Hello, there! Today we have another yaoi manga from 2015 with a delayed review thanks to college, haha! I will be back on track soon, I promise ❤
Today’s manga series is The Tyrant Falls In Love, from Hinako Takanaga! If you find this mangaka’s name familiar, you must have seen my review for another title from her, Croquis 🙂 And if you didn’t, now you can, haha!
Oh, in case you are new here: yaoi manga = gay romance manga 🙂
Tetsuhiro Morinaga is a hopeless romantic. Nothing really wrong there, right? Well, it gets wrong if you start to day dream about your very heterosexual and homophobic work college, as it is the case with Morinaga. He has a huge crush on Souichi Tatsumi, his supervisor at his part time job in their college.
After a very frustrating episode with his younger brother, Souichi is traumatized and really annoyed at gay community in general. Souichi hates to admit, but he does care for Morinaga.
The thing is that Morinaga doesn’t seem to be good at measuring affection.
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
So, if you have been following my manga reviews for a while, you will notice that my friend Hachiyumi has an awesome taste in reads and always tips me off, so I get to read only the best titles in town ;D Thanks yet again, Hachi!
At first, I didn’t thought I’d like The Tyrant Falls In Love, but oh boy, I was so wrong! So deliciously wrong… Sigh. Anyway, haha! I usually don’t like gay characters that hide behind homophobia. They can hide all they want, it’s a right of all of us, but homophobia? Really?
And, to my utter astonishment, I fell deeply in love with the series. The more you read, the more you like it, haha! I started giving it 4 stars per volume, but now I think that it is a five stars yaoi manga series as a whole ❤ It is still being published in Japan and this review contemplates it until volume nine!
The narrative pace is annoyingly slow, mostly in Morigana’s point of view. When they have already stablished some sort of relationship, we start to get glimpses at Souichi’s mind as well. I like switching POVs, so I’m happy, haha!
The plot is very simple: boy falls in love with hetero co-worker and decides to conquer him. And gets punched a lot in the face for trying. Several times.
Yes, just like this.
But simple plots are not a bad thing. Poorly executed plots are a bad thing and it’s not the case at all! Takanaga-sensei, once again, was brilliant in conducting the story and leaving her reader in a constant need for more, a.k.a. hooked up into her work 🙂 And, for having a slow pace, the story has many details, something that I utterly love! The most amazing part? We can remember it all!
Now, the characters. There are some awesome sidekicks to this story, but they don’t make much of an appearance overall. So, I’ll focus on our Lucky couple, kay? 🙂
Morinaga is a completely lost case. He is very insensible when it comes to other people’s feelings, even not meaning to, and it’s a paranoid sort of fellow. He is handsome and cute and the top of the relationship – btw, I love cute tops and powerful bottoms, haha! – but he has much to learn yet, even with the series in volume number nine. Of course he already grew a lot and developed beautifully, but that one was just too damaged, haha! Even more than Souichi…
Anyway, let’s go to the crux of the problem: Souichi. He is the dream man on the outside, but has a very awful temper. He is violent, unforgiving and pretty much the tyrant described in the title. Honestly, I don’t know why Morigana fell in love with him in the first place, haha! But after he starts to drop his defenses, we can’t resist him ❤ He is so cute!
As the pace is very slow, it takes forever between a sex scene and another and they are not very explicit. If sex it’s what you’re looking for, this title is not for you, haha!
One of the things that I like the most about The Tyrant Falls In Love is that it follows the couple’s routine and shows how the outside happenings can affect their relationship even when both are okay with each other. It’s amazing.
Overall, this is a cute series with an interesting story and loveable characters. If you like yaoi, this is a must-read for you!
That’s it! Thanks for reading and hope you’re having an awesome weekend!
Hello, again! Another manga review from my dissertation times is on 😀 Eerie Queerie! is a light and fun boys love series from Shuri Shiozu sensei ❤
Mitsuo Shiozu is a high school student with a very peculiar ability: he can see ghost. Moreover, some spirits manage to go as far as to possess his body to solve their unfinished business on this realm.
During one of those possession moments, Mitsuo meets Hasunuma, a very gentle and good-looking boy. As their friendship goes stronger (and more spirits come to their ways), Mitsuo needs to figure out what he feels for Hasunuma.
And, if it’s not asking for much, without losing his body to weird haunted souls.
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
I’m that kind of person that wakes up one day and says: “hey, I think I’ll start a new manga series today!”. So I randomly search a title online, get it and read it to my heart’s content. Eerie Queerie! was one of those titles, found by chance in a catalogue. I didn’t expect to like it the way I did, as all I wanted was to have a nice time, haha!
Eerie Queerie! is a four volumes manga series, of the kind that improves with each passing chapter. The author develops her drawing style a lot and the story is involving to the point that you can’t stop reading. Overall, four out of five stars 😀
The narrative pace is slow and kind of confusing in the beginning. The reader can see flashes of Mitsuo’s life and then what he does to help the spirits around him to move on. Until volume two, there were more isolated cases than a sequential story, which isn’t necessarily bad. I though confusing, but okay.
The plot was simple, but full of twists. Every time a new character was introduced, I knew that I, as a reader, would have a headache trying to understand if the new person was good or bad. Btw, that was nice, haha! Other interesting thing is that, despite being a clear yaoi manga, the romance is not the main genre. The adventure and the spirit world have all the focus and that’s okay. Almost, haha!
I liked the main characters overall and found them to be very funny and charismatic, each on their own way. Mitsuo is the cutest guy and I felt sorry for him on more than one occasion for several reasons. My favorite was Hasunuma, as he was the most real and non-absurd one in the group, haha! (cof, and the most handsome, cof).
