thrown into a prison camp falling farther from the comfort of his home more than he could ever imagine. Crunch is a man used to hard labor and looking for a way out but the arrival of Victor has thrown his plans of escape into a spiral.
K.A. Merikan's writing is descriptive and instantly pulls you into a Victorian world that has been overrun with the undead. A world where only the strong and the elite survive. One debt unpaid or one wrong move with the most powerful families would send the offender to the lost labor camps away from their comfortable homes, family, and closest friends.
The story is heightened by the impeding timeline counting down to the minutes when the camp will be destroyed and Victor's need to escape. The tension builds as the two main men don't communicate with one another because of their lack of trust. But who can blame them when their lives are on the line and freedom is inches away.
The story is haunting with a constant reminder that zombies linger around every corner. The details were not spared in the most horrific parts of the story making it a very real zombie apocalypse which I loved! I did love the cover, it is unique and captures the world of zombies and honey. The book kept my attention from cover to cover.
This story is not exactly about love but more about how two people would use each other to survive. I didn't know that the world took place in a victorian era in the beginning, there were hints but the dialogue and slang, even some of the technology had me confused as to what era the book took place. There were some moments that seemed too modern and others very victorian. There were also too many references to Crunch being a rapist to feel that there wasn't a part of him that Victor really did consider the sex as an obligation instead of real pleasure. I found the ending not to my liking as well, but then again I love a story with a Happily Ever After and this book didn't quite hit that mark for me.
A spoiled gentleman learning to find his strength, a guard afraid to trust, and a sadistic man hellbent on making everyone's lives as miserable as his own, you will find them here in K.A. Merikan's book Stung. So if you enjoy an unusual but entertaining read then I recommend this book for you.