Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I ❤️ Yaoi: The Royal Fiancé by Asuma Risai & Kamon Saeko

Ohayou gozaimasu! This week's yaoi selection is
The Royal Fiancé
by Asuma Risai & Kamon Saeko.

Honami Kairi's fate changes when he accepts an offer from an old man to work for a rich family as a housekeeper. The low-level job suddenly transforms into an arranged engagement to his schoolmate, the foreign Royal Prince Shou! It's a fairytale with a twist!

This is quite a sweet fairytale. At times I wanted to shake Shou because of his treatment of the often confused and awkward Kairi. Misunderstandings and past hurts really clouded Shou's perception of Kairi, who was always sweet, kind and helpful to everyone around him.

The story is pretty predictable, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. There were secondary storylines I found intriguing that I believe deserve a manga of their own, especially the story involving the King and his handsome secretary, Mifune! The artwork in this manga was absolutely gorgeous; the characters were very visually appealing and the landscapes were beautiful.

~ M

Monday, September 29, 2014

Get Out of the Kitchen by FunkyinFishnet

Get Out of the Kitchen by FunkyinFishnet

As one of the head chefs in Thrace, Agron strives for excellence in all his dishes. When his co-worker informs him that food blogger, Nasir Attasi, has just arrived for a meal, Agron's confidence is shaken. Not only is Nasir a force to be reckoned with as a food critic, but Agron also harbors the biggest crush on him. Will Agron be able to catch Nasir's attention or will his nervousness make him crash and burn?

I really liked this story! As a foodie, reading fanfic set in a restaurant setting is right up my alley! I enjoyed seeing how awkward Agron became when he discovered that the man of his dreams, and the person that could potential make or break him and restaurant, was sitting in the dining area.

This is a very uncomplicated and fun story that will certainly bring a smile to your face!

~ M

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: Paint the Sky by Lily G. Blunt

For the past couple of years, while studying at university, Ben has been admiring fellow student, Vinnie, from afar. He thinks he's absolutely beautiful and is often mesmerized by Vinnie's focus on his art. When he finally plucks up the courage to talk to his crush, the two men discover not only their deep affection for each other, but also how much they have in common. However, demons from the past could threaten to tear them apart.

I enjoyed this latest work from Lily G. Blunt. All of the characters are very likeable, made me want to know more about them and ultimately care about their well being. The relationship between Ben and Vinnie started out quite sweet and reminded me of the days gone by when people were courted and treated like they were the best thing in the world by perspective suitors. I do wish that readers could have learned a little more about Ben's and Vinnie's backstories.

As is often the case, miscommunication causes a rift, but I so desperately wanted to know why Vinnie acted the way he did, particularly when it came to his new friend James. I don't blame Ben for reacting the way he did and was surprised by Vinnie's immediate, petulant overreaction.

The secondary characters were just as delightful, if not more. Vinnie's two older brothers, Finn and Theo, were adorable, complex men who I'd love  to read more about in the future, if possible.

All in all, this is a great story that immediately pulled me into the characters' lives and made me truly care about each and every one of them. By the way, how gorgeous is that cover? I love it!

3.75 stars

~ M

The author provided a copy of the Paint the Sky in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links
Amazon US | Amazon UK

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waking Up with Amnesia by spooktacus

Waking Up with Amnesia by spooktacus

When Agron wakes up in a hospital bed, he's confused, sore and disoriented. He cannot believe his eyes and ears when he discovers that the ethereal beauty sitting next to his bed is not there to see him, but is also his husband!

This cute one shot is based on the viral video of a man waking up after surgery and being completely surprised and elated that the woman next to him is his wife. I really enjoyed this slightly different portrayal of that situation. Agron's reactions are hilarious, and you can't help but giggle with Nasir as Agron amusingly struggles with fact that such a hot guy married him! If you're looking for something short, sweet and fluffy, this is definitely the fanfic for you!