The art is the big flop in this series if you ask me. As I said, the author develops a lot during the chapters, but it went from weird to not so weird, haha! And I’m very picky with manga art, so good bye to one star.
Examples of the art*:
One thing that also made me take off that star is the relationship between Mitsuo and Hasunuma. They clearly have feelings for each other and they even say so many times, but we never got to see any kind of action. ANY. KIND. I got disappointed. It’s not because the series is not romantic that people don’t kiss and do stuff, ugh. The author makes the reader believe that the amorous feelings between characters are meaningless 😦
Overall, it’s a good ghost series, a light and funny read for those days when you don’t want to think and need a good laugh 😀
That’s it, thanks for reading! How do you feel about the art style when reading a manga??
*I do not own these images, they were found at Google and are here displayed with illustrative purposes only. They belong to Shuri Shiozu sensei.
Hi, there! Good morning 😀 Today is Authors from my Heart <3, manga section! The chosen one was a group responsible for my entry on this world: CLAMP!
We first met in 2003, which was my official year of manga discovering (thanks, Rachel!). My first title from CLAMP was Chobits and I regret nothing ❤ I’ve read almost all their works (some not until the end, I confess), so I have a clinical eye for them. Strongest point is, for sure, the art and the clothing in all titles. Seriously, these women are AWESOME. Their plots are a bit temperamental, but I never outright hated anything, so I guess this is a plus. Weak point: subliminal messages. SUBLIMINAL MESSENGERS EVERYWHERE. Read Card Captor Sakura or Wish, YOU SHALL UNDERSTAND MY MEANING. And, at the same time that is very cool, it can be so frustrating! CLAMP is not known for sheets action, if you catch my drift, so we fans have to resource to dousjinshis to see what we want from any couple, hetero or homosexual 😦
Anyway, I’ve read 13 series from them until now and I promise to try to put them in chronological order of appearance in my life (or something that approaches that, haha!)
Warning: this post is huge. Sorry about that, haha!
Chi isn’t your average humanoid computer. She can’t do word processing, she can’t connect to the Internet, and she’s incapable of networking with other persocoms. Even her sound card seems broken. No wonder Hideki found her tied up in a pile of trash. But when the 19-year-old technophobe takes her home, he finds that she may be more advanced than her childlike behavior lets on.
The first one is always special, even not being the best. Already talked more about it here 🙂
From CLAMP comes the thrilling adventures of Sakura, a fourth-grader who accidentally finds an enchanted book called The Clow. The book once contained a set of magical Clow Cards, but they all escaped while the guardian of the book fell asleep. Now, Sakura is thrust into a mystical journey to capture all the cards before they wreak chaos and destruction!
I’ve watched the anime on TV for years before getting to ready this title and it’s even better on manga ❤ CLAMP’s art is something astonishingly beautiful. My first yaoi couple comes from this series, in the form of Touya and Yukito. They were clearly boyfriends, but damn CLAMP and their subliminal messages! I only realized that years after, ugh. Still, they are adorable together:
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu are Tokyo schoolgirls with nothing else in common, until one fateful day changes everything: the three are summoned to the magical realm of Cephiro and find that their lives are inexorably intertwined. Princess Emeraude, whose willpower keeps Cephiro safe, has been kidnapped by the sinister Zagato, and the three girls must become the legendary Magic Knights in order to save her. It’s not going to be easy, as Zagato has sent his most powerful minions to stop the girls before they can fulfill their destinies. Protected by an ancient wizard’s blessing and determined to find their way home, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu begin the adventure of a lifetime!
This series is quite nice, but I confess it requires a re-read on my part, as I barely remember anything beyond the three main characters, oops!
As part of the X/1999 series, this volume features breathless action and stunning art. When Kamui returns to Tokyo, he learns that his childhood girlfriend Kotori and psychic Princess Hitoni are having strange dreams about his role in a coming apocalypse! Is he the angel of salvation, or the devil of destruction?
To be honest, I barely remember this series either. I’ve read it on 2003 or 2004 and only once, so this needs a re-read, haha!
Angelic Layer is sweeping the nation! In the newest electronic sport, players enter their Angels in tournaments and battle for fortune and glory. Twelve-year-old Misaki just discovered Angelic Layer, and she’s already captivated by the game. But building a winning Angel takes money and experience, and Misaki’s short on both counts. With the help of a crazy scientist and a very special Angel of her own, she’ll give it her all to win the Angelic Layer crown.
This series is a sweetie! I love it so much! Its catch is similar to Chobits, in a way, as there is robots and common characters (oh yeah, they looove to do that and we love to spy their Easter eggs, haha!)
Tokyo. The cultural and economic hub of the Eastern world. Not unlike the legendary city of Babylon, its man-made tower stretches toward the heavens … a symbol of its people’s ambition and their indomitable spirit. Nowhere on Earth will you find such vanity … or such beauty.
This is my home.
My name is Sumeragi Subaru, and I hunt the dead. Then I return them to peace.
No matter where my work leads me, I suspect I’ll never leave Tokyo in spirit. But then again, it seems so few people do these days…
If I remember correctly, this series is a kind of prequel for X 1999, but I’m not sure. Again, only read once in 2004/2005, haha! I need to re-read many things…
Watanuki Kimihiro is haunted by visions of ghosts and spirits. Seemingly by chance, he encounters a mysterious witch named Yuuko, who claims she can help. In desperation, he accepts, but realizes that he’s just been tricked into working for Yuuko in order to pay off the cost of her services. Soon he’s employed in her little shop–a job which turns out to be nothing like his previous work experience.
