Book Reviews

The Man Who Hated Ned O'Leary (Dig Two Graves 2) by K.A. Merikan at Acerbi & Villani

Genre Bisexual / Historical / 19th Century / Western / Cowboys / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 05-April-2021

Book Blurb

“Because you love me no matter how much you hate me.”

Seven years ago, Cole Flores was betrayed by the man he loved, and his very soul was left charred. He vowed that day that he would find Ned O’Leary and kill him, even if it was the last thing he did.

But Ned disappeared, and life went on.

Despite the flame of hate burning deep inside him, Cole’s hope to find Ned had dimmed. At least it left behind a lesson to never trust, never love, and never attach himself anywhere. That was the only way for a wanted man to stay off the noose in a world filled with liars and cheats.

Just when Cole stops looking for Ned though, he finds the deceptive bastard, and life turns on its head again. Their reunion goes nothing as planned, and unanswered questions rise to the surface, poisoning Cole’s mind with lust and longing that have never gone away.

Ned O’Leary is a traitor.
Ned O’Leary is a scumbag.
Ned O’Leary is everything Cole Flores craves.

Torn between love and revenge, lust and sanity, Cole has to find out if the bruised and battered heart of an outlaw can ever trust again, or if he’s bound to fulfill his promise and be Ned O’Leary’s doom.

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language and morally ambiguous characters as well as sensitive topics of child abuse and suicide

Book Review

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches


Hate is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is indifference. What Cole Flores, of ‘The Man Who Hated Ned O’Leary’ by K.A. Merikan, feels for Ned O’Leary is definitely not indifference. For several years, Cole has searched for the man who he believes deceived him to no avail. Many times, he has fantasized about how satisfying his revenge will be. When he finally encounters Ned again, the reality of Ned’s situation is far from what Cole ever expected; it throws him even deeper into the conflicting feelings he has harbored for so long.


After Cole forced Ned to leave, he wandered aimlessly but always on the lookout for Ned thinking about the revenge he would take on the man. In the last few years, he hooked up with a bounty hunter named Lars. Lars was flamboyant and cruel at times but he offered companionship both in and out of bed. Besides seeking out minor criminals for the money they got for turning them in, it was convenient and comfortable without any commitment. While hunting for a criminal nicknamed the Wolfman, they run upon what they think is a wolf but turns out to be a man – and not just any man, but Ned O’Leary.


Although Cole is still furious, he can’t help to be sad about the shape Ned is in. Physically and mentally, the man is a total wreck. He is filthy, drunk, and almost feral; a far cry from what Cole expects to find. Even though he tells Lars that Ned was his “bird”, part of him still wants to protect Ned. He isn’t sure whether he is madder at himself for having any compassion for Ned or madder at Ned for putting himself in a place that evokes such feelings. How is Cole going to exact the sweet revenge he has longed for for so long when it is crystal clear that anything he does to Ned can’t be worse than what Ned has already done to himself?


This historical romance brings a new meaning to the concept of romance. There are no hearts and flowers to be found but, believe me, Ned and Cole’s love, although often coarse and conflicted, proved to be deeper and stronger than many other love stories I’ve ever read. These men deserved every moment they squeeze out of life for the rest of their days. Thanks, K.A. for this whirlwind of a read.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 371 pages/125000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-February-2021
Price $5.99 ebook
Buy Link