~ M

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Nar Kiss by Nekono Mariko

Hello, yaoi lovers! This week's selection is Nar Kiss by Nekono Mariko.

Honjou Naru is an 18-year-old young man studying at Libre University. For his entire lifetime, he never once had a girlfriend. This is because of his abnormality, his narcissism, which only happens if he sees a reflection of himself. To prevent that, he needs to wear contacts all the time. One day his contact falls out and is stepped on by the most handsome guy in the school, Takashina Mamoru! This chance encounter changes his life forever...

I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by this manga. The whole dual personality/narcissism aspect is quite humorous! Honjou is absolutely adorable (well, when he isn't waxing poetic about himself in the mirror lol) and Takashina is a pure sweetheart. If you're looking for a sweet and fluffy manga to read, with a little comedy mixed in, Nar Kiss is the perfect choice!

~ M

Monday, September 22, 2014

Things Are Made to Be Broken by BokerFan

Things Are Made to Be Broken by BokerFan

Nasir is kidnapped and tortured for days by a sadistic serial killer, and his family and Agron are at their wit's end. When Nasir manages to escape, his physical injuries are extensive, but it's the mental trauma that worries Agron the most. It also doesn't help that he and Nasir broke up days before the kidnapping because of Agron's trust issues. He is now more determined that ever to be there for Nasir and atone for his horrible behavior.

Even though this is a great story that captured my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat, it is rife with angst. Your heart will break over and over again as Nasir tries to move on with his life after surviving such a harrowing experience. Even though he is found and can begin his recovery, there is still a mysterious force out there still wanting to hurt him. I look forward to the next chapter and seeing this crime mystery unfold.

~ M

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli

Set in the 19th century, twins Jamie (Jay) and Anna Carter have recently taken over as co-sheriffs in the town of Blackrock. Due to his family history in the town, as well as the secret he's been carrying around for years, Jamie is burned out. He soon decides to leave home and become a bounty hunter. His skill at tracking down criminals is unmatched, and he soon builds quite a reputation as a force to be reckoned with.

After crossing into Native American territory, Jay is aided by a mysterious stranger who provides much needed survival advice and eventually saves his life. Extremely grateful to the handsome stranger, Jay convinces Kit to be his traveling companion. The sheriff in Jay soon comes out as he tries to solve the puzzle of this enigmatic man who has not only captured his attention, but his heart as well.

Kit is also hiding a secret that could mean life or death for him. Even though he knows the dangers of traveling with a known bounty hunter and former sheriff, he can’t seem to let Jay go, enjoying his company and the entertainment he and his horse, Houston, provide. Not only could Kit's secret destroy his life and eradicate his freedom, it could also rip apart the bond he’s formed with Jay.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You are the Blood by agggron

You are the Blood by agggron

While on routine hunting trip, Agron and Nasir are ambushed by Romans. They're able to fight most of them off, but in one fateful moment, a Roman gets the upper hand and runs Agron through with his sword. It is now a fight against the clock as Nasir desperately tries to find the help Agron so desperately needs before it's too late.

This is quite an emotional roller coaster. I was on the edge of my seat as I watched Nasir frantically try to save the love of his life. Highly recommended.

~ M
picture credit: crazzzedope

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I ❤️ Hima na no de Hajimete Mimashita by Sakyou Aya

Good morning, yaoi fans! Today I'm going to review the manga Hima na no de Hajimete Mimashita by Sakyou Aya.

Amano Rintarou has taken care of Nakatsugawa Maki since they were kids. He knows his childhood friend Maki isn't the brightest crayon in the box, but in spite of that, or maybe because of that, he still has always thought he would be taking care of him now and in the future. However, when they enter university together and Rintarou is made to move in with Maki, Maki goes from being a regular idiot to being a perverted idiot! What's Rintarou going to do?! How will he deal with this new side of Maki? Will he be able to still live with him and continue to take care of Maki now and forever?