Most of Yuuko’s customers live in Japan, but Yuko and Watanuki are about to have some unusual visitors named Sakura and Syaoran from a land called Clow…
This series crosses paths with the next of the list, Tsubasa. I didn’t finish either, but I always liked Holic best ❤ Yuuko is amazing and I love the bromance between Watanuki and Domeki, haha!
SAKURA AND SYAORAN RETURN!
But they’re not the people you know. Sakura is the princess of Clow – and possessor of a mysterious, misunderstood power that promises to change the world. Syaoran is her childhood friend and leader of the archaeological dig that took his father’s life. They reside in an alternate reality…where whatever you least expect can happen – and does. When Sakura ventures to the dig site to declare her love for Syaoran, a puzzling symbol is uncovered – which triggers a remarkable quest. Now Syaoran embarks upon a desperate journey through other worlds – all in the name of saving Sakura.
I’m not the biggest fan of this series and I had never the opportunity of finishing it either, but I liked Phi and Kurogane (me and my males, I know). And the fact that here and there CLAMP made Tsubasa and Holic cross paths was super cool, haha! I need to re-read and finish this…
A trio of pre-teen sleuths made up of: 6’th grader Nokoru Imonoyama– Student Body president– his family built the CLAMP school and he’s the top student in his school. He has the superhuman ability to detect a woman crying from 2 km away!; Suoh Takamura- 5’th Grader –Student Body Secretary– A master martial artist with 3rd degree blackbelts in Judo, Aikido, Karate, and Kendo.; 4’th grader Akira Ijyuin — A master thief, also known as the Man of 20 Faces. He’s popular with the ladies, and is currently dating the president of the Kindergarten. Together they are the Clamp School detectives and they help girls in distress around the campus.
THIS SERIES IS SO CUTE! Plus, one of the boys is the main character of Man of Many Faces ❤ Please, don’t kick me, as a great deal of those series (including this one) were read in my late childhood and teenies…
Goodreads blurb[translated because the only available edition was in Spanish]:
An anthology with several short stories created by CLAMP, which portrays a series of closed worries in a funny way.
This was a bit weird and not really funny, but okay. I survived and now I pretend this does not exists.
When Shuichiro rescues an angel he is granted a single wish. The problem? Shuichiro can’t think of any wishes that he couldn’t grant himself. Refusing to leave Shuichiro without granting a wish Amber, the angel, moves in with the young doctor to help out around the house and wait for a chance to return the favor. Of course, angels aren’t the only supernatural beings wandering the Earth. Soon, demons and archangels alike are stopping by Shuichiro’s house, making things difficult for his angelic roommate.
THIS MANGA IS CUTENESS ALL OVER! Nothing prepared me for it, really. It’s the series that best approaches boys love, but not there yet as we barely get light kisses, ugh. But most parties involved are males, so I guess it’s a start? One of my favorite series from CLAMP!
There are many worlds in the universe outside of our own, connected by doors that are hidden to the eye. but if you chance upon those doors, you can be transported to a place where supple beauties reign supreme and all of your fantasies come allve. Should you pass through the doorways, be most careful, for the creatures you will meet can be as dangerous as they are beautiful. Many would die for a glimpse at those worlds–Miyuki would do anything to have them go away.
If you ask me, this series of short stories with poor Miyuki is awful and creepy, haha! I didn’t really like it.
Akira ljyuln lives a double life as a top student at Clamp School and as the infamous thief 20 Faces. He steals at the whim of his two crime lord mothers until his life is changed forever by a chance meeting with the lovely Utako. Featuring cameos by other Clamp School characters, Man of Many Faces is a romance that spans years, as childhood crush turns to true love. An absolute must that no Clamp fan can do without.
I loved this series! It was oh-so-cute and funny! Despite being an old title, it was only released in Brazil in 2014, so I didn’t know it. Now it’s one of my favorites ❤ SO. CUTE. Cute defines CLAMP very well. Cute and creepy, haha! Review here 🙂
Drawing on CLAMP’s own personal experiences, The One I Love provides insight both into the creators’ own lives, and into the oft-elusive concept of Love itself.
This intimate collection of short stories and essays doesn’t skirt issues at the heart of the matter such as insecurity, honesty, distance, independence, age, and – of course – marriage.
This one-volume anthology comprises 12 individual stories, each of which consists of seven pages of manga and two pages of prose.
I’m very sad to say that this was the last work from CLAMP that I got to know and read for now and that, despite its cute proposal, I found it very boring… I feel so guilty, haha!
CLAMP has several other works, but I guess it doesn’t make sense for me to talk about those titles if I didn’t read them. (Actually, there are some titles in this list already that could have been cut because I can’t remember shit about them, haha!) My point is, I love CLAMP and can’t wait to read more series from them ❤
That’s it! Thanks for reading 😀 Do you know / like CLAMP’s series??
*I do not own any of these illustrations, they were found on Google and are here displayed with the solemn purpose of illustrating points of the post. Those images belong to CLAMP group 🙂
Hello, again! Here we have another (cof yaoi cof) manga review 😀 Also from the times when I was doing my dissertation, oops! Today’s manga is Castle Mango, from Narise Konohara and Muku Ogura ❤
Yorozu is a high school boy that lives with his family at a love hotel called Castle Mango and the place is his sanctuary. Until the day that director Togame crashes the hotel to film one of his porn movies. As if being mistaken for one of the actors for the movie, Yorozu also has to watch Togame “hitting” on his young brother, and that was too much.
