Grind (Wrong Side of the Tracks Book 4) by K.A. Merikan

Grind is book 4 in the Wrong Side of the Tracks series by author duo K.A. Merikan and it's finally time for Frank to get his much awaited HEA. 

From the blurb:

“I won’t let anyone hurt him. Even if he can never be mine.”

Ezra. Escort. Cynical. Hunted by a killer. Needs a man capable of anything.

Frank. Client. Protective. Loyal. Wants to forget his violent past.

On his 40th birthday, Frank decides his chance for love has passed.

But when an old friend treats him to a night with a beautiful escort, Frank is not about to say no. In fact, Ezra proves to be so intoxicating, he doesn’t want to let go.

So he’ll pay. An easy solution to loneliness. No strings, no expectations, a clean transaction and a bit of extravagance in his otherwise frugal life.

That is, until one night Ezra arrives on his doorstep, desperate for protection from none other than Frank’s old buddy. A man as dangerous as Frank used to be.

Ezra has a very clear goal in life—make a load of money while he’s young and beautiful, then marry rich. His rules are just as simple: stay safe and don’t fall for clients.

Frank might be Ezra’s type: big, rough around the edges, and generous in bed, but Ezra is level-headed enough to know that a guy who works at a junkyard and doesn’t exactly own a yacht isn’t marriage material.

But Ezra is in danger, and he needs a man with massive fists, not deep pockets, so he will do everything in his power to secure Frank’s affection.

Only Frank never planned to get involved with his little treat. Because if Ezra knew his dark secrets, he’d be terrified of what kind of monster he’d let into his bed.



Tropes: size difference, age gap, escort, forced proximity, opposites attract, ice prince, gentle giant, sworn off relationships, dark secret, emotional scars, blue collar

Genre: Scorching hot M/M dark romance

Length: ~120,000 words (Standalone)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language and morally ambiguous characters as well as the topics of domestic violence, eating disorders and fatphobia.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"He was six-five and one punch from his massive fists could shatter a nose with ease, but
that would get him thrown out of Costco without his birthday beer."

Oh Frank. Hell hath no fury like a frugal man whose coupon has been rejected. I swear this gave me flashbacks to my years in retail, and I do not miss that shit at all. For not being a very talkative man in previous books, Frank sure had some zingers that made me laugh in Grind. He is also an absolute teddy bear of a man. He's the definition of "Don't judge a book by its cover." That doesn't mean he isn't a man who is gonna throw down when the people he cares about are in trouble, just that he doesn't enjoy it. He'd much rather be left in peace to work in his junkyard... that is until Ezra comes barreling through the gate.

Ezra is a high paid escort and almost 20 years Frank's junior, but at the first sign of trouble he knew exactly who he could count on to help him. And of course he was right. Frank is a sucker for a man in need - which I'm sure you know since the previous books in the series featured Shane, Jag, and Dex - all of whom who have been helped by Frank in some way. That being said, I don't think Ezra truly knew what he was getting into when he came to the junkyard for help. It's a long ways away from his previously pampered lifestyle.

It took me a bit to warm up to Ezra. I didn't want someone taking advantage of Frank's kind heart and at first I think that was his plan. What I'm sure Ezra did not plan on was falling in love with Frank when he discovered what a true gem he was as a person. I liked him much better once he realized that fact. Frank was so sweet to Ezra. He really wanted to be able to give him the world. And I loved how Ezra took care of him. Little things like packing his lunches and making sure he ate properly to train for his strong man competitions. That's what a true partnership is supposed to be like.

""You're perfect to me."
That was all Ezra ever wanted to be for Frank."

I felt this story was more romance based than plot based like others in the series. That and the humor definitely led to a lot of my enjoyment. Another pleasant surprise was that this isn't going to be the last book in the series. And though we did not meet either of the MCs for book 5 in Grind (to the best of my knowledge), I'm still looking forward to reading it when Wanted comes out.

Rating: 5 Stars

Grind is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.