For the most part I thought this was a cute manga. However, I felt that Rin constantly calling Maki an idiot and hitting him was a little off-putting. Maki is definitely naive, innocent and very childlike, but I didn't see him do anything really idiotic. He's kind, polite and always tries to make others happy, even if he's uncomfortable. Maki did make it to university after all, so he can't be completely stupid.

I enjoyed that Maki, in all his childlike innocence, was very upfront with his affection for Rin. However, Rin seems to be very confused about his feelings and sexuality and fears that their new relationship will be found out, which causes him to repeatedly push Maki away and hurt him. The last chapter ended with a major cliffhanger, so I'm anxious to see what happens next.

For those who are new to yaoi manga, this series does have explicit sex scenes, so be careful. Everyone else, ENJOY! lol

So often, when I read manga, I notice the beautiful bento lunches many of the characters enjoy. If, like me, you're from the U.S. or another country where bento lunches aren't very common, you can now learn how to do it by watching this very informative video from Cooking with Dog. :)

~ M

Monday, September 15, 2014

Us Painless, Us Blameless by tragicallydelicious

Us Painless, Us Blameless by tragicallydelicious

In this series of vignettes, readers see Nasir come into his own both physically and romantically in the rebellion. Each short glimpse into his life gives readers a little more insight into Nasir's thought processes, feelings and motivation. Be sure to check out the accompanying tumblr page which matches songs to each vignette!

~ M

Friday, September 12, 2014

Slashsessed Loves...

Slashsessed Loves...

I'm always seeing great things on the internet, and these are just a few that caught my attention this week.
  • How gorgeous is that drawing of Nasir? Other than the artist's signature of "Max 2013" I don't know who to credit. If any of you find out, please let me know!
  • Evidently something huge happened during the latest episode of Free! Eternal Summer, which caused a ship war of sorts. Considering the show isn't BL/yaoi (people refer to it more as fan service), why all the animosity? ☹
  • figbash has done it again and created an AWESOME Nagron fan comic! This times she explores what it was like when Pana discovered just how much fans love him and Nagron in The First and Last Time Pana Reads His Tumblr Tag. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
  • Searching for yaoi on Pinterest. As if my reading list wasn't long enough! lol
Have a great weekend!

~ M

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: Blue Notes (Blue Notes #1) by Shira Anthony

4.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book! Jason, a successful lawyer in Philadelphia, walks in on his fiancee in bed with another man and immediately calls off the engagement. Needing to clear his head, he decides to take sabbatical in Paris for a couple of months. While at a jazz club, he meets an enigmatic and hugely talented violinist, Jules. Even though it was his music that first captured Jason's attention, he is soon enchanted by the young musician.

Blue Notes  is a great romance novel that mixes just the right about of sweet romance, angst/drama and sex. Both Jason and Jules are dealing with their own demons and issues, which are resolved in a very realistic manner. I couldn't help but root for this couple because they were so great together.

The way the music in this story is described is gorgeous, making me not only hear the beautiful pieces in my head, but also feel the intense emotion behind them. In my opinion, it's a character all on its own.

About 3/4 of the way through the book, the pacing slowed a bit, but it soon picked right back up. All of the characters were well-developed, except I wish I could have learned more about Jules' younger brother, Guy. His story intrigued me, but I wasn't given the opportunity to learn much about him.

All in all this was a wonderful love story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Buy Blue Notes  here and here.

~ M

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Knock Upon the Door by kateyes085

A Knock Upon the Door by kateyes085

Nasir's good friend, Naevia, believes that all of his problems would be solved if he had a good roll in the hay. Ignoring his friend's silly theories, Nasir proceeds with the rest of his day until a knock at his front door changes his life forever.