After a hard party when Togame had too much to drink, Yorozu sets him up for Togame to think that they slept together on Castle Mango. What Yorozu didn’t expect was to Togame to actually ask him out and become his boyfriend!
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
This is a two volume series and it was adorable. I started to read it because I found the title pretty peculiar (I mean, Castle Mango? Seriously?) and I’m so happy that I did so! It was surprising, entertaining and different from standard high school boy with older guy mangas. Yorozu never wanted Togame and flees from all his efforts for a normal relationship to work between them.
The narrative pace was fast, without much of background for both Yorozu and Togame, but all gets clear with time. Both men are very decided regards their life plans and Yorozu didn’t even feel attraction towards men before meeting Togame (cof after meeting him, not much is changed cof). Togame was openly gay during the whole series, but he didn’t hit on Yorozu because the boy was 17 and he didn’t want to be arrested, haha! The turning point was Yorozu’s scheme and Togame starts to glimpse the man that his boy would become through their forced time together. SO CUTE.
The plot was simple, yet I couldn’t predict how the series was going to end, as it was a drama labeled manga. Also, it proved to be so different from its colleagues on the same category that I found myself breathless, not even knowing if I should cheer for their love, as it was all a lie. Complex business, guys. Complex business…
As for characters, the one that develops the most and was my favorite is Yorozu. He is very mature for his age thanks to life’s beatings, but omg, he changed so much in two volumes! Although not admitting that, he learns a lot with Togame, that is on his thirties. Such a different couple seemed doomed to not work and, in a way, they never did. I’m a goner for dysfunctional relationships between men.
The art is beautiful overall, but it didn’t take my breath away. Here it is an illustrative image* of the main couple:
They are beautiful, but not jaw dropping beautiful, in my humble opinion.
I feel on the duty of advising that you shouldn’t read this series if all that you look for is hot sex scenes with an excuse of a story behind them (I confess I started it for this reason, haha!). Castle Mango is complex and barely contains sensual scenes; sex scenes are out of the table for real. This is a warming-heart life-lesson manga series, you need to read it focusing on the human relationships shown 😀
Overall, I loved this series and have no complains. It’s a wonderful and different yaoi manga that deserves to be more known ❤
That’s it! Thanks for reading and, again, I’m sorry for so many reviews with the same theme. It’s my college’s fault, haha!
*I do not own this image, it belongs to Narise Konohara sensei and Muku Ogura sensei. It was found on Google and here displayed with illustrative purposes only 🙂
Hello once again! I’m sorry, I feel awful that the next four reviews scheduled for the blog are all about gay books or mangas (a.k.a. yaoi mangas), but it’s as I was telling my friend earlier today: not my fault that my dissertation got me so far behind in living and blogging, haha!
Also, not my fault if Ava March is perfection and sent me an early Christmas present yesterday, but this is a topic for another post, haha! Now I’d like to talk about the manga in hand, Ten Count, from sensei Rihito Takarai ❤
Shirotani Tadaomi is the secretary of the President of his company. Despite suffering from a high degree of Mysophobia (the fear of germs and dirt in general), Shirotani does his job well and lives a quiet existence. Until he meets Kurose, a psychiatrist that immediately acknowledges Shirotani’s condition and offers to help him, but as a friend.
Shirotani wasn’t bothered by his own life style until Kurose sweeps him off his feet. Now, besides dealing with his fears, he also has to decide what he feels for the psychiatrist. His responses to Kurouse’s advances are what is going to determinate whether he can be cured or if he is a real lost case.
The manga is still being publish in Japan and this review contemplates it until volume 4.
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
This series was recommended to me by a close offline friend that knows darn well my reading tastes, so I had no doubts that I would love it as soon as I got to read it ❤ Thanks, Rach! I’m deeply in love with Ten Count since page one *–* (and you already knew that because of the discreet voice messages that I sent you, screaming the matter and all).
Honestly, this is one of the best manga series that I have read in my life! It meets with all my expectations when I pick up a series: the art is flawless, the characters are awesome, the plot is lightly mysterious and involving, the romance (when present) is cute and the sex scenes (when present, again) are hot and without any trace of vulgarity.
I know it’s a little sad and depressing to have a mental checklist when you start to read something, but it is truly rewarding to find a series that makes all the items checked on the list! Ten Count is one of those series and its author, Rihito Takarai, is amazing.
The narrative pace is slow and we see it all from Shirotani’s perspective, so the reader also finds Kurose a mystery in a pretty package. Shirotani reflects a lot about almost everything despite not being a talker, so the story pace is very slow in the beginning and it gets better with each volume, as the reader now is enchanted by what lies within both characters pasts and how can they be in love with each other.
The plot is not overly complicated. Shirotani has a mental condition and a stranger offers to help him healing. There are some twists and some reader-heart-attack moments, but nothing brilliant or overly intelligent. The focus of the story is the human development between Shirotani and Kurose and I’m totally fine with simple plots, as long as they are well executed. Spoiler alert: this one is, haha!
The characters. OMG the characters! We barely know any other characters that are not Shirotani and Kurose AND I COULDN’T CARE LESS 😀 Both are such complex and complete characters… I mean, it’s amazing. Both men are broken, each on their own way, but they are not lacking individuals that were just waiting for their soul mate to arrive, you know? They already are who they are, but they get better together. It’s magical.
And to talk about the art is to show, so here are some illustrative images* of our beautiful couple, colorful and black and white:
Flawless. I love this soft drawing style, fluid and clean. SO PRETTY, OMG!
