Teachers at pre-school wouldn't let me have a book in my hands because no matter what I had to finish it. I'm hopelessly devoted to M/M
Amazing. This is the real thing.
I wanted to read this series because of a bunch of reasons:
1. The title is poetical and beautiful. It stuck and couldn't forget about it ever since.
2. The covers are suggestive and artsy.
3. Kou Yoneda's style agrees with me.
4. Shady environment: the Japanese mafia.
5. One of the MCs is impotent. The other one is a masochist. I wanted to see how the hell this would be sorted out.
Yes, I kind of expected this to epically explode in my very face, yet it didn't.
Yashiro is yakuza. He's also an teasing irreverent masochist who has been secretly pinning his best (and only) friend from high school.
Doumeki is an ex-con, and an ex-police officer, who intercedes in one of Yashiro's 'scenes'. He's also impotent. Nothing can scratch his imperturbable armor. Or does it?
Yashiro takes him as his bodyguard (although he finds other uses in him) and loves provoking him in all ways he can think of. Sexually mostly, and the non-answer he receives from Doumeki only spurs him on even more.
Strangely enough, there is a compelling atmosphere in this story. The characterization is incredible, and their attachment to each other may be deeper than it seems at first. Even when they are unable to meet in the middle.
Or are they?
Read in Manga Rock.
It's not easy to achieve the transition from a non-con to a real BDSM love story. But Lisa Henry did it.
At first I wasn't very convinced, it was too dark, there was too much abuse. I honestly didn't see any romance in the torturer-tortured relationship. Miller struck me as a sadistic bastard, or at least, as an impassive person who has seen too much violence and, as such, he can't ever be moved by real emotions anymore.
Psychologists and psychiatrists who learn how to break minds instead of curing them freak me out.
But I ended up liking it pretty much.
Well, for starters, there is a change, from the fascination towards someone who refuses to be broken to a fascination for something more he manages to see in Rho. Miller meets a POW who has survived for so long he wonders what's different in him. Days pass and Rho gets under his skin, Rho is someone he wants for himself, so he saves him and bends him to become his. Rho resists at first, but there is a compulsion that complies him to finally give in, to finally submit, to this man.
That's why I liked. Regardless of how wrong it sounds, how twisted the circumstances are, how depraved the situation is, there is a beautiful relationship in its infancy which is already life-changing in the most basic and essential of senses.
From pain and despair, to warmth and safety.
Is it even possible?
You can read it for free here.
I was pleasantly surprised by this. His style is melancholic and crestfallen. Strangely enough, even the "adorable" story was sad, in a way. However, the author manages to not only infect with this sadness, but also with the warmth we can find in the different pairs.
This may be my favorite. Incredibly sensual. Unexpected ending that is not an ending at all, but the beginning of something huge. That's why I can't understand why there is not a whole book about this story. The premise is awesome.
(This stories continues in NightS: Another Story).
This is the high-school boys one. The "cheerful" one.
I don't know what to think about this. The characters seem to like each other, then stay far away and their feelings get cold, then they regret being star away, but they still don't get closer.
Read in Manga Rock.
Volumes in the series:
This was fun.
I expected no less from Cordelia.
The Spanish was awesome. I was close to tears with the proper use of the opening exclamation and interrogation signs (“¡” and “¿”), the syntax with the verb and noun conjugations, the use of accents, and the loving nicknames. That “cielito” made me laugh and swoon in equal parts. It’s not that I’m fond of nicknames themselves but I loved how the author made her homework and wasn’t content with online translators.
And yes, there are lots of Spanish sentences, dialogues and isolated words now and then. Not only because of the Mexican cartel, but also because of some of the “good” characters themselves speaking this language. So maybe it can be a little challenging for non-Spanish speakers but I suppose the general idea is understood.
Also, Ángel with accent! I can’t tell how delighted I’m with this.
Ángel is not an angel at all.
There were a few minor mistakes, though. A few forgotten accents. Just the sort that are easy to overlook if you are not paying attention. Nothing really important. Still, I hope they are corrected once this book is released:
Ángel shrugged. “He also had a wife an several girlfriends It was no threat to his machísmo to fuck a man the same way he would a woman.”
Correct word: machismo. But I’m not sure if machismo is the proper word in this specific context. I’d say “masculinidad” fits there, too, maybe even better. Above all after this:
Raúl didn’t respect me - his particular concept of masculinity meant he couldn’t treat me as an equal if he was going to fuck me.
Later we have:
“Pues más o menos.”
Correct version: ¿Cómo estás?