Short and sweet, this cute one-shot that left me wanting so much more. Even though Agron is an escort who has sex for a living, kateyes085 effectively portrayed the intense connection shared between the two men. I found myself rooting for the happy ending, even if it seemed impossible.

aurielo3207 extended kateyes085's story by showing what happened after Nasir and Agron's fateful night together in It's Rock and Roll, Baby (chapter 2 | chapter 3 | chapter 4). It was the author's first foray into Nagron fanfiction, so there are typos, but the overall story is quite enjoyable. I appreciate that she gave us more insight into the blossoming relationship between the confident and self-assured Agron and innocent and naive Nasir.

~ M

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

Greetings yaoi lovers! Today I will be reviewing the anime, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. It technically  isn't yaoi or even shōnen-ai, but there are certainly hints to it in the storylines...but I guess that's up to interpretation. All of the characters are tied closely together through their love of swimming, and because of that their relationships run deep.

The story follows five high school students, Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, Rin and Rei, and their competitive swimming adventures. Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Rin swam together when they children, but Rin moved to Australia prior to middle school to study abroad and improve his swimming skills. Years later he returns and rocks the lives of his former friends, both competitively and emotionally.

I enjoyed this anime, but was often frustrated by the characters, particularly Haruka and Rin. Their inability to explain the reason behind their angst and seeming obsession with each other made me want to scream at times. I particuarly felt bad for Rei, the newest member of the Iwatobi Swim Club, who has to live in the constant shadow of Rin. I was proud of him for standing up to the former team member, who for most of the anime is a complete jerk, and finally getting to the heart of the matter.

Like I said, this anime is not yaoi. However, there is a definite undertone of deeper feelings, especially with Makoto, Haruka and Rin (the perfect love triangle). Believe me, I'm not trying to make this into something it's not, but it would be interesting to see! There is a second season entitled, Free! Enternal Summer, that I look forward to watching in the near future. All in all, I enjoyed this anime and would recommend it...but it would be even better if Haruka/Makoto and Nagisa/Rei magically fell in love and lived happily ever after! ;p

~ M

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ripples by winterwonderland

Ripples by winterwonderland

Agron's life is one sh*tstorm after another. His brother is lying in a hospital on life support, but Agron refuses to give up hope that he'll one day open his eyes. Much to his dismay, his boss, Spartacus, has taken pity on a little punk and allowed him to work at the bike shop. Agron just wants to do his job, ignore the new brat and hope against hope that Duro will return to him.

This isn't your typical Nagron modern au fic - think Sons of Anarchy  meets Spartacus - and I love it! Even though the plot still follows canon for the most part, the modern biker twist gives it a refreshing new life! I look forward to reading more and suggest you try it out as well! :)

~ M

Friday, September 5, 2014

Slashsessed Loves...

TGIF! Can you believe that September is already upon us?!?! I don't mind fall, but I want summer to SLOW DOWN! Here are some of the great things I discovered recently.

  • Pana Hema Taylor (Nasir, Spartacus: Vengeance & Spartacus: War of the Damned) revealed some awesome news on his Facebook page! :)
  • The Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai movie!!!
  • I've been watching, and really enjoying, Ouran High School Host Club on Netflix. It's not technically yaoi, even though two of the characters really play up the twincest/homoerotica stereotype. lol What I do like is how this anime makes fun of the stereotypical characteristics and tropes found in shōnen-ai. Watch it here, with English dubbing, for free on Hulu.
  • Even though I've already reviewed it, I still want to encourage yaoi lovers to check out Honto Yajuu by Yamamoto Kotetsuko. It's one of the best mangas I've read!

 I will be reviewing the following m/m romance novels in the future.
  1. Secret Energy by Chris T. Kat.
  2. Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli
  3. Paint the Sky by Lily G. Blunt
  4. Project X by Nephylim
  5. Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust Anthology
  6. Finding Home by Leighton Rose 

If you haven't already, please be sure to check out Chris T. Kat's guest post, "If I Was and Shifter, What Animal Would I Be?"
Have a great weekend!