Bonus point: the sex scenes. Until volume 4, the sex scenes are sparse and most preliminary play than actual sex, but all so true and so plausible… I can’t wait for volume 5 to be out, because I really want to see those two catching fire together, haha!
Honestly, I love the soul deep connection between Shirotani and Kurose and their love, as dysfunctional as it is, warms my heart ❤ If you like yaoi/boys love, just read this one, seriously.
That’s it! Thanks for reading and sorry for the many reviews on books and mangas of the same genre, but oh well, haha! I regret nothing ❤
*ps: I do not own the illustrations, they were found on Google, belong to Rihito Takarai sensei and were used with illustrative purposes only 🙂
Hi, there! I’m sorry, I seem to be talking a lot about Ava March those last weeks, but what can I do? I love this woman, haha! Anyway, the book of the day is The Bound Series, an edition from Ava that contains three books and two short stories from the homonymous series. I thought about reviewing them separately, but it felt weird, I don’t know.
I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve read this series, but the first time was back in 2012. Bound By Deception, the first in The Bound Series, was my first book by Ava and I became a hardcore fan on the spot. I remember to this day our first conversation: you see, I was 17 when I met her work and all of it is rated 18+ because of the hot sex scenes, so I asked her permission to enter her giveaway (I don’t need to tell you that she kindly denied it, right? Haha!). She was a doll and consoled me by saying that I was almost 18 and other giveaways were going to come. Boy, she was so right! But tell that to a freaked out teen, haha!
Anyway, this time I’m reviewing this book not as a fan, but as book blogger, so let’s go! (Or trying to…)
The Bound Series tells us the story of Lord Oliver Marsden and Lord Vincent Prescott, both very respectable gentlemen until the bedroom doors are closed.
In the first episode of the series, Bound By Deception, Oliver discovers that his childhood friend, Vincent, goes to a brothel once per month to request the services of a gentleman and their games are everything but usual. In love with Vincent since their school times, Oliver takes a chance and arranges to take the whore’s place in Vincent’s bed. Oliver just didn’t expect Vincent to fall for him – or, as Vincent sees, for Jake, the new guy in the brothel.
On the following episode, Bound To Him, Oliver and Vincent have established a very comfortable routine: Vincent visiting Oliver’s bachelor apartments, dinning and bed playing and Vincent leaving right after it is over. Or so thought Vincent, as Oliver is not happy at all with such arrangements. When Vincent’s father informs him that marriage is coming on his way, Oliver loses his temper and breaks up with him. Will Vincent be able to get his lover back?
The next episode is a short story, Deliberately Unbound. On the first episode, Vincent suggested a very wicked game to Oliver, but only now Vincent has everything ready for it. Is Oliver going to be able to play it until the end?
Fourth episode is another full book, Bound Forever (the title is such a spoiler that makes me laugh, haha! Sorry, going back to the serious blog mode now). Oliver and Vincent are in heaven. Now enjoying more often than not the advantages of a country home, both lovers are in complete peace with each other… Except that Oliver haven’t broke the last wall that separates him and Vincent: Vincent’s virginity. While Oliver works on accomplishing that, Vincent gets carried away after hearing the sad case of a young widow that lost her husband to an accident. What if the same thing happened to him? How Oliver would fare? Vincent couldn’t rest until he ensured Oliver would be protected and making sure Oliver wouldn’t cause trouble over that would be his worse headache until now.
The last but not least episode is a kind of epilogue to the series. In Deliberately Bound, the second short story, after a huge purchase for his bookshop, Oliver finds himself in the mood to make a game of his own with Vincent.
Oh dear, that was a long way to tell everything, haha! I’m sorry to spoil you a bit, but this is a general happy ending series and Ava told you so in the third book title anyway 🙂 I really liked Oliver and Vincent’s adventures, they always are a good pastime for me. However, my overall review for the series is four stars and I can say that of all the books and short stories. The Bound Series, as the name suggests, has a BDSM catch and I’m not really mad about it – sometimes is hot, other times, I just can’t understand how the people involved are feeling any pleasure at all. Also, I have some issues with Oliver to this day, but all in due time. For what I love, besides the fact that is a work from Ava (haha): Vincent, the feelings, the passion, the intensity. Have I mentioned Vincent? Because he is hot as hell. I always picture him as a mix of Ian Somerhalder and Matt Bomer (my favorite actors). If those two could merge, Vincent would be born #justsaying.
Getting over my fangirl obsessions (maybe not much, sorry), let’s go to the narrative. I love March’s style, as she mixes conscious thoughts with the events perfectly and switches third narrator’s points of view between the lovers, so we can get the picture as whole as possible – I’m putting this in such a way because there are no mysteries beyond Oliver and Vincent’s relationship problems. In other books from March such as Sharp Love (I own you this review, sorry! Maybe on January?), the lovers face a mystery beyond their relationship, so what we readers know is what both lovers know separately, you know? Honestly, I think her narrative skills are flawless. Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for a deep historical fiction, you will be reading the wrong book. March writes in a perfectly believable England all time, on all her books (yeah, I am that kind of fangirl), but historical happenings are not important: the relationship development and its handling are. Particularly, I see nothing wrong with this, as my loved sugared historical romances do the exact same thing. Relationships are timeless and seeing their handling in other times and cultures is highly interesting for me. And, on this particular series, we can also see how BDSM plays could be made 😉
The Bound Series has a very simple plot, overall. Both characters lived their lifes, a problem appears, something changes, they have to handle it and their lives get their harmony back. There is no mystery to the endings, the magic relies on details, on how it was done. I like that about this series, as it is a light option with hot sex scenes (I’ll get there), real characters and a happy ending, which I value a lot. The fact that The Bound Series was constructed on “episodes” reminds me again of Frank Herbert’s quote: “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story”. The books and short stories can’t be read as standalones, as they are very connected, but March could release a new volume tomorrow with a new plot and it wouldn’t be weird to the existent books. Those stories share the routine of two male lovers in the 19th century and this construction, besides showing that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, also deliveries a very open closed ending (did I even make sense there?). The end has no holes, but can be continued, that’s what I meant, haha!
