Title: Gray’s Shadow
Series: Kings of Hell MC: Book Four
Author: K.A. Merikan
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 458 Pages
Category: Gothic Horror
At a Glance: I love K.A. Merikan, I love how inventive and creative their stories are, and this series is no exception. Yes, I highly recommend it, but do heed the warnings. They weren’t put there for nothing.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: There can be no shadow without the man to cast it.
Gray. Lost his twin. Will never be complete. Works alone.
Shadow. Monster? Human? Exists to be Gray’s one true companion.
After losing his twin brother, Gray has devoted his life to the Kings of Hell MC. He will do anything to protect his family and that means anything.
Even sell his own shadow to the devil.
Following a fire that left him without one arm, Gray feels pushed to the sidelines. In order to prove to his club that he is still capable of completing dangerous tasks, he will have to team up with the strange creature from the Other Side. Tall, inhumanly strong, and menacing despite the handsome exterior, Shadow is just the tool Gray needs.
The moment Shadow lays his eyes on Gray, he wants to crawl under Gray’s skin and make the human his.
Gray on the other hand isn’t willing to get attached to a monster destined to do the devil’s bidding and disappear once his time is up. Rejected, Shadow has to do everything in his power to convince his human that they belong together.
But as the clock ticks away precious minutes of Shadow’s existence, Gray will have to choose between his loyalty to the Kings of Hell MC and responsibility for the creature he brought into this world.
Review: Gaaaah, this series is so good! Ok, now that I got that out. Seriously, this series is fantastic. Gray’s Shadow is book four in the series, and it is not a standalone. There is one overarching storyline to these books, and you have to start from the beginning with Laurent and the Beast and read in order. Yes, each book is ultimately about a member of the club getting their romantic HEA, but if they don’t solve the ultimate mystery, none of them will live to care anyway. You see, there’s this demon that lives in the mirrors of the clubhouse. He has a plan he’s been hatching for quite some time, and it’s about to come to fruition unless the Kings of Hell can somehow stop him. Cue creepy music, ha!
Each member of the club has found their significant other through unusual ways, and you notice I say significant other. I didn’t specify that they were human. As a matter of fact, none of them are just human anymore, except Laurent who traveled through time to be with Beast. The rest of the club members have either been enhanced somehow, or their partner has in the pursuit of Baal. Magpie is the good(?) demon that the KOH have begun working with, because he also wants to stop Baal. Or does he? Never trust a demon. Hello…demon. This story pushes forward how that is going to happen, and sets us up for the last book, which will circle back around to Laurent, which is fitting since he’s the one who started this whole debacle in the first place.
Gray is a good guy. He’s always been the one member of the MC with the softer heart, and the one everyone goes to for advice. We first really meet Gray in the last book, On Your Knees, Prospect, where he gives his arm to Baal in exchange for his fellow club member Jake’s life. Gray is fierce and loyal and brave, and his job within the club is to do the jobs no one else can do. Now, without an arm, he struggles with where he fits inside the KOH. Gray also has a secret; in a place ruled by a demon who feeds off the sexuality of its members and their parties, Gray is the only holdout in the place. His asexuality and the fact that when he does get together with someone he only bottoms, means that he guards his secrets with a fierceness that may surprise you. Gray, first and foremost, does not want to be seen as weak, and in his mind, his sexual preferences mean that he is just that. He can’t just let go and enjoy the act of sex, and he has no place in the orgies that take place in the house. Gray can often be cruel, not because he wants to be but because his persona as a tough guy demands it. I will be honest here; I wanted to jump into the book and slap him upside the head for a good portion of this story. He could be just so obtuse to what was going on around him, and the way he treated Shadow was deplorable and almost unredeemable. Almost. He made it, but it was close. When Gray finally gives in and realizes who Shadow is to him, the romance and the depth of emotion consume him. Gray ends up being willing to do just about anything to make sure that Shadow won’t disappear on him. When Gray lost his twin brother, he thought nothing could hurt him like that again—until he’s faced with a countdown clock on the one entity who makes him feel whole again.
Shadow is an entity who was chosen from the swirl of “others” and made to be Gray’s shadow, his real shadow, until the new moon appeared and it separated him from Gray and gave Shadow a new/old body, complete with extra arms and powered by a ruby where his heart should be. Shadow isn’t a demon; he was plucked by a demon from the swirl of “others”, almost like the river of souls in Hell, and given to Gray. He’s lost in the human world, utterly and totally lost, and the only thing he knows for sure is that he used to be a part of Gray, a seamless part of Gray’s very being, but now he’s not, and he doesn’t know what to do with that. He’s just so dang endearing, trying so hard to get close to Gray and being pushed away for so long. There are times that Shadow brings moments of heartbreaking laughter to the story as he struggles to be human and get Gray to love him again. Shadow’s one purpose is to feed the trees which have been planted and will ultimately, with their flowers, aid Baal in his takeover of the world. He must seed the trees with parts of the ruby inside him for three consecutive new moons, and then Shadow is supposed to go back to his existence in the river of others—or die. But Shadow soon learns he can be useful to the club in other ways, especially in the retrieval of rubies, and maybe if they get enough of them, he could have one and then won’t have to go back to the other side.
I almost thought we were going to get out of this book without some hard-core gore, but alas I was wrong. The whole finger thing just threw me, but K.A. Merikan likes to have a shock factor somewhere, so I guess that was it. It was an abrupt reminder that this is a hard-core motorcycle club, and the members have their own hierarchy and sense of justice, which will seem brutal to an outsider but for them is an accepted way of life. Did you read the warnings on the books? Take that morally ambiguous one to heart. Just sayin’.
Gray was finally realizing what Shadow had known all along—they were meant to be one, yet had been parted, sliced in two. Neither of them could ever feel complete without the other.
Shadow instantly straightened and pulled Gray into an embrace. “There is no shadow without the man to cast it.”
Will Baal win? Will Magpie stop him? What is the role of the KOH in this battle? And what’s up with the egg? The last book is In the Arms of The Beast, and like I said before, it’s fitting that it circles back around to Laurent and Beast. I just can’t wait for it to get here…. Sitting on pins and needles here! I love K.A. Merikan, I love how inventive and creative their stories are, and this series is no exception. Yes, I highly recommend it, but do heed the warnings. They weren’t put there for nothing.
You can buy Gray’s Shadow here:
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