Sometimes names have accents, sometimes they don’t. I’m not delighted with this constant changes but in USA accents tend to disappear. Anyway, there was a character (Mexican) who was called “Manuel Juarez”, no accent, but then the author mentions “Ciudad Juárez” (Mexican), with accent.
This made me laugh. Hard:
“Fucking Spanish! Says he doesn’t like not knowing what they’re saying around him. I told him, ‘Johnny, those fuckers are gonna come to America, they gotta speak American.’ You know?”
My sentiments exactly.
Ángel was undercover in a Mexican cartel. As the toy boy of an important mafioso. Once this mafioso is killed, he’s at risk, to he asks for a way out. The team in charge of this mission is Charles’s one.
And it’s not a nice reencounter.
Charles is black. Ángel is Hispanic. I loved how naturally Cordelia describes the characters. No “coffee skin” or other ambiguous terms, just straight to the point. In my head, Ángel was white, as no further description was provided, with a mischievous glance that makes Charles nervous more often than not. I don’t know if I’m wrong but that’s how I imagine him. Charles is more serious and tries to keep the distances and the anger awake (he also has the biggest cock Ángel has ever seen, which I think is a cliché, but whatever).
I love how shamelessly Cordelia writes sex scenes. They are porny. Every time I read a book of hers, I know what I will get, and I rub my hands in advance. Dirty talk is mandatory with her. And dirty sex. In fact, I was disappointed there weren’t more hot scenes. There should have been more and longer!
Even more, I think this book should have been longer. The love department needed a deeper development. Things are doomed since the very beginning because of a past that none of them can forget nor forgive. So they don’t talk, they don’t form a bond. They fuck instead. Multiple times. Then the relationship seems finished for good after a Big Revelation, and then all hell breaks loose with the stalker taking the reins of the situation.
At this stage of the story, the MCs find out that nothing really matters, only them together. Because of the danger and the oh-my-god-you-almost-died vibes, everything is “solved”. I feel the book should have dedicated a few chapters to the “after”, to the “re-bonding”, the “getting to know each other for real”. But that didn’t happen. Or happened off-stage.
The mystery part was weak. I suck in mysteries but I figured who the baddie was once this character’s good façade makes an appearance. A pity.
So, it was an entertaining read. Not the best by Cordelia, but good enough to hold my attention until the very end.
Team Review with Adam and Cupkita!
***Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***
KA doesn’t “do repeats”.
She writes about something, she finishes it, she turns the page and she goes on with something different. I didn’t want to read this because it was about sports. I wanted to try this one because it was done by her. She has already won my vote of confidence with the prospect of reading something by her. She only has to convince me, and that’s the challenge.
This story is about two men but there are many arcs, it was so complex in the end.
1. Love story (with an age gap): Nico – Jake.
2. Unrequited love and lost friendship: Jake – Brandon.
3. Guilt road: Nico – mother’s death.
4. Shame road: Nico – father’s homophobic attitude.
5. Health road: Nico – meltdowns before games.
6. Pear pressure road: Nico – expectations to be the best and how to deal with it all.
7. BDSM theme (a light one): Nico – Jake.
8. Rookie – veteran theme: Nico – Jake.
9. Retirement theme: Jake.
10. Obviously, the LBGT theme in a sports environment.
It doesn’t feel that way but in truth this book is not as simple as it seems at first. I don’t consider it a book about ‘sports’, although, ironically, the baseball topic was explained in a damn detailed way.
And it’s funny because the novel is built in such a way that is not even the usual romance. It reads easy, so easy you don’t notice how short the love story really is. Despite this, the love story is balanced and, surprisingly, unhurried. Nico has had a crush on Jake since he can remember, and Jake cannot at first get the idea of a much younger man than him to be his other half… but he does. It's amazing how straight-forward it is, how non-dramatic and non-stupid. How honest and true. No bullshit in the middle.
There are fun moments, too.
And there are heart-melting moments. The scenes with Nico's family were very emotive. I love how the characters have a background. They are not simply this guy who happen to play baseball. They have a past, they are the result of their experiences and their histories. They have depth.
The author could have made it more convoluted, with more drama-queenish moments and beating around the bush for the sake of it. But she didn’t.
I know nothing about baseball. Sometimes I felt I was watching a tennis match. I felt I was stupidly turning my head left and right, left and right, sometimes not even seeing the ball at all.
I’m not even mad. I can work with lapses.
The pitcher and catcher jokes are a plus, but in truth I loved Jake’s reasons for his love of this sport. He shapes the game, he ‘controls’ it, but he also likes taking care of his players, of his team. I could see the parallelism here, and I thought that was beautiful.
All in all, I really enjoyed this one.