So, the characters. Oh, the characters. Oliver is a spoiled brat on the most peculiar things, it is amusing. I mean, Vincent is ridiculously wealthier than Oliver, but the spoiled one is Oliver. He is always complaining and suffering over stupid things, it gets on my nerves. Sometimes he is right, but I don’t like how he handles his problems with Vincent. He is too radical, too all or nothing: Oliver takes too long to realize that Vincent has his own time in accepting themselves as a couple, but not in a bad way. Vincent always suppressed his desires for other men and had a scheduled day to exercise them on the brothel, but after Oliver happened on his amorous and sex life, Vincent gets lost. He doesn’t understand how some of his actions can be rude or hurtful and Oliver never explains either, so things just blow up. But I miss my point again… Darn, it’s so hard to review a book series that you love and have been analyzing in silence for three years. Anyway, Oliver is a very strong man on his way and I admire his courage and humbleness. He knows his limits and this is so important in life; amusingly, this is a trait that Vincent doesn’t posses. He accepts nothing lower than perfection from himself and those who are under his watch (cof except Oliver cof), so of course he is a control freak. He also is very romantic and possessive, cute traits on a man on my opinion, and he would marry Oliver in the spot if Oliver only would accept to be called his wife (#truestory). Moreover, both men are real people. I have a friend that is just like Vincent with her relationships and I have another friend just like Oliver is. The capacity that March has to make her readers to connect with her heroes is astonishing and one of her strongest points.
Oliver reminds me of an Italian type, one that would rub well with my Bomerhalder image of Vincent. Hot.
Oh, and do you want to know another VERY strong point in March’s books? Sex. So much sex and hot at that. Usually, sex scenes don’t make my blood boil while I’m reading. The problem is me again, I can’t take vulgarity and people usually think that sex is vulgar. Spoiler alert for your life: sex is SO NOT vulgar! People make it so and, on the same way, they can change sex into a beautiful and magical moment. That’s what March does. Even if her characters aren’t in love, you feel in your skin that they are enjoying each other’s company, that there is not any place on Earth that they rather be at the moment and that their desire is real. With or without BDSM involved, it is steaming hot. With Oliver and Vincent, that’s not different ❤
Overall, this series is awesome, Ava is amazing and life is beautiful.
That’s it, I’m so sorry for the really long and fangirling review, but sometimes is IMPOSSIBLE to behave, haha!
Hello, there! Yes, this is a book review, it is not a Halloween prank! =O (I’m very pleased with myself for managing to read and review this book at such a time of the year and without delays to its release date ~aka. TODAY, yay!~). My dissertation is overall ready and I’m two weeks early, so I can give myself the pleasure of writing some late reviews, haha!
So, today’s book is Secrets and High Spirits, the fourth book on Lou Harper’s Spirits’ series, but they are kind of standalones, as I only read this one and understood it all without any problems. I have kindly received this through NetGalley and I am very thankful ❤
Teag and Bruce saw each other only once in their lives, but the experience was a mess: Bruce was irritated and was an ass with Teag and his friend. Since the episode, Teag hates Bruce and all his “type” of gay men: overly gym worked, all tattooed and cocky. Bruce, in the other hand, doesn’t understand why can’t Teag just accept an apology, so he is a bit indisposed with him too.
All was well, as they thought they would never see each other again… Until they meet again, evaluating the same place to buy and build a bar – a shared dream they later discover to possess. Bruce soon sees a good opportunity on the rise: Teag was a hell of a showman and Bruce was better off administrating bureaucratic stuff. They were the perfect match to build a bar together, if only Teag could let go of their first encounter… And maybe accept the maddening and undeniable sex tension between them.
Soon enough, both men discover that the place they were planning to build their bar on had a bizarre history and that even weirder things started to happen when no one was around. Was it just a big joke on top of the supposed haunted place’s reputation or, despite their personal problems, could Teag and Bruce be dealing with a real ghost…?
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
I make no secret that I really love gay romances, a lot. Specially a men x men one, like this one. I requested it on NetGalley because the blurb put my head (and other parts *coffs*) on fire with curiosity. I have even mentioned before how I love when the characters passions are born out of hate: man, it gets darn strong and hot, omg. Anyway, I guess I expected too much from the book. The plot had so much potential that I didn’t even noticed how short the ebook was (my edition was 137 pages long). It was a good book, amusing and all, but I got disappointed at its wasted potential. Harper had such a brilliant idea on her hands and I felt it all was so rushed, you know? And there were another small things that bothered me, but all in due time. It is not a bad book, but as a whole work, it received three stars.
