MANGA: Hatsu Kokuhaku
Hatsu Kokuhaku – Sakano Anri
Arai is a member of the home economics club at his high school, and he gets roped into cross-dressing by the club president so he can talk to and ultimately confess to his first love, Ono.
When boys turn into lesbians…
Mind bending gender bender fun.
REVIEW: The Boy With The Painful Tattoo by Josh Lanyon
Holmes & Moriarity: The Boy With The Painful Tattoo – Josh Lanyon
It’s moving day at Chez Holmes. Somehow, against Kit’s better instincts, he and J.X. are setting up house together. But while J.X. is off at a writing conference, Kit unpacks a crate that should contain either old books or new china. It doesn’t. Within the mounds of green Styrofoam popcorn is a dead body. A very dead body.
There goes the neighborhood.
Poor Kit! Forced to interact with JX’s ex-wife and her kid. I’d have my hackles up if I were in his shoes.
Kit, who for some mysterious reason is adored by the wonderful JX Moriarity and we’ll just have to take Josh Lanyon‘s word for it, putters around the new house, discovers a dead body inside his crate and does exactly the opposite of what JX, an ex-cop, tells him to do. Typical.
Also while his boyfriend is still away at some writer’s conference, Kit meets his biggest fan and gains a stalker who shows up at his doorstep bearing gifts and forces him to endure unwanted visits. Was again given dire warning by said boyfriend not to let the creep in. It, of course, went unheeded. Ugh, I totally don’t want to deal with Jerry.
We all know that Kit could be unlikable but he has redeeming values which at his worst sometimes barely redeems him at all. I don’t expect him to completely pull his head out of his ass but I have faith he’ll get better, eventually. I keep hoping really, for JX’s sake.
In all fairness to Kit, he’s really trying.
Also complaining about him is like me grousing about my demon imp cat, Spook, who gives everyone the evil eye and avoids people like they’re diseased. She still gets a hug anyway.
Lanyon takes a risk by having an MC with a difficult personality which makes for an interesting experience. I agree with one reviewer who said that an unlikable character doesn’t mean bad writing and Kit as a narrator was certainly very entertaining. The Holmes & Moriarity series took some of that cozy mystery elements as found in the Miss Butterwith books and made it gay and snarky. The mystery, this time, was much better executed and more enjoyable than the last although the tattoo in the title had no significance whatsoever.
That Adrien English cameo!
Also, Rachel is the best secondary character in the entire series! I love her bloodthirsty drive to put Christopher Holmes back on top of the bestsellers list. Her attempts to reinvent Kit were the funniest scenes in the series.
Relationshipwise, the couple took major steps forward and since I’m assured they’ll get there (because it says so on the blurb of the fourth book) I enjoyed their journey more and how they grow as a couple without worrying that JL might decide to throw a curveball and send them their separate ways. But who knows, she just might.
The Boy With The Painful Tattoo is Lanyon‘s take on those grim Scandinavian mysteries minus the snow. Despite his aches and pains, Kit put his “brilliant criminal mind” to use and with JX’s help, solved the mystery, put his house in order, fend off a stalker and survive a day at the zoo. Still not writing those books, tho.
review of Holmes and Moriarity books here
review of Josh Lanyon books here
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Soundtrack: Meet Me Halfway
Artist: The Futureheads
SOUNDTRACK: Meet Me Halfway by The Futureheads
Soundtrack to Holmes & Moriarity: The Boy With The Painful Tattoo by Josh Lanyon
“I know you’ve told me everything but what I need to hear, Christopher, we must focus. You must focus.”
“Okay. Focus on this, Rachel. I don’t want to be reinvented. Or reincarnated. Or regurgitated. I’m not going to be named Petra or Paula or Patricia or anything else.”
“My God,” she said wearily. “Right-o. Have it your way. You can stay a bloody male if it means so much to you.”
“I am a bloody male. Of course it means that much!”
Sarcasm was wasted on her. It was like water off a Mandarin duck’s back. “What about Peder?”
“Nice. I can hear it now. Peder-phile. No.”
MOVIE FEATURE: Gerontophilia
QUICK FIRE FANTASY BOOK TAG
This is a super quick fun tag was created by The Bookworm Dream. I wasn’t tagged but I thought I’d give this a try.
Here are the rules:
Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
Link to the creator’s blog (thebookwormdreamer.wordpress.com) in your post
Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
Tag 5 others to take part
I really just want an excuse to post pretty book covers. Here goes…
5 STAR BOOK
Ok, technically this is paranormal. But paranormal falls under fantasy, right? I only picked this up because look at that cover! Happily, the story was just as perfect. I’m still waiting for the day Tom and Sanders adopt me.
ALWAYS GOING TO RECOMMEND
This is a hilarious laugh out loud comics about Ada, a beautician cum drag queen who turns into the superhero, Zsazsa Zaturna by swallowing a huge rock from outer space. She battles alien monsters and Amazon warriors while her alter ego tries to build a new life in Manila with the love of his life, Dodong. I really wish this could be released internationally but the local gayspeak, inside jokes and references are almost impossible to translate.
