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review 2018-02-11 22:38
A Love Song for the Miserable (one-shot manga) by Yukimura, translated by Sachiko Sato
A Love Song for the Miserable (Yaoi) - Yukimura

All Asada wants is to transfer to his company's Events Planning Division and hopefully start implementing some of his ideas to make their events better and more exciting. However, his request for a transfer is turned down. On the plus side, his horrible day at work leads to him meeting Nao, the son of the owner of a cake shop. Nao convinces Asada to be his taste tester, and the two men become friends.

Unfortunately, their relationship sours when Nao tells Asada that he plans to go to France to study to be a patissier. Asada reacts badly, and he and Nao don't meet or even speak to each other again until three years later, when Asada finally achieves his goal of joining the Events Planning Division and must get a new patissier to participate in the division's upcoming sweets fair. The patissier he's been assigned to negotiate with is Nao.

This was an impulse buy. It was on sale and at least one review of it stated that it was sweet and didn't have much in the way of sex scenes. I crossed my fingers and hoped that meant it was genuinely sweet and didn't include rape-y moments. The last time I took a similar chance I ended up with Tatsumi Kaiya's Hot Steamy Glasses, which didn't fit my definition of "sweet" and included a main character who considered resorting to rape because he was feeling sexually frustrated.

Thankfully, A Love Song for the Miserable was genuinely good. Yukimura paid a fair amount of attention to the nonsexual aspects of Nao and Asada's relationship. As far as rape-y aspects went, there was one instance when it looked like things were going faster than Asada could handle, but then Nao backed off.

The volume was primarily devoted to Asada gradually realizing the true nature of his feelings for Nao (for most of those three years he told himself he loved Nao like a brother) and then worrying that someone would notice how he felt. He was afraid that Nao would either react negatively if he knew or at the very least unambiguously reject him.

It wasn't until fairly late in the volume that Asada realized there was another element in play in his feelings for Nao: envy. From Asada's perspective, Nao had found his path in life and had then managed to move forward, whereas very little had changed in Asada's own life.

I really liked watching how things worked out between Asada and Nao. It's too bad the volume wasn't a bit longer - it would have been nice to see a little more of Asada and Nao after they became an official couple, and the whole issue of Asada's career concerns didn't seem to truly be resolved (okay, so he's happy with his job now, but why?). A couple shorts, one showing Asada and Nao a few years down the line and one with Nao's boss and her husband, would have also been lovely. That said, I really enjoyed this and could see myself rereading it in the future. Sadly, I don't think any of Yukimura's other works have officially been translated into English. I'd love to read more.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-06-25 20:02
Review: "Bitter Taffy" (Candy Man, #2) by Amy Lane
Bitter Taffy - Amy Lane


~ 3.5 stars ~


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review 2017-06-04 21:51
Fun Read!
The Bohemian and the Businessman: The Story Sisters #1 - Katy Regnery

The Bohemian And The Businessman by Katy Regnery is a fairly short read, a good choice for those with limited time for reading.  Ms Regnery has once again delivered a well-written book.  I love the characters in this story.  Priscilla and Shane's story is loaded with drama, humor and sizzle.  This story captured me and held me hostage from the first paragraph.  I enjoyed reading The Bohemian And The Businessman and look forward to reading more from Katy Regnery in the future.  The Bohemian And The Businessman is book 15 of the Blueberry Lane Series and book 1 of the Story Sisters Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2017-04-16 00:00
The Bohemian and the Businessman
The Bohemian and the Businessman - Katy Regnery ARC Review: The Bohemain and The Businessman (Blueberry Lane: The Story Sisters) by Katy Regnery

Time to take a stroll down Blueberry Lane. Where the characters are a bit eccentric, the men are irresistible and the women are as breathtaking as they are headstrong. How could I help but get lost in the rhapsody of these spellbinding characters? Strength of self and a wandering spirit force Shane and Priscilla together, but the music of the heart was a melodic symphony that neither saw coming. The Bohemian and The Businessman takes readers on a magical carpet ride of inner truth, maturity and the courage to risk it all in the name of love. I get a rush whenever I sit down to read a Katy Regnery novel. Ms. Regnery not only steals the spirit, but captivates the heart while seducing the soul. A pleasurably, seductive escape.
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review 2016-08-17 16:07
Review: "Secret" by the Kindle Alexanders
Secret - Reese Dante,Kindle Alexander,Jae Ashley

"There's something different about you, Dylan. Something I can't put my finger on, but I feel differently when I'm with you. It doesn't make a lot of sense when I say it out loud."