The narrative had a very good pace – not overly fast, but it didn’t dwelled on needless points of the plot. It was made on third person, alternating Teag and Bruce’s point of view. This is my favorite kind of narrative, overall, because it usually avoids loose ends. Of course that, sometimes, it happens and it has happened here as well, but as this book is part of a series, I didn’t take off stars because of that. Maybe Harper is planning on writing another volume, maybe some of the missing info I would get reading the series since book one, like I should have (oops!), I don’t know, so Harper is safe here, haha! One thing that really bothered me on the narrative was the narrator’s use of idiomatic expressions. I mean, it is okay for me if the character, on his speech or thought, say things like “helluva”, but is not ok when it is the third person narrator doing so. It made the book vulgar on my conception. The beginning is worse; as Harper dives into the story, she slowly eases the use of this kind of word and similar expressions – for which I was very grateful. I also would like to make it clear that I’m ok with swearing and low class words, for say, but not from the third person narrator. I think Harper tried to make the text more palatable, but I don’t think it was a good way to try that 😦
The plot was my biggest disappointment. It had SO MUCH FREAKING POTENTIAL. Harper had an awesome idea for a contemporary gay romance, she brought to light so many things that need to be discussed in society, like the prejudice – Teag is a gay man that is made purely of prejudices against everything and everybody, for example – but it went too fast. It seemed like she was so worried about finishing the book that she forgot to savor the act of writing it. I like her descriptions, but they were a bit bipolar: I spent half of the book without knowing how Teag looked like, but I could draw Bruce, as he was described in details all the time (and I’m a terrible artist, haha!). This is applicable also on scenario descriptions. I understand that this is the fourth book in a series, but it is always good to give a brief explanation of things on each new book, as we never know which nut piece can catch the train when it is already running (like I did, haha!). Another point is the paranormal element of the book: if you ask me, there is none. I mean, there is a ghost, but it being and not being there is the same thing thanks to the plot development and that’s a shame. It gets obvious too soon that the ghost has nothing to do with the mystery going on at the bar and the characters say so many times during the story. A pity.
Now, I really liked how Harper can build a character. They all have such a real presence that you don’t forget not even the secondary ones. It was amazing, really. Bruce, for example, became another bookish boyfriend for me (I will need to create a boyish alter ego for myself one of these days, as I have so many gay bookish boyfriends, omg), even with his flaws. Sometimes, I could even picture Teag’s lectures, it was so funny, haha! And his sister, Helen, is a genius. There is this scene on the book that she admits messing up Teag’s toys when they were kids just to see how big would be his scandal, haha! Priceless ❤
I also feel the need of commenting the sex scenes on the book. Bruce and Teag’s attraction is strong, palpable, real, so I expected a book filled with hot sex scenes. Eh, no. I can’t complain about the actual scenes, but they were so few that my heart sank. Teag and Bruce had so much chemistry on the bed, it was a shame not exploring this further – and Harper can do a sex scene, all right! *breathless*
So, some of the strong points on the book are the character constructions and the fact that it is a part of a series, so I can now meet the other couples that are mentioned on this volume, haha! Oh, and the sex scenes, when they are there ❤
Overall, I can’t complain about this book, as it was a pleasant pastime on the two days that took me to finish it – I’m still focusing on the damn dissertation, so I’m not fully back on pleasure reading yet, but life is slowly going back to normal, THANK GOD.
That’s it, guys! Please, don’t cry, another reviews are coming, haha! Thanks for reading and stay strong ❤
Some days ago, I’ve received an early 21º birthday present from one of my favorite authors ever: Ava March. Her new book, Viscount’s Wager, will be out on August 10th (two days before my birthday), but Ava sent me a copy practically a month earlier ❤ Thank you again, Ava! Best gift ever ❤ As a loyal fan, I cheated on my book jar-box and already read it, haha!
Warning: this book is about a male homosexual romance in the 19th century. If you don’t like this gender, you should stop here 🙂
Viscount’s Wager is the third and last volume on Gambling on Love series and is set on Regency London, in 1822. Anthony Hawkins, Viscount Rawling, was already introduced in the first book, All In With The Duke (by the way, you can check its review here! :D) and Gabriel Tilden, his pair, was introduced in the second book of the series, Sharp Love.
Anthony is a noble who doesn’t pay much attention to his duties as a viscount, as he has a huge secret to keep – something way bigger than his social status. Since he inherited the title, at the age of twenty-one, Anthony tries very hard to be a good son to his mother, as his father’s loss was very hard for her. The couple was a love-match, something very rare in London Society at the time, and this marriage so full of happiness and love inspired Anthony since he was a little boy; his dream was to find true love and be able to share the small things of life with this person until the end of their days.
Gabriel is the middle child of a good family, but not a noble one. Being two years older than Anthony, he ended up marring a woman when he was only 18 and lost her six months before the real start of the book – just clarifying, his marriage was not a love-match, so he feels very guilty for being a free man again.
Anthony and Gabriel had a small and brief affair when they were teens, at a house party held by Gabriel’s family, but they lost contact shortly after Gabriel’s engagement. After his wife’s death, Gabriel comes to London and sees Anthony again in a soirée. Their desire was immediate and mutual, so Anthony didn’t let the chance of offering to be Gabriel’s city guide pass.
Soon enough, their passion burns and they start a sort of relationship, but Gabriel insisted in something more casual and distant, as he didn’t thought himself worthy of Anthony’s heart after everything he had put his lover through. The first thing that Gabriel thought when he saw Anthony again was “I’m so sorry I hurt you”. And I think I waited more than Anthony to actually hear Gabriel saying those words, as Anthony didn’t know of Gabriel’s capacity to store guilty in his heart and mind, nor how many times Gabriel thought this single sentence during the book, haha!
All those repressed feelings end up driving Gabriel to a strong vice in gambling. In a determinate point of the book, he simply won’t leave the hells anymore and Anthony finds out about his problem through a favor from Max, the protagonist of AIWTD. Anthony tries to wait, to give a chance for Gabriel to tell him the truth by himself, but this never happens and they have a big fight as a result.