***ARC received from author via Indigo Marketing And Design in exchange for an honest review.
A picture is worth a thousand words...
One of my favorite reads of this year. This book is awesome. Period.
My first reaction when reading the first pages of this book was feeling the irresistible temptation of hitting myself in the head with a rock.
Yes, I’ve always been a little extreme.
See, Metzger is not a new author for me. I read one of his books a long time ago, Vivaldi in the Dark, and fell in love with his style. But, for some stupid reason, I didn’t stay true to my promise, and I kept letting him pass.
Again and again.
When I finally decided to give him a chance, it was because of the cover and the blurb, which sounded kind of fun and sarcastic and the prospect of lots of sexy scenes seemed to be quaranteed.
Those were stupid motives, I do know that now.
This book is of the special kind.
Not of the shallow laugh-and-forget kind.
I can’t begin to describe how perfect this is. It reminds me of my dear Stockholm Syndrome, by Richard Rider, and that sounds the opposite of reassuring, I know. Only this is a much more balanced (and healthier) relationship. Shocking as it is, the characters really do play the part, they are really good for each other, make each other feel safe and cherished and loved and valued.
It was painfully obvious, this constant ache and yearning.
And still it was so funny and it only complied me to keep reading and reading.
I think that’s the best thing you can say about a book. That you are so into the characters’ skin, into the narrator’s voice, that your life stops existing for those hours in which everything is just… perfect.
No, it’s not yoga.
Something funny happened to me here. I’d never read a transgender story before. It’s not that I have a tendency to avoid them (but I do), but I never dared to make the big step. I supposed it wasn’t my cuppa, for the same reason mystery or cross-dressing are not my cuppa. Here I didn’t expect the topic to arise (yes, I know, I should read the blurbs more closely, but in the end I focus on what the story makes me feel rather than what it’s really about, once the doubts are silenced) so when Eli speaks the truth I was as stupefied as the next man. But everything began to make sense. The author subtly led me to the idea that something was not entirely “average” about Eli, but no explanation was provided until very far into the story. When that “little” fact was uncovered, it was a surprise, but it was not a shock.
So my cherry popped in the sweetest of ways, without me looking for it, and without forcing the situation in the least.
A few months ago I met a little boy with gender dysphoria. It was one of the most precious and profound interviews I have ever seen, I could barely breathe with what I was hearing and seeing, and it made me aware how amazing being a child psychiatrist is. It’s an art, you have to avoid all kind of explicit questions, you apparently go around in circles “guiding” the kid so to make him speak his mind by his own accord. That is the way it’s done with abuse cases, too. Inserting ideas in a child can lead to the creation of untrue facts and that can be proof enough to dismiss the whole denunciation.
Anyway, in this occasion it was the other way around. She felt like a girl. She wanted to be a Frozen princess, like half the girls her age. She wanted to have long hair in order to get it braided. All her friends in pre-school were girls. Her bedroom was pink. She said her boyish name was ok, but she would prefer a Disney girl name. She was too young to really gasp the reality of what she was experiencing but she already knew something was not entirely alright with herself.
I do know the conflict is much more meaningful than that, but the signals were there already, at such an early age. There was little doubt about it, after a whole year of appointments. Her mother was very understanding and wanted to make all the process of growing up the most natural and the least traumatic possible for the kid. She was scared but determined. The father was not that accepting. They were in divorce proceedings.
She was beautiful, and I only wanted to hug her. Not just because of some sort of maternal instinct or whatever (although I must admit there are very cute kids out there), but because immediately afterwards, I was sad. I just remembered the news of a 17-year-old trans who commited suicide a few months before because she couldn’t bear all the bullying at school. She had had the complete support of her mother and had already gone through the breast surgery, but she never managed to complete her transition.
So I felt hope that this time, this time everything would be alright. That the 17 teenager died, but that Frozen princess would come to the other side safe and sound.
Maybe I’m an over-sentimental fool, but that’s how I felt.
So this little gem was a gift in other senses of the word, too.
Harsh reality indeed, and this book doesn’t beat around the bush, which I appreciate. Eli suffered isolation if not rejection at school, and the situation at home is not ideal, either, as Eli’s parents still struggle with the fact their daughter is in fact a son. All of this takes a toll on Eli.
Rob is just the total opposite. Ro bis freedom and exhilaration and acceptance.
This book is also challenging in another aspect. Eli and Rob have been together for 6 months already. I don’t usually like books with relationships that are already stable. It’s not something I hate per se, it’s just that I usually don’t feel the connection, the “je ne sais quoi” that makes it believable and vital for me. This time I didn’t need any push nor explanation, I just let myself being carried by the words, by the dynamics of this unusual pair.
