We finished The Devil’s Ride with so many new book ideas. Some secondary characters simply have stories that need to be told, and it’s something almost impossible to plan. We knew we wanted to come up with a book about Ghost before we even finished TDR, but the idea for the story only came after we wrote the last few chapters. Ghost does mingle with bikers, he loves bikes, but he’s not a ruthless hardass like the others. He’s a good guy, who wants to do the right thing but keeps getting pulled into morally grey situations because of his friendships and family connections. Even more so when he gets to fight for his and Luca’s love in No Matter What. Will he be able to stay true to what he believes in among all the mayhem?
As much as people sometimes complain about dating sites and apps, there’s no denying that the Internet is a lifesaver for people who are awkward, or have obscure interests – both sexual and not. People who used to be rejected because of the stuff they were into can now easily find like-minded friends, who sometimes become something more. And as difficult as it can be, with virtual lovers sometimes living miles apart, relationships that survive such odds can be very intense and long-lasting.
For one, they’re mostly based on personality rather than physical attraction. Sure, people do send one another pictures, but virtual interactions rely mostly on conversation. In No Matter What, Ghost falls in love with ‘Zara’, even though he only sees one picture of her throughout the years, there’s little hope for a meetup, and as a handsome guy, he could be dating someone that’s physically available. He and Zara/Luca establish a strong emotional and intellectual bond, and so despite being hurt by the realization that Luca lied to him about certain things, Ghost is not ready to let go, even at the cost of finally facing his sexuality.
The relationship started a few years prior to the plot of No Matter What, just two strangers meeting at what was a very bad time for one of them. The anonymity of the Internet makes it easier for adults to quickly open up to strangers and talk about things they wouldn’t be comfortable discussing with real-life acquaintances. This can quickly create a sense of intimacy, and in time turn into love. For Ghost and Luca, two people from completely different backgrounds, who would have never met otherwise, meeting in a MMORPG game was a life changing event. But meeting in real life and having to face unknown aspects of the person you know so well would be tough even without the mafia breathing down your neck.
Excerpt: A photo came through. It was a red square plate of some vegetable rolls with a brown sauce. Ghost raised his head to have an even better look around. He frowned at the plate in front of the guy, and had a discreet look at him. He was close enough to see it was a very similar dish, but that could be a coinciden― Ghost’s heart stopped beating completely when an onyx bracelet slid lower down the guy’s forearm.
And then it hit him that the guy actually had a similar coloring to Zara in the picture: dark olive skin, wavy black hair that reached past his shoulders, and dark eyes. Only other than that, he was nothing like Zara. No softness in him, just firm jawlines and broad shoulders hidden in a coffee-colored shirt with rolled-up sleeves. As striking as he was, he was most definitely not the girl from the picture.
Ghost got up even though his legs were like made out of Jell-O. Five years. Five fucking years. This meant he’d had webcam sex with a guy. Many times. He couldn’t breathe, the ring in his pocket somehow burning like acid. How could he have been so stupid? He made his way toward the table as if it were a lucid dream. A nightmare he was about to wake up from.
With the young guy busy with his cell phone, one of the middle-aged businessmen noticed Ghost first. He straightened up and narrowed his eyes, tapping the chopsticks against his plate.
“Can we help you?” he asked in a heavily accented voice.
‘Zara’, or whatever his name was, raised his eyes, and the small smile he was sporting fell from his lips like slush on a sunny day. God, he was even prettier up close, with thick eyebrows and a straight, shapely nose. His mouth dropped open, but he made no sound as he stared at Ghost, wide-eyed.
Ghost ignored the older man, and looked straight into the eyes of someone whom he knew so well, yet didn’t know at all. “How could you do this to me?” was all he managed to choke out.
— A gentle heart has no place in an outlaw’s chest —
Ghost. Not a member of the Coffin Nails MC. Not a doctor anymore. Not gay.
Luca. Bent, not broken. Will not let go of Ghost. No matter what.
Ghost finds out the hard way that people you meet online aren’t always who they seem to be. When he met ‘Zara’ five years ago, they became inseparable. She’s been with him through the rough and the smooth. He’s been there for her when her abusive boyfriend had her in tears.
She is The One, and despite all his friends considering him crazy, Ghost is about to propose.
But ‘Zara’ turns out to be Luca, and Luca is most definitely a guy. Yet Luca is the same person with big dark eyes, so desperate to be saved that Ghost can’t help but fall head first.
Luca’s so-called boyfriend is not just abusive. He is a Sicilian drug lord, a man dangerous and ruthless. If Ghost is to ever save the person who wreaked havoc on his heart, he has to make a deal with the Coffin Nails MC. But being a member is a destiny he’s always tried to avoid. And when a life of violence becomes too much to bear, he might be the one needing Luca to catch him when he falls.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, criminal activity, hurt/comfort, abuse, catfishing, independence, sexual orientation issues, mafia, PTSD
Genre: M/M erotic romance, suspense, drama
Length: ~100,000 words standalone novel
WARNING: Adult content. Explicit gay sex, strong language, violence, potentially triggering sexual abuse scenes. Reader discretion advised.
And you can check out some inspiration images for No Matter What here:
You can buy No Matter What here:
About the authors
K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.
They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.
More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest
1 thought on “Guest Post – No Matter What by KA Merikan”
Already downloaded my copy and I’m about to start reading right now. Been counting down the days until it was released. :)