Well, Tristan, honey, let me tell you that it doesn't make much more sense when you silently read about it either.



Both MCs, or as I like to think of 'em as "The Coward and the Creep", annoyed the ever-living fuck out of me!


Dylan is a married man and a father to three kids. At the same time he's been secretly gay his whole life and is still a gay virgin at 37? Ok, fine. I guess that sort of thing could happen. Like if you're a deeply religious guy and living in an Amish community. An Amish community with women only (besides you, of course). Other than that, I'm only willing to buy this premise if the writing and the characters can deliver it. SPOILER ALERT:


They could NOT deliver it!

(spoiler show)


As a gay man myself, let me tell you that there is no way, NO WAY, that you define yourself as gay in your late teens/early 20s and you live through your 20s and most of your 30s and NOT give in to your sexual desires. Dylan even had his wife's consent to hook up with other men but doesn't act on it. Because an anonymous hook-up in a dark alley or in the backroom of a gay club would endanger his children's college future, while he himself would get caught in a tornado filled with sandpaper and poison. Or something. I dunno.



Oh, and get this: HE DOESN'T EVEN WATCH GAY PORN because "it’s something I can’t have, so watching’s almost like a punishment.". What. The. Actual. Fuck??



And don't even get me started on Tristan. This creeper takes the word "pushy" to the next level.


When he wasn't occupied with keeping Dylan drunk enough so he would make out with him, he talked Dylan's wife Teri into sending him pictures of Dylan or showing him a sleeping Dylan via webcam. Nice intrusion of privacy, Teri & Tristan!



But my favorite part was a particular sex scene, which basically went down like this:


Dylan: “I see myself as more of a top.”

Tristan: „Do you trust me?“

Dylan: „….Yes.“

Tristan: „Ok then. Here, have a few drinks.“


~10 minutes later~


"When he heard the soft snores, he smiled and began to knead the firm round globes of Dylan's ass, sliding his hands toward the center crevice. He reached out for the lubricant and condoms, dripping some on his fingers before he decided to switch up his strategy. He parted Dylan's ass cheeks and bent in, sliding his tongue along the rim. That stirred the sleeping man. When he pressed his tongue inside Dylan's ass, the deep moan that came from above let him know he was doing something right."


Just lovely! SO nice to initiate ass play with a man who just minutes ago declared himself a top and just passed out because you got him drunk. Aww, so romantic.


Now imagine this scenario in an M/F book.



Besides their mutual declarations of how hot and sexy the other one was (which became very repetitive, very cheesy and so very, very old, so very, very fast), there wasn't anything  even remotely deep or interesting about their relationship. And I guess even the Kindle Alexanders gave up at one point to create any palpable chemistry between the MCs and just went with insta-love, not even bothering anymore to explain their connection besides their mutual physical attraction:


"The conversation they were having now and what it meant, the depth of his desire for this man he'd known for all of a few days...none of it made sense."


NONE of it!



The big confession and Dylan's coming-out to his children at the end of the book was just utterly and completely ridiculous, unbelievable and 100% unrealistic.


Ok, now just picture this: you're a 16 or 18-year-old kid, and one night your parents, which you've known all your life and who you think were very much in love, call a family meeting and tell you that their marriage has been nothing but a big sham for all these years. And that your father was gay and that your mother was pregnant by another man. How would you react? Well, according to this book, a perfectly normal reaction would be


"Are y'all still paying for our college?"



GUYYYS, this book was so, SO awful. Terrible. Bad, bad, BAD!


I'm giving this author (duo? trio?) another chance, but I’m afraid the Kindle Alexanders will end up at the „authors everyone loves but me“ table, right next to Mary „so bad, it’s not even fun to hate-read“ Calmes and Josh „only a dysfunctional relationship is a good relationship“ Lanyon.


One star for the cover, bonus star for an entertaining hate-read BR.




Thanks to Julie for the BR!

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