I was struck by Eli’s authencity. His serenity and his self-possession, his loyalty and his fierceness, his naughtier side and his sweet words. But also his wild façace and his claws when they need to be shown, to protect what is his, and to fight everything that comes between himself and Rob, even Rob himself. He's a voice to behold. His perspective was insightful and enlightening. I particulary loved his way of being kind towards Rob but with the necessary steel beneath to dominate the situation when it goes emotionally out of hand.
Because Rob is more vulnerable than it seems. It was one of the reasons why I loved him so much.
If I adored Eli, I was even more dumbfounded by this tattooed ex-con with a cause, rough around the edges, who has not led an easy life. Bad attitude, bad education, and bad vibes rolling off him, he’s not exactly the best choice to introduce to your parents, above all when they are both on the most righteous side of the law, chief policeman and forensic specialist, to be precise. Rob won my heart with his real self, the one hidden from the world. The one Eli sees and fell in love with.
Still, that was nothing to compare with Rob’s endless devotion and surrender when I finally got to know what Eli’s ‘weirdness’ is about. Even when the mystery is unfolded, there was still so much more space and time for surprise.
Nothing is what it looks like.
These two characters are joined together with super-glue and I couldn't see the extent of that, the botton of that. Because it floods and soakes everything they touch. They loved and lived for each other and there were no limits for that.
The BDSM aspect blowed my mind. It’s pretty hot the idea of the bad guy being the submissive, whereas the skinny trans guy mandhandles him when the mood strikes. But it was even better seeing how Rob worshippes Eli with all his might. He doesn’t understand the first thing about dysphoria, why Eli is so sick of his own body beyond not liking wearing high-heeled shoes. He just knows Eli feels like that, and, as he loves Eli, that’s just reason enough to believe in him, to comply and make his dreams come true, to support him no matter what, and to bend and protect him from whoever hurts him. To cherish him even though Eli doesn’t consider himself ‘himself’ yet.
Do not expect a sappy reading here, although there are loads of gentle moments and cuddling, and I’m a sweet-cuddling junkie. I was surprised by the amount of “fucks” and “fuck you” and “fuckings” I found. If you can’t stand word repetitions, this may fed you up. It seemed a Tarantino movie or a Guy Ritchie comedy. Rob is a bad-ass from a bad-ass background, and he is not shy in demonstrating this fact, he doesn’t precisely have a mouth filter or a non-impulsive mind. The same goes to his brother Danny, an interesting character I would have liked to know more about. I didn’t mind the “fucks” as much as the mobile phone messages, which sometimes gave me headaches trying to decipher them. I’m not trained enough to read hieroglyphs, mind you.
All in all, Rob prefers rubbing his bad-guy vibes in Eli’s parents’ faces rather than behaving as a polite boyfriend would in a family dinner. But Eli doesn’t let him cross certain limits. Not exactly a tight leash to make him act as someone he’s not, but he’s not scared of keeping him in line and deal with the consequences if Rob doesn’t obey.
And sometimes Rob doesn’t behave very well.
But he always has Eli’s interests at heart.
IDK if I was clear with my little speech but I do recommend this book.
(PS: paella packets are a sacrilege. I have never crossed myself but here I felt like doing so at the mention of such.)
***Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***
I'm officially wasted.
Sex in the space. Hiyaaaaaaa!!!
How the hell certain people make awesome stuff like this?
Awww, this was not only hot but it has a great plot.
And it promises to deliver even MORE.
Volumes in the series:
+ Chapter 4
You can read it for free (online) here.
I read this twice.
Why? I don't know, it's not that the plot is awesome. In fact there are many inconsistencies and non sequitur vignettes and deus ex machina solutions.
But it was so primal and had a perfect right-in-the-feels aim I forgot about the raw simplicity of it all. Or maybe it was the raw simplicity which made me fall in love with Yuuen and Emba. No excuses, no shame, no dishonor, and consequently, no beating around the bush.
And this is why I'm always wary of Japanese movies.
I'm traumatized. I'm going to the furthest corner to grab my knees and roll back and forth.
Not a bad manga, just too fucked-up for my taste. In multiple senses of the word.
It's called Venus because of this:
Yes, the boy in the cover is arm-less. And that's creepy as hell. But it's even worse when the person who cut his arms off is the other guy.
And they love playing with the arm prosthesis.
And the arms become arm ghosts and participate in the play, too.
Then there is a third-wheel fucking around, too.
Many times, I couldn't understand what was going on.
As I said, this is a little too much.
The characters are often cross-eyed. It's damn distracting.