What Anthony didn’t know was that Gabriel had to leave town when he left his lover, as he had got loaned a very large sum with a moneylender to keep gambling and now he hadn’t any means to pay the man back before putting his propriety at Derbyshire in perfect order. Gabriel explains all of this to Anthony in a letter that he sends in the same day that he arrives home, but the viscount wouldn’t see it until three weeks had passed after their argument.
After resorting to Max’s help once again, Anthony finally was able to go to Derbyshire to set things right with Gabriel, but the two still have a long way before their “happily ever after”.
As I commented on the beginning of this review, I’m a great fan of Ava and her works, so I won’t promise an impartial review, haha! Now let’s go to the analysis 😉
Something that is very characteristic of March and that I like very much in her books is that her stories always end up connecting to one another. If she’s writing a series, the probability of meeting previous characters again is very high. I love this, because when a book ends, all that we know about that little world also ends. Even when it’s a book series, as soon as it is finished, it’s hard to learn something new about those characters, as it is a cycle with a beginning, a middle and an end. This may sounds a bit obvious, but I’m that kind of person that, sometimes, gets depresses to know that everything that I know about a story is all that I will ever know.
Anyway, March entwines her stories in such a way that we learn new things about past characters, those who already had their moment to shine and had their story on first frame. It’s also amazing how she illustrates the social circles of the ton – deep down, everybody is connected in some sort of way. It’s a highly interesting social phenomenon, proven by several historians, but that I have never seen put into light by any other romance author so far.
In Viscount’s Wager, we can see how are Alexander Norton and Thomas Bennet, from the opening book of Brook Street series (My True Love Gave To Me); Linus Radcliffe and Robert Anderson, from the third book of the same series (Rogues); Jack Morgan and William Drake, main characters of the second book in the Gambling on Love trilogy (Sharp Love); and, obviously, Max Arrington and Tristan Walsh, from AIWTD. It was very good to see them all again. I missed you, boys! Hahaha!
To be honest, I didn’t really like Gabriel until the book was close to its end. As I already was found of Anthony since the first book, I thought that Gabriel didn’t deserve him until writing that letter. After that, everything changed, haha! I still don’t consider him as one of my favorite characters, but we are in good terms now, haha! I have a serious issue with characters that are in “eternal” denial of themselves or of their tastes. Everybody has some sort of insecurity; this is natural of being human. But Gabriel didn’t know when to stop I guess that him and Julian Parker, from the second book in Brook Street series (Fortune Hunter), were the main characters who frustrated me the most in March’s books to this day. I try to be very understanding when I’m familiar with both sides of the story, but these two are a lost cause, haha!
As we just met Anthony for good in this book, I was very surprised to see how he can be a very optimistic person in the hardest times. I don’t agree with several of his attitudes during the story, but he is that kind of character that we simply love no matter what, haha!
Besides, if you look into each one’s personality, you will find that Anthony and Gabriel have a natural balance, an harmony in their qualities and defects. Also a trace of March’s couples: they always complete each other, in a way that both men will be better people after the coupling.
In narrative terms, the book is great. March manages to balance in a brilliant way her characters consciousness with the events around them and the time passages. It’s a fluid and quick read, as March’s language is not tiresome or the type that asks for a pause. She involves and makes her characters become best friends with her reader. It’s just like when someone is telling you a story over audios at Whatsapp and the person never finishes: this is the longing and the craving that March incites. You need to know how everything will end and the only way to do so is keep reading like crazy.
Another strong point of March’s is the love. She doesn’t describe that water sugared love that makes you bored. The love between her characters is that real kind of love, of the simple things on life, that is hard, disappoints without abandoning, that lasts even after many probations and still can awake luxury in the end of the day. Anthony and Gabriel’s romance wasn’t any different: the feeling was involving, strong and vigorous until the last page, in each touch, each look. It’s that kind of love that touches my heart and makes me believe that the world can be a better place. However, aren’t they fictional characters? Yes, they are. Nevertheless, the feeling is real and that’s all that matters 🙂
I also need to bow to Anthony and Gabriel’s sex scenes. March is a very explicit author and she can leave anyone burning up after reading her couple’s plays. What really impresses me about her is how she manages to be explicit without being vulgar. Even when her characters do it without a strong affective bond, you feel on your skin that that’s what the couple wants to do, no matter the reasons why. The act has sentiment. The reader feels the desire, the willingness. This is an element very hard to find in explicit romances. It’s not the sex for the sex; it’s the sex for the company.
Something more personal of my reading was that was nice to be able to foresee some things in the story. I already read all March’s books at least twice (AIWTD I must have read at least a dozen times since its release in 2013), so I can recognize some patterns and know which will be the biggest problem of the couple in the book. The great thing is that, even guessing more or less where the story was going, I was still surprised with the turn of events. Honestly? This is priceless ❤ I cried in some parts, desperate for a way to see Anthony and Gabriel together and in piece and my tears weren’t in vain. As my mom would say, everything in life can be arranged, haha!
I confess I have a little negative critique to do, haha! If Anthony and Max are that close as the series makes us believe they are, how can they still have difficulties to discuss their relationships behind closed doors?! In the beginning, Max didn’t even want to say Tristan’s name to Anthony! I thought all this caution a bit too much, considering their friendship level. I mean, you both know a secret from the other that could have both hanged and you’re still reticent? Oh, please. Is Max the reserved type? A lot, but he also already made clear as crystal that he is comfortable enough to discuss serious things with Anthony and Anthony did the same.
That’s it! Thank you for reading, it was a long post, haha! But I’m not sorry ❤ Are you already familiar with Ava March’s work?