Ani No Hanashi – Ike Reibun
Fumi’s family consists of him, his working mother, his bed-ridden grandmother and his older brother. Fumi admires his kind older brother who manages his studies, sports and housework perfectly. One day, however, Fumi’s feelings are tested when his brother’s best friend enters their lives.
A young heterosexual man’s account of his childhood with his gay older brother.
A touching and beautiful story with a refreshing perspective. Must read!
Unbreakable Bonds: Devour – Joclynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
Ian Pierce is the chef and part owner of the hottest restaurant in Cincinnati, his chosen family is full of happy relationships, and the scruffy, snarky cop who has been haunting his dreams is one step closer to being in his bed. But everything comes crashing down when the past he narrowly escaped nine years ago comes to a deadly head.
Hollis Banner was enamored of Ian at first sight. He’s kept his distance, knowing the gorgeous, self-confident man is out of his league. Yet there’s no standing aside when Boris Jagger escapes a raid. Jagger’s world has been nearly destroyed and this time, the crime boss is coming after Ian and his friends personally.
Hollis will do whatever it takes to keep Ian safe as they escape to a safe house with a couple of Ian’s overprotective friends. And Ian finds himself in a race to unlock painful memories—memories containing information that could take down the very last of Jagger’s illegal operations forever.
Trigger warning: Flashbacks to abuse could be possible triggers for some.
Unbreakable Bonds is centered around four men who have deep connections with each other. Lucas Vallois, the alpha and the center who holds everything together. Ashton ‘Snow’ Frost, dark and brooding, is a trauma surgeon and the one Lucas considers his brother. Rowan ‘Rowe’ Ward, laid back and goofy, they met him during basic military training. He is their warrior. Their heart is Ian Pierce, a talented chef. He’s adorable, the type you want to put in your pocket to keep safe. Well, I want to put them all in my pocket really. I love these guys! ♡
Devour is Ian fighting not to be consumed by his past.
Ian Pierce has many things in his past he’d rather forget but the ghosts are always lurking. His family has been badly hurt so it’s time once and for all to get rid of the monster who caused them so much pain. Ian has always been protected by Lucas, Snow and Rowe. This time he’s facing Boris Jagger head on.
Hollis Banner fell in love at first sight with Ian but was hesitant to make a move because he thinks the chef is out of his league. In the first book, Shiver, I wasn’t feeling Hollis. He showed up poking around and wasn’t doing anything much. Later on, he still kept showing up and slowly endeared himself to the group because everybody could see, he really cared about Ian. And he was willing to cross the line and sacrifice his career in order to save the kids Jagger abused. What I liked about him was that he knows a good thing when he sees it and stuck to it. The man waited for a year for Ian and accepted him,baggage and all. He deserved all the chocolate cakes in the world.
“Are you thinking about last night?” Hollis asked, his voice low and rumbly.
“How do you know I’m thinking about sex?”
“Because when you do, your eyes go dark, your lids do this sexy, hooded thing, and your mouth slightly parts. It’s hot as hell. You look hungry—like I’m made of chocolate. And everyone knows chocolate is the best thing.”
“Is that right?” Ian chuckled. “The best thing?”
“Chocolate is life.”
Devour is the most gut wrenching of the four books and comes with trigger warnings. They’re taking down Jagger and they had to cut off all his financial sources. Every painful memory came out in the open as Ian tried to remember important clues to the location of the victims based on the codes Hollis obtained. Jagger was also hitting them hard, killing a friend of Ian’s and making Lucas beg for the lives of Snow and Andrei.
Lucas finally threw down the gauntlet in his usual grandiose way. He challenged Jagger to come to him in the guise of announcing a huge charity party in a press conference. The climax had the millionaire fighting for his life but Ian and Hollis’ actual fight with Jagger happened quick. I’m glad they didn’t drag it out but I was kinda hoping for a little bit more.
My favorite scene was that intense moment where the Lucas, Snow, Rowe and Ian had a shouting match regarding how they got Ian from the criminal mastermind. Their boyfriends decided to leave them to it and went for drinks in the kitchen. And then, because Snow’s cat Sargeant was there, Hollis cracked the lamest cat joke ever.
“Do you know how cats keep law and order?” Hollis asked, unable to keep from grinning. “Claw enforcement.”
Of course Jude and Noah had to join in. Andrei’s having none of it…
“What’s wrong, Andrei?” Noah said with a wide grin. “Cat got your tongue?”
“This is a catastrophe,” Jude murmured.
“Hey Andrei,” Hollis drawled. “Knock, knock.”
“Fuck you.” (๑˃́ꇴ˂̀๑)
He and Lucas patched things up and the bodyguard point blank told his boyfriend to marry him. Lucas agreed.
Snow and Jude were on a permanent honeymoon.
Rowe and Noah did their best Rambo impressions. They were very impressive. Rowe laid out his wedding plans.
And Ian is already planning all their weddings. Hollis is moving in with him.
They all had the best Christmas dinner ever. ✩*⋆ ⍋*☪⋆⍋⋆*✩
Devour is a great ending to a fantastic arc. Like the other books, some plot points are weak but I don’t really care. The romance and group dynamics make it so much worth your while. The characters are definitely unforgettable. I’m glad we still have more stories because I rooted hard for Lucas, Snow, Rowe and Ian and I’m not ready to let go of this unbreakable family yet.
The Ward Security bodyguards have their own books. Yay!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Nine years ago, he’d been caught in a nightmare and rescued by a few men who’d seen something in him that he might never understand. They’d taken him away, given him a home, and helped him create a new life. A fantastic new life. Together, the four of them had made a family, and now there were four more. Each and every man in the room was an integral part of that world. As he looked around and realized that they were finally free of the burden of his past, he could only smile.