~ M

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Guest Post: If I Was a Shifter, What Animal Would I Be? by Chris T. Kat

I first discovered Chris T. Kat when I read her book, Secret Chemistry. I thoroughly enjoyed that read and hoped that if she were to ever write a sequel it would feature Tim's younger brother, Robin. You can imagine how excited I was when I first heard about Secret Energy. I'm am  looking forward to reading this sequel and delving into the world of shape shifters and their mates once again.

Chris T. Kat was kind enough to write a guest post and I hope you all enjoy it!

~ M


If I Was a Shifter, What Animal Would I Be?

M, thank you very much for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog. Dreamspinner Press published my new release, Secret Energy, on August 29th. Secret Energy is a shape-shifter story, and the sequel to Secret Chemistry.
Shape-shifters are humans that possess the ability to (consciously or sometimes subconsciously) alter their shape. The best-known trope in literature is the wolf-shifter, although the animal world is large. Wolves are followed by cats (big cats, like tigers, etc.) and dragons. Mostly the stories have the humans shift into animals when they're already grown up.
While I like these kind of stories, I adore stories in which the human shifts into the baby form of an animal. It just gives me the warm fuzzies to portray small animals with their typical baby fur and behavior. It also allows me to portray the characters in a different way. That's why I chose to write Jay as a child and Tim as a teenager in Secret Chemistry. Although there are no baby shifters in Secret Energy, Robin is a bundle of energy. :)
The shifter is able to indulge in playful behavior, let out his “inner child” and, if he's usually a caretaker, he can make sure to be taken care of instead. The human counterpart, who might act all tough usually, can show kindness and protectiveness toward the small animal. It's a whole new dynamic, and it's one I love to explore.
To get back on topic, if I could be any paranormal creature, I'd love to be a shape-shifter with the ability to shift into a cat, dog, wolf, fox or horse. Not very specific, right? If I can only choose one, I'd love to be able to shift into a fox. I adore the bright red fur and the overall marking (black socks and the pristine white chest and so on). Their eyesight and hearing and are described as astonishing, and they always appear as graceful, elegant creatures. I'd love to experience a day in the woods with the eyes of a fox. The intensity of the smells must be overwhelming, as well as all the noises around him. Although shifting into a wolf and experiencing the pack dynamics sounds fascinating as well.
If you were a shifter, what animal would you be?

Buy Secret Chemistry: ebook | paperback

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Of a Size" Spartacus Nagron Fan Comic by figbash

"Of a Size" Spartacus Nagron Fan Comic by figbash

Once again, Mira is the ultimate Nagron fangirl!

Now this isn't a fanfic in the traditional sense, but figbash's Nagron series, which consistes of both written word and adorable drawings, always brings a smile to my face! Of a Size  is particularly funny because of Mira's fangirling...and Nasir's lovey dovey ogling of his man (his line, "Don't start no sh*t, won't be no sh*t." tickled me lol).

As you can see, figbash makes our beloved Nagron even cuter and sweeter in her drawings and I always  look forward to what she creates next! Definitely give this fan comic and her entire Nagron series a try. I know you will love it!

~ M

Image credit: figbash

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Konya mo Nemurenai by Yamamoto Kotetsuko

Good morning yaoi lovers! Today's featured manga is
Konya mo Nemurenai by Yamamoto Kotetsuko.

Shy freshman college student, Rikiya, knows he likes guys, but has never been in a relationship. He's only able to look on without expressing his feelings. Living on his own for the first time, he decides to try and change his life by joining a gay dating site. Everything seems perfect until he finds himself about to be attacked with nowhere to turn, yet desperately hoping for help when a guy crawls through the wall and says, "There's no helping it. What's your wish?"

All in all, this was a pretty good manga. It initially started off pretty slow, but picked up speed about halfway through. Rikiya is adorably naive and Endo is mischievous and silly. Unfortunately, the ending left a lot to be desired and seemed rushed and unfinished. I do, however, look forward to the follow up manga featuring two of the secondary characters.

~ M