Length: 68,000 words
Herc's Mercs Series
Book #1 - The Bigger They Come
Book #2 - Line In The Sand
Book #3 - Bloody But Unbowed
Book #4 - Once A Hero
Book #5 - The Harder They Fall
Book #6 - Where Angels Fear To Tread
Payne Gibson recognizes the “thousand yard stare” of the PTSD Hunter refuses to acknowledge, and as a natural caretaker, he can’t resist when his boss, Cade “Hercules” Thornton, asks him to help. Hunter is resistant until their surveillance assignment turns dangerous, and Hunter realizes he’s in danger of losing his career, the only thing in his life that matters to him anymore.
Conventional therapy hasn’t worked, so Payne suggests an unorthodox form of therapy: BDSM. As a Dom, Payne thinks he can help Hunter face the issues he’s been avoiding. Having come to trust Payne and knowing his career is on the line, Hunter agrees to try.
Their relationship as Dom and sub deepens more than either of them expected. Payne knows adding emotions into the mix is dangerous, but he can’t help it when Hunter is both the man and the sub Payne has hoped to find. But Hunter doesn’t feel he deserves love, not when his best friend is dead because of him, leaving behind a wife and child to mourn -- and to blame Hunter for their loss.
Payne can help Hunter to stare into the abyss… but what stares back might be more intense than either of them can handle.
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Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.
Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.
McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.
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No Pain, No Gain was by far my favorite Herc’s Mercs book by author Ari McKay. Hunter and Payne stole the show!
Explosive expert, Hunter was in a bad way, having witness the death of his best friend and fellow merc. Called in to babysit and help get Hunter’s head back on straight, Payne took a challenge from his boss Cade. Together the men learned it was easier to work together than against each other.
This book introduced a BDSM element as a form of unconventional therapy that worked for a difficult patient.
As a dom, Payne helped Hunter come out of his head and deal with his guilt and pain. I enjoyed the dynamics of the two men, and as far as characters in the series, Payne and Hunter may be my favorite couple.
Ms. McKay took a difficult topic of PTSD and survivors guilt and delivered a well-developed story giving credence to the characterization. Kudos Ms. McKay!
A five handcuff review
~~~~~2018 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.