OWNED BUT HAVEN’T READ IT YET
The setting and the premise all sound fantastic but I heard it could be a challenging read. I’m also sitting on those Scarlet and The White Wolf books. Someday, Kirby Crow, I will read your books.
WOULD READ AGAIN
It’s been a while, Lucien. How I miss you getting wrapped around the pinkie of a certain pint-sized redhead Judiciar.
IN ANOTHER WORLD
A Venice-inspired city on Mars is the setting of this meandering manga that is filled with a constant sense of wonder and dreams.
BACK ON EARTH
I rarely venture into mainstream new adult but the blurb and this pretty cover just grabbed me. It was as good as promised. Too bad they changed covers.
Wow! I thought it would be easy. Turns out I don’t read as much regular fantasy books as I thought I did. Paranormal though, I got tons.
Hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to tag yourselves. (｡^‿^｡)b
MANGA: Bokura no Shokutaku
Bokura no Shokutaku – Mita Ori
Yutaka, who’s not very good at eating together with people, met a pair of brothers one day in the park. This is the story of how lives changes and feelings unravelled when three people begin eating their meals together .
Mita Ori does it again! So precious and cute
I want some of that onigiri!
REVIEW: Kitto by Harper Fox
Tyack & Frayne: Kitto – Harper Fox
Now Lee is free from the malevolent ghost of Morris Hawke, his clairvoyant gifts are expanding fast. Too fast for comfort, and he and Gideon find themselves wrestling with his unsettling capacity to see the future. In some ways this new power is wonderful, and Lee finds himself a local hero after predicting a flood.
But there’s one aspect he can’t bear, and that’s the blind spot he sees when he thinks about the wedding plans he and Gideon have started to make. It’s as if this event, which he wants more than life, simply isn’t going to happen. He’s troubled and stressed out, and Gideon decides to intervene, whisking him off to an isolated creek-side cabin in the mysterious Cornish ria country. All is peaceful there, and the clamour in Lee’s head subsides. It’s time for companionship, peace, good food and plenty of sex…
Then a young man wanders out of the woods and turns their blissed-out retreat into chaos. Kitto is harmless – a charming drifter, very handsome. To Gideon he’s just a kid, flesh and blood and a bit of a nuisance. But Lee reacts with horror. Since when can Gideon – Lee’s rock, his connection to the real world and sanity – see ghosts?
Mysterious midsummer is rising in the deep green Cornish countryside, and as the village gears up for the eerie Golowan festival, Lee and Gideon face their toughest case yet: a battle between the real and spirit worlds that threatens to tear their own apart.
Kitto started off with an air of nervous anticipation. Lee and Zeke form an unlikely friendship and embark on a search for the perfect ring. The wedding is near and Lee is turning into a Bridezilla. Zeke, in his usual dry humor tries to comfort his brother’s fiance. Lee then receives a vision of a natural disaster, cue Zeke’s hilarious reaction and our favorite psychic becomes a hero. It all became too much for him. He and Gid decided to go on a vacation to get away from it all but a certain ‘teenage nutcase‘, falls into their hands. The psychic is convinced he’s a ghost but the copper insists he’s real and sets out to prove it. For the first time in their relationship, conflict and ugly fights ensue. At one point, Lee even tells his boyfriend in no uncertain terms to “fuck off“. To his amazement, Gideon still calls him “love” after that. ♥(ˆ⌣ˆԅ)
After that flood and the boys took a break, I was expecting something sedate. But again, they were thrust into another mystery, this time not that creepy but more disturbing . The monster is very real and very sinister because of the implications and that eerie horse skull. I wasn’t familiar with the Penglas character but I definitely don’t want him lurking around.
The couple were also roped into joining the Golowan or the Midsummer festival. There’s always something so dark and primal about these pagan festivals and Harper Fox did a good job using this not only to give an extra thrum of chaos and heighten the suspense at the climax but also in binding the two men together in an ancient ceremony. The confrontation with the monster was brutal. There were heart stopping moments when all seemed lost and the wedding almost didn’t happened. But after hanging on by the skin of their teeth, and some backseat interlude, they finally made it.
And so, the wedding. Lee and Gid looked dashing in their dove gray suits. Their happiness was contagious. Everybody was there including Isolde. And then Lee’s sister showed up and dropped a bombshell. I thought this part was a little too much too soon. I expected it to happened, not then and there, but perhaps sometime in the next books. Oh well, I guess the boys get an early start on raising those goldfish.
Kitto was another enthralling installment of the Tyack & Frayne series, serving up spooky romance with a rich play of words and a Celtic vibe. At this point, I am committed to seeing this series through to the end. Love Lee and Gid! Can’t wait to see what that goldfish turns out to be.
Tyack and Frayne is best read in order. Review of the other books in the series here.
Reviews of Harper Fox’s books here.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Soundtrack: The Mirror
Artist: Damaged Bug
Album: Cold Hot Plumbs
SOUNDTRACK: The Mirror by Damaged Bug
Soundtrack to Tyack & Frayne: Kitto by Harper Fox
“Look, don’t make me say you are my sunshine, or I’ll have to kill us both.” Gideon kissed his brow. “But you are, love. You are.”