• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Amato Amaro

    Amato Amaro – Basso

    Economist Vittorio Conti wants to see what having sex with a man is like, and does what any reasonable person would do in his situation: ask his bodyguard if he wants to give it a try. Straightlaced Armando Pagani refuses at first, but for how much longer?

    The third in an Italian-flavored manga trilogy about queer politicians and their lovers. This is a collection of interrelated stories, sometimes two chapters long, sometimes merely a sketch.

    The plots could be deceptively simple and subtle but extremely nuanced. The character not the normal types found in BL manga. They are mostly men in their 40s, even one or two married to women and with children. The artwork is not the usual cutesy, pretty boy style but has its own appeal.

    I highly recommend Basso’s work if you’re looking for a mature, sophisticated BL manga.

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Blaze by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

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    Unbreakable Bonds: Blaze – Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    The rings have been selected.
    The champagne placed on ice.
    The cake decorated.

    And the pre-wedding sex is off the charts…

    Lucas Vallois and Andrei Hadeon are finally ready to walk down the aisle. There’s just one small problem.

    A ghost from Lucas’s past shows up days before the wedding, desperate for help. Against his better judgement, Lucas and his best friend, Ashton Frost, plan a fast trip back to the one place they swore they’d never go: their hometown in Oklahoma. But the danger is worse than they expected.

    Now, they’re in a race to track down a killer, keep a young girl safe, and get Lucas back in time to say, “I do.” 

    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! ♡

    Blaze is Lucas and Andrei keeping the passion burning bright.

    Book 5 found the couple neck-deep in wedding preparations when Lucas’s estranged sister walked into his life again asking for help. Her daughter was missing. Despite not wanting to do anything with the hometown and the family who spit him out, Lucas had to help. His bestfriend Snow, had to go with him because Snow will not let Lucas face his dark past alone. This even if, Snow himself had an even shittier, more traumatic memories of their town.

    One of the best parts of this series is Snow and Lucas’s relationship. The authors could have easily turned it into a friends-to-lovers story and a super intense one at that. Instead, they did something better.

    They gave Snow and Lucas something unique and infinitely more precious. An unconditional love that has nothing to do with romance, sex or blood ties. It simply existed between them since they were seven.

    The two were practically joined at hip and nothing could go between them. Not even that one time Snow was in a really bad state and Lucas was forced to have sex with him (Snow was wracked with guilt afterwards and the two never did it again). They were frequently mistaken as a couple. They don’t care and had remained steadfast always. I haven’t really encountered such kind of bond in other MM books before, and a platonic, non-shifter one at that. That’s why their friendship is important to me.

    Lucas and Andrei’s relationship is different but equally important. Lucas’s whole world were his friends, Snow, Rowe and Ian. Andrei is his center. Everyone loved Andrei because, aside from being a genuinely lovable person overall, he was the best thing to happened to Lucas. He made the billionaire a much happier man.

    We also get to see the boys play with duct tape and weird codenames because Rowe and his boyfriend Noah had to be in on the action or else it’s a not a party. And by that, they staked out the bad guys, recorded their evil deeds and things went boom! This is why Rowe and Noah are the best.

    Meanwhile, Ian was going crazy organizing the wedding because Lucas and Andrei kept making changes. The biggest hitch of all was that none of the wedding party were in the right city, or even the right state, couple of days before the wedding.

    Thing is I sat on this book for months because I was struggling to finish it. I was more into the characters than the plot. My love for the Unbreakable boys was the main driving force in helping me finish this because in all honesty, I really didn’t care much about what happened to Lucas’s niece. Once I got past this point, the story picked up.

    The book gave Snow and Lucas some much needed closure. Their families were horrid homophobic people who don’t have redeeming values. Only Lucas’ sister and niece were okay people who had accepted Lucas for who he is.

    Normally, I finish a book first before choosing a song for it. When I first heard Lukas Batteau’s catchy ballad on the Dutch internet radio station, Indiexl.nl last year, I knew it would be perfect for the Unbreakable Bonds series. I’ve been dying to use it specifically for this book.

    Blaze gave us all the things we have come to love about the series and more: the hilarious banters, the OTT action, the squee-tastic romances, the enduring connections between a memorable group of friends who were always there for each other no matter what. And we have now the official union of two important characters.

    The Unbreakable family just got bigger and stronger. A mighty alliance indeed.


    Unbreakable Bonds is best experience in sequence. Meet the boys and fall in love. Review of Unbreakable Bonds books here
    Review of Jocelynn Drake books here.

    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: A Mighty Alliance
    Artist: Lukas Batteau
    Album: Slow Traveler

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    8-book bundle

  • Uncategorized

    Let my love sink deeper than your heart
    Let it find its way to all the places in the dark

    Let my love
    Let my love

    Let my love be quicker than the sand
    Let it lie at the bottom of your land

    Let my love
    Let my love

    Let it be the time for us to rise
    Like before
    I’m not asking for your hand

    Let our love be every (?)
    Let us find our way, figures in the dark

    Let our love
    Let our love

    Let our love be branches in the wind
    Legs entwined and ready to begin
    Ready to be called as kings and queens
    Gaze upon our sons and daughters at our feet

    Let our love
    Let our love

    Let it be the time for us to rise
    Like before
    I’m not asking for your hand
    I’m not asking for your hand
    I’m not asking for your hand

    These are not the official lyrics. I couldn’t find them anywhere so I tried transcribing them. I’m glad Lukas Batteau was singing clear enough. Sorry for the missing words.